The name Speerham arrived in England
after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. It is a name for a watchman or guardian,
and indicates the profession of the first person who used the name.
Early Origins of the Speerham family
The surname Speerham 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 Speerham family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Speerham research.Another 207 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1542, 1614 and 1645 are included under the topic Early Speerham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Speerham Spelling Variations
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.
Early Notables of the Speerham family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Speerham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Speerham family to the New World and Oceana
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 Speerham 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 Speerham 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.