Prefect History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Prefect family name to the British Isles. They lived in Parfitt (Parfait) in Normandy. Roger Perfectus or Parfait was listed there (1185-95) in the Mangn. Rotul. Scaccarii Normanniae. The name was derived from Middle English "parfit" meaning "fully trained, well versed." The Old French version of the name was parfit(e) which meant "completed," from the Latin "perfectus", "to finish or accomplish." Alternatively the name could have been a nickname, probably originally denoting an apprentice who had completed his period of training.

Early Origins of the Prefect family

The surname Prefect was first found in Somerset where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. One of the first on record was Robert Parfyte who was listed in the Calendarium Inquisitionum Post Mortem. Robert Parfite was listed in the Rolls of Parliament. They acquired the lands of Bruton (anciently spelt Braueton) which was the King's land even at the time of King Edward the Confessor in 1050. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book Bruton was a wealthy village containing six mills.

Early History of the Prefect family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Prefect research. Another 121 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Prefect History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Prefect Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Perfect, Perfett, Perfitt, Parfitt, Parfect and others.

Early Notables of the Prefect family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Prefect family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Prefect or a variant listed above: Robert Perfect who settled in Virginia with his wife in 1650; Jno Parfitt, who came to Virginia in 1664; Augustine Parfitt, who came to Barbados in 1679.



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