Spell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The roots of the German surname Spell lie in the kingdom of Bavaria, where the name originated. Spell is an occupational name, deriving from the Middle High German verb "spillen," meaning "to play, jest, sport." Thus, it is likely that the name was originally borne by an actor or a jester.

Early Origins of the Spell family

The surname Spell was first found in the city of Offenburg, in modern Baden-Wuerttemburg, where the name Spielman could be considered to make a great early contribution to the feudal society which became the backbone of early development of Europe. The name Spielmann became prominent in local affairs and branched into many houses which played important roles in the savage tribal and national conflicts, each group seeking power and status in a constantly changing territorial profile.

Early History of the Spell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spell research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1786, 1790, 1626, 1588, 1722 and 1783 are included under the topic Early Spell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Spell Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Spielmann, Spielman, Spellman, Spelmann, Spellmann, Speilman, Speillmann, Spillman, Spillmann, Spilman and many more.

Early Notables of the Spell family (pre 1700)

Prominent among members of the name Spell in this period include Sir John Spilman (also spelt Spielman) (died 1626) German-born entrepreneur who founded the first commercially successful paper-mill in...
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Spell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Spell migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Spell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Georg Spell, who landed in Virginia in 1656 [1]
  • Geo Spell, who arrived in Virginia in 1663 [1]
  • Mary Spell, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [1]
  • Joseph Spell, who landed in Maryland in 1665 [1]
Spell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Spell, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [1]


  1. ^ 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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