- A transposed dialectual name which has several possible origins. It is our opinion that the derivation is from the Olde English 'Spearwa' from the pre 10th Century - a word translating as 'The Sparrow' a medieval nickname surname. However it is also possible that it is a derivation of 'Sprawe' again a nickname for a small person, and meaning 'Son of Sprawe' (Spraw-ellj), or 'Little Sprawe'. With all transpositions however slight, there is always some doubt about the origin, which can only be fully resolved by genealogical research. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Olif Sprawl (aged 21) America. which was dated 1635, Emigrant to America during the reign of King Charles I, The Martyr, 1625 - 1649. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.