Show ContentsSpeakman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Speakman is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest of 1066 brought to England. It comes from the Norman given name Espec.

Early Origins of the Speakman family

The surname Speakman 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, [1] which he held from Robert Fitzroy of Oakhampton. His descendent, William Le Espec married and acquired the estates of Gervois.

Walter Espec (d. 1153), was founder of Rievaulx Abbey, Yorkshire, and was probably the son of William Spech, who in 1085 held Warden, Bedfordshire, where some fifty years later Walter Espec founded and endowed an Abbey. "Espec's chief property was in Yorkshire, and he resided at Helmsley. Under Henry I he was Justice of the Forests and Itinerant Justice in the northern counties. Under Stephen he actively resisted the Scotch invasion. On 10 Jan. 1138 FitzDuncan failed in a night attack on Espec's castle of Wark. Then King David and his son Henry came up and formed a regular siege for three weeks, after which the main body passed on to Harry Northumberland. Three months later (c. 8 May) the garrison swooped down upon the Scotch king's commissariat, and had to submit to a second siege. The castle was stoutly defended by Walter's nephew, John de Bussey, but had to surrender about 11 Nov. " [2]

Early History of the Speakman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Speakman research. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1592, 1661, 1661, 1653, 1683, 1675, 1681, 1681 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Speakman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Speakman Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Speak, Speck, Speake, Speke and others.

Early Notables of the Speakman 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 Speakman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Speakman Ranking

In the United States, the name Speakman is the 10,415th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

United States Speakman migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Speakman name or one of its variants:

Speakman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Frances Speakman, aged 16, who arrived in Maryland in 1684 [4]
Speakman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Speakman, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1712 [4]
  • William Speakman, who arrived in New England in 1716 [4]
Speakman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Isaac Speakman, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872 [4]

Canada Speakman migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Speakman Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. William Speakman U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Speakman (post 1700) +

  • Jeff Speakman (b. 1958), American actor and an accomplished martial artist in the art of kenpo
  • Howard C. Speakman (1892-1952), United States federal judge from 1946 to 1952
  • Sergeant William Speakman VC (b. 1927), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Fred J. Speakman, one of Britain's best known naturalist-authors in the 1960s

  1. Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X on Facebook