Pudsey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Pudsey is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Pudsey was originally De Puisay, from Puisaz, or Puisay, in the Orléannois (now Orléans), France. This place gave its name to one of the 'chief nobles of France,' Ebrard de Puisay, whose daughter Adelais was the second wife of the famous Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury. [1]

Early Origins of the Pudsey family

The surname Pudsey was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat at Pudsey in the West Riding of that county. Pudsey is about six miles from the city of Leeds. [2]

In 1086 Ilbert de Lacy held the lands, village and manor of Pudsey. One of the first of the name to be recorded was Hugh de Pudsey, Bishop of Durham who lived from c. 1125 to 1195. He was probably the son of that Hugh de Puiset, viscount of Chartres, who was for many years the opponent of Louis VI of France. He is thought to have emigrated to England under the protection of his uncle, Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester, who made him his archdeacon. [3]

Hugh de Puteaco, Pusaz, or De Pudsey, was elected Prince-Bishop of Durham in 1153. "No author has told us of the place of his birth, or the name of his father: we only know that he was a nephew of King Stephen, and of the Bishop of Winchester, and at that time Treasurer of York. Nevertheless, as the Archbishop had not been consulted in the election, both he and the monks who had chosen him were forced to submit to a sound whipping, standing with bare backs in the church at Beverley."[1] A little later, William de Pusaz was Bishop of Durham in 1189. [4]

The Pudseys were very numerous in the county of York, where they gave their name to Burton Pudsey (Pidsey), and were seated at Settle, Northam, Barforth-on-Tees, Arnford, Lawfield, &c. In the time of Edward III. Simon Pudsey of Barforth married Catherine de Bolton, who brought him the fair domain of Bolton-by-Bolland, in Craven; where, for many generations "the Pudseys enjoyed, within the compass of a moderate estate, every distinction, feudal or ecclesiastic, which their age and country could bestow—the manor, free-warren, park, advowson, and family chantry." Here, in their ancient hall, standing "very pleasantly among sweet woods and fruitful hills," Sir Ralph Pudsey sheltered Henry VI. during the summer months that succeeded the disastrous battle of Hexham. [1]

Early History of the Pudsey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pudsey research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1497 and 1681 are included under the topic Early Pudsey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pudsey Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Pudsey are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Pudsey include Pudsey, Pudsie, Pudsy, Puddsey, Puddesey, Puddesay, Puddsay, Pudesay, Puddsie, Putsey and many more.

Early Notables of the Pudsey family (pre 1700)

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


United States Pudsey migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Pudsey, or a variant listed above:

Pudsey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Ambrose Pudsey, who arrived in Maryland in 1733

Canada Pudsey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pudsey Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Hugh Pudsey, who settled in Nova Scotia in 1783
Pudsey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary Pudsey, who settled in Toronto in 1871


The Pudsey 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: Fortuna favente
Motto Translation: By the favor of fortune.


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)


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