Penry History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The notable Penry 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 Penry family

The surname Penry 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." [1]

Important Dates for the Penry family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Penry research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1547, 1641 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Penry History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Penry 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 Penry family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Penry family to Ireland

Some of the Penry 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.

Penry migration to the United States

An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Penry:

Penry Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Erasmus Penry, who arrived in Virginia in 1661 [2]
  • Morgan Penry, who landed in Maryland in 1670 [2]
  • Margaret Penry, who landed in Maryland in 1671 [2]
  • Mary Penry, who arrived in Maryland in 1671 [2]
Penry Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Penry, aged 39, who arrived in New York in 1812 [2]

Penry migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Penry Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Penry, aged 29, a copper miner, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Tantivy"

Contemporary Notables of the name Penry (post 1700)

  • Walter G. Penry, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1972 [3]
  • Hilliard Penry, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from North Carolina, 1972 [3]
  • Andy Penry, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from North Carolina, 1996, 2000 (alternate) [3]

Citations

  1. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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