Perna History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Perna name is thought to be derived from the medieval female personal name "Peronel, Pernel, Parnell," which came from the Latin "Petronilla," or "Petronia," which was the name of an early Roman martyr. [1] Other sources suggest that the Perna name is a reference to Pernelle, Normandy, a place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. "Pernelle was near Valognes, Normandy." [2]

Early Origins of the Perna family

The surname Perna was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

The township of Poulton, with Spittal was once a family seat as the manor was once held by the Parnell family. [3]

By the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the family had scattered and entries were found as both a forename and surname: Petronilla de le Le in Oxfordshire; Pernel Clere in Huntingdonshire; William Peronel and Alexander Pernel in Cambridgeshire. [1] "The Parnells are now principally seated in Devon and Cornwall, but there are a few in Cambridgeshire." [4]

Early History of the Perna family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Perna research. Another 64 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1679 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Perna History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Perna Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Parnell, Parnel, Parnall and others.

Early Notables of the Perna family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Perna family to Ireland

Some of the Perna family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Perna migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Perna or a variant listed above:

Perna Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Monzo Perna, aged 35, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1829 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Perna (post 1700) +

  • Armando Perna (b. 1981), Italian football central defender


The Perna 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: Te digna sequere
Motto Translation: Follow worthy things.


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ 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)


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