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

Where did the English Pearson family come from? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Pearson family history?

Pearson is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Pearson comes from the French given name Pierre, which is equivalent to the English Peter.


A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include 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.


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.


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


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.


Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Pearson or a variant listed above:

Pearson Settlers 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

Pearson Settlers in the 18th Century

  • Nicholas Pearson settled in Halifax Nova Scotia in 1774 with his wife and child

Pearson Settlers in the 19th Century

  • John Pearson, a cabinet-maker, arrived in New South Wales sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Robert Pearson, a dyer, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Leonard Pearson, a cabinet-maker, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • John Pearson arrived in Holdfast Bay aboard the ship "John Renwick" in 1837
  • Catherine Pearson arrived in Holdfast Bay aboard the ship "John Renwick" in 1837


  • 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
  • George Pearson (1875-1973), English pioneering film director, producer and screenwriter, mainly in the silent film era
  • James Stuart Pearson (b. 1949), English former football player
  • Sir Charles John Pearson (1843-1910), Scottish politician and judge



  • 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.


  1. 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.
  2. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  6. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  7. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 18 September 2014 at 16:40.

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