Prewitt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Prewitt is derived from the Middle English word "prou," meaning "brave," or "valiant," with the addition of either of two common diminutive suffixes: "-et" or "-ot." As such, this name is thought to have originally been a nickname for someone small, but brave. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Prewitt family

The surname Prewitt was first found in Carmarthenshire (Welsh: Sir Gaerfyrddin), located in Southwest Wales, one of thirteen historic counties and presently one of the principal area in Wales.

One of the first records of the family was found in Somerset where Matthew Pruet was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of 1202. Early London records show Richard Prouet, Pruet, Prowet, there in 1278 and 1280. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 show: Andrew Pruet and William Pruet, both in Cambridgeshire at that time. In Somerset, early records there show Thomas Pruwet, Walter Prowet and Juliana Prouet, 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [1]

Early History of the Prewitt family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Prewitt research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1202, 1278, 1680, 1717, 1558 and 1599 are included under the topic Early Prewitt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Prewitt Spelling Variations

Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Prewitt have included Pruett, Prewitt, Prewett, Pruet, Prewert and others.

Early Notables of the Prewitt family (pre 1700)

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

Prewitt Ranking

In the United States, the name Prewitt is the 2,765th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [4]

United States Prewitt migration to the United States +

Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Prewitt:

Prewitt Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Prewitt, who settled in Virginia in 1636
  • Tho Prewitt, who arrived in Virginia in 1636 [5]
Prewitt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Dora Prewitt, aged 33, who settled in America, in 1892
Prewitt Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • William A. Prewitt, aged 33, who immigrated to America, in 1904
  • L. E. Prewitt, aged 40, who immigrated to the United States, in 1909
  • Alfred Prewitt, aged 20, who immigrated to the United States, in 1918
  • Henry Prewitt, aged 28, who immigrated to the United States from Southampton, England, in 1921
  • Jack R. Prewitt, aged 20, who settled in America from Southampton, England, in 1921
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Prewitt (post 1700) +

  • Joseph Orlando Prewitt (b. 1943), American retired psychologist
  • Ray Prewitt (b. 1970), American actor, producer, and aircraft broker
  • James Franklin Prewitt (b. 1949), American attorney and government affairs consultant
  • Cheryl Prewitt (b. 1957), American model, Miss America 1980
  • Archer Prewitt (b. 1963), American musician and cartoonist
  • Hal Prewitt (b. 1954), American race car driver and businessman

The Prewitt 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: Deus pascit corvos
Motto Translation: God feeds the ravens.

Suggested Readings for the name Prewitt +

  • Prewitt-Light, Ringler-Hollowell and Allied Families by Lester Dee Prewitt.
  • Michael Prewitt Sr., and his Descendants, 1720-1970 by Richard A. Prewitt.
  • Prewitt-Pruitt Records of Virginia by Richard A. Prewit.
  • The Pruett (Prewitt) Family by Haskell Pruett.

  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^
  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) on Facebook