Peckham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Peckham is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Peckham family lived in Kent, at Peckham. The surname of derives from the Old English words pekke, indicating the top of a mountain or hill, and ham, meaning homestead or settlement, and distinguished the settlement by its proximity to a prominent peak.

Early Origins of the Peckham family

The surname Peckham was first found in Kent at either East Peckham or West Peckham. Both are villages that date back to the 10th century where they were collectively listed as Peccham. By the time of the Domesday Book of 1086, they were known as Pecheham [1] and were held by the Archbishop. At that time, there was a church, ten servants, one mill, and six acres of meadow.

Part of the manor of East Farleigh lay within what is now East Peckham which was held by Ralph Fitz Turold.

The place name literally means "homestead by a peak or hill." [2] Peckham was a hamlet, in the parish and union of Camberwell, E. division of the hundred of Brixton in Surrey, but is now a district in South-East London within the London Borough of Southwark. [3]

Early History of the Peckham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Peckham research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1272, 1230, 1292, 1279, 1292, 1346, 1400, 1372, 1377, 1383, 1388, 1388, 1380, 1389, 1608, 1572, 1615, 1673, 1654 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Peckham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Peckham Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Peckham, Pecham, Peckem, Peckam, Packham and others.

Early Notables of the Peckham family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Archbishop Peckham of Kent; John Peckham (1230-1292), English Archbishop of Canterbury (1279-1292); James Peckham (c.1346-1400), English politician, Member of Parliament for Kent 1372, 1377, 1383, 1388, and 1388, appointed Sheriff of Kent in...
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Peckham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Peckham migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Peckham name or one of its variants:

Peckham Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Peckham, who settled in Newport in Rhode Island in 1630
  • Joseph Peckham, who arrived in Newport, Rhode Island in 1644 [4]
Peckham Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • S Peckham, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]
  • E P Peckham, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]
  • J. N. A. Peckham, who arrived in San Francisco in 1852

Canada Peckham migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Peckham Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Isaac Peckham, who landed in Canada in 1840

Australia Peckham migration to Australia +

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

Peckham Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Peckham, (b. 1839), aged 38, Cornish laundress travelling aboard the ship "Dunbar Castle" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 18th October 1877 [5]

New Zealand Peckham 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:

Peckham Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Peckham, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875
  • Mary J. Peckham, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875
  • Mary E. Peckham, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875
  • Richard Peckham, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Peckham (post 1700) +

  • Major-General Howard Louis Peckham (1897-1972), American Chief of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (1954-1956) [6]
  • Joel B. Peckham Jr., American poet, scholar of American literature and a creative writer
  • Robert Francis Peckham (1920-1993), United States federal judge
  • Anthony Peckham, South African born American screenwriter and producer
  • Matt C. Peckham (b. 1972), American journalist, critic, and columnist
  • Rufus Wheeler Peckham (1838-1909), Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
  • Elizabeth Maria Gifford Peckham (1854-1940), early American teacher, taxonomist, ethologist, arachnologist, and entomologist, specializing in animal behavior and in the study of jumping spiders (Salticidae) and wasps
  • George William Peckham (1845-1914), early American teacher, taxonomist, ethologist, arachnologist, and entomologist, specializing in animal behavior and in the study of jumping spiders (Salticidae) and wasps
  • George A. Peckham, American Democrat politician, Member of Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee, 1922; First Selectman of Suffield, Connecticut, 1922 [7]
  • F. D. Peckham, American politician, Member of South Dakota State Senate 11th District, 1917-18 [7]
  • ... (Another 24 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Leonard M Peckham (b. 1922), English Ordinary Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Fratton, Portsmouth, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [8]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Howard William Peckham, American Fireman Second Class from Missouri, 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 [9]

The Peckham 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: Tentanda via est
Motto Translation: The way must be tried.

  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 19). Emigrants to Australia NSW 1860 -88 [PDF]. Retrieved from
  6. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2014, March 26) Howard Peckham. Retrieved from
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from
  8. ^ 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
  9. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from on Facebook
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