Spearham is one of the many names that the Normans
brought with them when they conquered England
in 1066. Spearham is a name for a watchman or guardian,
and indicates the profession of the first person who used the name.
Early Origins of the Spearham family
The surname Spearham was first found in Shropshire
where they were known as the Spearmans of Dunnington, anciently spelt Donington. The village at this time was only a Mill, and was owned by Earl Roger, from whom the Spearmans are conjecturally descended. Nearby is St.Cuthbert's well, the water of which is said to cure eye complaints. The family was "seated there since the Conquest, and said to be descended from the old Lords of Aspramont." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
A branch of the family was found at early times in Thornley in Durham
. "The township comprises the two estates of Thornley Hall and Gore Hall, both of which have been the property of the Spearman family for more than 150 years. Thornley Hall, a spacious mansion supposed to occupy the site of the castle, is situated on a commanding eminence." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Spearham family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spearham research.Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1542, 1614 and 1645 are included under the topic Early Spearham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Spearham Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations
are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans
introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Spearman, Speerman, Speirman, Spearmen, Speermen and others.
Early Notables of the Spearham family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Spearham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Spearham family to the New World and Oceana
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland
, North America, and Australia
in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England
. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Spearham or a variant listed above: Harry Spearman and John settled in Virginia in 1608; 12 years before the "Mayflower" arrived; James Spearman arrived in Virginia in 1650; Mary Spearman arrived in Maryland in 1750..
The Spearham Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Dum spiro spero
Motto Translation: While I have breath I hope.