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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The ancestors of the Pearson family first reached the shores of England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Their name is derived from the French given name Pierre, which is equivalent to the English Peter.

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The surname Pearson was 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. However, some of the family were found at early times in Lancashire, specifically at the township of Shevington where "Crook Hall was the seat of the Pearsons." [1]

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Pearson, Peerson, Pierson, Peirson and others.


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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.

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

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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.

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Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Pearson or a variant listed above:

Pearson Settlers in United States 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 Canada in the 18th Century


  • Nicholas Pearson settled in Halifax Nova Scotia in 1774 with his wife and child
  • Mr. Christopher Pearson U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784
  • Mr. Jacob Pearson U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784

Pearson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Pearson, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • Thomas Pearson, English convict from Sussex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • Thomas Pearson, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Pearson, a cabinet-maker, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Robert Pearson, a dyer, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832


Pearson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Jane Pearson arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "John Masterman" in 1857
  • John Pearson arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Black Eagle" in 1861
  • George Pearson arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
  • Joseph Pearson, aged 27, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Resolute" in 1865
  • Selina Pearson, aged 26, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Resolute" in 1865


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  • Mrs. Mabel Pearson (d. 1915), American 1st Class Passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered
  • Dr. Fred Stark Pearson (d. 1915), American 1st Class Passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered
  • Brigadier-General LeRoy Pearson (1884-1969), American Adjutant-General of Michigan (1943-1947)
  • P. Edward Pearson, American founder of the Pearson's Candy Company, a chocolate and confectionery manufacturer in 1909
  • Norman Holmes Pearson (1909-1975), American academic, author, editor, critic, archivist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Bird M. Pearson, American politician, Justice of Florida State Supreme Court, 1856-59
  • Angela Pearson (b. 1983), American politician, Mayor of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, 2014-
  • Alfred John Pearson (1869-1939), American Republican politician, University professor; U.S. Minister to Poland, 1924-25; Finland, 1925-30
  • Alex F. Pearson, American politician, Burgess of Rochester, Pennsylvania, 1933-37
  • Albert Jackson Pearson (1846-1905), American Democrat politician, Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney, 1871-77; Member of Ohio State Senate, 1881-82; U.S. Representative from Ohio, 1891-95

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  • 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.
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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  4. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  6. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  7. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  8. 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).
  9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. 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 Pearson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pearson 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 12 May 2016 at 11:34.

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