Recorded as Spurway and very rarely as Sparway, this is almost certainly an English locational surname. However no such place is to be found in any of the known gazetters of the British Isles for the past three centuries. This suggests that the name originates from a now "lost" village or that the spelling of an existing place has changed, to the point where it is no longer recognizeable. It has been estimated that as many as five thousand surnames of Britain do originate from lost places, whose only public recognition in the late 20th century is the surviving surname, sometimes in a wide variety of spellings. That does not seem to have happened with this name, which has retained its basic form since at least Elizabethan times. The spelling of the name would suggest a meaning of the place on the track-track, since the prefix is presumably from the Olde English pre 7th century word spor, meaning track, whilst way is from weg, a word of similar dating, and also translating as track or road. A compound name with twin elements both meaning the same, is unusual but not unique. Pendle Hill in Lancashire for instance has three elements all meaning 'hill'. Examples of the surname recording taken from surving church registers of the city of London include: John Spurway who married Margery Stillyard at St Giles Cripplegate, on February 13th 1590, and Henry Sparway, who married Mary Urrey at All Hallows, London Wall, on October 15th 1699.
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