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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Pepper family come from? What is the English Pepper family crest and coat of arms? When did the Pepper family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Pepper family history?

The founding heritage of the Pepper family is in the Anglo-Saxon culture that once dominated in Britain. The name Pepper comes from when one of the family worked as a spicer or seller of spices and/or pepper. Occupational names that were derived from the common trades of the medieval era transcended European cultural and linguistic boundaries. Occupational names have remained fairly commonplace in the modern period. This is attested to by the continuing appearance of occupational suffixes at the end of many English surnames. Some of these suffixes include: herd, monger, maker, hewer, smith and wright.


The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Pepper has been spelled many different ways, including Pepper, Peper and others.

First found in Leicestershire 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pepper research. Another 240 words (17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pepper History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Pepper Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Pepper family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 161 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Peppers to arrive in North America:

Pepper Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Gibert Pepper, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Richard Pepper and Mary Pepper, who settled in Massachusetts in 1634
  • Mary Pepper, aged 3, arrived in New England in 1634
  • Richard Pepper, aged 27, landed in New England in 1634
  • Michael Pepper, who landed in New England in 1642

Pepper Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Edward Pepper, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Edward Pepper, who settled with his family in New York in 1811
  • Hipolite Pepper, aged 18, arrived in New York in 1812
  • James Pepper, aged 28, landed in New York in 1812
  • Jane Pepper, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812

Pepper Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Pepper arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Emma" in 1837
  • John Pepper, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • William Pepper arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Thomas Lowry" in 1848
  • H. Pepper arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cheapside" in 1849
  • Henry Pepper, aged 38, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Cheapside"

Pepper Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Frederick Pepper arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1863


  • Curtis Bill Pepper (1917-2014), American journalist and author, Newsweek's Mediterranean bureau chief in Rome from 1957 to 1969
  • George Wharton Pepper (1867-1961), American lawyer, law professor, and Republican politician
  • William Pepper (1843-1898), Philadelphia physician and founder of the Free Library of Philadelphia
  • Wendy Pepper (b. 1964), American fashion designer
  • Jim Pepper (1941-1992), American jazz saxophonist, composer, and singer
  • Art Pepper (1925-1982), American jazz musician
  • Claude Denson Pepper (1900-1989), American Lawyer and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Edward Ernest Pepper (1879-1960), British gymnast who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics
  • Barry Pepper (b. 1970), Canadian actor


  • The History of the Pepper Family in America and Allied Lines by Florence Pepper Raya.
  • The Descendants and Some Ancestors of Luther Marvin Smith and his Wife, Ada Penn Pepper of Lincoln County, Mississippi by Charlie Rabb Ashford.

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  1. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. 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).
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  10. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  11. ...

The Pepper Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pepper 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 23 August 2015 at 04:50.

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