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Purchas History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



Purchas is a name whose history on English soil dates back to the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The name Purchas comes from a messenger or herald. Purchas is a classic example of an English polygenetic surname, which is a surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently.

Early Origins of the Purchas family


The surname Purchas was first found in Kent where they held a family seat from very early times, descended from a Norman noble "Perahgoz" meaning "bear-Goth"and were granted lands in Kent by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Purchas family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Purchas research.
Another 465 words (33 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1100, 1190, 1497, 1498, 1575, 1626 and 1658 are included under the topic Early Purchas History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Purchas Spelling Variations


Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Purchase, Purchas, Purchass, Purches, Purchis, Purkiss, Purkess, Purkis, Purkeys, Purkys, Purkes and many more.

Early Notables of the Purchas family (pre 1700)


Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir William Purchas, Lord Mayor of London (1497 to 1498); Samuel Purchas (1575?-1626), was an English cleric and travel writer. His "Purchas his Pilgrimage" was...
Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Purchas Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Purchas family to the New World and Oceana


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Purchas Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • George Purchas, aged 41, a baker, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • Mary Purchas, aged 40, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • Louisa Purchas, aged 14, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • Jane Purchas, aged 11, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • Arthur Purchas, aged 3, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Purchas (post 1700)


  • John Purchas (b. 1823), English author and a priest of Church of England who was prosecuted for ritualist practices, curate of Elsworth, Cambridgeshire (1851-1853)
  • Andrew Purchas, Australian actor, known for Walk Like a Man (2008) and Socom U.S. Navy Seals (2002)
  • Sir Francis Brooks "Bob" Purchas PC QC (1919-2003), British judge who sat on the Court of Appeal
  • Albert Purchas (1825-1909), Welsh-born, Australian architect, surveyor, inventor, vice president of the Royal Victorian Institute of Architects, co-founder of Purchas & Swyer, an architectural firm in Melbourne, Victoria
  • Reverend Arthur Guyon Purchas (1821-1906), New Zealand cleric and amateur geologist, eponym of Purchas Hill (also Te Tauoma), one of the volcanoes in the Auckland Volcanic Field
  • Harold Purchas, New Zealand Archdeacon of Timaru from 1928 to 1930
  • Robert Guyon Whittlesey Purchas (1862-1940), Australian architect, known for his work in Camperdown, Victoria which included Wiridgil (1883-1884) and Purrumbete (1901)

The Purchas 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: Semper paratus
Motto Translation: Always prepared.


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