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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Irish

The Pendergrass surname belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are thought to have originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads in Normandy. In Ireland, the name was turned into a Gaelic form as de Priondragás; however, the name has also been replaced with MacSherone.


The surname Pendergrass was first found in Pembrokeshire (Welsh: Sir Benfro), a county in south-west Wales, anciently part of the Welsh kingdom of Deheubarth, where they held a family seat from early times and were Lords of the manor of Prendergast and estates in that shire. Maurice, Lord of Prendergast was a great friend and neighbor of Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke. He accompanied Strongbow in the Anglo\ Norman invasion of Ireland in 1172. He was summoned back to England by Henry II., in 1175 to escort the rebellious Robert, Earl of Essex, captive into Normandy in 1177. Upon his return to England he once again returned to Ireland and was rewarded with lands in Ireland in Waterford and south Mayo. [1]

Church officials and medieval scribes spelled names as they sounded; therefore, single person, could have his name spelt many different ways during their lifetime. While investigating the origins of the name Pendergrass, many spelling variations were encountered, including: Prendergast, Prendegast, Pendergast, Pendegast, Prendregast, Pendergrass, Pendergrist, Pender and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pendergrass research. Another 347 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1641, 1660, 1689, 1725, 1660, 1709, 1703 and 1710 are included under the topic Early Pendergrass History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pendergrass Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Ireland's Great Potato Famine left the country's inhabitants in extreme poverty and starvation. Many families left their homeland for North America for the promise of work, freedom and land ownership. Although the Irish were not free of economic and racial discrimination in North America, they did contribute greatly to the rapid development of bridges, canals, roads, and railways. Eventually, they would be accepted in other areas such as commerce, education, and the arts. An examination of immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Pendergrass:

Pendergrass Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Lawrence Pendergrass, who arrived in Virginia in 1715
  • John Pendergrass, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1765

Pendergrass Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Michael Pendergrass, who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • Patrick Pendergrass settled in Boston in 1847


  • Sean Pendergrass (b. 1972), American cartoonist, animator, writer, and storyboard artist, known for his work on Rugrats, The Wild Thornberry's, As Told by Ginger and many more
  • Shane Pendergrass (b. 1950), American Democratic politician, Member of the Maryland House of Delegates (1995-)
  • Theodore DeReese "Teddy" Pendergrass (1950-2010), American R&B/soul singer and songwriter


  • Pendergrass of Virginia and the Carolinas, 1669-1919 by Allen Pendergast.

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 veritas
Motto Translation: Truth conquers.


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  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  9. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  10. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  11. ...

The Pendergrass Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pendergrass Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 27 February 2016 at 06:54.

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