Pleasants History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Pleasants surname comes the medieval (Old French) name Plaisance which meant "pleasant."

Early Origins of the Pleasants family

The surname Pleasants was first found in Suffolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the 13th century when they held estates in that county.

Early History of the Pleasants family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pleasants research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1455, 1487, 1510, and 1600 are included under the topic Early Pleasants History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pleasants Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Pleasance, Pleesance, Pleasant, Pleasants, Plessant, Plesant, Plessance, Plessence, Plesance, Plessants, Plaisance, Plaisants, Plaissance and many more.

Early Notables of the Pleasants family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Pleasants Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Pleasants migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pleasants Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Pleasants, who arrived in Virginia in 1649
  • John Pleasants, who arrived in Virginia in 1665 [1]
Pleasants Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Charles Pleasants, who was deported to America in 1766
  • Charles Pleasants, who settled in Virginia in 1766

New Zealand Pleasants 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:

Pleasants Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Owen Pleasants, aged 27, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873
  • Emma Pleasants, aged 21, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873
  • Owen Pleasants, aged 2, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873
  • John Pleasants, aged 1 month, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873

Contemporary Notables of the name Pleasants (post 1700) +

  • John Fendall Pleasants (b. 1965), American entrepreneur and business executive
  • John Hampden Pleasants (1797-1846), American journalist and businessman who died as a result of a duel with Thomas Ritchie, editor of a rival newspaper, the Richmond Enquirer
  • Benjamin F. Pleasants (1795-1879), American government official, Solicitor of the United States Treasury (1861-1861)
  • Henry Clay Pleasants (1833-1880), American coal mining engineer and a brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War, best known for organizing the building of an underground tunnel filled with explosives under the Confederate lines outside Petersburg, Virginia
  • Dean Pleasants (b. 1965), American heavy metal guitarist
  • Henry Pleasants (1910-2000), American music critic and intelligence officer
  • Robert Pleasants (1723-1801), American educator and abolitionist from Henrico County, Virginia, plantation owner and operator of Robert Pleasants & Co; in 1782 he freed his slaves, then hired them as paid laborers and provided for their education
  • James Pleasants Jr. (1769-1836), American politician, Member of the U.S. Senate from 1819 to 1822, 22nd Governor of Virginia from 1822 to 1825
  • Eric Reginald Pleasants (1911-1998), British citizen during World War II who defected to serve in the Waffen-SS
  • Thomas Pleasants (1729-1818), Irish merchant, property developer and philanthropist in Dublin, eponym of Pleasants Street in Dublin


  1. ^ 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)


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