Pettigree History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Pettigree comes from the ancient Norman culture that was established in Britain after the Conquest of 1066. It was a name for a small man. The name was originally derived from the Old French words "petit," meaning "small or little," and "cru," meaning "growth." Alternatively, the name could have be Anglo-French in origin from "pee de grue," meaning "foot of a crane." In this case, it would have been a nickname literally meaning "Crane-Foot." [1]

Another source notes the was at one time "Petygrerve," but he believed the name is in reality derived from the manor of Pettigrew, near Gerans, in Cornwall. [2]

On this latter source, we feel compelled to add the comments of P.H. Reaney: "The common belief that this name derives from a place in Cornwall is clearly untenable. There is no place of that name in that county, early forms have no preposition, and come from the eastern countries. Nor can the name be identical with 'pedigree' Fr: 'ped de grue' 'crane-foot'. " [3] While we are hesitant to give an added opinion to this squabble, we would add that we too could not find any place so named in Cornwall.

Reaney goes on to note that the first record of the name that he could find was in the Assize Rolls of Essex in 1227 where Andrew Peticruw was listed at that time. Richard and Roger Peticruw was listed in the Assize Rolls of Essex and Staffordshire in 1283 and 1298. [3]

Despite the aforementioned, the name is generally understood to have a closer affinity to Scotland than England as we shall explore later.

Early Origins of the Pettigree family

The surname Pettigree was first found in Lanarkshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) a former county in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland, now divided into the Council Areas of North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, and the City of Glasgow.

One of the first records of the name was Thomas Petykreu of the county of Lanark, who rendered homage to King Edward I of England in 1296. "John Petty grew witnessed the promulgation of a papal bull at Linlithgow in 1461. A booth was leased to John Pedecrw in 1488 for half a mark, and the same year, as John Pethecrew, he was made a burgess of Lanark." [4]

Early History of the Pettigree family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pettigree research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1497, 1515, 1518, 1791, 1865 and are included under the topic Early Pettigree History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pettigree 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 Pettigrew, Pettegrew, Pettergrew and others.

Early Notables of the Pettigree family (pre 1700)

Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pettigree Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Pettigree family to Ireland

Some of the Pettigree family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 79 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Pettigree migration to Australia +

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

Pettigree Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Pettigree, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]


The Pettigree 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: Sine sole nihil
Motto Translation: Nothing without the sun.


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora


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