This uncommon and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two quite distinct interpretations. Firstly, it may be an occupational name for a jester, juggler, or tumbler, one who travelled with the medieval fairs or was attached to the court, or to a nobleman's retinue. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century verb "spilian", to play, jest, sport, in Middle English "spill(en)", with the addition of the agent suffix "-er", indicating "one who does or works with". The second possible derivation of the name is from the Olde English "spillan", in Middle English "spill(en)", to spoil, waste, squander; here the term "spiller" was used as a nickname for someone considered to be wasteful or spendthrift. Early recordings of the surname from Church Registers include: the marriage of William Spiller and Chrystian Harys at Colyton, Devonshire, on January 22nd 1540, and the christening of Anne, daughter of Hary Spiller, on April 21st 1596, at St. Andrew's, Holborn, London. A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name is per pale sable (black) and argent (silver) a horse courant counterchanged. The Crest depicts a silver eagle, winged gold, standing on a green snake, nowed. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Speller, which was dated 1202, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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