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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Pearce family come from? What is the English Pearce family crest and coat of arms? When did the Pearce family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Pearce family history?

It was among those Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled over Britain that the name Pearce was formed. The name was derived from the baptismal name for the son of Peter. In the religious naming tradition surnames were bestowed in honor of religious figures or church officials. In Europe, the Christian Church was one of the most powerful influences on the formation of given names. Personal names derived from the names of saints, apostles, biblical figures, and missionaries are widespread in most European countries. In the Middle Ages, they became increasingly popular because people believed that the souls of the deceased continued to be involved in this world. They named their children after saints in the hope that the child would be blessed or protected by the saint.

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Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Pearce include Pearce, Pierce, Pierse, Pearse, Pears, Peerce, Peers, Peirse and many more.

First found in Somerset where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pearce research. Another 217 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1667, 1661, 1667, 1622, 1691, 1674, 1726, 1630, 1694, 1697, 1714, 1719, 1510, 1603, 1629, 1691, 1772, 1845, 1625, 1699, 1612 and are included under the topic Early Pearce History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 173 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pearce Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Pearce family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 357 words(26 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Pearce were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Pearce Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Edward Pearce settled in Virginia in 1637
  • John and Judith Pearce settled in Boston in 1637
  • Anthony Pearce who settled in Virginia in 1650
  • George Pearce settled in Virginia in 1663
  • Robert Pearce settled in Barbados in 1685

Pearce Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Thomas Pearce settled in Virginia in 1761

Pearce Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • James Pearce, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Thomas Pearce, English convict from Berkshire, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Samuel Pearce, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Thomas Pearce, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • James Pearce, English convict from Berkshire, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia


Pearce Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Richard E. Pearce, aged 6, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" in 1841
  • George Pearce arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
  • Ann Pearce arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
  • Edmond Pearce arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • Richard Pearce arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Beauty" in 1863


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  • Alicia Pearce (1917-1966), Emmy Award-winning American actress
  • William Houghton Sprague "W.H.S." Pearce (1864-1935), American painter
  • Heath Gregory Pearce (b. 1984), American soccer player
  • Stevan Edward "Steve" Pearce (b. 1947), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Mexico (2011-)
  • Jordan Paul Pearce (b. 1986), American professional ice hockey goaltender
  • Ann Philippa Pearce OBE (1920-2006), English children's author
  • Stuart Pearce MBE (b. 1962), English football manager and former player who managed the Great Britain Olympic football team at the 2012 Olympics
  • Krystian Mitchell Victor Pearce (b. 1990), English professional footballer
  • Ian Anthony Pearce (b. 1974), English former professional footballer
  • Richard Pearce (1835-1868), English Victorian plant collector

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  • Pearce, Bartlett, Matthews, Smart, and Allied Families by James Alonzo Matthews Jr..
  • Pearce Pioneers in Kentucky by Marvin James Pearce.
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  1. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  4. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  5. 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).
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  8. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. 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.
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Pearce Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pearce 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 8 January 2015 at 12:49.

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