Pearman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The illustrious surname Pearman finds its origin in the rocky, seaswept coastal area of southwestern England known as Cornwall. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Nickname surnames were rare among the Cornish, they did occasionally adopt names that reflected the physical characteristics or other attributes of the original bearer of the name. The name Pearman is a nickname type of surname for a servant employed by someone named Perry. Perry is a derivative of the ancient Biblical name Peter, meaning rock.

Early Origins of the Pearman family

The surname Pearman was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. By the 12th century the family had affected the Normanization of their surname to De Puryham, but it is more likely to be of Dumnonian origin, although undoubtedly that spelling is incorrect.

From Puryham the name became Perriam, and then Periam, and then Peryman, then Perriman. There is no evidence that the name Perryman has any connection whatsoever with the wine, perry, a maker or seller of perry. [1]

There is solid evidence, however, that Periam and Perryman are connected, both bearing a similar family name Coat of Arms from about the 15th century. This whole group of names are most likely connected with the Cornish St. Perran as we shall see later in this treatise.

Early History of the Pearman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pearman research. Another 235 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1237, 1593, 1534, 1604 and 1551 are included under the topic Early Pearman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pearman Spelling Variations

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 Perryman, Peryman, Perriman, Periman, Perrieman, Perieman, Perreman, Pereman, Peryam, Perriam, Periam, Puryham and many more.

Early Notables of the Pearman family (pre 1700)

Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pearman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pearman Ranking

In the United States, the name Pearman is the 6,475th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [2]


Australia Pearman migration to Australia +

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

Pearman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand Pearman 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:

Pearman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Pearman, aged 39, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rodney" in 1875
  • Mary A. Pearman, aged 40, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rodney" in 1875
  • Lucy Pearman, aged 19, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rodney" in 1875
  • William A. Pearman, aged 8, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rodney" in 1875
  • Henry John Pearman, aged 6, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rodney" in 1875
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Pearman (post 1700) +

  • Joseph Pearman (1892-1961), American silver medalist athlete at the 1920 Summer Olympics
  • Francis Alvin Pearman II (b. 1982), American NFL football running back
  • Virgil L. Pearman, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Kentucky State House of Representatives 26th District, 1975 ; Candidate in primary for Kentucky State Senate 10th District, 1990 [6]
  • James N. Pearman, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from South Carolina, 1916 [6]
  • Tom Pearman (b. 1979), English cricketer
  • Roger Pearman (1943-2009), English cricketer and cricket administrator
  • Roger Pearman (b. 1939), English retired rugby league footballer and coach of the 1960s
  • Hugh Pearman (b. 1945), retired English cricketer
  • Graeme Pearman (b. 1941), Australian Chief of CSIRO Atmospheric Research (1992 to 2002)
  • Richard Pearman Minifie DSC & Two Bars (1898-1969), Australian fighter pilot and flying ace of the World War I credited with 22 aerial victories

HMS Royal Oak
  • Anthony H. Pearman, British Lieutenant with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [7]


  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th March 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/emma-eugenia
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PRINCESS ROYAL 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848PrincessRoyal.htm
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 18) Aboukir voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island. [These convicts appear to have all landed in Van Diemen's Land], Australia in 1851 with 280 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/aboukir/1851
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 20) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  7. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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