The Speirs 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6) CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
Another source notes: "Spere, to ask, to inquire; a word used formerly in Scotland and the north of Ireland." CITATION[CLOSE]
Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
Early Origins of the Speirs family
The surname Speirs 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. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
By the 16th century, Richard Spyre was listed as attending Oxford University in 1515; and George Speris was listed in Stirling, Scotland in 1548.
Early History of the Speirs family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Speirs research.Another 144 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1417, 1475, 1664, 1626 and are included under the topic Early Speirs History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Speirs 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 Speirs family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Speirs Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Speirs family to Ireland
Some of the Speirs family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 212 words (15 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Speirs family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Speirs Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Elizabeth Speirs, who settled in Virginia in 1774
Speirs Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Mrs. John Speirs, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
Contemporary Notables of the name Speirs (post 1700)
- Archibald Alexander Speirs (1840-1868), Scottish Liberal politician, Member of Parliament for Renfrewshire (1865-1868)
- William MacLeod Speirs (1952-2009), Scottish trade union leader, General Secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress
- Alexander Speirs (d. 1844), Scottish politician, Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire (1838–1844)
- Walter Gardner Speirs (b. 1963), Scottish former footballer and manager
- Lieutenant Colonel Ronald C. Speirs (1920-2007), Scottish-born, United States Army officer who served in the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment and 101st Airborne Division during World War II
- James Hamilton "Jimmy" Speirs (1886-1917), Scottish footballer who scored the winning goal in the 1911 FA Cup Final, recipient of the Military Medal during the First World War
- Camilla Speirs, Irish equestrian at the 2012 Summer Olympics
- Rosalind "Ros" Speirs (b. 1951), retired Australian Logie Award winning film and television actress, known for her roles in Silent Number, Heidi and the miniseries Power Without Glory
- Annie Coupe Speirs (1889-1926), British gold medalist freestyle swimmer at the 1912 Summer Olympics
- Steve Speirs (b. 1965), born Steven Roberts, a Welsh actor