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The Spurgeon Family (Of England and America)


In looking at the origin of the name of Spurgeon, one must be reminded that the origin


and etymological source of surnames is a difficult study. Similar spellings of surnames do not necessarily indicate or denote actual lineage to that spelling. It is, however, interesting to see from where a surname may have originated. With regard to the name of Spurgeon:


... we find it in many forms, such as Spirjon, Spurgin, Spurggon, Spurggin, Spurrgin, Spurgynne, Spourgion, Spugin, Spurgyn, Spurgen, Spurginn, Spourgian, Spurgion. Dr. Henry Barber says Spurgeon is of Scandinavian origin, being a diminutive of ‘Sporr,’ ‘Sporre’ (Sporrechen). ‘Sporr’ was an old Norse name meaning ‘a sparrow.’ The name is found in the Domesday Book as a personal name under the form of ‘Spur’ and ‘Sperri.’ The late Rev. Charles Wareing Bardsley, M.A., ...says, “Spurgeon, or Spurgin, is evidently an old and long forgot- ten Scandinavian personal name (baptismal, a Son of Sprigin).” In Norfolk we find one William Sprigin mentioned in the Hundred Rolls as early as 1273, and in the same county a Robert Spurgynne was Vicar of Fouldon in 1566 (Bromefield’s “History of Norfolk,” vi. 35), whilst, coming down to later times, a John Spurgeon was Mayor of Yarmouth in 1712. Mr. Bardsley gives Norfolk as the original home of the Spurgeon family. On the authority of such men as these there is little doubt that the originators of the Spurgeon family in England were among the hardy Norsemen who came to Britain, and for a time held sway.1


Another source states, “Spurgen/Spurgeon. English. Patronymic. ‘The son of Sprigin.’


‘There can be little doubt about this. It is evidently an old and long-forgotten Scandinavian personal name. Norfolk is the home’ (Bardsley, DS, 710). 1781 - William Spurgen in the Sandy Glades on Little Sandy Ck in 1776 (RCAC, 455). 1783 - James Spurgeon in deed of survey (SR- 1, 52). 1784 - William Spurgin in deed of survey (SR-1, 276).”2


Another reference says,


“Spurgeon/Spurgin - besides Sprigen, would readily represent a conceivable nickname ‘Spur- John.’”3


Some other interesting notes on the Spurgeon family name:


Whilst the late Rev. C.W. Bardsley, M.A., gives Norfolk as the ‘original home of the Spurgeon family,’ we find them settled in Essex and Suffolk at an early date.


1W. Miller Higgs, “The Spurgeon Family, Being An Account of the Descent and Family of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, With Notes on the Family in General, Particularly the Essex Branch, From 1465 [5 Edward IV] to 1905 [4 Edward VII],” (London, 1905), Elliot Stock, p. 1f. 2William E. Mockler, “West Virginia Surnames: The Pioneers,” (Parsons, West Virginia, 1973), McClain Printing Company, p. 166. 3P.H. Reaney, “A Dictionary of British Surnames,” (London, 1961), Routledge and Kegan Paul.


© 1993 Spurgeon Family History by Dr. Gary Alan Dickey, 1546 Devonshire Avenue, Westlake Village, CA 91361 • p. 2


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