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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Spearman family come from? What is the English Spearman family crest and coat of arms? When did the Spearman family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Spearman family history?

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change, including many immigrants with new names. Spearman is a name for a watchman or guardian, and indicates the profession of the first person who used the name.


Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Spearman, Speerman, Speirman, Spearmen, Speermen and others.

First found in Shropshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Dunnington, anciently spelt Donington in the Domesday Book survey taken in 1086, soon after the Norman Conquest. 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. They later became the Lords of Aspramont.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spearman research. Another 220 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1542, 1614, and 1645 are included under the topic Early Spearman History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Spearman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Spearman or a variant listed above:

Spearman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Spearman, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1607
  • Harry Spearman and John settled in Virginia in 1608
  • James Spearman arrived in Virginia in 1650
  • Jam Spearman, who arrived in Virginia in 1650
  • Hannah Spearman, who landed in Maryland in 1670

Spearman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Mary Spearman arrived in Maryland in 1750


  • Glenn Spearman (1947-1998), American jazz tenor saxophonist
  • Doug Spearman (b. 1962), American actor
  • Frank Hamilton Spearman (1859-1937), American author
  • John J. Spearman (b. 1824), American iron manufacturer
  • Armegis O. Spearman (b. 1978), former American football linebacker
  • Charles Edward Spearman PhD, (1863-1945), English psychologist known for work in statistics
  • Sir Alexander Spearman (1901-1982), governor of the London School of Economics, Knighted in 1956
  • Craig Murray Spearman (b. 1972), New Zealand cricketer
  • Sir Alexander Cadwallader Mainwaring Spearman (1901-1982), British Conservative Member of Parliament


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.


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  1. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  2. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  7. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  8. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  11. ...

The Spearman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Spearman 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 15 October 2014 at 20:02.

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