Show ContentsPearsall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Pearsall is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Pearsall family when they migrated to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Pearsall family lived in Staffordshire, at Pearsall, from whence they took their name. "The family are of Norman origin, having been founded, at the place referred to, by Robert, a follower of Robert of Stafford, early in the reign of the Conqueror. He was son of Gilbert, son of Richard, Count of Corbeil in Normandy." [1]

Early Origins of the Pearsall family

The surname Pearsall was first found in Staffordshire where they held an estate now known as Pearshall, Peshale or Pershall. [2]

Robert Fitz Gilbert de Corbeil, acquired the manor of Peshale, and his son Robert was the first to begin calling himself de Peshale after the name of this manor. [3]

Another early record was found in the "Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum, temp. Henry III-Edward I." which listed Thomas de Peshale, Staffordshire. [4]

Early History of the Pearsall family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pearsall research. Another 123 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1341, 1374, 1376, 1531, 1539, 1629, 1633, 1634, 1653, 1670, 1676, 1696, 1702, 1795 and 1856 are included under the topic Early Pearsall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pearsall Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval 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. The name has been spelled Pearsall, Pershall, Persall, Parsil, Parcell, Parcel and many more.

Early Notables of the Pearsall family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • Robert Lucas Pearsall (1795-1856), was a noted English composer

Pearsall Ranking

In the United States, the name Pearsall is the 4,892nd most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [5]

United States Pearsall migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Pearsall or a variant listed above:

Pearsall Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Pearsall, who arrived in Virginia in 1631
  • Henry Pearsall, who arrived in Long Island in 1657
Pearsall Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Pearsall, who left England for Maryland or Virginia in 1737
Pearsall Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Pearsall, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1866

Australia Pearsall migration to Australia +

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

Pearsall Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Pearsall, (b. 1791), aged 12, British convict who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for life for stealing, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1841 [6]
  • Samuel Pearsall, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Pearsall (post 1700) +

  • Thomas W Pearsall, American vice-president of the International Great Northern Railroad in the 1880s, eponym of Pearsall Texas (incorporated 1909)
  • Dr. Paul Pearsall, American educator, lecturer, author
  • James B. Pearsall, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Queens County 1st District, 1869-70 [8]
  • J. Edward Pearsall (1920-1998), American politician, Mayor of Virginia, Minnesota, 1966-76 [8]
  • Gerald R. Pearsall, American Republican politician, Republican Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives 25th District, 1968 (primary), 1970 [8]
  • Edgar A. Pearsall (b. 1843), American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Chenango County, 1889-90, 1903-04 [8]
  • Denton Pearsall Jr., American Republican politician, Mayor of Mt. Vernon, New York, 1936-39 [8]
  • David J. Pearsall, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Osorno, 1943 [8]
  • David J. Pearsall, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Pennsylvania, 1900 [8]
  • Charles Pearsall, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Chenango County, 1869 [8]
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  4. Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from
  7. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1826 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 20) . Retrieved from on Facebook