Although the Irish had their own system of hereditary surnames
and the Strongbow
settlers brought with them their own Anglo-Norman naming practices, the two traditions generally worked well together. The name Pirsels is an occupational
surname, a form of hereditary name that existed in both cultures long before the invaders arrived, but more common to the Anglo-Norman culture. Occupational
surnames were derived from a word describing the actual job done by the original name bearer. Early Strongbownian names of this type often used the prefix le, meaning the, in French, but the use of this prefix did not last in the language of the vernacular. The surname Pirsels came from a common occupational name for a swineherd. The surname Pirsels is derived from the Norman-French word porcel, which in turn comes from the Latin word porcus, which means pig or piglet. Occupational
names such as Pirsels frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic
surnames. The Gaelic form of the surname Pirsels is Puirséil.
Early Origins of the Pirsels family
The surname Pirsels was first found in Surrey
and later in County Tipperary
. As many Norman families, they accompanied Strongbow
in the Anglo- Norman invasion
in 1172. The English branch in Surrey
continued their stronghold in Surrey
for many years. As far as the Irish branch is concerned, it is generally believed that Sir Hugh Purcell, a Strongbow
knight was the progenitor of the family in Ireland
. His grandson, another Sir Hugh married Beatrix, daughter of Theobald FitzWalter, Chief Butler of Ireland
about 1204 and received Loghmoe (Loughmore,) a village in North Tipperary
as a wedding present. CITATION[CLOSE]
MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
A direct line of the family continued until 1722 with the death of Nicholas Purcell, 13th Baron
Early History of the Pirsels family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pirsels research.Another 185 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1665, 1660, 1665, 1659, 1695, 1664, 1717, 1651 and 1691 are included under the topic Early Pirsels History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Pirsels Spelling Variations
Church officials and medieval scribes spelled names as they sounded; therefore, single person, could have his name spelt many different ways during their lifetime. While investigating the origins of the name Pirsels, many spelling variations
were encountered, including: Purcell, Purcel, Pursell, Purcill, Purcells, Percell, Porcell, Percill, Persell, Percel, Pirsell, Porcill, Porsell, Purcelle, Purcele, Persells, Pursells, Purcels, Porcells, Purchell, Purscel, Purtill and many more.
Early Notables of the Pirsels family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family up to this time was John Purcell (died 1665), Welsh
politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1665; Henry Purcell (1659-1695), generally considered England's greatest composer of the Baroque era; his younger brother Daniel Purcell (1664-1717) was... Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pirsels Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Pirsels family to the New World and Oceana
In the 1840s, Ireland
experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine
. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Pirsels: Joseph Purcel, who settled at Barstable in Massachusetts in 1822; Nancy Purcell and her husband and seven children settled in Quebec in 1825; Andrew, Edward, James, John, Martin, Mathew, Michael, Patrick, Peter Purcell all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870..
The Pirsels 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: Aut vincam aut periam
Motto Translation: Either conquer or perish.