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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


Purdy is a name whose history dates far back into the mists of early British times to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes. It is a name for a person who was known for their habitual use of the oath pour Dieu, which is Old French meaning "for God." This is a subset of the nickname type of name known as oath names.

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The surname Purdy was first found in Shropshire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Purdy has been recorded under many different variations, including Pardy, Pardie, Pardee, Purdie, Purdew, Purdy, Purdoe, Pardoe and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Purdy research. Another 195 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1585, 1770 and 1823 are included under the topic Early Purdy History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 25 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Purdy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Purdy family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Purdy or a variant listed above:

Purdy Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Nathaniel Purdy, who landed in Maryland or Virginia in 1671

Purdy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Thomas Purdy, who arrived in Virginia in 1700
  • Nicho Purdy, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Anne Purdy, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Thomas Purdy settled in Georgia in 1775

Purdy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • David Purdy, aged 58, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Gilbert Purdy, aged 24, landed in New York in 1812
  • Charles Purdy settled in Boston with his wife and two children in 1821
  • Michael Purdy, who arrived in New York in 1821
  • Patrick Purdy, aged 21, landed in New York in 1841


Purdy Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Isaac Purdy, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Mr. Gilbert Purdy Sr., U.E. (b. 1721) born in Newburgh, Ulster County, New York, USA from Newburgh, Ulster County, New York, USA who died before arriving at Kingston, Ontario c. 1777 he served in the Guides and Pioneers but died in service, his wife Mary Dorland and 7 children arrived in Kingston, Ontario via Sorel, Quebec in 1786
  • Mr. Gilbert Purdy U.E. born in Westchester, New York, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 was a passenger aboard "Cyrus" on August 21, 1783 from New York to Saint John River, he became a Freeman in 1795, was a Fisherman
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Purdy U.E., (Perdy) who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 was a passenger aboard "Cyrus" on August 21, 1783 from New York to Saint John River
  • Mr. Jonathan Purdy U.E., (Perdy) who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 was a passenger aboard "Cyrus" on August 21, 1783 from New York to Saint John River, listed as a child more than 10 years of age, he became a Freeman in 1795 was a Fisherman


Purdy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Charles Purdy arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Cresswell" in 1856
  • Elizabeth Purdy arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Triumph" in 1883

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  • Stephen Purdy (b. 1970), American conductor/pianist and vocal coach for Broadway musicals
  • Samuel Purdy (1819-1882), American politician, third Lieutenant Governor of California (1852 to 1856)
  • Theodore Townsend Purdy (b. 1973), American professional golfer
  • James Purdy (1914-2009), American novelist and poet
  • Amy Purdy, American actress
  • Jedediah Purdy, American law scholar
  • Martin Purdy (b. 1981), English rugby union player
  • John Purdy (1871-1938), English cricketer
  • Horatio John "Rai" Purdy (1910-1990), Canadian television director and producer, inductee into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Hall of Fame
  • Gordon Timlin Purdy (1888-1974), Canadian politician, Liberal party member of the Canadian House of Commons in Nova Scotia

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  • Descendants of Francis Purdy of Fairfield, Connecticut by Louis E. Beiringer.
  • Family Records of Sigismond Hugget, 1744-1810, and his Wife Susanne Marguerite Pichonnet, with Related Families, Especially Purdy Spinning by Georgie A. Hill.
  • Gabriel Purdy by Clayton C. Purdy.
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  1. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  6. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  9. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  11. ...

The Purdy Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Purdy Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 11 April 2016 at 04:18.

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