Pellam History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Pellam surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in the region of Pelham. Pellam is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties.

Early Origins of the Pellam family

The surname Pellam was first found in Hertfordshire at either Brent Pelham, Furneux Pelham or Stocking Pelham. Today they form the civil parish of Brent Pelham and Meesden. They date back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where they were listed as Peleham. [1]

The place name literally means "homestead of a man called Peola." [2] Barndepelham was listed in 1230; Stokenepelham in 1235 and Pelham Furnelle in 1240. The prefixes literally mean "burnt, destroyed by fire" for the Old English word "baerned" and "made of logs" for the Old English word "stoccen." [2]

The latter was from the de Fornellis family who lived there in the 13th century. Pelham's Lands or Pelhams Land is in the union of Boston, wapentake of Kirton, near the town of Boston, Lincolnshire. [3]

The Pipe Rolls of 1170 in Hertfordshire listed Ralph de Pelham and Peter de Pelham was later found in the Assize Rolls for Cheshire in 1260. Gloucestershire records show William Pelham there in 1350. [4]

More early records of the family were found in the parish of Laughton in Sussex. "This parish, which is situated on the road from Lewes to Hastings, has been for ages the property of the Pelham family, earls of Chichester, whose ancient manorial mansion of Laughton Place, erected in 1534, is still remaining." [3]

Of particular note was Thomas Pelham, 1st Baron Pelham of Laughton Bt (1653-1712.) He was the father of two British prime ministers Henry Pelham and Thomas Pelham-Holles, commonly known as the Duke of Newcastle.

Early History of the Pellam family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pellam research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1065, 1556, 1429, 1540, 1624, 1597, 1654, 1650, 1653, 1712, 1694, 1754, 1743, 1693, 1768, 1695, 1751, 1721, 1805, 1748, 1806, 1695, 1751, 1756, 1587, 1606, 1486, 1538, 1602 and 1603 are included under the topic Early Pellam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pellam Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Pellam include Pelham, Pellam and others.

Early Notables of the Pellam family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John de Pelham (died 1429), Treasurer of England, son of Sir John Pelham, a Sussex knight who fought in the wars of Edward III in France; Sir Thomas Pelham, 1st Baronet (c.1540-1624), Member of Parliament for Lewes, Surrey, and Sussex; Sir Thomas Pelham, 2nd Baronet (1597-c.1654), Member of Parliament for East Grinstead and Sussex; Sir Peregrine Pelham (died 1650), an English Member of Parliament and one of the regicides of King Charles I, 20th of the 59 signatories on the death warrant of the King; Thomas Pelham, 1st Baron Pelham (1653-1712) and his...
Another 103 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pellam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Pellam family to Ireland

Some of the Pellam family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 147 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Pellam migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Pellam Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jo Pellam, aged 20, who landed in New England in 1635 [5]
  • Penelopy Pellam, aged 16, who arrived in New England in 1635 [5]


The Pellam 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: Vincit amore patria
Motto Translation: My beloved country will conquer.


  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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ 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)


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