Spire History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Spire 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 Spire family

The surname Spire 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 Spire family

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

Spire 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 Spire family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Spire family to Ireland

Some of the Spire 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 Spire migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Spire Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • David Spire, who arrived in Virginia in 1665 [5]
  • Margtt Spire, who landed in Virginia in 1665 [5]
  • Alice Spire, who landed in Maryland in 1680 [5]

New Zealand Spire 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:

Spire Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Spire, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "British Queen" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 30th August 1859 [6]
  • Mrs. Spire, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "British Queen" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 30th August 1859 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Spire (post 1700) +

  • William C. Spire, American politician, U.S. Attorney for Nebraska, 1956-61 [7]
  • André Spire (1868-1966), French poet, writer, and Zionist activist


  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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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