The name Speak was brought to England
in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest
of 1066. It comes from the Norman given name Espec.
Early Origins of the Speak family
The surname Speak was first found in Lancashire
where a Norman noble Le Espec was an under tenant
of Roger de Poitou, and was granted the lands of Speke outside Liverpool in Lancashire
. Soon after the taking of the Domesday Book
in 1086, a descendant, Richard Le Espec acquired the manors of Wenworthy and Brampton Speke in the county of Devon
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
which he held from Robert Fitzroy of Oakhampton. His descendent, William Le Espec married and acquired the estates of Gervois.
Early History of the Speak family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Speak research.Another 213 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1592, 1661, 1661, 1653, 1683, 1675, 1681, 1681 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Speak History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Speak Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. When the Normans
became the ruling people of England
in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Speak, Speck, Speake, Speke and others.
Early Notables of the Speak family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Speke of Whitelackington; and Sir Hugh Speke, 1st Baronet
of Hasilbury, Wiltshire
(died 1661), an English politician who sat... Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Speak Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Speak family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England
. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Speak or a variant listed above were:
Speak Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Thomas Speak, who landed in Maryland in 1639 CITATION[CLOSE]
Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
Speak Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Henry and James Speak, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1845