Show ContentsSperry History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Sperry family

The surname Sperry was first found in Devon where they held a family seat from very ancient times, as Lords of the manor of Spurway Barton. One of the first records of the name was Ricardo Greda de Spurwaye (c. 1270-1320) who held lands in the area and records show that a transfer of lands in Bears, a hamlet in Broadclyst parish, north-east of Exeter about that time. "Thurgarton Hall [in Norfolk] is the residence of W. D. Spurrell, Esq., whose family have occupied the mansion for several centuries." [1]

"Slade, [Devon] with its fine hall, once the seat of the family of that name, has long been the residence of the Spurrells, and their descendants, the Podes." [2]

Early History of the Sperry family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sperry research. Another 55 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1200 and 1542 are included under the topic Early Sperry History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sperry Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Spurway, Spurvey, Spurrvey, Spurways, Spurrier and others.

Early Notables of the Sperry family (pre 1700)

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

Sperry Ranking

In the United States, the name Sperry is the 4,350th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [3]

United States Sperry migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sperry Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Sperry, who landed in New York in 1832 [4]

Canada Sperry migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sperry Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Jacob Sperry, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752

New Zealand Sperry migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Sperry Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J. Sperry, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1878

Contemporary Notables of the name Sperry (post 1700) +

  • Elmer Ambrose Sperry (1860-1930), American prolific inventor and entrepreneur, founder of the Sperry Corporation in 1910 which after mergers became part of Unisys and Honeywell
  • Joseph Evans Sperry (1854-1930), American architect
  • Willis Sperry, American pilot aboard an American Airlines DC-6 airborne near Mount Vernon, Maryland on 29 May 1950 whose crew and passengers sighted a UFO which became known as the Sperry UFO case
  • Roger Wolcott Sperry (1913-1994), American neuropsychologist, neurobiologist and Nobel laureate awarded for his work with split-brain research
  • Lawrence Burst Sperry (1892-1923), American aviation pioneer, third son of Elmer Ambrose Sperry who died during a failed attempt to cross the English Channel
  • Pauline Sperry (1885-1967), American mathematician
  • Stanley Kenneth Sperry (1914-1962), American second baseman in Major League Baseball
  • Thomas A. Sperry (1864-1913), the American co-founder and the "S" of S&H Green Stamps
  • Kory Kalani Kahaunaele Sperry (b. 1985), American football tight end
  • Lewis Sperry (1848-1922), United States Representative from Connecticut
  • ... (Another 30 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Suggested Readings for the name Sperry +

  • Anson and Thyrza Sperry by Dorothy Hodgman.
  • The Sperry Familiy Line of Jeremiah Aperry of Minnesota, 1802-1870 by Rodney Prestage Homer.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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) on Facebook