This is an extremely puzzling surname. There is no doubt that it is English and locational, and has Olde English origins, but then the problems begin. The hamlet of Spreackly in Surrey, near Farnham, is the obvious candidate for the place of origin, but this does not seem to be so, the surname not being recorded in Surrey until 1867, much too late for surname origins. However the name as Spreckley and Spretleye is recorded in London from the beginning of the 17th century. This would be fine except that 'Spretleye' may be a form of 'Spratley', a surname itself of similar confusion. 'Spratley' was believed to derive from the village of 'Sproatley', near Hull, in East Yorkshire. Unfortunately neither Spratley or Spreckley for that matter are recorded in Yorkshire until the 19th century, seemingly ruling out Sproatley as a source. As it happens both Spreackley and Sproatley villages have a similar or perhaps identical meaning of 'the farm (leah) of the Sprykels', a pre 7th century tribal name. Examples of the surname recording taken from early church records include Mary Spreckley, daughter of Thomas, christened at St Mary Whitechapel, London, on November 14th 1663, and William Spreckley, who married Martha Elliot at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on May 3rd 1720. Joseph Spratley was christened at St Dionis Backchurch, London, on April 28th 1577, and this is possibly an associated spelling. The blazon of the coat of arms most associated with the name is a blue field, charged with two gold bars, in chief three suns in splendour. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Spretleye, which was dated March 3rd 1609, christened at St Botolphs, Bishopgate, London, during the reign of King James 1st of England and V1 of Scotland, 1587 - 1625. 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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