There are a number of explanations for this surname, not all wholly convincing. It is almost certainly of Germanic origins, and is found recorded in that country from medieval times. The late Professor Reaney claimed that the name was of Olde English origins and a development of the tribal name 'Sprytlingas' as found in the Lincolnshire village of Spridlington, but this seems unlikely. In ancient German 'Sporl(e)'or 'Sper(r)le' described a 'Little bird' or 'Sparrow', with 'Sporling' being the diminutive form translating as 'the kin of little bird', and these spellings became the later surname. However spelt the name was originally a baptismal endearment name, which in later times became a surname. It is not a nickname. As to when it 'arrived' in Britain is not clear, but certainly it was well established by the end of the middle ages. A coat of arms granted in Nuremburg, Germany has the unusual blazon of a young girl with gold wings, on a silver field, which may be a canting or 'play on the name'. Examples of recordings include (Germany) Elizabeth Sporl who married Hans Rogen at Mitelfranken, Bayern, on February 19th 1610, Robart Sporle (England), who married Elizabeth Bretland at St Nicholas Acons, London, on February 2nd 1623, and the unusual (Hampshire) spelling of Sarah Spoarl, who married the almost as unusual John Prescod, at Alverstoke, Hampshire, on April 11th 1791. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ulrich der Sperl, which was dated 1383, the land rolls of the state of Bavaria, during the reign of Duke John 1st of Bavaria, 1375 - 1397. 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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