This interesting and unusual surname is of Old Scandinavian origin, and is a patronymic from of the ancient Norse personal name "Sprigin", itself a diminutive name, composed of the Old Norse "sprige" (Middle English "sprigge"), meaning twig, branch; and the diminutive suffix "-in"; hence "little branch, twig"; and "son". Variants of the surname in the modern idiom include Spurgin and Sporgeon. The first recorded namebearer appears in the late 13th Century (see below) in the Norfolk region. The "-eon", ending is thought to be an imitative spelling from existing words such as pigeon or surgeon. The development of the name includes the following examples: Simon Sp'ugin is mentioned in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1273; William Sprigin (1275, Norfolk); Ralph Spraging (1622, London); and Robert Spurgynne, who was vicar of Fouldon, Norfolk in 1566. John Spurgeon was mayor of Yarmouth in 1712, and Charles Spurgeon (1834 - 1892) was a baptist preacher who became so popular a preacher "that Exeter Hall could not hold his congregation". A Coat of Arms depicting a chevron engraved between three black escallops and the Motto "Non civium ardor" (Not the ardour of the citizens) was granted to the Rev. John Sturgeon of Twyford Recotry, Norfolk. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Sprigin, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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