Peverills History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Peverills family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Nottingham and Derbyshire.

However there is still mystery about the origin of the name as this noted author attests: "This family is said to have been possessed of Tinchebrai in Normandy : but the name is clearly not territorial, as we never find the Norman 'de' prefixed to it. "Sir William Pole, speaking of the branch settled in Devonshire, says it was Peverell, or Piperell ; and in Domesday we find it continually spelt Piperellus : Terra Ranulfi Piperellus. This does not, however, illustrate its derivation. I have a fancy-I confess that it is but a fancy-that, like Meschinus and similar appellations, it had a personal signification ; and that it is a corruption of Puerulus, which is almost identical with Peuerellus, as we find it written in the Anglo-Norman Pipe and Plea Roll."-J. R. Planche.

"Ralph and William Peverel are both found among the tenants in capite of Domesday, but very unequally portioned. While Ralph's barony comprised sixty-four knights' fees, William held one hundred and sixty-two, including the Honour and forest of the Peke in Derbyshire, with the greater part of the town of Nottingham. He was likewise entrusted with the custody of its castle, then newly built " on the site of the old Danish fort that had previously crested the dolorous rock' (as it is called by an ancient writer) overhanging the river Lean."-J. R. Planche.

Early Origins of the Peverills family

The surname Peverills was first found in Nottingham and Derbyshire where the family can be traced back to William Peverel, (c. 1040-c. 1115) "a natural son of William the Conqueror, who entered England at the Conquest, and received as his share of one hundred and sixty-two manors, many of which were in these two counties." [1]

William Peverell the Elder was allegedly the illegitimate son of William the Conqueror by a Saxon princess named Maud Ingelrica. "The liberal-minded monarch, who assumed in his charters the veritable title of 'Gulielmus Bastardus,' was not likely to let his son's illegitimacy be any bar to the course of his royal favour, when the laws of England were issued from the mouth of the Norman victor, and the lands of the Saxons were at his unlimited disposal. William Peveril obtained a liberal grant of property and lordships in Derbyshire, and became the erector of that Gothic fortress, which, hanging over the mouth of the Devil's Cavern, so well known to tourists, gives the name of Castleton to the adjacent village. " [2]

"Ermington, [Devon] was a market-town under a grant made in 1294. The manor and hundred had been given by Henry I. to Matilda Peverell. Strachleigh was the seat of a family of that name for ten descents from the reign of Henry III. The last of the name died in 1583. The manor of Holbeton passed, with that of Ermington, to Matilda Peverell. " [3]

"The village of Sampford Peverell [Devon], described in old records as a borough, had a somewhat considerable woollen manufacture. Named from its ancient lords, the Peverells, it was some time in the Dinhams and the Paulets. One of its owners was Margaret, Countess of Richmond, mother of Henry VII., who is said to have lived here, and built the south aisle of the church, which contains the defaced effigy of a crusader, supposed to be Sir Hugh Peverell, 1259. "[3]

"At the time of the Norman survey, [Debden, Essex] belonged to Ralph Peverel; and, reverting to the crown, it was given by Henry II. to his son John, afterwards king of England." [4] The reason as to why this family seat was lost is not known.

Later some of the family were found further south in Bodmin, Cornwall. "It appears that the bodies of two of its principal benefactors, Sir Hugh and Sir Thomas Peverell, of Park in Egloshayle, were buried in this friary church." [5]

Early History of the Peverills family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Peverills research. Another 158 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1080, 1155, 1088, 1150, 1155, 1419, 1395, 1398, 1398, 1407, 1407, 1419, 1351 and 1377 are included under the topic Early Peverills History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Peverills Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Peverills were recorded, including Peverell, Peverill, Peverley, Peverly, Littleboys and others.

Early Notables of the Peverills family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Baron William Peverell (fl. 1155), of Nottingham, son or grandson of William Peverell the Elder. Thomas Peverell (died 1419) was an English prelate, Bishop of Ossory...
Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Peverills Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Peverills family

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Peverills arrived in North America very early: John Peverley settled in Maine in 1626; Rebecca Peverley and her husband settled in Virginia in 1772.



  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print


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