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

Origins Available: English, Irish, Scottish

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

The ancestors of the Petty family lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Petty was a name given to a small person. The surname Petty originally derived from the Old French word Petit which referred to small or tiny. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.


Petty has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Pettey, Petty, Pettie, Pety, Petie and others.

First found in Warwickshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times as Lords of the Manor of Ilmington conjecturally descended from the land holder recorded in the Domesday Book survey taken in 1086 A.D., as being held by Alric the pre-conquest holder from Robert of Stafford.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Petty research. Another 295 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1124, 1296, 1395, 1382, 1623, 1583, 1639, 1628, 1629, 1621, 1661, 1660, 1623 and 1687 are included under the topic Early Petty History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 121 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Petty Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Petty family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 63 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Pettys to arrive on North American shores:

Petty Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • William Petty settled in Barbados in 1660
  • William Petty settled in West New Jersey in 1664
  • Lawrence Petty, who landed in Virginia in 1664
  • Elizabeth Petty settled in Delaware Bay in 1679
  • Sir William Petty settled in Pennsylvania in 1682

Petty Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • William Petty, who arrived in New Jersey in 1704
  • Chr Petty, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • John Petty settled in Grenada in 1774

Petty Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • George Petty, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1835
  • Robert Petty, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1835
  • Thomas K Petty, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1868


  • Thomas Earl "Tom" Petty (b. 1950), American rock musician and songwriter, founder of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the Traveling Wilburys
  • Richard Petty (b. 1937), former NASCAR racer and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Lori Petty (b. 1963), American film and television actress
  • Norman Petty (1927-1984), American musician, songwriter, and pioneer record producer
  • Lieutenant Orlando Henderson Petty (1874-1932), American physician and naval officer awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War I
  • Kyle Eugene Petty (b. 1960), retired American NASCAR driver
  • Mr. Edwin Henry Petty (d. 1912), aged 25, English Bedroom Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett
  • Dini Petty (b. 1945), Canadian television and radio host


  • The Petty-Pettis Genealogy: Descendants of John Petty of Springfield, Massachusetts, 1668 by Robert Joseph Curfman.
  • Petty: A Genealogy Record and Short History of the Descendants of John Petty and Loveday Kent Petty by George Bell.
  • Petty, of England & Virginia by Gerald McKinney Petty.

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  1. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  2. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  3. 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).
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  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. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  8. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Petty Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Petty 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 6 May 2014 at 19:16.

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