This rare and interesting name is of Irish origin, and is the Anglicization of the Gaelic 'O'Spealghusa', which is thought to translate as 'vigourous scythe', from the elements 'speal', scythe, with 'gus', vigour, and may have originated as a nickname surname for a particularly strong and fast worker. The name is generally found in the form (O)Spellissey, but is also recorded as Spellacy, Spilisy, Spillicy, Spellicy, Spellessy and Spellesy, and is prevalent in County Clare, where it originated. Recorded in 'The Famine Immigrants', is one Patrick Spelecey, a labourer aged eighteen years, who departed Liverpool on April 11th 1846 aboard 'The Queen-of-the-West', bound for the Port of New York. The earliest recording of the name in London is the marriage of George Spelecy and Amelia Elizabeth Gray on October 10th 1832 at Christchurch, Greyfriars, Newgate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Spelacy (marriage to Isaac Pollard), which was dated September 28th 1740, St. Mary's Cathedral, Limerick, during the reign of King George 11, 'The Last Warrior King', 1727-1760. 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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