Perryman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The birthplace of the surname Perryman is Cornwall, a rugged peninsula in southwestern England that is noted for its strong Gaelic traditions. Even though the usage of surnames was common during the Middle Ages, all English people were known only by a single name in early times. The process by which hereditary surnames came to be used is intriguing. As the number of inhabitants of Europe swelled, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify them. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Although nickname surnames were rare among the Cornish, they did occasionally adopt names that reflected the physical characteristics or other attributes of the original bearer of the name. The name Perryman is a nickname type of surname for a servant employed by someone named Perry. Perry is a derivative of the ancient Biblical name Peter, meaning rock.

Early Origins of the Perryman family

The surname Perryman was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. By the 12th century the family had affected the Normanization of their surname to De Puryham, but it is more likely to be of Dumnonian origin, although undoubtedly that spelling is incorrect.

From Puryham the name became Perriam, and then Periam, and then Peryman, then Perriman. There is no evidence that the name Perryman has any connection whatsoever with the wine, perry, a maker or seller of perry. [1]

There is solid evidence, however, that Periam and Perryman are connected, both bearing a similar family name Coat of Arms from about the 15th century. This whole group of names are most likely connected with the Cornish St. Perran as we shall see later in this treatise.

Early History of the Perryman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Perryman research. Another 235 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1237, 1593, 1534, 1604 and 1551 are included under the topic Early Perryman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Perryman Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Perryman, Peryman, Perriman, Periman, Perrieman, Perieman, Perreman, Pereman, Peryam, Perriam, Periam, Puryham and many more.

Early Notables of the Perryman family (pre 1700)

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

United States Perryman migration to the United States +

Study of Passenger and Immigration lists has revealed that among early immigrants bearing the Perryman surname were:

Perryman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Perryman, who settled in Nevis in 1670
  • Richard Perryman with his wife and daughter Anne who settled in Barbados in 1679
Perryman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Perryman, who arrived in New York in 1847 [2]

Australia Perryman migration to Australia +

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

Perryman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Perryman, English convict from Somerset, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [3]
  • James Perryman, English convict from Maidstone, Kent, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [4]
  • Zachariah Perryman, aged 24, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Cheapside" [5]
  • L. Perryman, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cheapside" in 1849 [5]
  • Thomas Perryman, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Stebonheath" in 1849 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Perryman 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:

Perryman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Perryman, aged 22, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dilharree" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Perryman (post 1700) +

  • Emmett Key Perryman (1888-1966), American professional baseball player
  • Louis Byron Perryman (1941-2009), American character actor
  • Robert Lewis Perryman (b. 1964), former professional American football running back
  • Mike Van Perryman, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1924 [7]
  • Stephen Peter Perryman (b. 1955), former English cricketer
  • Stephen John "Steve" Perryman (b. 1951), English football player and manager, awarded the MBE
  • Jill Perryman (b. 1933), Australian stage actress and singer
  • Sir Michael Perryman Heathcote (1927-2007), 11th Baronet of Hursley

HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Richard Severn Perryman (1919-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Leederville, Western Australia, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [8]
HMS Cornwall
  • Horace Claude Perryman (d. 1942), British Corporal aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [9]

  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. ^ 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)
  3. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Argyle voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1831 with 251 passengers. Retrieved from
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The CHEAPSIDE 1849. Retrieved from
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STEBONHEATH 1849. Retrieved from
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 9) . Retrieved from
  8. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from
  9. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from on Facebook
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