Packham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Packham reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Packham family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Packham family lived in Kent, at Peckham. The surname of derives from the Old English words pekke, indicating the top of a mountain or hill, and ham, meaning homestead or settlement, and distinguished the settlement by its proximity to a prominent peak.

Early Origins of the Packham family

The surname Packham was first found in Kent at either East Peckham or West Peckham. Both are villages that date back to the 10th century where they were collectively listed as Peccham. By the time of the Domesday Book of 1086, they were known as Pecheham [1] and were held by the Archbishop. At that time, there was a church, ten servants, one mill, and six acres of meadow.

Part of the manor of East Farleigh lay within what is now East Peckham which was held by Ralph Fitz Turold.

The place name literally means "homestead by a peak or hill." [2] Peckham was a hamlet, in the parish and union of Camberwell, E. division of the hundred of Brixton in Surrey, but is now a district in South-East London within the London Borough of Southwark. [3]

Early History of the Packham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Packham research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1272, 1230, 1292, 1279, 1292, 1346, 1400, 1372, 1377, 1383, 1388, 1388, 1380, 1389, 1608, 1572, 1615, 1673, 1654 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Packham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Packham Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Packham include Peckham, Pecham, Peckem, Peckam, Packham and others.

Early Notables of the Packham family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Archbishop Peckham of Kent; John Peckham (1230-1292), English Archbishop of Canterbury (1279-1292); James Peckham (c.1346-1400), English politician, Member of Parliament for Kent 1372, 1377, 1383, 1388, and 1388, appointed Sheriff of Kent in...
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Packham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Packham migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Packhams to arrive on North American shores:

Packham Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Eldridge Packham, who landed in New York in 1841 [4]

Australia Packham migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Packham Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Packham, English convict who was convicted in Surrey, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Chapman" on 6th April 1824, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • John Packham, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Recovery" in 1839 [6]
  • Ellen Packham, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [7]
  • Mary Packham, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [7]
  • William Packham, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Packham migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Packham Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Packham, aged 44, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • Mary Packham, aged 44, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • Mary Packham, aged 17, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • William Packham, aged 15, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • Caroline Packham, aged 11, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Packham (post 1700) +

  • Robert D. Packham, American politician, Village President of Hanover Park, Illinois; Elected 2007
  • Hazael Packham, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Killingly, 1824
  • Christopher Gary "Chris" Packham (b. 1961), English naturalist, nature photographer, television presenter and author
  • Mr. Christopher Packham C.B.E. (b. 1961), born in Southampton, England, English Conservationist and Broadcaster, was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Nature Conservation by Her Majesty The Queen [8]
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Packham, retired British army officer, Secretary of Middlesex County Cricket Club
  • Blair Packham, Canadian singer/songwriter
  • Greg Packham (b. 1959), former Australian rules footballer
  • Jenny Packham (b. 1965), British fashion designer
  • Margaret Packham Hargrave (b. 1941), née Packham, an Australian poet and author of two novels, Jake's Luck (1994) and A Woman of Air (1996)


The Packham Motto +

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: Tentanda via est
Motto Translation: The way must be tried.


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 26th January 2021, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/chapman)
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) RECOVERY from London 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Recovery.htm
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MOFFATT 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Moffatt.htm
  8. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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