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

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

It was among those Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled over Britain that the name Pearce was formed. The name was 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.


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 Pearce include Pearce, Pierce, Pierse, Pearse, Pears, Peerce, Peers, Peirse and many more.

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


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pearce research. Another 217 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1667, 1661, 1667, 1622, 1691, 1674, 1726, 1630, 1694, 1697, 1714, 1719, 1510, 1603, 1629, 1691, 1772, 1845, 1625, 1699, 1612 and are included under the topic Early Pearce History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 173 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pearce Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Pearce family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 357 words(26 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


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 Pearce were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Pearce Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Edward Pearce settled in Virginia in 1637
  • John and Judith Pearce settled in Boston in 1637
  • Anthony Pearce who settled in Virginia in 1650
  • George Pearce settled in Virginia in 1663
  • Robert Pearce settled in Barbados in 1685

Pearce Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Pearce settled in Virginia in 1761


  • Alicia Pearce (1917-1966), Emmy Award-winning American actress
  • William Houghton Sprague "W.H.S." Pearce (1864-1935), American painter
  • Heath Gregory Pearce (b. 1984), American soccer player
  • Stevan Edward "Steve" Pearce (b. 1947), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Mexico (2011-)
  • Jordan Paul Pearce (b. 1986), American professional ice hockey goaltender
  • Ann Philippa Pearce OBE (1920-2006), English children's author
  • Stuart Pearce MBE (b. 1962), English football manager and former player who managed the Great Britain Olympic football team at the 2012 Olympics
  • Krystian Mitchell Victor Pearce (b. 1990), English professional footballer
  • Ian Anthony Pearce (b. 1974), English former professional footballer
  • Richard Pearce (1835-1868), English Victorian plant collector



  • Pearce, Bartlett, Matthews, Smart, and Allied Families by James Alonzo Matthews Jr..
  • Pearce Pioneers in Kentucky by Marvin James Pearce.


  1. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  5. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Pearce Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pearce 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 30 August 2014 at 17:34.

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