General timeline for Speer of east Tyrone, &c.

The purpose of this series of timeline pages is to outline all references found for the Speer, Spear, &c. surname of east Tyrone. While the geographical scope of this outline emphasizes east Tyrone, it includes early references to county Derry and later mentions to Liverpool, Calcutta, &c. where branches of the family migrated.

Scope and limitations:

  • Though these pages contain every reference that this researcher could find, there are almost certainly other documents which survive, containing data pertinent to the Speer‡ family of east Tyrone & south Derry. ‡Variant spellings include Speer(e)(s), Spear(e)(s), Spier(e)(s), and Spire(s).
  • The research of the Ballynasaggart and the Tullybryan lines, with branches in Dungannon and Desertcreat, are outside the scope of this reseach of the Speer or Spear families of east Tyrone.
  • Not all surviving church records have been consulted:—these, together with other resources, will be summarized under the “Research Pending” section.
  • The focus of this research is on the earlier years, 1636–1828, that is, from the years immediately following the Ulster Plantation era (early 1600s) through the Tithe Applotments for county Tyrone (1828-35).
  • The earliest Speer individuals are detailed in this timeline—Thomas Speere (d.1636), his son, John Spear (1623–1705) of Drumbanaway, and his second grandson, Thomas Speer, cited by O’Hart (1892) as the progenitor of the Speer families of Balnasaggart and Tullybryan in the parish of Errigal Keerogue and Barony of Clogher in west Tyrone. [1]



Sources and notes:


O’Hart, John. “Speer. Of Balnasaggart and Tullybryan, County Tyrone.” (pp 394-6.) Irish Pedigrees; or, The Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation. 5th ed. In Two Volumes. Vol. II. Dublin: James Duffy and Co., 1892.

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© Alison Kilpatrick, 2018. All rights reserved.
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"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."—Lesley Poles Hartley (1895–1972), The Go-Between (1953).

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