Family Facts: Surname Origin
Speidel is an Alemannic-Suebian (Swabian) and Bavarian word that means wedge.
The specific type of wedge is debated in The Speidel Family by Sidney Merlin Spidell.
In the book, two possible meanings are given.
First, a speidel is a type of wedge that is used to split logs. Several generations
of Speidels in Wuerttemberg were documented as coopers by trade. Some of the Coats-of-Arms
for some of the Speidel branches do feature logs on them.
Second, the wedge was a form of battle used by the first
to carry the name Speidel. In the Legend "Battle Wedge of Odin", Odin drew up Hadding's forces
in a wedge form of battle, which after that time, and for many centuries following, was the
strictly preserved rule for the battle array of Teutonic forces. Thereafter Hadding was given
the cognomen of "the wedge" and a line of his desceniants who were nobles among the Suebi
retained the cognomen which, in the Suebian tongue, was Speidel. Of the five different
Speidel Coats-of-Arms that I have seen, four feature three wedges. Three of the four have the
wedges arranged with one wedge in front followed by the other two wedges so that the three wedges
together form one large wedge. This would seem to be in line with the battle wedge theory.
If the battle wedge theory is indeed how the Speidel surname originated then many, if not all,
of the Speidel family branches should trace back to the warrior Hadding. Through collecting and
sharing data, including written records
as well as DNA testing, this site hopes to link together
many of the fragmented branches of the family.