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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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The surname Pettus was first found in Norfolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Rackheath, held by Godric, steward of the King who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Pettus, Pettous, Petous, Petus, Pettous, Pettes and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pettus research. Another 241 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1542, 199), 1523, 1597, 1566, 1590, 1st , 1654, 1671, 1640, 1698, 1672, 1731, 1743 and 1772 are included under the topic Early Pettus History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Pettus (1523-1597) who was Sheriff (1566) and then Mayor (1590), of the city of Norwich; Sir Thomas Pettus, 1st Baronet (d. 1654) of Rackheath in the County of Norfolk, High...

Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pettus Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pettus Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Theodore Pettus, who arrived in Virginia in 1622-1623
  • Thomas Pettus, who landed in Virginia in 1638
  • Eliz Pettus, who arrived in Virginia in 1657
  • Stephen Pettus, who landed in Virginia in 1664

Pettus Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Pettus, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1858
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  • William Thomas "Bill" Pettus (1884-1924), African-American baseball first baseman in the Cuban League and Negro Leagues
  • Terry Pettus (1904-1984), American newspaper reporter and activist based in Seattle, Washington
  • William Grymes Pettus (1794-1867), American politician
  • Edmund Winston Pettus (1821-1907), American lawyer, soldier, and legislator
  • John J Pettus (1813-1867), American politician, member of the Democratic party, he was Governor of the state of Mississippi
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Citations



  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  7. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  8. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  9. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Pettus Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pettus 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 13 February 2015 at 21:07.

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