Speyer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Speyer 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." [1] [2] [3]

Another source notes: "Spere, to ask, to inquire; a word used formerly in Scotland and the north of Ireland." [4]

Early Origins of the Speyer family

The surname Speyer 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. [2]

By the 16th century, Richard Spyre was listed as attending Oxford University in 1515; and George Speris was listed in Stirling, Scotland in 1548. [3]

Early History of the Speyer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Speyer research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1417, 1475, 1664, 1626 and are included under the topic Early Speyer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Speyer Spelling Variations

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 Speyer family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Speyer family to Ireland

Some of the Speyer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Speyer migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Speyer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johann Speyer, who landed in America in 1754 [5]
Speyer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Heinrich Speyer, who arrived in Galveston, Tex in 1846 [5]
  • Mr. Speyer, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • Johann Adam Speyer, who arrived in New York, NY in 1851 [5]
  • Johann A Speyer, who landed in Ohio in 1852 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Speyer (post 1700) +

  • Lady Leonora Speyer (1872-1956), American poet and violinist awarded the 1927 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
  • James Speyer (1861-1941), American politician, Delegate to New York convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933 [6]


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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