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

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

Speck is one of the names carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is based on the Norman given name Espec.

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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 Speak, Speck, Speake, Speke and others.

First found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. 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, which he held from Robert Fitzroy of Oakhampton. His descendent, William Le Espec married and acquired the estates of Gervois.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Speck research. Another 213 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1592, 1st , 1661, 1661, 1653, 1683, 1675, 1681, 1681 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Speck History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 97 words(7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Speck Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 Speck or a variant listed above:

Speck Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Joh Wilhelm Speck, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1736
  • Matthias Speck, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1736
  • Willem Speck, aged 23, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1736
  • William Speck, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1743
  • Johann Adam Speck, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1752


Speck Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Cathrina Speck, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1803
  • Johannes Speck, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1803
  • Studarth Speck, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1803
  • Welhelmina Speck, aged 32, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1805
  • Frederica Speck, aged 6, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1805


Speck Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Speck, aged 32, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Shackamaxon"
  • William Speck, aged 34, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Shackamaxon"

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  • Robert Clifford "Cliff" Speck (b. 1956), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Frank Gouldsmith Speck (1881-1950), American anthropologist
  • Christa Speck (b. 1942), German model and actress
  • Wieland Speck (b. 1951), German film director
  • William Arthur "W. A." Speck (b. 1938), British historian
  • Mr. Willy Speck (1892-1937), German Chief Radio Officer from Frankfurt, Germany, who worked on board the Hindenburg LZ-129 and survived the Airship Fire on May 6, 1937, but later died in hospital from injuries


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  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. 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.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The Speck Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Speck 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 November 2014 at 16:21.

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