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

Origins Available: English, Irish

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

Although the Irish had their own system of hereditary surnames and the Strongbow settlers brought with them their own Anglo-Norman naming practices, the two traditions generally worked well together. The name Purtle is an occupational surname, a form of hereditary name that existed in both cultures long before the invaders arrived, but more common to the Anglo-Norman culture. Occupational surnames were derived from a word describing the actual job done by the original name bearer. Early Strongbownian names of this type often used the prefix le, meaning the, in French, but the use of this prefix did not last in the language of the vernacular. The surname Purtle came from a common occupational name for a swineherd. The surname Purtle is derived from the Norman-French word porcel, which in turn comes from the Latin word porcus, which means pig or piglet. Occupational names such as Purtle frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic surnames. The Gaelic form of the surname Purtle is Puirséil.

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Names were simply spelled as they sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, his name was often spelt in many different ways, explaining the many spelling variations encountered while researching the name Purtle. Some of these variations included: Purcell, Purcel, Pursell, Purcill, Purcells, Percell, Porcell, Percill, Persell, Percel, Pirsell, Porcill, Porsell, Purcelle, Purcele, Persells, Pursells, Purcels, Porcells, Purchell, Purscel, Purtill and many more.

First found in Surrey, England and later in County Tipperary. As many Norman families, they accompanied Strongbow in the Anglo- Norman invasion of Ireland in 1172. The English branch in Surrey continued their stronghold in Surrey for many years. As far as the Irish branch is concerned, it is generally believed that Sir Hugh Purcell, a Strongbow knight was the progenitor of the family in Ireland. His grandson, another Sir Hugh married Beatrix, daughter of Theobald FitzWalter, Chief Butler of Ireland about 1204 and received Loghmoe (Loughmore,) a village in North Tipperary as a wedding present. [1] A direct line of the family continued until 1722 with the death of Nicholas Purcell, 13th Baron of Loughmoe.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Purtle research. Another 185 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1665, 1660, 1665, 1659, 1695, 1664, 1717, 1651 and 1691 are included under the topic Early Purtle History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 159 words(11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Purtle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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During the middle of the 19th century, Irish families often experienced extreme poverty and racial discrimination in their own homeland under English rule. Record numbers died of disease and starvation and many others, deciding against such a fate, boarded ships bound for North America. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Unfortunately, many of those Irish that arrived in Canada or the United States still experienced economic and racial discrimination. Although often maligned, these Irish people were essential to the rapid development of these countries because they provided the cheap labor required for the many canals, roads, railways, and other projects required for strong national infrastructures. Eventually the Irish went on to make contributions in the less backbreaking and more intellectual arenas of commerce, education, and the arts. Research early immigration and passenger lists revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Purtle: Joseph Purcel, who settled at Barstable in Massachusetts in 1822; Nancy Purcell and her husband and seven children settled in Quebec in 1825; Andrew, Edward, James, John, Martin, Mathew, Michael, Patrick, Peter Purcell all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870..

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Aut vincam aut periam
Motto Translation: Either conquer or perish.

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  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)

Other References

  1. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  4. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  5. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  6. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  7. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Purtle Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Purtle 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 28 November 2013 at 11:07.

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