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Origins of the Spencer surname

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What does the name Spencer mean?

The Spencer surname is thought to be English, with origins going back to the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is believed to be Anglo-Norman, rooted in the word 'espenser' (steward) and the Middle English 'spenser' from the same source. The title would be given to chief tenants of particular areas of land, or stewards and butlers who were part of a noble household. A prominent originator of the name, a 'Robert d'Abbetot', was listed as 'Robert le Dispenser' in the 1086 Domesday book.

Alternative variations of the name Spencer

Spencer, Spenser, Spensar, Spensor, Despencer

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Where do most Spencers live?

In 1921, most Spencers lived in London.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Spencers

How common is your surname?

109th most common surname in the UK

We have 287,000 records for the Spencer surname. The oldest one dates back to 1220.

Who were Spencers most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Spencers.

What are the most common Spencer first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Spencer family members

Common jobs for Spencers

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Spencers in 1921
Cotton Weaver






Domestic Servant


General Servant Domestic


Common Male occupations for Spencers in 1921
Agricultural Labourer


General Labourer




Coal Miner


Farm Labourer


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We found over 420,000 family trees with the Spencer surname

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