This name, with variant spellings Spragg(e), Sprague and Sparke, derives from the Olde Norse personal byname Sparkr or Spraek meaning "lively" or "Sprightly". The surname adopted from this source is frist recorded in the early half of the 13th Century, (see below). One, Reginald Sprag appears in the 1303 "Pipe Rolls of Suffolk", and a Richard Sprak in the Subsidy Rolls of that county, dated 1327. "Spragg" is a voiced form of "Sprak", itself an early metathesis of "Spark(r)". The name, with its variant forms, is particularly well recorded in London Church Registers from the mid 16th Century. On May 5th 1550, Augustine Sprake and Jone Whyt were married in St. Andrew's, Enfield, and on November 17th 1598 Alice, daughter of John Spragge, was christened in St. Christopher le Stocks Church. Elizabeth Sprague and Joseph Lockley were married in St. Leonard's, Shoreditch on January 14th 1807. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Sparke, which was dated 1221, "The Ely Diocesan Register", during the reign of King Henry III, The Frenchman, 1216 - 1272. 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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