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The name Speaks was brought to England in the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. Speaks is based on the Norman given name Espec.

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The surname Speaks 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]CITATION[CLOSE]
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.

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Speak, Speck, Speake, Speke and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Speaks 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 Speaks History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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 Speaks Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Speaks 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..

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Citations



  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.

Other References

  1. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  6. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  9. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The Speaks Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Speaks Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 13 February 2016 at 11:29.

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