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

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

The ancestors of the name Parkinson are thought to have lived among the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from the baptismal name for the son of Peter. In the religious naming tradition surnames were bestowed in honor of religious figures or church officials. In Europe, the Christian Church was one of the most powerful influences on the formation of given names. Personal names derived from the names of saints, apostles, biblical figures, and missionaries are widespread in most European countries. In the Middle Ages, they became increasingly popular because people believed that the souls of the deceased continued to be involved in this world. They named their children after saints in the hope that the child would be blessed or protected by the saint. In this case the surname Parkinson was taken from the ever popular St. Peter.

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Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Parkinson include Parkinson, Parkinsone, Parkison and others.

First found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Parkinson research. Another 238 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1567 and 1650 are included under the topic Early Parkinson History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 22 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Parkinson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Parkinson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 148 words(11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Parkinson were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Parkinson Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Dorothie Parkinson, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • Dorothy Parkinson and her husband, who arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • James Parkinson, who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • James Parkinson, aged 23, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • Dorothy Parkinson, who arrived in Maryland in 1674


Parkinson Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • William Parkinson, who landed in New England in 1744
  • Mary Parkinson, who settled in Charles Town in 1766
  • John Parkinson, who settled in Maryland in 1774

Parkinson Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Robert Parkinson, who arrived in New York in 1803
  • Alexander Parkinson, who arrived in South Carolina in 1808
  • Willis Parkinson, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Richard Parkinson, aged 57, landed in New York in 1868
  • George Parkinson, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872

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  • James Parkinson (1755-1824), British physician, eponym of Parkinson's Disease
  • Philip John "Phil" Parkinson (b. 1967), English football player and manager
  • Michael Parkinson (b. 1935), English broadcaster and journalist
  • Norman Parkinson (1913-1990), English portrait and fashion photographer
  • Cecil Parkinson (b. 1931), British politician, created Baron Parkinson of Carnforth, Lancashire, in 1982
  • John Allen Parkinson (1870-1941), British politician, Member of Parliament for Wigan (1918-1941)
  • Cyril Northcote Parkinson (1909-1993), British historian and author


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  • Timothy Parkinson and Ann Fielding by Virginia Parkinson.
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  1. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  6. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  7. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  8. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  9. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Parkinson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Parkinson 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 1 June 2014 at 00:09.

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