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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Scottish


The Spenceley surname derives from the Old French word "despense," from the Latin "dispendere" meaning "to dispense;" as such, it is thought to have been an occupational surname for the custodian of the pantry or larder of a great house or monastery.

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The surname Spenceley was first found in Fife where they held a family seat from very ancient times, and it is claimed by some that the family name is descended from the ancient and Royal House of the Earls of Fife. Early records show a John Spens, who was bailie of Irvine in 1260.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Spence, Spens, Spense, Spenceley, Spencley and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spenceley research. Another 298 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1320, 1358, 1365, 1385, 1390, 1426, 1428, and 1628 are included under the topic Early Spenceley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Spenceley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Spenceley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 215 words (15 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Spenceley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John Spenceley, who sailed to Barbados in 1635
  • John Spenceley, aged 24, landed in Barbados in 1635

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  • Alfred Spenceley (b. 1890), English Amateur Boxing Association of England lightweight champion in 1911
  • George Spenceley, English photographer, mountaineer on the South Georgia Survey, 1955-56, eponym of Spenceley Glacier, Antarctica


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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: Patior ut potior
Motto Translation: I endure as I enjoy

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  1. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  2. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  3. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  4. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  5. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  6. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  7. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  10. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  11. ...

The Spenceley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Spenceley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 16 March 2010 at 08:09.

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