Speed History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Speed family

The surname Speed was first found in Suffolk where in 1185, Godfrey Speed appeared on the Pipe Rolls. [1] Years later, Johannes Sped was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 in Suffolk. The same rolls also listed Margaret Sped in Cambridgeshire: and Roger Sped in Oxfordshire. [2]

The name could have claimed Normandy as the starting point as one source notes that the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Ivo de Spada there in 1185. [3]

Other sources claim that it was a nickname as a "reference to the swiftness of the original bearers." [4] And yet another claims the name was "a font-name, wishing prosperity or good-speed to the child." [2]

Further to the north in Scotland, Nicholas Speid occupied part of the lands of Cuikstone or Quygstone in Angus, 1410 and Cuthbert Speid was witness in Forfar in the same year. [5]

Early History of the Speed family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Speed research. Another 45 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1277, 1578, 1555, 1556, 1551, 1629, 1595, 1598, 1685, 1650, 1631 and 1682 are included under the topic Early Speed History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Speed Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Speed, Spede, Speyde, Speede, Speid and others.

Early Notables of the Speed family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John Speed (c. 1551-1629), an English cartographer and historian, best known English mapmaker of the Stuart period. Born in Farndon, Cheshire, he went into the tailoring business of his father, Samuel. While working in London, he came to the attention of learned individuals who gave him an allowance to engage in full-time scholarship. Queen Elizabeth granted Speed the use of a room in the Custom House. By 1595, Speed published a map of biblical Canaan and in 1598 he presented his maps to Queen Elizabeth. "Mr. Joseph Speed of...
Another 93 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Speed Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Speed migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Speed Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Speed, who arrived in Virginia in 1633 [6]
  • Richard Speed, who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Richard Speed, aged 35, who landed in Barbados in 1635 [6]
  • John Speed, who landed in Maryland in 1637 [6]
  • John Speed, who settled in Maryland in 1637
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Speed Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Speed, who settled in Virginia in 1703
  • Alexander Speed, who settled in Virginia in 1714
  • Jane Speed, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [6]
Speed Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George Speed, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1868 [6]

Canada Speed migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Speed Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Speed, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
  • F Speed, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Speed migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Speed Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William John Speed, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Martha Speed, aged 43, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Norman"
  • Martha Speed, aged 23, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Norman"
  • Mary Speed, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Norman"

New Zealand Speed migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Speed Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Speed, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1844

Contemporary Notables of the name Speed (post 1700) +

  • Lake Chambers Speed (b. 1948), American former NASCAR driver
  • Joshua Fry Speed (1814-1882), American businessman and close friend of Abraham Lincoln, Kentucky State Representative (1848-1850)
  • James S. Speed (1811-1860), American politician, 9th Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky
  • James Breckenridge Speed (1844-1912), American businessman in Louisville, Kentucky and philanthropist
  • James Speed (1812-1887), American lawyer, politician and professor, 27th United States Attorney General (1864-1866)
  • Horace Speed III (b. 1951), American Major League Baseball player who played three seasons for the San Francisco Giants and the Cleveland Indians (1975) and (1978-1979)
  • Chris Speed (b. 1967), American saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer
  • Scott Andrew Speed (b. 1983), American race car driver
  • Lucy Speed (b. 1976), English actress, best known for her television roles as Natalie Evans in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders
  • Harold Speed (1872-1957), English oil painter watercolour artist
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Ann voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1809 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/ann/1809


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