Pearson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Pearson family first reached the shores of England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Their name is derived from the French given name Pierre, which is equivalent to the English Peter as in son of Peter or Pierre.[1] [2] [3]

Early Origins of the Pearson family

The surname Pearson was first found in Berwickshire where the name was derived as "son of Pier." Walter Pierson of Berwickshire rendered homage to King Edward I of England on his brief conquest of Scotland in 1296. However, some of the family were found at early times in Lancashire, specifically at the township of Shevington where "Crook Hall was the seat of the Pearsons." [4]

In Somerset, early rolls there listed Walter Peressone and Richard Peresone, both 1 Edward III, (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [5]

In Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls from 1379 included: Robertus Perisson. [6]

Early History of the Pearson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pearson research. Another 213 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1369, 1472, 1506, 1537, 1529, 1540, 1567, 1634, 1642, 1594, 1540, 1541, 1542, 1544, 1545, 1590, 1651, 1613, 1604, 1650, 1650, 1657, 1634, 1628, 1670, 1648, 1665, 1613, 1686, 1612, 1587, 1592, 1647, 1720, 1677, 1720, 1612, 1686, 1662, 1667 and are included under the topic Early Pearson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pearson 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 Pearson, Peerson, Pierson, Peirson and others.

Early Notables of the Pearson family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Andrew Peerson or Pierson (d. 1594), an English divine, Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He "graduated B.A. from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 1540-1541 or 1542, and M.A. in 1544 or 1545. Soon after graduating B.A. he was elected fellow of his college; for a time he was bursar, and laid out and planted with fruit trees the fellows' garden." [7] Martin Peerson, Pierson or Pearson (1590-1651), was an English musical composer from March, Cambridgeshire. "He graduated Mus. Bac. from Lincoln College, Oxford, in 1613. Fulke Greville, first lord Brooke, was his earliest...
Another 186 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pearson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pearson World Ranking

In the United States, the name Pearson is the 255th most popular surname with an estimated 104,454 people with that name. [8] However, in Canada, the name Pearson is ranked the 320th most popular surname with an estimated 13,912 people with that name. [9] And in Quebec, Canada, the name Pearson is the 919th popular surname. [10] Australia ranks Pearson as 169th with 18,474 people. [11] New Zealand ranks Pearson as 183rd with 2,994 people. [12] The United Kingdom ranks Pearson as 100th with 47,819 people. [13]

Ireland Migration of the Pearson family to Ireland

Some of the Pearson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Pearson 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 Pearson or a variant listed above:

Pearson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mary Pearson, who settled in Virginia in 1646
Pearson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Pearson, (b. 1829), aged 36, English school master traveling aboard the ship "Humming Bird" arriving in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1865 [14]
  • Mr. Jonathan Pearson, (b. 1861), aged 24, Cornish settler departing from Liverpool aboard the ship "City of Rome" arriving in the United States on 20 August 1885 [15]
  • Mr. William Pearson, (b. 1863), aged 22, Cornish settler departing from Liverpool aboard the ship "City of Rome" arriving in the United States on 20 August 1885 [15]

Canada Pearson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pearson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Nicholas Pearson, who settled in Halifax Nova Scotia in 1774 with his wife and child
  • Mr. Christopher Pearson U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [16]
  • Mr. Jacob Pearson U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [16]
Pearson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Pearson, aged 3 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Triton" departing from the port of Triton, Liverpool but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [17]

Australia Pearson migration to Australia +

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

Pearson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Pearson, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [18]
  • Thomas Pearson, English convict from Sussex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [19]
  • Thomas Pearson, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [20]
  • John Pearson, a cabinet-maker, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Robert Pearson, a dyer, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Pearson 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:

Pearson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Jane Pearson, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "John Masterman" in 1857
  • Mr. William Pearson, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Bruce" arriving in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand on 12th September 1860 [21]
  • John Pearson, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Black Eagle" in 1861
  • George Pearson, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
  • Mr. Robert Pearson, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Black Eagle" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 19th November 1861 [21]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Pearson 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. [22]
Pearson Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John Pearson, who settled with his wife and two children in Barbados in 1678

Contemporary Notables of the name Pearson (post 1700) +

  • David Gene Pearson (1934-2018), American stock car racer from Spartanburg, South Carolina, inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame
  • Brigadier-General LeRoy Pearson (1884-1969), American Adjutant-General of Michigan (1943-1947) [23]
  • P. Edward Pearson, American founder of the Pearson's Candy Company, a chocolate and confectionery manufacturer in 1909
  • Norman Holmes Pearson (1909-1975), American academic, author, editor, critic, archivist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Mrs. C. M. Pearson, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Georgia, 1944 [24]
  • C. J. Pearson, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from West Virginia, 1920 [24]
  • Bird M. Pearson, American politician, Justice of Florida State Supreme Court, 1856-59 [24]
  • Angela Pearson (b. 1983), American politician, Mayor of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, 2014- [24]
  • Alfred John Pearson (1869-1939), American Republican politician, University professor; U.S. Minister to Poland, 1924-25; Finland, 1925-30 [24]
  • Alex F. Pearson, American politician, Burgess of Rochester, Pennsylvania, 1933-37 [24]
  • ... (Another 114 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mrs. Sophia Jane Pearson, née Varley British Stewardess from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [25]
Hillcrest Coal Mine
  • Mr. John Pearson (1897-1914), English Fan Man from Murton Colliery, Durham County, England, United Kingdom who worked in the Hillcrest Coal Mine, Alberta, Canada and died in the mine collapse [26]
HMS Cornwall
  • Jack Edgar Pearson (d. 1942), British Boy Signalman aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [27]
HMS Dorsetshire
  • Jack Edgar Pearson (d. 1945), British Boy Signalman aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [28]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. George Pearson (b. 1919), English Cook (O) serving for the Royal Navy from East Chevington, Northumberland, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [29]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. James Pearson, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [30]
  • Mr. Pearson, British Acting Leading Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [30]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Harry Pearson, British Engine Room Artificer 4th Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [31]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Alfred Raymond Pearson (1921-1939), born in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England, British Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [32]
RMS Lusitania
  • Dr. Fred Stark Pearson, American 1st Class Passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [33]
  • Mrs. Mabel Pearson, American 1st Class Passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [33]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Norman Cecil Pearson, American Seaman Second Class from California, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [34]
  • Mr. Robert Stanley Pearson, American Fireman Third Class from Montana, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [34]


Suggested Readings for the name Pearson +

  • Northern Neck Families: The Ancestors of Susan Frances Chapman: Alexander, Chapman, and Pearson by Brian Joe Lobley Berry.
  • 100 Years of Pearsons: The Descendants of John and Johanna Pearson who Emigrated from Sweden to America in April 1889 by Frederick John Pearson.

  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. Print.
  3. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  8. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  9. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  10. ^ https://statistique.quebec.ca/fr/document/noms-de-famille-au-quebec/tableau/les-1-000-premiers-noms-de-famille-selon-le-rang-quebec
  11. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  12. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  13. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  14. ^ Barbados archives retrieved 2nd November 2021. (https://attheBarbadosarchives.wordpress.com/2003/07/18/Barbados-heritage-passenger-lists-and-Barbados-departures/)
  15. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_new_york_1820_1891.pdf
  16. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  17. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 51)
  18. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1820 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1820
  19. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  20. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  21. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  22. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  23. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2014, March 26) LeRoy Pearson. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Pearson/LeRoy/USA.html
  24. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  25. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  26. ^ List Of Miners - Hillcrest Mine Disaster Data. (Retrieved 2014, June 24) . Retrieved from http://www.hillcrestminedisaster.com/data/index.php?title=List_Of_Miners
  27. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  28. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  29. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  30. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  31. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  32. ^ 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
  33. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  34. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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