This very uncommon name is of early medieval English origin, and is one of the patronymic forms of the surname Sprig(g)in(g) or Spriggen, itself a diminutive form of Sprigg. The name is a good example of that interesting group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames; these were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of personal characteristics, frequently involving a person's physical appearance, attributes or peculiarities. In the case of Sprigg, the nickname was for a tall, thin, bony person, from the Middle English "sprigge", twig, branch, thought to be ultimately of Old Norse or Low German origin. There is also some evidence that the word was used as a personal name; one "Spriginus" is recorded in Norfolk in the 12th Century. Early examples of the surname include: William Sprig (1199, Norfolk); Roger Spriggens (circa 1300, ibid.); and Simon Sprugin (1273, Cambridgeshire). Recordings of the name from Church Registers are found chiefly in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, and include those of the christening of Richard, son of Richard Sprigings, on April 29th 1599, in Monks Risborough, Buckinghamshire, and the marriage of Richard Sprigings and Ann Peirce at St. Stephen's, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, on May 18th 1786. 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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