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

The Welsh name Pugh is a patronymic surname created from the Welsh personal name Hugh. The original Welsh form of this forename was Huw, but the English form of the name was adopted by the upper-class Welsh during the 17th century. The surname Pugh was originally ap-Hugh: the distinctive Welsh patronymic prefix "ap," means "son of," but the prefix has been assimilated into the surname over the course of time.


The surname Pugh was first found in Montgomeryshire (Welsh: Sir Drefaldwyn), located in mid-Eastern Wales, one of thirteen historic counties, and anciently the medieval kingdom of Powys Wenwynwyn, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Pugh name over the years has been spelled Pugh, Pew and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pugh research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1610 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Pugh History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Pugh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Pugh:

Pugh Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • David Pugh arrived in Virginia in 1608
  • James Pugh settled in Virginia in 1654
  • Francis Pugh, who landed in Virginia in 1665
  • James Pugh, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1684
  • David Pugh, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1693

Pugh Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Anne Pugh settled with her husband in Virginia in 1701
  • Daniel Pugh, who landed in Virginia in 1711
  • Mary and Sarah Pugh arrived in Virginia in 1741
  • Arabella Pugh, who arrived in America in 1760-1763

Pugh Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Pugh, aged 22, landed in New York in 1812
  • Richard F Pugh, aged 50, arrived in Missouri in 1847
  • T Pugh, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Joseph Pugh, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Johnson N Pugh, who arrived in Arkansas in 1869

Pugh Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Sarah Pugh, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Amphitrite" on August 21, 1833, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Caroline Pugh, aged 22, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Fatima"
  • Thomas Pugh, aged 24, a miner, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Hooghly"
  • William Pugh, aged 44, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Amazon"


  • Lawrence "Larry" Pugh (1933-2015), American businessman, chief executive officer of the VF Corporation
  • Isaac C. Pugh (1805-1874), Union general in the American Civil War
  • Daniel Patrick "Dan Patrick" Pugh (b. 1956), American sportscaster, radio personality, and actor who hosts The Dan Patrick Show broadcast on radio
  • William Pugh (1932-1988), American Businessman from Margate, New Jersey, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died
  • Jim Pugh (b. 1964), American professional tennis, doubles, player
  • James Edward Pugh (b. 1950), American trombonist, composer, and educator
  • Virginia Wynette Pugh (1942-1998), American country music singer-songwriter, known professionally as Tammy Wynette
  • James Lawrence Pugh (1820-1907), American politician, U.S. senator from Alabama
  • John Pugh (1761-1842), American soldier and politician, who was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania
  • Alun John Pugh (b. 1955), Welsh Labour politician, Member of the Welsh Assembly for Clwyd West (1999-2007)



  • Chapman and Pugh Family History and Allied Lines by Minnie May Pugh.

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: Sic itur ad astra
Motto Translation: Such is the way to immortality.


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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Thirsk, Joan ed. Et. Al. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-005-8).
  5. 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).
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  8. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  9. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Pugh Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pugh 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 2 March 2016 at 14:12.

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