This is an English surname from the East Anglia region. It is locational from the village of Sparham in the county of Norfolk, a parish near the town of Reepham. According to the Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names, their is some doubt as to the actual meaning, but it probably describes a pre 7th century farm (ham) owned by a man called "Spearr", although an alternative suggestion is the farm in the fenced enclosure, from the Olde Norse word "sparri" meaning a beam or rafter, and hence used in a borrowed sense to describe a fence. Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homesteads to move some where else, the easiest method of identifying a stranger being to call him or soemtimes her, by the name of the place from whence they came. However this surname is different. The original recordings are those of the lords of the manor of Sparham, and therefore it is reasonable to suggest that most modern nameholders probably descend from this connection. Early examples of the surname recording include those of William de Sparham of Sparham in the year 1190, and Geoffrey de Sparham, in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Norfolk in the year 1273.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017