Recorded in several spelling forms including Spacie, Spacey, Spacy, and Speacie, this is an English surname. It is locational in origin, from a 'diminished' if not quite actually 'lost', medieval village, near the town of Harrogate, in North Yorkshire, called today 'Spacey Houses'. This village is of ancient history and once formed a staging post on the main road north from Leeds to Ripon and Newcastle or Northallerton. The closure of the stage coaches in the mid 19th century caused the final decay in this village until it became just an inn and a few houses. Indeed the name may mean 'The spaced out enclosures'. However it is also possible that the 'village' suffered an even earlier fate owing to what was known as the 'Enclosure Acts' of the 17th century. These laws enabled landlords to 'enclose' the common grazing lands, forcing tenants to move elsewhere to seek new homes. When this happened these people were often called by the name of the place that they left. Certainly the surname is well recorded in North Yorkshire, and particularly the village of Little Ouseburn, where one Roger Spacey, also recorded as Spacy and Spacie, had a very large family, possibly as many as twenty children between the years 1595 and 1625. The first known recording of the surname may be that of William Spacie, at the village of Aldborough, North Yorkshire, on July 26th 1544.
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