The Petiver family was an integral part of Britain's Norman legacy, a legacy that began in 1066 with the Conquest of the island. Petiver was a name given to a person who never tired of walking or a soldier who had lost his foot in battle. The name Petiver is an Anglicized form of the Old French word pedefer,
or pied de fer,
which means iron foot.
The family name Petiver was brought to England
after the Norman Conquest
, when William the Conqueror gave his friends and relatives most of the land formerly owned by Anglo-Saxon
aristocrats. They imported a vast number of Norman French personal names, which largely replaced traditional Old English personal names among the upper and middle classes.
Early Origins of the Petiver family
The surname Petiver was first found in Worcestershire
where, they held a family seat
after the Norman Conquest
by William the Conqueror in 1066 A.D., where the name meant literally "Petite" and "Fere," meaning "the little wild beast," a soubriquet which has been corrupted to Pettifer, although a distant relationship has been claimed to Potiphar, the Faro's Captain of the Guard.
Early History of the Petiver family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Petiver research.Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1760, 1665 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Petiver History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Petiver Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. When the Normans
became the ruling people of England
in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Pettifer, Pettipher, Petipher, Petifer, Petiver and many more.
Early Notables of the Petiver family (pre 1700)
Another 19 words (1 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Petiver Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Petiver family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England
. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Petiver or a variant listed above were: Elizabeth Pettiford settled in Maryland in 1720.