Speers History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Speers surname comes from the Old English word "spere," meaning "spear." It may have originally been a nickname for a tall skinny person, or perhaps for a hunter skilled at using the spear. Alternatively, the could have been used for a "watchman or lookout man." [1] [2] [3]

Another source notes: "Spere, to ask, to inquire; a word used formerly in Scotland and the north of Ireland." [4]

Early Origins of the Speers family

The surname Speers was first found in Renfrewshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Friù), a historic county of Scotland, today encompassing the Council Areas of Renfrew, East Renfrewshire, and Iverclyde, in the Strathclyde region of southwestern Scotland.

Further to the south in Yorkshire, the first record of the family was found in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 when Robertas Spyer was listed there at that time. [2]

By the 16th century, Richard Spyre was listed as attending Oxford University in 1515; and George Speris was listed in Stirling, Scotland in 1548. [3]

Early History of the Speers family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Speers research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1417, 1475, 1664, 1626 and are included under the topic Early Speers History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Speers Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Speir, Spier, Spears, Speirs, Spiers, Speer, Speers, Spere, Speres, Spire, Spires, Speyer, Speier, Speery and many more.

Early Notables of the Speers family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Speers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Speers family to Ireland

Some of the Speers family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Speers migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Speers Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Speers, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1804 [5]
  • Alexander Speers, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1814 [5]
  • Robert Speers, who landed in New York in 1819 [5]
  • John Speers, who arrived in New York in 1820 [5]
  • Henry Speers, who landed in New York, NY in 1831 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Speers (post 1700) +

  • Ted Speers (b. 1961), American professional NHL ice hockey player
  • Jerrold B. Speers (b. 1942), American politician and lawyer from Maine
  • Robert James "Jim" Speers (1882-1955), Canadian businessman, inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame for his work in Thoroughbred horse racing in Western Canada
  • David Speers, contemporary Australian journalist and the political editor at Sky News Australia
  • James "Jim" Speers, Unionist politician in Northern Ireland
  • Marilyn Speers Butler FRSL FRSA FBA (1937-2014), Lady Butler, a British literary critic, Rector of Exeter College, Oxford (1993-2004)
  • Speers Gordon Ponder (1906-1985), career US Army officer in the Chemical Corps


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  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. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  5. ^ 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)


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