Spilham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Spilham reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Spilham family 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 Spilham family
The surname Spilham 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 Spilham family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spilham 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 Spilham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Spilham Spelling Variations
Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Spilham family name include Speelman, Spellman, Spelman, Spilman, Spillman, Spillane, O'Spillane, Spilane, Spallon, Spollin, Splaine and many more.
Early Notables of the Spilham 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 Spilham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Spilham family to Ireland
Some of the Spilham 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 Spilham family
To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Spilham family to immigrate North America: 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