The surname of SPAIN was a locational name 'of Spain'. The name was brought early to England, in the original form of the Latin Hispania. The name was established by colonists from Spain during the Roman Empire. Michael de Ispania was recorded in County Oxford in 1273, appears to be the first of the name recorded in England. Almost every city, town or village existing in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. Where a man lived was his means of identification. When a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known, and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or birthplace, or by the name of the land which he owned. Other records of the name mention Thomas Spane who was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and Willelmus del Spayn of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax in 1379. The names introduced into Britain by the Normans during and in the wake of the Invasion of 1066, are nearly all territorial in origin. The followers of William the Conqueror were a pretty mixed lot, and while some of them brought the names of their castles and villages in Normandy with them, many were adventurers of different nationalities attached to William's standard by the hope of plunder, and possessing no family or territorial names of their own. Those of them who acquired lands in England were called by their manors, while others took the name of the offices they held or the military titles given to them, and sometimes, a younger son of a Norman landowner, on receiving a grant of land in his new home dropped his paternal name and adopted that of his newly acquired property. A later instance of the name mentions John Fillpot and Mary Spaine who were married at Canterbury Cathedral in the year 1652. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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