England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. Spearmen is a name for a watchman or guardian, and indicates the profession of the first person who used the name.
Early Origins of the Spearmen family
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 Spearmen family
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Spearmen Spelling Variations
hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Spearmen include Spearman, Speerman, Speirman, Spearmen, Speermen and others.
Early Notables of the Spearmen family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Spearmen family to the New World and Oceana
In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Spearmens to arrive on North American shores: 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 Spearmen 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.
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