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About the study
I've researched all 4 of my parents families back to the 1600's. Looking at the photos of my maternal grandmother - Helen Mary Spurdens - inspired the wish to collect as much information about the family as possible. Helen died in 1916, when my mother was a baby.
The Spurdens family originated in England in East Anglia and London - see origin.
Originally I only managed to get my branch back to one Richard Spurdaunce who married in Diss, Norfolk in 1773. The family appeared in the Diss Parish Registers after this until the mid 1800's and there were some mentioned at a much earlier period, but for 10 years I was unable to trace Richard's ancestors.
The breakthrough came in 2011 when I was sent a reference to his will. The will is very detailed and finally revealed the information I needed to uncover his ancestry. His grandparents Robert and Ann (nee Bibby) had joined the Quakers / Friends in the late 1720's. They and Richard's parents, Robert and Sarah (nee Hall) are buried in the Burial Ground of the Tivetshall Meeting House. In his will, Richard also asked to be buried there.
Robert and Anns older children were baptised in the Parish Church. They must have become Quakers following Sarah's baptism in 1726. William, Rebecca, Sampson and Sarahs are all in the Diss Parish Register but their dates of birth are alsorecorded as Diss in the Quaker Register. A final son, Habbakkuk, is in the Quaker register but was not baptised in the Parish Church. So they must have converted between 1726 and 1730.
Robert senior was baptised in 1681 in Diss Parish Church and was the son of Robert and Mary Spirdenc of Diss.
From Diss my Spurdens family moved to the St. Pancras area of London in the 1830s.
The earliest records in Norfolk are of the Spurdaunce /Purdaunce/Purdance family. Ricardos (Richard) Purdance was a merchant, alderman, baliff and Mayor of Norwich in the circa 1365 - 25 Apr. 1436 and was buried in St. Giles's church, Norwich, where there remains a brass commemorating him and his second wife, Margaret. The latter survived him by over 45 years.
A very useful history can be found on http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1386-1421/member/purdance-(spurdaunce)-richard-1436
Other variations supplied by Russ Spurdens areSPURDINGE, SPURDEN, SPURDIN, SPURGEN, SPURDGEN, SPUDINGS, SPURDENS, PURDAUNCE, PRUDAUNCE, PRUDANCE, PRODANCE, PURDANS, PURDAUNS, PURDONS, PURDON, PURDANCE, PURDHON, SPORDAUNCE, SPURDAUNS, SPURDYNS, SPURDAWNS, SPARDONS SPURDINCE, SPURDANCE, SPRUDANCE, SPURDANC, SPIRDNC, SPUDDANCE, SPURDUNCE, SPARDANCE, SPUEDANCE, SPURDINS, SPURDINGS SPURDINE, SPURDANE, SPURDANS, SPURDONNE, SPIRDNS, SPIRDEN, SPURGIN, SPORDANS, SPORDAN, SPURDANT, SPUDDEN, SPURDEANCE. & SPURGEON.
Supplied by Russ Spurdens: There seems little doubt that the surname is locative with the original SPURDANS version derived from the town of Ipswich and the surrounding area. Sometime during the sixteenth century the bearers of the surname SPURDAUNCE or PURDANCE changed the spelling to SPURDANS, when migration into areas where the name was unfamiliar it led to corruption by the distortion of the vowel sounds, the modification of consonant sounds gave rise to further variants including those I have listed above in any case the standardisation of spelling did not begin until the advent of the printing press in England, prior to this it was phonetic and would therefore vary up and down the country, this applies particularly to THOMAS PRUDAUNCE or PRUDANCE a 14th and 15th century mercer based in London whose name appears in the Calendar Rolls.
In Icelandic Spurdann, means "ask him" In German it means trace
A DICTIONARY OF ENGLISH & WELSH SURNAMES WITH SPECIAL AMERICAN INSTANCES Page 710 By Charles Wareing, & Endell Bardsley: RICHARD PURDAUNCE alderman of Norwich born circa 1365 died 1436, an old Scandinavian personal name, Norfolk is the home, it occurs there as early as 1273 the spelling of the surname is imitative, a copy of surgeon.
History of the name
I'm indebted to Russ Spurdens for his huge amount of research into the family. He has generously emailed a large number of wills and other documentation to me.
They are too numerous to include here but over the next few months I hope to compile a Catalogue of the documents available in the Data Section.