Purches History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Purches is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Purches family when they migrated with the great wave that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. Purches is a name for a messenger or herald. Purches 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 Purches family

The surname Purches 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 Purches family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Purches research. Another 233 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1100, 1190, 1497, 1498, 1575, 1626 and 1658 are included under the topic Early Purches History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Purches Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Purches include Purchase, Purchas, Purchass, Purches, Purchis, Purkiss, Purkess, Purkis, Purkeys, Purkys, Purkes and many more.

Early Notables of the Purches family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir William Purchas, Lord Mayor of London (1497 to 1498); and 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 Purches Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Purches migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Purchess to arrive on North American shores:

Purches Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Purches, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Robert Purches, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [1]

Australia Purches migration to Australia +

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

Purches Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Purches, aged 24, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Sir Edward Parry" [2]

New Zealand Purches migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Purches Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Purches, aged 20, a baker, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tongariro" in 1888

Contemporary Notables of the name Purches (post 1700) +

  • Fred H. Purches (b. 1881), American Republican politician, Insurance business; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Massachusetts, 1948


The Purches 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.


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The SIR EDWARD PARRY 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849SirEdwardParry.htm


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