Pryer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Pryer came to England with the ancestors of the Pryer family in the Norman Conquest in 1066. The surname Pryer is for a monastic official immediately subordinate to an abbot having derived from the Old English word prior, meaning superior, and indicates that the original bearer of the name held this position. [1] [2] [3]

Early Origins of the Pryer family

The surname Pryer was first found in Suffolk where Roger Priur was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1205. A few years later, Roger le Priur was found in the Feet of Fines for Cheshire in 1237 and Nicholas le Prior was in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1268. [1]

In the plural form, Editha le Priores was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Somerset in 1327; and William atte Priours was in the Subsidy Rolls for Essex in 1327. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include Hugh le Priur, Suffolk; Richard le Prior, Suffolk; and Hugh Priour, Huntingdonshire. [3]

In Somerset, early rolls there provide John Priour, 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [4]

In Scotland, Ricardus Priour was subprior of the Abbey of Dunfermline in 1448. Janet Prior was married in Perth in 1568 and Robert Pryor in Dundee was charged with aiding the English in 1552. [5]

Early History of the Pryer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pryer research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1125, 1664, 1721, 1682, 1751, 1680, 1751 and are included under the topic Early Pryer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pryer Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Prior, Pryor and others.

Early Notables of the Pryer family (pre 1700)

Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pryer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Pryer family to Ireland

Some of the Pryer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Pryer migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Pryer or a variant listed above were:

Pryer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Daniell Pryer, who settled in New England in 1635 at age 13
  • Daniell Pryer, aged 13, who arrived in New England in 1635 [6]
  • Peter Pryer, aged 26, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [6]
  • John Pryer, who landed in Virginia in 1656 [6]
  • Thomas Pryer, who arrived in Virginia in 1663 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Pryer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Pryer, who arrived in Virginia in 1764
Pryer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Pryer, who arrived in New York in 1836 [6]
Pryer Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Albert Henry Pryer, (b. 1881), aged 24, Cornish pattern maker, from Redruth, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia"arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 14th October 1905 en route to Schenectady, New York, USA [7]

Canada Pryer migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pryer Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Edward Pryer U.E. who settled in Parr Town, Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [8]

Australia Pryer migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Pryer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • F. Pryer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Mary Ridgway" in 1839 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Pryer (post 1700) +

  • Charlene Barbara Pryer (1921-1999), American female utility in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League who played from 1946 to 1952
  • William Burgess Pryer (1843-1899), the first British Resident in North Borneo and the founder of the modern Sandakan
  • Kathryn Pryer (b. 1990), Australian football defender


The Pryer 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: Speriamo
Motto Translation: We hope


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  8. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARY RIDGWAY 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839MaryRidgeway.gif


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