Double barrelled names are the (usually) Victorian equivalents of the early Anglo-Saxon personal compounds. This is to say that individually, they have a meaning but not when conjoined, however, they have the supreme advantage of providing personal identification. In the case of Spain-Gower, Gower is believed to be the earliest Welsh surname, as shown, however, the true origin is in fact Norman-French from a district in paris formerly called "Gohiere". In addition there are several villages called "Gouy", to which has been added the "er" suffix to indicate a person from "Gouy". The surname "Spain" has nothing to do with the country, it is also French and derives from Espinay (ille et vilaine) or Epaignes (Eure), Richard de Espaigne being recorded in Essex in the 1177 Pipe Rolls. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter de Guher, which was dated 1130, the Carmarthenshire Pipe Rolls (Wales), during the reign of King Henry 1, "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017