Pendragon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The notable Pendragon family arose among the Cornish People, a race with a rich Celtic heritage and an indomitable fighting spirit who inhabited the southwest of England. While surnames were well-known during the English medieval period, Cornish People originally used only a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames came into common use is interesting. As the population of medieval Europe multiplied, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Patronymic surnames were derived from given names and were the predominant type of surname among the Celtic peoples of Britain. However, the people of Cornwall provide a surprising exception to this rule, and patronymic surnames are less common among them than other people of Celtic stock, such as their Welsh neighbors. This is due to the greater influence of English bureaucracy and naming practices in Cornwall at the time that surnames first arose. This type of surname blended perfectly with the prevailing Feudal System. One feature that is occasionally found in Cornish surnames of this type is the suffix -oe or -ow; this is derived from the Cornish plural suffix -ow. is a patronymic surname that came from the personal name Henry, which itself is derived from the ancient Germanic name Heinrich, which is composed of the elements heim, meaning home, and ric, meaning power.
Early Origins of the Pendragon family
The surname Pendragon was first found in Cornwall at "Pen-tre, Pendre, or Pendray, [which] gave its name to a family thence called Pendray, so early as the reign of Henry VI." 
Early History of the Pendragon family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pendragon research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1547, 1641 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Pendragon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Pendragon Spelling Variations
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and 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 of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Pendred, Pendridge, Pendreigh, Pendreth and others.
Early Notables of the Pendragon family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Pendragon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Pendragon family to Ireland
Some of the Pendragon family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Pendragon family
Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Pendragon: Robert Pendred settled in Barbados in 1635; James Pendrick settled in Virginia in 1729; Will Pendrick settled in Georgia in 1744.
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The Pendragon 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: Nosce teipsum
Motto Translation: Know thyself.
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print