An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
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.  "The arms of these families show their common origin." All bear a fesse with the Percys having a fesse indented. 
The surname Percy was 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."  Sawley in the West Riding of Yorkshire was an early home to the family. "It belonged to a Cistercian abbey in honour of the Blessed Virgin, founded here in 1146, by William de Percy, and the revenue of which, at the Dissolution, was estimated at £221."  Thirsk in the North Riding of Yorkshire was home to another branch of the family. "In the reign of Henry VII., during a popular commotion, Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, and lieutenant of this county, is said to have been put to death here, beneath a very ancient elm-tree, which formerly grew on Elm Green."  And yet another branch of the family was found in Wressel in the East Riding of Yorkshire. "Wressel Castle was built by Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester, who was made prisoner at the battle of Shrewsbury, and afterwards beheaded; this once princely mansion continued to be a seat of the family till the reign of Charles I., when it was dismantled by order of the parliament." 
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.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Percy research. Another 605 words (43 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.
Another 385 words (28 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Percy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
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
Percy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Percy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Percy Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Percy Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Percy Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Percy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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.
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 9 March 2016 at 15:17.