The distinguished surname Sprewse originated in Cornwall
, a region of southwest England
that is celebrated in the Arthurian romances of the Middle Ages. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. Under the Feudal
System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Nickname
surnames were rare among the Cornish, they did occasionally adopt names that reflected the physical characteristics or other attributes of the original bearer of the name. The name Sprewse is a nickname
type of surname for a person who is lively and alert.
Tracing the origin of the name further, we found the name Sprewse was originally from the Old English word spray,
of the same meaning.
Early Origins of the Sprewse family
The surname Sprewse was first found in Cornwall
, at St. Anthony in Roseland, a parish, in the union of Truro, W. division of the hundred
of Powder. "The living is a donative, in the patronage of the family of Spry: the tithes have been commuted for £118. The church, beautifully situated on the border of a navigable lake separating this parish from St. Mawes, contains some handsome monuments to the Spry family, of which one, by Westmacott, is to the memory of Sir Richard Spry, Rear-Admiral of the White." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Alternatively, the family could have originated in Spreyton in Devon.
Early History of the Sprewse family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sprewse research.Another 243 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1485, 1627, 1612, 1685, 1660 and 1663 are included under the topic Early Sprewse History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sprewse Spelling Variations
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England
, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations
often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall
and the rest of England
. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic
language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Spry, Spray, Spre, Spraye, Sprye, Sprey, Sprie and many more.
Early Notables of the Sprewse family (pre 1700)
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sprewse Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sprewse family to the New World and Oceana
Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Sprewse or a variant listed above: William Spry who settled in Virginia in 1648; Oliver Sprye settled in Virginia in 1639; Francis Spry settled in North Carolina in 1701. In Newfoundland, John Spry was a Surgeon of St. John's in 1753.
The Sprewse Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Soyez sage et simple
Motto Translation: Be wise and simple.