Recorded as Spackman, Speakman, Spakeman, Spaxman, Spayman, and possibly others, this is a surname of early medieval English origin. It derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "specan-mann", from specan meaning to speak, and "mann", a friend or servant. The surname may have originated either as an occupational name for someone who habitually acted as a spokesman for the other members of a medieval community, or as a nickname for one who played the part of spokesman or announcer in a medieval pageant. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and only later became hereditary, usually when a son followed a father into the same occupation. Early examples of the surname recordings include Henry Spakeman and Richard Spekeman, recorded respectively in the Hundred Rolls of Kent and Oxford of 1275. John Spaysman appears in the church registers of the city of London in 1555, whilst in 1578 John Speakman, of Astley, given as being a husbandman, was entered in the Wills Records held at Chester. The first recorded spelling of the family name in any form is shown to be that of Nigel Spakeman. This was was dated 1195, in the Pipe Rolls of Essex, during the reign of King Richard 1st of England, and known to history as 'The Lionheart', 1189 - 1199. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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