Pakenham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Pakenham is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in the parish of Pakenham found in the county of Suffolk. [1]

This place-name was a habitation name which denoted where the Pakenham family held their land. The original bearers of the Pakenham surname took their name from the parish where they dwelt, so that they could be identified whenever they moved from their original dwelling place.

Early Origins of the Pakenham family

The surname Pakenham was first found in Suffolk at Pakenham, a village that dates back to Saxon times when it was first listed as Pakenham c. 950. By the Domesday Book of 1086, the village was listed as Pachenham [2] and literally meant "homestead or village of a man called Pacca," from the Old English personal name + "ham." [3]

The first record of the family was William de Pekenham, listed in Pakenham (1196-1200.) Later Edmund de Pakenham was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1327. [4]

There were also early records in Norfolk: William de Pakenham and John de Pakeham in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 [1] and Henry de Pakenham and Thomas de Pakeham in 1373. [5]

Early History of the Pakenham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pakenham research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1574, 1626, 1497, 1552, 1547, 1518, 1543, 1547, 1482, 1554, 1542, 1794, 1713, 1776, 1743, 1792, 1774, 1835, 1785, 1794, 1774, 1835, 1817, 1860 and 1933 are included under the topic Early Pakenham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pakenham Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Pakenham family name include Pakenham, Packenham, Pagenam and others.

Early Notables of the Pakenham family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Robert Pagman, Packman, Pagenham, Pakenham ( fl. 1497-1552), English Army officer and politician, Member of the Parliament of England for Great Bedwyn in 1547. He was Clerk comptroller, the counting house by 1518, Clerk of the Accounts by 1543; and Clerk of the green cloth by 1547. Anne Pakenham, daughter of Sir Hugh Pakenham married Sir William Sidney (1482?-1554) an English courtier under Henry VIII and Edward VI and together...
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pakenham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Pakenham family to Ireland

Some of the Pakenham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Pakenham migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Pakenham surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Pakenham Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Pakenham, who settled in Virginia in 1643

Contemporary Notables of the name Pakenham (post 1700) +

  • Francis Aungier Pakenham KG, PC, 7th Earl of Longford, 1st Baron Pakenham, British politician and social reformer
  • Sir Edward Michael Pakenham (1778-1815), British general who was killed at the Battle of New Orleans
  • Thomas Francis Dermot Pakenham (b. 1933), 8th Earl of Longford, known simply as Thomas Pakenham, an Irish historian
  • Colonel Hercules Arthur Pakenham (1863-1937), unionist politician in Northern Ireland
  • Sir Thomas Thomas Pakenham GCB (1757-1836), British naval officer and politician
  • Elizabeth Pakenham CBE (1906-2002), Countess of Longford, better known as Elizabeth Longford, a British author
  • Sir Richard Richard Pakenham (1797-1868), British diplomat
  • Admiral Sir William Christopher Pakenham KCB, KCMG, KCVO (1861-1933), British observer with the Japanese Fleet
  • Michael Pakenham Edgeworth (1812-1881), Irish botanist who left for India in 1831 at the age of 19 to join the Indian Civil Service where he spent most of his life studying seed plants and ferns, one of twenty-four children of Richard Lovell Edgeworth


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print


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