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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Pearson family come from? What is the English Pearson family crest and coat of arms? When did the Pearson family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Pearson family history?

The ancestors of the Pearson family first reached the shores of England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Their name is derived from the French given name Pierre, which is equivalent to the English Peter.

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Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Pearson, Peerson, Pierson, Peirson and others.

First found in Berwickshire where the name was derived as "son of Pier." Walter Pierson of Berwickshire rendered homage to King Edward I of England on his brief conquest of Scotland in 1296.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pearson research. Another 221 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1369, 1472, 1613, 1686, 1628, 1670, 1648, 1665, 1647, 1720, 1677, 1720, 1612, 1686, 1662, 1667 and are included under the topic Early Pearson History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 117 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pearson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Pearson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Pearson or a variant listed above:

Pearson Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Mary Pearson settled in Virginia in 1646
  • John Pearson, who settled with his wife and two children in Barbados in 1678

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  • Norman Holmes Pearson (1909-1975), American academic, author, editor, critic, archivist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • P. Edward Pearson, American founder of the Pearson's Candy Company, a chocolate and confectionery manufacturer in 1909
  • Brigadier-General LeRoy Pearson (1884-1969), American Adjutant-General of Michigan (1943-1947)
  • Malcolm Everard MacLaren Pearson (b. 1942), Baron Pearson of Rannoch, English businessman and member of the House of Lords
  • Ian Phares Pearson (b. 1959), English member of the United Kingdom Parliament
  • Karl Pearson FRS (1857-1936), English mathematician awarded the Darwin Medal in 1898
  • Arthur Anselm "A.A." Pearson (1874-1954), English mycologist
  • Nigel Graham Pearson (b. 1963), English football manager and former professional player
  • Greg Edward Pearson (b. 1985), English professional footballer
  • Stanley Clare Pearson (1919-1997), English footballer

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  • Northern Neck Families: The Ancestors of Susan Frances Chapman: Alexander, Chapman, and Pearson by Brian Joe Lobley Berry.
  • 100 Years of Pearsons: The Descendants of John and Johanna Pearson who Emigrated from Sweden to America in April 1889 by Frederick John Pearson.
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  1. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  2. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  5. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  11. ...

The Pearson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pearson Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 7 May 2014 at 11:19.

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