Origins Available: English
The Spens surname derives from the Old French word "despense," from the Latin "dispendere" meaning "to dispense;" as such, it is thought to have been an metonymic occupational
surname for someone in charge of the pantry of a great house or monastery. The Middle English word "spense" means "larder" or "storeroom."
Early Origins of the Spens family
The surname Spens was first found in Yorkshire
, where Simon del Spens (or de la Despense) was on record in 1300, in the Charters of Guisburn Priory, Yorkshire
. Other early records include Amice ate Spense, listed in the Subsidy Rolls
of 1327; and William atte
Spence listed in the Subsidy Rolls
of Worcester in that same year.
Early History of the Spens family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spens research.Another 359 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1320, 1358, 1365, 1385, 1390, 1426, and 1428 are included under the topic Early Spens History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Spens Spelling Variations
of this family name include: Spence, Spens, Spense, Spenceley, Spencley and many more.
Early Notables of the Spens family (pre 1700)
Another 25 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Spens Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Spens family to Ireland
Some of the Spens family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 131 words (9 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 Spens family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: a Mrs. Spence, who was on record in Virginia in 1623; John Spenceley, who sailed to Barbados in 1635; Francis Spence, who was in Virginia in 1635; Robert Spence, who came to Virginia in 1654.
Contemporary Notables of the name Spens (post 1700)
- E. C. Spens, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Mayor of Alpena, Michigan, 1914 CITATION[CLOSE]
The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- Sir William Spens (1882-1962), English educator, vice-chancellor of Cambridge University (1931-1933)
- William George Michael Spens (1914-1984), British Army officer and peer, 2nd Baron Spens
- Patrick Spens (1885-1973), British lawyer, judge, and politician, Chief Justice of India (1943-1947), created 1st Lord Spens of Blairsanquhar, Fife, in 1959