Show ContentsSpires History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Spires 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 Spires family

The surname Spires 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, England, 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 Spires family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spires research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1417, 1475, 1664, 1626, 1807, 1869, 1807, 1846, 1884 and are included under the topic Early Spires History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Spires 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 Spires family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Thomas Speir of Edinburgh, a merchant, 1626. Alexander Spiers (1807-1869), the English lexicographer, was born at Gosport in Hampshire in 1807. He studied in England, in Germany, and in Paris and graduated doctor of philosophy at Leipzig. For fourteen...
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Spires Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Spires Ranking

In the United States, the name Spires is the 6,149th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Spires family to Ireland

Some of the Spires 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 Spires migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Spires Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Spires, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798 [6]
Spires Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Richard Spires, aged 53, who landed in America from Woodford, in 1892
  • Mary Spires, aged 40, who immigrated to the United States, in 1893
Spires Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Alert Spires, who settled in America from Liverpool, in 1901
  • John C. Spires, who landed in America from Liverpool, in 1901
  • Lily Spires, aged 26, who immigrated to America from Liverpool, in 1901
  • Lucy Spires, aged 11, who landed in America from Liverpool, in 1901
  • Sarah Spires, aged 50, who settled in America, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Spires migration to Australia +

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

Spires Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Spires, British Convict who was convicted in Clerkenwell, London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Corona" on 13th October 1866, arriving in Western Australia, Australia [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Spires (post 1700) +

  • Arthur "Big Boy" Spires (1912-1990), American blues singer and guitarist
  • Gregory Tyrone "Greg" Spires (b. 1974), American NFL football defensive end who played from 1998 to 2008
  • Elizabeth Spires (b. 1952), American poet, recipient of the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, a Whiting Writers' Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship
  • John P. Spires, American politician, Candidate for Circuit Judge in Michigan 40th Circuit, 1978 [8]
  • James Ashley Stuart "Jamie" Spires (b. 1979), English cricketer who played from 1999 to 2005 for Warwickshire

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. 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)
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th March 2021). Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from on Facebook