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

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

The name Percy reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Percy family lived in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. They claim the same ancestry as Tesson and Marmion in Normandy, both relatively rare names today. One of the oldest records was Ralph Tesson who was found in Anjou in the 10th century. He acquired a barony in Normandy and founded the abbey of Fontenay. From this House, descended the Marmions, of whom William Marmilon on Fontenay (a Tesson estate) was listed. It is generally thought that the Percys probably derive from Ernegis Tesson. [1] "The arms of these families show their common origin." All bear a fesse with the Percys having a fesse indented. [1]

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Percy include Percy, Percie and others.

First found in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire where "William de Perci, who with his brother Serlo, assisted in the Conquest of England, appears in the Domesday [Book] as tenant in capite in many counties, especially in those of York and Lincoln. Perci is the name of a parish and canton near St. Lo, in Normandy, the ancient fief on the family." [2]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Percy research. Another 405 words(29 lines of text) covering the years 1403, 1364, 1403, 1403, 1343, 1403, 1560, 1605, 1341, 1408, 1362, 1367, 1564, 1632, 1586, 1631, 1602, 1668, 1646, 1690, 1667 and 1722 are included under the topic Early Percy History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 385 words(28 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Percy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Percys to arrive on North American shores:

Percy Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Abraham Percy, who arrived in Virginia in 1616
  • George Percy, who landed in Virginia in 1632
  • Edward Percy, who arrived in Virginia in 1633
  • Robert Percy settled in Virginia in 1634
  • Annis Percy settled in Barbados in 1635


Percy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • John Percy, who landed in Virginia in 1713
  • Francis Percy, who arrived in Georgia in 1735

Percy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Barnd Elliott Percy, aged 26, arrived in South Carolina in 1812
  • Thomas Percy, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

Percy Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Charles Percy, who landed in Canada in 1841

Percy Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Percy, aged 54, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Thomas Arbuthnot"
  • Richard S. Percy, aged 24, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Thomas Arbuthnot"
  • Rodger Percy, aged 26, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Thomas Arbuthnot"
  • Anne Percy, aged 16, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Thomas Arbuthnot"
  • Harriet Percy, aged 19, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Thomas Arbuthnot"


Percy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Hewlett Percy, aged 40, a carpenter, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • Esther Percy, aged 39, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • Joseph Henry Percy, aged 19, a carpenter, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • Elizabeth Percy, aged 16, a dressmaker, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • Henry James Percy, aged 7, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842


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  • Hugh Earl Percy (1742-1817), Duke of Northumberland and Brigadier General in the Battle of Lexington and Concord in the American Revolutionary War
  • Charles Harting "Chuck" Percy (b. 1919), American Chairman of the Bell & Howell Corporation from 1949 to 1964 and United States Senator from Illinois from 1967 to 1985
  • William Alexander Percy (1885-1942), American poet and writer
  • LeRoy Percy (1860-1929), United States Senator from Mississippi from 1910 to 1913
  • Thomas Percy (1729-1811), English poet, Bishop of Dromore, editor of the Tatler, the Guardian, and the Spectator
  • Rex William Percy (1934-2015), New Zealand rugby league player, member of the New Zealand National Team in the 1957 World Cup
  • Vice-Admiral Josceline Percy (1784-1856), Royal Navy officer who went on to be Commander-in- chief, The Nore


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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: Esperance en Dieu
Motto Translation: Hope in God.

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  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. 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.
  9. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Percy Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Percy 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 24 June 2015 at 16:33.

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