Last name: Spring

This interesting surname, widely recorded in England and Germany, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical name deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "spring, spryng", a spring or well. In Middle English the word "spring" also meant "a plantation of young trees, especially one for rearing or harbouring game"; hence, "dweller by the spring", or "plantation". Sprenge in Germany is named from an equivalent of the above word, and in some instances, the name may be specifically locational from this spot. It is also likely that Spring may have originated as a nickname for an active, nimble individual, perhaps a tumbler at a fair or festival, from the Olde English and Old High German verb "springan", to jump, leap. One William Spring was noted in the Chartulary of Rievaulx Abbey, Yorkshire, in 1280, and Henry Spring in Berwickshire (Scotland) rendered homage to Edward 1 of England in 1296. Recordings from German Birth Registers include Conrad Spring, born at Urach, Schwarzwaldkreis in 1510, and Ulrich Spring, born in Wuertt in 1540. A Coat of Arms granted to the Spring family of Suffolk in 1440 is a silver shield with a chevron between three red mascles, the Crest being a demi stag springing quarterly silver and gold, and holding in the mouth flowers also silver. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry le Springe, which was dated circa 1250, in the "Book of Fees of Durham", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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