The surname of SPURREN is of two-fold origin. It was a baptismal name 'the son of Spiring' an ancient personal name. It was also an occupational name derived from the Old French word 'ESPORON' meaning a maker of spurs. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. The name has many variant spellings which include Spurring, Spearon, Sperrin and Sperryn. Early records of the name mention Hugo Esporun, who was documented in the year 1141 in County Essex, and William Sporum appears in Yorkshire in 1212. William Esperun of Bedfordshire, was recorded in 1227, and Thomas Sperun was mentioned in 1274. Reginald Spiring, documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) in the County of Somerset. William Spearon of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name. A later instance of the name mentions Roger Spering and Helen Skinner who were married in Canterbury, Kent in the year 1665.
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