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Pearson is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Pearson comes 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]

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include 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 left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of 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. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  6. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. 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. ...


This page was last modified on 12 May 2016 at 11:34.

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