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Surname Spalding - Meaning and Origin

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Spalding: What does the surname Spalding mean?

The last name Spalding is of Anglo-Saxon origin, derived from the old English pre-7th century words 'spald', meaning 'ditch or trench', and the suffix 'ing', generally translated as 'tribe or people'. Thus, Spalding could be interpreted as 'people living by a ditch or trench'.

The name is also known to have geographical connections, being associated with the town of Spalding in Lincolnshire, England. The first recorded spelling of the family name, dating back to the late 12th century, is shown to be that of Walter de Spalding, in the "Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire." The surname could have originally been used to indicate someone who originated from this town.

Like many surnames, the meaning connected to Spalding does not necessarily provide insight into the current bearers of the name. In particular situations, it can simply reflect their ancestors’ geographical location or the nature of the environment they lived in. Therefore, it remains an aspect of an individual's familial and cultural heritage.

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Spalding: Where does the name Spalding come from?

The last name Spalding is most common today in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In the United States, it is most common in the Midwestern states such as Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan. In Australia, it is most common in the states of New South Wales and Victoria. In the United Kingdom, it is most common in Essex and Surrey.

The surname most likely originated in England, and is thought to have been derived from the Old English personal name "Spaldingas", meaning the "son of Spalda". The surname has a strong history of being solidly associated with families of English gentrified society, and has been commonly found among those of the landed gentry.

Whilst Spalding is generally seen as an English surname today, it has been adopted by many individuals from other European origins, particularly those of Irish, Scottish, and Welsh descent. Its recognition in other parts of the world is due to the English tradition of emigration; those with the surname have spread to English-speaking countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Today, many variations of Spalding exist, such as Spaulding, Spallinger, Spelding, and Spelden. Consequently, there is no one definitive spelling of the name. Although its prevalence is decreasing, the surname remains a strong fixture in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and many former British colonies.

Variations of the surname Spalding

The surname Spalding has a number of variants, spellings, and other surnames with the same origin. These include Spaulding, Spalden, Spaltin, Spaldon, Spauldin, Spaldyne, Spaulden, Spalten, Spaldin, Spaelling, Spawling, Spawlin, Splading, Spladings, Spaldinge, Spaldinge, and Spawdynge.

Spalding is an English locational surname, derived from the several places in England, such as Spalding in Lincolnshire, Spaldington near York, and Spelthorn in Yorkshire, which bear the name.

The derivation of the surname Spalding, and many of its various spellings, is from the Old English pre 7th century word 'spald' (feather), plus 'ing', which was a suffix denoting a person associated with a place, for example, a dweller near a feather bed. As a locational name, it would have been given to the lord of the manor, or one departing from the village, looking for work elsewhere.

The surname is widely recorded in England from the 13th century, and early examples include Simon de Spaldinge, in the Parochial Documents of Somerset, in 1293, and William Spald blue, in the Subsidy Rolls of Surrey in 1296, whilst John Spaldynge, was recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire in 1327.

In modern times, the surname Spalding is particularly widespread in Scotland. Other variants have been taken to the New World, to the U.S.A, especially in the 19th century, and to Canada, where John Spalding, and his wife Kate, were amongst the earliest settlers of Nova Scotia in 1750.

Famous people with the name Spalding

  • A. G. Spalding: 19th-century baseball player, executive, and sporting goods entrepreneur.
  • Gladys Spalding: Co-founder of the Association for Canadian Studies.
  • George Spalding: Major League Baseball pitcher in the 1890s.
  • Alfred Spalding: British Olympic rower in 1908 and 1912.
  • William Spalding: Los Angeles philanthropist who donated funds for the Spalding Park in Highland Park.
  • Phoebe Spalding: American silversmith who created the pitcher for the Yale Cup.
  • Nancy Spalding: American librarian and director of the Auburn Public Library.
  • Margot Spalding: Contemporary abstract painter.
  • Harry Spalding: American banker and politician.
  • Rebecca Spalding: modern American folk-rock singer-songwriter.

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