Recorded as Sparling, Sperling, and Spurling, this is an English surname of pre 7th century origins. It is believed to originate from the Olde English personal name 'Spyrling' of obscure meaning. It is probably a diminutive of 'Spearr', a personal name which does mean spear, or it may be from a tribe known as the Sprytlingas, who gave their name ot the village of Spridlington in the county of Lincolnshire. However as this name may well also translate as the Spear people, the origin is essentially the same.Most early surnames had a fairly simple origin, because in general life was hard but simple. As a result most people were called by objects or locations which gave them an easy identity. Old English names were generally wiped out by in particular the Norman-French Invasion of 1066, after which it became 'politically correct' to call children by French or Biblical names. These later from the 12th century became surnames in their own right. In this case perhaps because the East Coat and East Anglia was less influenced by the French, this name survived. The first surname recording is probably that of Alexander Sperling of Yorkshire in 1187, with Ralph Easperling appearing in the Curia Regis rolls of Hertfordshire in 1221.
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