Show ContentsParfitt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Parfitt was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Parfitt family lived in Parfitt (Parfait) in Normandy. Roger Perfectus or Parfait was listed there (1185-95) in the Mangn. Rotul. Scaccarii Normanniae. [1]

The name was derived from Middle English "parfit" meaning "fully trained, well versed." The Old French version of the name was parfit(e) which meant "completed," from the Latin "perfectus", "to finish or accomplish." [2] "Parfit(i) and Parfett are the most common forms today. Perfect is fairly frequent but is late and due to the influence of the reconstructed, learned spelling of the adjective." [3]

Alternatively the name could have been a nickname, probably originally denoting an apprentice who had completed his period of training.

Early Origins of the Parfitt family

The surname Parfitt was first found in Hampshire where Vnfridus parfait was recorded at Winton in 1115. A few years later, Richard Parfeit, Parfet was found in the Curia Regis Rolls for Somerset in 1196 and later again, William Perfyt was listed in Herefordshire in 1383. [3]

Other early records include Robert Parfyte who was listed in the Calendarium Inquisitionum Post Mortem and Robert Parfite was listed in the Rolls of Parliament. [4]

They acquired the lands of Bruton (anciently spelt Braueton) in Somerset which was the King's land even at the time of King Edward the Confessor in 1050. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book Bruton was a wealthy village containing six mills.

Early History of the Parfitt family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Parfitt research. Another 164 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1620, 1717, 1780, 1820, 1893, 1820, 1800, 1875, 1800, 1836, 1848, 1859, 1861, 1893 and 1850 are included under the topic Early Parfitt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Parfitt Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Perfect, Perfett, Perfitt, Parfitt, Parfect and others.

Early Notables of the Parfitt family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Edward Parfitt (1820-1893), English naturalist, born at East Tuddenham, Norfolk, on 17 Oct. 1820, son of Edward Parfitt (1800-1875) by his wife, Violet Howlet (1800-1836). The father was head gardener to Lord Hastings. Parfitt was educated at East Tuddenham and Honingham, and studied gardening under his father; he then became successively gardener to Anthony Gwyn of Sennow Lodge, Norfolk, and John Hay Hill, Gressinghall House, near East Dereham, and subsequently went on a voyage for scientific purposes. He was wrecked near the Cape of Good Hope, and...
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Parfitt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Parfitt migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Parfitt or a variant listed above:

Parfitt Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Parfitt, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [5]
Parfitt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Parfitt, who was naturalized in New York in 1837
  • John Parfitt, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1876 [5]
  • Albert E. Parfitt, aged 31, who immigrated to America, in 1894
  • Alfred Parfitt, aged 39, who landed in America, in 1895
Parfitt Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Anna Parfitt, aged 29, who landed in America from Bath, in 1904
  • Edith Harriett Parfitt, aged 33, who landed in America from Woodside, England, in 1912
  • Arthur Parfitt, aged 11, who landed in America from Treforest, Wales, in 1916
  • Alfred Ernest Parfitt, aged 24, who immigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1920
  • Clarence Edward Parfitt, aged 10, who settled in America from Plymouth, England, in 1921
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Parfitt migration to Australia +

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

Parfitt Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Parfitt, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Buffalo" on 4th May 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. George Parfitt, British convict who was convicted in Surrey, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. Joseph Parfitt, English convict who was convicted in Woolwich, London, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Eden" on 8th July 1840, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • William Parfitt, aged 31, a miner, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sea Park" [9]
  • James Parfitt, aged 28, a gardener, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Caroline" [10]

New Zealand Parfitt 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:

Parfitt Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Ann Parfitt, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Queen Bee" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th February 1871 [11]

West Indies Parfitt migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [12]
Parfitt Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Augustine Parfitt, who settled in Barbados in 1679

Contemporary Notables of the name Parfitt (post 1700) +

  • Richard Allen Parfitt (1931-2021), American college basketball head coach for Central Michigan University (CMU) from 1971 to 1985, MAC Coach of the Year (1975)
  • Major General Harold Robert Parfitt (1921-2006), American Governor of the Panama Canal Zone from 1975 to 1979
  • Chris Parfitt, American musician
  • Peter Parfitt (b. 1936), English former cricketer from Billingford, Breckland, Norfolk
  • David Parfitt (b. 1958), English Academy Award winning film producer, and actor, co-founder of Trademark Films
  • Judy Catherine Claire Parfitt (b. 1936), English BAFTA Award nominated theatre, film and television actress from Sheffield, South Yorkshire
  • Richard John "Rick" Parfitt (b. 1948), English guitarist of Status Quo, born in Woking, Surrey
  • Rt. Rev. Thomas Parfitt (1911-1984), English prelate, Bishop of Madagascar (1952-1961)
  • Jade Parfitt (b. 1978), British model and presenter from Hammersmith, London
  • Harold Parfitt (1881-1976), Scottish trade representative who served as 26th Chief Minister of World the Boy-Scouts (1949-1951)
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2021). Retrieved from
  9. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SEA PARK 1852. Retrieved
  10. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 26th April 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Caroline 1855. Retrieved
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  12. ^ on Facebook