Spiers History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Spiers 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 Spiers family

The surname Spiers 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 Spiers family

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

Spiers 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 Spiers family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Spiers family to Ireland

Some of the Spiers 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 Spiers migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Spiers Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Hendrick Jansen Spiers, who arrived in New York in 1661 [5]
Spiers Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henry Spiers, who landed in Virginia in 1744 [5]
Spiers Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Spiers, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [5]
  • Mrs. John Spiers, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [5]
  • George Spiers, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1832 [5]
  • William Spiers, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • Mary Spiers, aged 30, who landed in New York in 1862 [5]

Australia Spiers migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Spiers Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Henry Spiers, aged 18, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Emily" [6]
  • Henry Spiers, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Emily" in 1849 [6]
  • H. Spiers, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1849 [7]

New Zealand Spiers 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:

Spiers Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Spiers, aged 27, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Oriental" in 1840
  • Harriet Spiers, aged 30, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Oriental" in 1840
  • Mr. James Spiers, (b. 1812), aged 27, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in Port Nicholson, Wellington, New Zealand on 31st January 1840 [8]
  • Mrs. Spiers, (b. 1809), aged 30, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in Port Nicholson, Wellington, New Zealand on 31st January 1840 [8]
  • James Spiers, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Spiers (post 1700) +

  • Ronald I. Spiers (b. 1925), former American ambassador-diplomat and member of Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change
  • Ronald Ian Spiers (b. 1925), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Bahamas, 1973-74; Turkey, 1977-80; Pakistan, 1981-83 [9]
  • J. R. Spiers, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 25th District, 1913-14 [9]
  • Alexander Spiers (1807-1869), English lexicographer born at Gosport in Hampshire who spent 14 years compiling a new English-French and French-English dictionary
  • Felix William Spiers (1832-1911), British restaurateur and hotelier
  • Elizabeth Spiers (b. 1976), American founding editor of gossip blog Gawker.com and the Wall Street gossip site dealbreaker.com
  • Cyril Spiers (1902-1967), English former professional footballer and manager
  • Bob Spiers (1945-2008), British two-time BAFTA Award winning television director, known for his second series of Fawlty Towers (1979)


  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. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The EMILY 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Emily.htm
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SIR CHARLES FORBES originally CHARLES FORBES 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849SirCharlesForbes.gif
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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