Percival History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Percival is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Percival family lived in Somerset. The name, however, is a reference to one of two towns named Percevill, in Calvados, Normandy, where the family lived prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

Early Origins of the Percival family

The surname Percival was first found in Somerset. "Robert, Lord of Breherval, in Normandy, and his son Ascelin Gouel de Percival, both fought under the Norman banner at Hastings, and both obtained many extensive manors in the conquered country. " [1]

Another source ventures into more detail. "Sir Richard, the fifth and youngest son of William Lupellus or Louvel and the only one of his brothers who transmitted the original surname of De Percheval or Perceval to his posterity, was portioned by his father with lands in Stawel in Somerset, and many other estates, which descended to his posterity, the successive lords of Weston-in-Gordano. This Sir Richard de Perceval attended King Richard I in his expedition into Palestine, A.D. 1190, where, being a person of uncommon strength and valour, he dis­tinguished himself in several fierce engagements. In one of them, it is said, that having lost his leg, he undauntedly continued on horseback till he also lost his arm, and that even then, with the horse's bridle in his teeth, he persisted to deal slaughter round him till he fell by loss of blood. Notwithstanding this tradition, it is certain that he lived to return home, and was buried in the church of Weston, under a superb monument which was destroyed in the civil wars of the seventeenth century." [2]

Eluding to the aforementioned Normandy reference, we found early records of the family in Camborne, Cornwall, one of the first points of land in England from Normandy. "The altar-piece, [at Camborne Church] which is exceedingly magnificent, is of Sienna marble. This was erected in the year 1761, at the expence of Samuel Percival, Esq. whose lady brought to him the inheritance of Pendarves. By Mrs. Grace Percival, the lady of the above Samuel Percival, Esq. a school was founded for the instruction of twelve boys and eight girls, in reading, writing, and arithmetic." [3]

Early History of the Percival family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Percival research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1089, 1550, 1620, 1561, 1601, 1550, 1515, 1501, 1605, 1647, 1625, 1628, 1629, 1641, 1642, 1661, 1661, 1683, 1748, 1733, 1261, 1285 and 1312 are included under the topic Early Percival History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Percival Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Percival has been recorded under many different variations, including Perceval, Percival, Percevale, Percivall and others.

Early Notables of the Percival family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Perceval (1550-1620), English colonist and politician, was eldest son of George Perceval or Percival (1561-1601), a large landed proprietor of Somerset. John Perceval ( fl. 1550) was a Carthusian author who studied philosophy at both Oxford and Cambridge. Another John Percival (d. 1515?) took the degree of divinity at Oxford about 1501, and became shortly afterwards forty-seventh provincial of the Franciscans in England. Sir Philip Perceval (1605-1647), was an English politician from Tickenham, Somerset. After his father and older brother's death he moved to the family estates in Ireland. "In 1625 he was made keeper...
Another 168 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Percival Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Percival family to Ireland

Some of the Percival family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 118 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Percival migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Percivals were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Percival Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Percival, who landed in Virginia in 1653 [4]
  • Henry and Elizabeth Percival, who settled in Virginia in 1654
  • Eliz Percival, who landed in Virginia in 1654 [4]
  • Thomas Percival, who settled in Barbados in 1694
  • Andrew Percival, who arrived in Carolina in 1696 [4]
Percival Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Percival, aged 43, who arrived in New York in 1812 [4]
  • George Percival, aged 72, who arrived in Virginia in 1812 [4]
  • John Percival, aged 27, who landed in Virginia in 1812 [4]
  • Joseph Percival, aged 23, who arrived in New York in 1812 [4]
  • Carrie Percival, aged 19, who immigrated to the United States from Southampton, in 1897
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Percival Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Anne E. Percival, aged 30, who settled in America from Wexford, in 1903
  • Annie Percival, aged 31, who landed in America from Bedford, in 1904
  • Alice Percival, aged 25, who immigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1907
  • Chas. A. S. Percival, aged 25, who landed in America from Bournemouth, England, in 1907
  • Chas. Henry Percival, aged 28, who immigrated to the United States from Cellridge, Ireland, in 1907
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Percival migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Percival Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Percival, aged 30, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815

Australia Percival migration to Australia +

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

Percival Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Percival, (b. 1791), aged 24, English blacksmith who was convicted in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England for life for house robbery, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1839 [5]
  • Mr. John Percival, English convict who was convicted in London, England for life, transported aboard the "Asiatic" on 5th June 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Thomas Percival, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. John Percival, Jr., English convict who was convicted in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. James Percival who was convicted in Surrey, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 4th August 1836, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Percival migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Percival Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • A. G. Percival, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Surge" in 1855
  • Miss Emily Percival, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Lincoln" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 19th July 1867 [10]
  • Miss Mary A. Percival, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Lincoln" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 19th July 1867 [10]
  • William Percival, aged 30, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1875
  • Aubrey Percival, aged 14, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1875
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Percival (post 1700) +

  • Troy Percival (b. 1969), American retired Major League Baseball pitcher
  • James Gates Percival (1795-1854), American poet
  • Loren Percival, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Colebrook, 1833-34 [11]
  • Lewis H. Percival, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in SAINT Martin, 1884; U.S. Vice Commercial Agent (Vice Consul) in SAINT Christopher, 1897 [11]
  • James Percival, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Livingston County, 1831 [11]
  • Gerald E. Percival, American politician, Mayor of Malvern, Arkansas, 1959 [11]
  • Thomas Percival (1740-1804), English physician
  • Launcelot Jefferson Percival KVCO (1869-1941), Anglican priest who served in the Ecclesiastical Households of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V, King Edward VIII and King George VI
  • John "Mad Jack" Percival (1779-1862), American legendary officer in the United States Navy, eponym of the USS Percival (DD-298), and the Percival (DD–452)
  • Lance Percival (b. 1933), British actor and comedian
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Stanley E P Percival (b. 1920), English Stoker 2nd Class serving for the Royal Navy from Plumstead, London, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [12]


The Percival 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: Sub cruce candida
Motto Translation: Under the white cross.


  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  3. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1826 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1826
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  12. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm


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