Pearcey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Pearcey family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. They claim the same ancestry as Tesson and Marmion in Normandy, both relatively rare names today. One of the oldest records was Ralph Tesson who was found in Anjou in the 10th century. He acquired a barony in Normandy and founded the abbey of Fontenay. From this House, descended the Marmions, of whom William Marmilon on Fontenay (a Tesson estate) was listed. It is generally thought that the Percys probably derive from Ernegis Tesson. [1] "The arms of these families show their common origin." All bear a fesse with the Percys having a fesse indented. [1]

Early Origins of the Pearcey family

The surname Pearcey was first found in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire where "William de Perci, who with his brother Serlo, assisted in the Conquest of England, appears in the Domesday [Book] as tenant in capite in many counties, especially in those of York and Lincoln.

Perci is the name of a parish and canton near St. Lo, in Normandy, the ancient fief on the family." [2] Sawley in the West Riding of Yorkshire was an early home to the family. "It belonged to a Cistercian abbey in honour of the Blessed Virgin, founded here in 1146, by William de Percy, and the revenue of which, at the Dissolution, was estimated at £221." [3]

Thirsk in the North Riding of Yorkshire was home to another branch of the family. "In the reign of Henry VII., during a popular commotion, Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, and lieutenant of this county, is said to have been put to death here, beneath a very ancient elm-tree, which formerly grew on Elm Green." [3]

Again in North Yorkshire, more early records of the family were found in the parish of Lofthouse. "This place, in the Domesday Survey Lochtushum, was granted by the Conqueror to Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, who soon afterwards transferred it to the Percy family, of whom William de Percy, the third Baron, in 1133 founded at Handall, in the parish, a priory for Benedictine nuns." [3]

And yet another branch of the family was found in Wressel in the East Riding of Yorkshire. "Wressel Castle was built by Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester, who was made prisoner at the battle of Shrewsbury, and afterwards beheaded; this once princely mansion continued to be a seat of the family till the reign of Charles I., when it was dismantled by order of the parliament." [3]

Early History of the Pearcey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pearcey research. Another 378 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1403, 1364, 1403, 1403, 1343, 1403, 1560, 1560, 1605, 1341, 1408, 1362, 1367, 1564, 1632, 1586, 1631, 1602, 1668, 1646, 1690, 1667 and 1722 are included under the topic Early Pearcey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pearcey Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Percy, Percie and others.

Early Notables of the Pearcey family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Henry Percy (1364-1403), commonly known as Sir Harry Hotspur, slain leading the losing side at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403; and Thomas Percy, 1st Earl of Worcester, (1343-1403), English medieval nobleman best known for taking part in the rebellion with his nephew Henry Percy, known as 'Harry Hotspur', with his elder brother, Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland Alan Percy (died 1560), was Master of St. John's College, Cambridge, third son of Henry Percy, fourth Earl of Northumberland. Thomas Percy (c.1560-1605), was a member of the Gunpowder Plot. Henry Percy, 1st Earl...
Another 125 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pearcey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Australia Pearcey migration to Australia +

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

Pearcey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Francis Pearcey, aged 23, a gardener, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Navarino" [4]

New Zealand Pearcey 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:

Pearcey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Eliza Pearcey, aged 24, a servant, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Celestial Queen" in 1872
  • Edward Pearcey, aged 40, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Douglas" in 1873
  • Sarah Pearcey, aged 40, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Douglas" in 1873
  • William Pearcey, aged 11, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Douglas" in 1873
  • Albert Pearcey, aged 9, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Douglas" in 1873
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Pearcey (post 1700) +

  • Nancy Pearcey (b. 1952), American evangelical author
  • Jason Pearcey (b. 1971), English former professional footballer
  • Trevor Pearcey (1919-1998), British-born, Australian scientist who created CSIRAC, one of the first stored program electronic computers
  • Jackie Pearcey (b. 1963), Liberal Democrat politician in the City of Manchester, England

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Albert Victor Pearcey, aged 32, English Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking by escaping in collapsible C [5]

The Pearcey 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: Esperance en Dieu
Motto Translation: Hope in God.

  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. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NAVARINO 1851. Retrieved
  5. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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