Day: July 9, 2011

Surname Saturday – Spink

The surname Spink in my family tree is from my paternal line.  At the moment I have 27 people with this surname.  The earliest person is my 4x great grandfather William Spink who was born about 1764, probably in the Linton area of the Yorkshire Dales.

According to surnamedb the name Spink is of Anglo-Saxon origin.  It is said to derive from a nickname given in the first instance to someone thought to resemble a finch in some way.  Possibly with reference to its brightly coloured plumage or sweet singing voice.

A large number of early medieval surnames were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames, given with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as

- a person’s physical attributes or peculiarities

- mental or moral qualities

- a fancied resemblance to an animal’s or bird’s appearance or disposition

- habits of dress, or

- occupation

The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Roger Spinc dated 1133 in the “Chartulary of Ramsey Monastery”, Bedforshire.  Other early recordings are :-

Thomas Spink listed in the Assize Rolls of Northumberland in 1256; the marriage of Edmonde Spincke and Alice Madison in Stepney, London on 5th September 1604; and the marriage of Stephen Spink and Ann Ring on 29th October 1696.