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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The surname Pruitt is derived from the Middle English word "prou," meaning "brave," or "valiant," with the addition of either of two common diminutive suffixes: "-et" or "-ot." As such, this name is thought to have originally been a nickname for someone small, but brave.


The surname Pruitt was first found in Carmarthenshire (Welsh: Sir Gaerfyrddin), located in Southwest Wales, one of thirteen historic counties and presently one of the principal area in Wales, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

The Welsh have an extremely large amount of spelling variations of their native surnames to their credit. It was up to the priest or the scribe taking the official records to determine how the spoken name was to be made literal. As time progressed, the old Brythonic names of Wales were recorded in English, which was especially problematic since the English language had extreme difficulty recording the highly inflected sounds of Cymraeg. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Pruitt have included Pruett, Prewitt, Prewett, Pruet, Prewert and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pruitt research. Another 195 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1202, 1278 and 1558 are included under the topic Early Pruitt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


More information is included under the topic Early Pruitt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


During the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the people of Wales journeyed to North America to find a new life. They made major contributions to the arts, industry and commerce of both Canada and the United States, and added a rich cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Pruitt:

Pruitt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Pruitt, who landed in Texas in 1835

Pruitt Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Edwin Pruitt, aged 34, who landed in America, in 1904
  • Elwood Pruitt, aged 18, who emigrated to the United States, in 1919
  • Henry L. Pruitt, aged 22, who emigrated to the United States, in 1919
  • Chester A. Pruitt, who settled in America, in 1919
  • C. A. Pruitt, aged 24, who landed in America, in 1920
  • ...

  • Ralph V. Pruitt (1936-1974), American engineer at McDonnell Douglas who won the Wright Brothers Medal in 1974
  • Julius Pruitt, American football wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins
  • Gary B. Pruitt (b. 1957), American chief executive officer, president and chairman of the board of the McClatchy Company
  • Wendell Oliver Pruitt (1920-1945), pioneering African-American military pilot
  • Mickey Pruitt (b. 1965), former professional American football linebacker
  • Etric Pruitt (b. 1981), American football defensive back
  • Dillard Pruitt (b. 1961), American amateur golfer, former PGA golfer
  • Michael Pruitt (b. 1954), former American NFL football running back
  • Cicero Washington Pruitt (1857-1946), American clergyman, among the first Southern Baptist missionaries to Northern China
  • Carl E. Pruitt, American politician, Mayor of Griffin, Georgia, 1955
  • ...

  • The Pruett (Pruitt) Family by Haskell Pruett.
  • Prewitt-Pruitt Records of Virginia by Richard A. Prewitt.

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: Deus pascit corvos
Motto Translation: God feeds the ravens.


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    Other References

    1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    3. 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).
    4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
    5. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
    6. 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.
    7. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
    8. Bradsley C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print.
    9. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
    10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    11. ...

    The Pruitt Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Pruitt 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 25 May 2016 at 14:47.

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