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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, Irish, Scottish

Where did the English Petty family come from? What is the English Petty family crest and coat of arms? When did the Petty family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Petty family history?

The ancestors of the Petty family lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Petty was a name given to a small person. The surname Petty originally derived from the Old French word Petit which referred to small or tiny. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.


Petty has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Pettey, Petty, Pettie, Pety, Petie and others.

First found in Warwickshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times as Lords of the Manor of Ilmington conjecturally descended from the land holder recorded in the Domesday Book survey taken in 1086 A.D., as being held by Alric the pre-conquest holder from Robert of Stafford.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Petty research. Another 295 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1124, 1296, 1395, 1382, 1623, 1583, 1639, 1628, 1629, 1621, 1661, 1660, 1623 and 1687 are included under the topic Early Petty History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 121 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Petty Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Petty family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 63 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Pettys to arrive on North American shores:

Petty Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • William Petty settled in Barbados in 1660
  • William Petty settled in West New Jersey in 1664
  • Lawrence Petty, who landed in Virginia in 1664
  • Elizabeth Petty settled in Delaware Bay in 1679
  • Sir William Petty settled in Pennsylvania in 1682

Petty Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • William Petty, who arrived in New Jersey in 1704
  • Chr Petty, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • John Petty settled in Grenada in 1774

Petty Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • George Petty, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1835
  • Robert Petty, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1835
  • Thomas K Petty, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1868

Petty Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Jane Petty, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Petty, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

Petty Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • William Petty, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • John Petty arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Princess Royal" in 1848
  • William Petty Jr., English convict from Worcester, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on April 16, 1855, settling in Western Australia
  • Joseph Petty, aged 38, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Oriental,"

Petty Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • W. Petty arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1871
  • J. Petty arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1871
  • H. Petty arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1871
  • C. Petty arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1871
  • Emma Petty, aged 25, a maid, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British Queen" in 1883


  • Thomas Earl "Tom" Petty (b. 1950), American rock musician and songwriter, founder of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the Traveling Wilburys
  • Richard Petty (b. 1937), former NASCAR racer and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Lori Petty (b. 1963), American film and television actress
  • Norman Petty (1927-1984), American musician, songwriter, and pioneer record producer
  • Lieutenant Orlando Henderson Petty (1874-1932), American physician and naval officer awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War I
  • Kyle Eugene Petty (b. 1960), retired American NASCAR driver
  • Mr. Edwin Henry Petty (d. 1912), aged 25, English Bedroom Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett
  • Dini Petty (b. 1945), Canadian television and radio host


  • The Petty-Pettis Genealogy: Descendants of John Petty of Springfield, Massachusetts, 1668 by Robert Joseph Curfman.
  • Petty: A Genealogy Record and Short History of the Descendants of John Petty and Loveday Kent Petty by George Bell.
  • Petty, of England & Virginia by Gerald McKinney Petty.


  1. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The Petty Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Petty 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 3 April 2015 at 22:09.

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