Purcifer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Purcifer came to England with the ancestors of the Purcifer family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Purcifer family lived in Somerset. The name, however, is a reference to one of two towns named Percevill, in Calvados, Normandy, where the family lived prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

Early Origins of the Purcifer family

The surname Purcifer was first found in Somerset. "Robert, Lord of Breherval, in Normandy, and his son Ascelin Gouel de Percival, both fought under the Norman banner at Hastings, and both obtained many extensive manors in the conquered country. " [1]

Eluding to the aforementioned Normandy reference, we found early records of the family in Camborne, Cornwall, one of the first points of land in England from Normandy. "The altar-piece, [at Camborne Church] which is exceedingly magnificent, is of Sienna marble. This was erected in the year 1761, at the expence of Samuel Percival, Esq. whose lady brought to him the inheritance of Pendarves. By Mrs. Grace Percival, the lady of the above Samuel Percival, Esq. a school was founded for the instruction of twelve boys and eight girls, in reading, writing, and arithmetic." [2]

Early History of the Purcifer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Purcifer research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1089, 1550, 1620, 1561, 1601, 1550, 1515, 1501, 1605, 1647, 1625, 1628, 1629, 1641, 1642, 1661, 1661, 1683, 1748 and 1733 are included under the topic Early Purcifer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Purcifer Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Perceval, Percival, Percevale, Percivall and others.

Early Notables of the Purcifer family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Perceval (1550-1620), English colonist and politician, was eldest son of George Perceval or Percival (1561-1601), a large landed proprietor of Somerset. John Perceval ( fl. 1550) was a Carthusian author who studied philosophy at both Oxford and Cambridge. Another John Percival (d. 1515?) took the degree of divinity at Oxford about 1501, and became shortly afterwards forty-seventh provincial of the Franciscans in England. Sir Philip Perceval (1605-1647), was an English politician from Tickenham, Somerset. After his father and older brother's death he moved to the family estates in Ireland. "In 1625 he was made keeper...
Another 168 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Purcifer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Purcifer family to Ireland

Some of the Purcifer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Purcifer family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Purcifer or a variant listed above: Thomas Percival settled in Barbados in 1694; Thomas and Mary Percivall settled in Virginia in 1663; Henry and Elizabeth Percival settled in Virginia in 1654..



The Purcifer 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: Sub cruce candida
Motto Translation: Under the white cross.


  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print


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