Piercy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Piercy reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Piercy family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Piercy family lived in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. They claim the same ancestry as Tesson and Marmion in Normandy, both relatively rare names today. One of the oldest records was Ralph Tesson who was found in Anjou in the 10th century. He acquired a barony in Normandy and founded the abbey of Fontenay. From this House, descended the Marmions, of whom William Marmilon on Fontenay (a Tesson estate) was listed. It is generally thought that the Percys probably derive from Ernegis Tesson. [1] "The arms of these families show their common origin." All bear a fesse with the Percys having a fesse indented. [1]

Early Origins of the Piercy family

The surname Piercy was first found in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire where "William de Perci, who with his brother Serlo, assisted in the Conquest of England, appears in the Domesday [Book] as tenant in capite in many counties, especially in those of York and Lincoln.

Perci is the name of a parish and canton near St. Lo, in Normandy, the ancient fief on the family." [2] Sawley in the West Riding of Yorkshire was an early home to the family. "It belonged to a Cistercian abbey in honour of the Blessed Virgin, founded here in 1146, by William de Percy, and the revenue of which, at the Dissolution, was estimated at £221." [3]

Thirsk in the North Riding of Yorkshire was home to another branch of the family. "In the reign of Henry VII., during a popular commotion, Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, and lieutenant of this county, is said to have been put to death here, beneath a very ancient elm-tree, which formerly grew on Elm Green." [3]

Again in North Yorkshire, more early records of the family were found in the parish of Lofthouse. "This place, in the Domesday Survey Lochtushum, was granted by the Conqueror to Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, who soon afterwards transferred it to the Percy family, of whom William de Percy, the third Baron, in 1133 founded at Handall, in the parish, a priory for Benedictine nuns." [3]

And yet another branch of the family was found in Wressel in the East Riding of Yorkshire. "Wressel Castle was built by Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester, who was made prisoner at the battle of Shrewsbury, and afterwards beheaded; this once princely mansion continued to be a seat of the family till the reign of Charles I., when it was dismantled by order of the parliament." [3]

Early History of the Piercy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Piercy research. Another 378 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1403, 1364, 1403, 1403, 1343, 1403, 1560, 1560, 1605, 1341, 1408, 1362, 1367, 1564, 1632, 1586, 1631, 1602, 1668, 1646, 1690, 1667 and 1722 are included under the topic Early Piercy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Piercy Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Piercy family name include Percy, Percie and others.

Early Notables of the Piercy family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Henry Percy (1364-1403), commonly known as Sir Harry Hotspur, slain leading the losing side at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403; and Thomas Percy, 1st Earl of Worcester, (1343-1403), English medieval nobleman best known for taking part in the rebellion with his nephew Henry Percy, known as 'Harry Hotspur', with his elder brother, Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland Alan Percy (died 1560), was Master of St. John's College, Cambridge, third son of Henry Percy, fourth Earl of Northumberland. Thomas Percy (c.1560-1605), was a member of the Gunpowder Plot. Henry Percy, 1st Earl...
Another 125 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Piercy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Piercy Ranking

In the United States, the name Piercy is the 6,300th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [4]

United States Piercy migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Piercy family to immigrate North America:

Piercy Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Marmaduke Piercy, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1637 [5]
Piercy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Francis Piercy, who landed in Georgia in 1735 [5]

Canada Piercy migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Piercy Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Piercy, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749

New Zealand Piercy migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Piercy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Piercy, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gypsy" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 9th October 1846 [6]
  • James Piercy, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Abeona" in 1878

Contemporary Notables of the name Piercy (post 1700) +

  • Andrew Josiah Piercy (1855-1932), American Major League Baseball infielder who played two games for the Chicago White Stockings in 1881
  • Charles W. Piercy (1833-1861), American Democratic Party politician, killed in the last political duel in California
  • Catherine "Kitty" Piercy (b. 1942), American politician, Mayor of Eugene, Oregon (2005-)
  • William Benton Piercy (1896-1951), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1917 through 1926
  • Scott Piercy (b. 1978), American professional PGA golfer
  • Marge Piercy (b. 1936), American poet, novelist, and social activist, best known for her New York Times bestseller Gone to Soldiers
  • Willis Duff Piercy (1874-1918), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Illinois State Senate; Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1916 [7]
  • William B. Piercy Jr., American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1956 [7]
  • Henry C. Piercy, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 11th District, 1904 [7]
  • Charles W. Piercy, American politician, Member of California State Assembly 1st District, 1861-62 [7]
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Piercy 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: Esperance en Dieu
Motto Translation: Hope in God.

  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html

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