Spilan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The history of the Spilan family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Norfolk where "this surname is derived from the name of an ancestor, 'the son of Spileman.' "  However, another source claims the name was derived from "a learned man but more probably either a man who works by spells, or turns, with another, or a worker of spells or charms. "  And yet another source claims that the name was for a "preacher or orator; one who entertained by stories, songs, buffoonery or juggling. " 
Early Origins of the Spilan family
The surname Spilan was first found in Norfolk but by the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the name was scattered throughout ancient Britain: John Speleman, Nottinghamshire; William Spelesman, Wiltshire; and Eustace Spileman, Oxfordshire. "There are nine entries of Spileman in the Hundred Rolls, representing five counties. " 
Kirby's Quest notes John Speleman and Roger Spileman in Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year of Edward III's reign.) 
Early History of the Spilan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spilan research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1495, 1544, 1495, 1491, 1562, 1641, 1581, 1495, 1544, 1594, 1643, 1598, 1679, 1594, 1643, 1626, 1588, 1606, 1663, 1645, 1648 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Spilan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Spilan Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Speelman, Spellman, Spelman, Spilman, Spillman, Spillane, O'Spillane, Spilane, Spallon, Spollin, Splaine and many more.
Early Notables of the Spilan family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Spelman (1495?-1544), English judge of the King's Bench, born about 1495, was son of Henry Spelman, recorder of Norwich in 1491. "The Spelman family were of ancient descent, being sprung from Hampshire, where in the time of Henry III they held the manor of Brockenhurst; in the fourteenth century they appear to have settled in Norfolk, where they held the manor of Bekerton in the fifteenth century. " 
Sir Henry Spelman (c.1562-1641) was an English antiquary from Congham, Norfolk, the eldest son of Henry Spelman (d. 1581), of Congham, and the...
Another 119 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Spilan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Spilan family to Ireland
Some of the Spilan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 42 words (3 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 Spilan family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Spilan name or one of its variants: James, John, Michael, Robert, Spellman who all settled in Philadelphia between 1844 to 1851; Elizabeth Spillane settled in Pennsylvania in 1773; Ellen and Joan Spillane settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1847 and 1849 respectively.
Related Stories +
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
- ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print