The ancestors of the Speakes family first reached the shores of England
in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. Their name is derived from the Norman given name Espec.
Early Origins of the Speakes family
The surname Speakes 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 Speakes family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Speakes 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 Speakes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Speakes Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Speak, Speck, Speake, Speke and others.
Early Notables of the Speakes 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 Speakes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Speakes family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Speakes or a variant listed above: George Speke who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1854; Anne Speake settled in Barbados in 1654; Henry and James Speak arrived in Philadelphia in 1845..
Contemporary Notables of the name Speakes (post 1700)
- Larry Melvin Speakes (1939-2014), American White House Press Secretary for the White House under President Ronald Reagan (1981-1987)
- Stephen Manning Speakes (b. 1952), United States Army lieutenant general, Deputy Chief of Staff G-8 Programs of The United States Army and was deputy commander of United States Army Central