This unusual name despite its appearance is almost certainly of Germanic origins being a variant form of the famous heraldic name 'Spee' with the additive prepositions 'de la'. Prior to the 18th Century this French type of descriptive surname was common in Germany until replaced by the Teutonic 'von' - which means exactly the same thing. The Westphalian branch of the name were recorded as 'de la Spee'. The name despite its habitational appearance probably being an early metonymic for a maker of spurs, or one who lived by a place where spurs were made. It is probable that the name holders have Huguenot associations, one Jacob Spee being recorded in England on August 14th 1596 at St. Stephen's Church, Coleman Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabetha Veronica de la Spee, which was dated December 8th 1673, married Wilhelmus Debrembot at St. Lambertus, Dusseldorf, during the reign of Leopold 1, Holy Roman Emperor, 1658-1705. 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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