Speir History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Speir 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 Speir family

The surname Speir 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 Speir family

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

Speir 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 Speir family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Speir family to Ireland

Some of the Speir 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 Speir migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Speir Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Anne Speir, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [5]
  • Jane Speir, who arrived in America in 1774 [5]
  • Alexander Speir, who settled in Wilmington North Carolina in 1774
  • Alexander Speir, aged 19, who arrived in North Carolina in 1774 [5]
Speir Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Speir, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1807 [5]
  • Jane Speir, aged 25, who arrived in America from Londonderry, in 1892
  • Mary E. Speir, aged 28, who arrived in America from Glasgow, in 1892
  • Samuel Speir, aged 23, who arrived in America, in 1894
  • Margaret Speir, aged 45, who arrived in America, in 1895
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Speir Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Kenneth Robert Mapie Speir, aged 27, who arrived in America from Loughborough, in 1904
  • Mrs. Francis Speir, who arrived in America, in 1906
  • Oswald Speir, aged 14, who arrived in America, in 1907
  • Gottfried Speir, aged 7, who arrived in America, in 1907
  • Adolphos Speir, aged 40, who arrived in America, in 1908
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Speir (post 1700) +

  • Mark Speir, American head coach of the Western Carolina Catamounts college football team
  • Henry Columbus "H.C." Speir (1895-1972), American record store owner who helped launch the recording careers of many Mississippi blues musicians in the 1920s and 1930s
  • Dona Speir (b. 1964), American model
  • Rupert Malise Speir (1910-1998), British Conservative Party politician, Member of Parliament for Hexham (1951–1966)


  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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