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Cornwall in southwestern England provides the original birthplace of the surname Penrose. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People at the time that surnames first came into use. Local surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Penrose history began in the village of Penrose in the county of Cornwall.

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The surname Penrose was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

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 Penrose, Penrows, Penrowes and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Penrose research. Another 141 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Penrose History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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More information is included under the topic Early Penrose Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Penrose family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 45 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Penrose:

Penrose Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Penrose settled in Maine in 1622
  • Priscilla Penrose, who landed in Maryland in 1671

Penrose Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Bartholomew Penrose, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1700
  • Christopher Penrose, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1717
  • Joe Penrose and his wife Elizabeth settled in Georgia in 1732
  • John Penrose, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1733

Penrose Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William Penrose, who arrived in America in 1810
  • John, Thomas, and William Penrose all arrived in Philadelphia in 1855

Penrose Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Isaac Penrose, who arrived in Canada in 1828
  • Yarnel Penrose, who landed in Canada in 1828
  • Joseph Penrose, who arrived in Canada in 1836

Penrose Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • William Penrose, aged 38, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Lysander"
  • Robert Penrose, aged 31, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Omega"
  • William Penrose, aged 21, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Rodney"
  • Thomas Penrose, aged 22, a miner, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Lady Macdonald"
  • Richard Penrose, aged 20, a miner, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Lady Macdonald"
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Penrose Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • William Penrose, aged 36, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
  • Margaret Penrose, aged 36, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
  • William Penrose, aged 8, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
  • Richard J. Penrose, aged 6, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
  • Nanny Penrose, aged 6, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
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  • William Penrose, American politician, Representative from Ohio 15th District, 1880
  • Spencer Penrose (1865-1939), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Colorado, 1904 (alternate), 1916
  • R. A. F. Penrose, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Arizona Territory, 1900
  • Neville Penrose, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1952, 1964 (alternate)
  • John J. Penrose, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Connecticut 3rd District, 1882
  • Emlen Griffith Penrose (1844-1930), American Republican politician, Member of Iowa State Senate, 1893; Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Iowa, 1900, 1904
  • Charles Bingham Penrose (1798-1857), American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate, 1833-41, 1857; Delegate to Whig National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1839
  • Boies Penrose (1860-1921), American Republican politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Philadelphia County 8th District, 1885-86; Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 6th District, 1887-98
  • Sir Roger Penrose OM, FRS (b. 1931), English mathematical physicist and co-winner of the 1988 Wolf Prize in Physics
  • Sir Roland Penrose CBE (1900-1984), English artist, historian and poet
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Penrose Historic Events



RMS Titanic

  • Mr. John Poole Penrose (d. 1912), aged 49, English Bedroom Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
    3. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
    4. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
    5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    6. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
    7. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
    8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    9. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
    10. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
    11. ...

    The Penrose Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Penrose 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 15 May 2016 at 11:49.

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