Penrith History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Welsh name Penrith go back to the ancient Celtic culture that existed in the hills and Moors of Wales. The forbears that initially held the name Penrith once lived in or near either the manor of Pen-rhys in the county of Glamorgan, or in one of the places called Penrose in Cornwall or Devon. [1] [2] The surname Penrith belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Penrith family

The surname Penrith was first found in Glamorganshire (Welsh: Sir Forgannwg), a region of South Wales, anciently part of the Welsh kingdom of Glywysing. Penrice Castle is a castle near Penrice, Swansea on the Gower Peninsula, Wales.

Later, some of the family were found in Worcestershire: "The old Worcestershire family of Penrice resided in the parish of Crowle in the first half of the 17th century; the name was probably taken from Penrice, a manor and castle in Glamorganshire. " [3]

The Cornish branch may be related to the surname Penrose as the name Penrice and Penrose were found there as early as the Pipe Rolls of 1195. [4]

Early History of the Penrith family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Penrith research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1692, 1777 and 1904 are included under the topic Early Penrith History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Penrith Spelling Variations

Although there are not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Penrith has seen various spelling variations: Penrice, Penrise and others.

Early Notables of the Penrith family (pre 1700)

Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Penrith Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Penrith family

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in search of land, work, and freedom. These immigrants greatly contributed to the rapid development of the new nations of Canada and the United States. They also added a rich and lasting cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Penrith: John Penrice settled in Virginia in 1623; Robert Penrise settled in Virginia in 1630; Lawrence Penrice settled in Virginia in 1751.



The Penrith 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: Tuto et celeriter
Motto Translation: Safely and quickly.


  1. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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