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Surname Sperry - Meaning and Origin

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Reframing Heritage: Incredible Discoveries from My iGENEA DNA Test and their Influence on my Self-Understanding

Armed with nothing but a small DNA sample, I ventured into a journey with iGENEA that changed my perception of my family heritage. It redefined my understanding of the Sperry family origin, enriching it with unexpected historical and geographical associations that I had been oblivious to before.

A. Sperry

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Sperry: What does the surname Sperry mean?

The last name Sperry is derived from the Old English surname Sparhyrde or Sperhyrde which in turn is derived from the Old English word "sparh" meaning "shrewd". The term "hyrde" meaning "guardian", or "lookout" was also added, creating a surname meaning "shrewd guardian".

Sperry is a common surname found across the globe. In England, it first appears in historical records in the 11th century when many people bearing the name Sperry lived in Yorkshire. In the same century, people with the last name established themselves in Northumbria and throughout Scotland.

The use of Sperry as a surname spread to the United States when the first recorded immigrants to the country arrived in the early 1600's. The name has since been common in some parts of the United States (notably Wisconsin and Vermont) since the mid 1800s.

The name Sperry is thought to have partly derived from other Old English names such as Sperling and Spearman, and other similar surnames such as Spurrier, Spurling and Spurner, however it is unclear how the surname evolved in the intervening centuries.

Another potential origin of the name is the Old English noun "sper" meaning ‘staff’ or the adjective ‘spurred’; both of which could be derived from the Proto-Germanic ‘spairiz’. The word ‘spurried’ or ‘spurred’ described someone as being shrewd and resourceful or of strong spirit and so it may be that the literal translation of the name is ‘a person with the strength of spirit’.

In modern times, the surname is sometimes used as a given name for both boys and girls mainly in the United States and United Kingdom, but is more commonly used as a surname.

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Sperry: Where does the name Sperry come from?

The last name Sperry is most notably found in the United States and Canada. There are more than 15,000 people in the United States with the surname Sperry, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. These Sperrys are found mostly in states in the Northeastern US and the Midwest. The majority of Sperrys live in the states of Maine, New York, and Michigan.

In Canada, Sperry is a relatively common surname, with more than 2,800 people sharing it. The majority of these people are found in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and Nova Scotia.

Outside of North America, England, Scotland, and Wales are popular home countries for the Sperrys. With more than 800 Sperrys living in these countries, the last name is well-represented in Europe. The largest numbers of Sperrys in these countries are found in the London metropolitan area in England.

The last name Sperry is also found in Australia, with about 500 people sharing the family name. As with other countries, the majority of these people are in the major cities in the eastern and southeastern parts of the country.

In sum, the last name Sperry is a fairly common surname in North America, Europe, and Australia. It is particularly popular in the states of Maine, New York, and Michigan in the United States. The Sperryan family name is also well-represented in Europe, especially in the London metropolitan area in England. In addition, about 500 Sperrys can be found in Australia, mainly in the major cities in the eastern and southeastern parts of the country.

Variations of the surname Sperry

The surname Sperry is of English origin and has several variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin. It is derived from the Old English word "sperre" which means "branch". The spelling variations of Sperry include Sperry, Speary, Speere, Speir, Spier, Spyre and Speary. The surnames of the same origin are Spur, Spurr, Spar, and Sparr.

Other variants of the surname Sperry can be found in other languages. The variations of Sperry in French include Sperier, Sperié, and Sperrié. In German, it is spelled as Speer and in Dutch as Speer. In Latin, it is spelled as Spyrus.

The spelling variations of Sperry can also be used as given names, such as Spears, Speer, Spears, Speere, Speir and Spear.

In some cases, the surname Sperry has evolved into additional surnames over the years. For example, Speers is a variation of the original surname. Further variations include Speersm, Speirs, Speares, Speersman, Spyrespier, Spearyson, Speersohn, and Spearia.

While the surnames Sperry and its variations are of English origin, it is believed to have come from other places such as Germany and the Netherlands. It is also believed that the surname is a derivative of the given name Spicer, which was first found in England in the 13th century.

It is possible that the surname Sperry has been altered over time in multiple ways, leading to its many variations. No matter the variation or spelling, the surname Sperry still denotes the same heritage and origin.

Famous people with the name Sperry

  • Chris Sperry: A professional esports shoutcaster and analyst specializing in Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
  • Kathy Sperry: An American professional bull rider who competed in the Central Bull Riding circuit.
  • Paul Sperry: An American journalist and writer, best known for his works on immigration, national security, and other issues pertaining to the United States.
  • Larry Sperry: An American former college football coach who was head coach at New Mexico State University from 1958 through 1964.
  • Ozro Sperry: An American silent film actor who appeared in 68 films between 1915 and 1926.
  • Otis Sperry: An American television writer and producer who worked on numerous television shows and films throughout his career.
  • Stephen Sperry: An American paleontologist best known for his research into the evolution of extinct mammals in the Tyrannosaurid family.
  • Aaron Sperry: An American country musician and songwriter who released his debut solo album in 2019.
  • John Sperry: A former American football safety who played three seasons in the National Football League.
  • Sally Sperry: An American actress and singer best known for her role in the Broadway musical version of Grease.

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