There are several possible origins for this name, however our research indiccates that it is locational and derives from the Olde French 'Espiere' and meaning 'A look out place'. The word was introduced by the Normans after 1066 and is found in Yorkshire as 'Spacey Houses' a place near Harrogate, which may be one of the origins of the name. Locational names where generally given when an inhabitant moved to another place, this action in itself leading to many name transpositions, and for final analysis requiring Genealogical research in dept. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Espyer. which was dated 1379, The Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire. during the reign of King Richard II, Richard of Bordeaux, 1378 - 1400. 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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