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

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

The name Pierson reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Pierson family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Pierson is based on the French given name Pierre, which is equivalent to the English Peter.

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Pierson are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Pierson include Pearson, Peerson, Pierson, Peirson and others.

First found in Berwickshire where the name was derived as "son of Pier." Walter Pierson of Berwickshire rendered homage to King Edward I of England on his brief conquest of Scotland in 1296. However, some of the family were found at early times in Lancashire, specifically at the township of Shevington where "Crook Hall was the seat of the Pearsons." [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pierson research. Another 221 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1369, 1472, 1613, 1686, 1628, 1670, 1648, 1665, 1647, 1720, 1677, 1720, 1612, 1686, 1662, 1667 and are included under the topic Early Pierson History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 117 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pierson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Pierson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Pierson, or a variant listed above:

Pierson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Cuthbert Pierson settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Cutbert Pierson, who arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • Abraham Pierson, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1639
  • Abraham Pierson settled in New England in 1639
  • Henry Pierson, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1639


Pierson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Laurans Pierson, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738

Pierson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Jane Pierson, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Thomas Pierson, aged 38, landed in Maryland in 1812
  • William Pierson, aged 46, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Jacob Pierson, aged 34, landed in New York in 1812
  • Ole Pierson, aged 33, landed in New York, NY in 1837


Pierson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Joseph Pierson settled in Halifax Nova Scotia in 1774

Pierson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • James Pierson, aged 39, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Lord of the Isles"
  • Robert Pierson, aged 17, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Lord of the Isles"

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  • Major-General Albert Pierson (1899-1999), American Inspector-General of the Army (1957-1959)
  • Frank Romer Pierson (1925-2012), American Academy Award nominated screenwriter and film director
  • William Morris Pierson (1899-1959), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • William Harvey Pierson Jr. (1911-2008), American painter and art historian
  • David P. Pierson (1855-1922), American Major League Baseball player
  • George Wilson Pierson (1904-1993), American academic, historian, author and Learned Professor of History at Yale University
  • Shurron Pierson (b. 1982), former American football linebacker and defensive end
  • Melissa Holbrook Pierson (b. 1957), American writer and essayist of non-fiction
  • John Pierson (b. 1954), American independent filmmaker
  • Heather Christie Pierson (b. 1970), American composer, songwriter, pianist, instrumentalist and vocalist

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  • Pierson Genealogical Records by Lizzie Benedict Pierson.
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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  6. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  8. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  10. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  11. ...

The Pierson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pierson 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 11 February 2016 at 15:34.

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