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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The distinguished surname Painter originated in Cornwall, a region of southwest England that is celebrated in the Arthurian romances of the Middle Ages. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames were adopted in medieval England is fascinating. As the population of Europe burgeoned, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Despite the fact that occupational surnames are rare among the Cornish People, they nevertheless sometimes adopted surnames derived from the type of work they did. The surname Painter was an occupational name for a painter. Painter is an occupational surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Occupational surnames were derived from the primary activity of the bearer. In the Middle Ages, people did not generally live off of the fruits of their labor in a particular job. Rather, they performed a specialized task, as well as farming, for subsistence. Other occupational names were derived from an object associated with a particular activity. This type of surname is called a metonymic surname. The surname Painter comes from the Old English word peintour, which means painter.
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and 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 of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Paynter, Painter and others.
First found in Cornwall where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Painter research. Another 147 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1540, 1594, 1637 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Painter History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Painter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Painters were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:
Painter Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Edward Painter, who arrived in Virginia in 1622
- Elin Painter, who arrived in Virginia in 1623
- Elm Painter, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1624
- Thomas Painter, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1630
- William Painter, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1635
Painter Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- George Painter, aged 26, landed in Pennsylvania in 1738
- Alexander Painter, who arrived in Virginia in 1765
Painter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Joseph Painter, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815
- Catherine Painter, who landed in New York, NY in 1845
- James Painter, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872
Painter Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- William Painter arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839
- William Painter arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1847
- Elizabeth Painter arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1847
- Edwin Painter arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Abberton" in 1849
- John Painter arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Abberton" in 1849
Painter Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Richard Painter, aged 31, a farmer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Fifeshire" in 1842
- Sarah Painter, aged 21, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Fifeshire" in 1842
- Alexander Painter, aged 30, a blacksmith, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Indus" in 1843
- Sarah Painter, aged 30, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Indus" in 1843
- Eliza Painter, aged 10, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Indus" in 1843
- Matthew Curtis "Matt" Painter (b. 1970), American head coach of the Purdue Boilermakers men's basketball team (2005-)
- Theophilus Painter (1889-1969), American zoologist, known for his work in identifying genes in fruit flies, awarded the Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal (1934)
- John Mark Painter (b. 1970), American musician, best known for his work with his wife, singer Fleming McWilliams, in the rock and roll duo, Fleming and John and as composer for the film Hoodwinked (2005)
- Curtis Painter (b. 1985), American NFL football quarterback for the New York Giants
- Sidney Painter (1902-1960), American medievalist
- William Painter (1838-1906), American inventor
- John Painter (1888-2001), American who having died at age 112 years 162 days was (posthumously) recognized as the world's oldest man
- Mr. Frank Frederick Painter (d. 1912), aged 29, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
- Mr. Charles Painter (d. 1912), aged 31, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
- George Duncan Painter OBE (1914-2005), English author, best known as the biographer of Marcel Proust
- Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
- Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
- Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
- Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
- Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
- Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
- Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
- The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
- Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
- 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).
The Painter Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Painter 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 19 April 2016 at 16:59.
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