Last name: Spare

Recorded as Spar, Spare, Sparie, and Sparey, this is an English surname. It has or at least had, two possible origins. The first being that it is a nickname surname for a frugal, careful person. The derivation being from the Old English pre 7th century word "spaer", which means to be sparing or a bit tight fisted. However there was also a similar word "spearr" which could mean a spear, and from which developed the Middle English word "sparre", which itself had a multiple meaning of ship spars, or the rafters used in buildings, or even strong fencing made of spars driven into the ground, and often used as a pound to control cattle, rather than leaving them to wander around. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London include the christening of Elizabeth Spare, the daughter of John Spare, on January 18th 1586 at St. Giles, Cripplegate, and that of Thomas Sparey at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on July 18th 1777. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Spare. This was dated 1186, in the Pipe Rolls of Somerset, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154-1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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