This very uncommon name is of Old Norse origin, and is one of the variant forms of the more familiar surname Spragg, which was itself developed from a voiced metathesized form of the Old Norse byname "Sparkr, Spraek", "sprightly, vivacious". This surname is an example of that interesting and sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of bynames (identifying or distinguishing names used in addition to a person's given name) or nicknames. These were frequently bestowed with reference to physical attributes or peculiarities, or to mental and moral characteristics. The Old Norse "sparkr" has given rise to a number of surnames, which range from Spark(e) and Spark(e)s, to Sprake, Sprague, Spragg(e) and Spreag(e). The surname development has included: Dorothea Spregg (1628, London); Joane Sprege (1691, Devonshire); and Thomas Spreague (1731, Worcestershire). Among the recordings from Church Registers are those of the christening of Sarah, daughter of Thomas Spreag, at Credition in Devonshire, on February 26th 1702, and the marriage of Anne Spreag and Thomas Workman, on June 19th 1737, at St. Clement's, Worcestershire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reginald Sprag, which was dated 1303, in "Feudal Aids Records of Suffolk", 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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