Peverley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Peverley is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Peverley family 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 Peverley family

The surname Peverley 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 Peverley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Peverley 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 Peverley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Peverley Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Peverley include Peverell, Peverill, Peverley, Peverly, Littleboys and others.

Early Notables of the Peverley 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 Peverley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Peverley migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Peverleys to arrive on North American shores:

Peverley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Peverley, who settled in Maine in 1626
Peverley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • 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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