Purfifar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Purfifar family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They 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 Purfifar family

The surname Purfifar 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]

Another source ventures into more detail. "Sir Richard, the fifth and youngest son of William Lupellus or Louvel and the only one of his brothers who transmitted the original surname of De Percheval or Perceval to his posterity, was portioned by his father with lands in Stawel in Somerset, and many other estates, which descended to his posterity, the successive lords of Weston-in-Gordano. This Sir Richard de Perceval attended King Richard I in his expedition into Palestine, A.D. 1190, where, being a person of uncommon strength and valour, he dis­tinguished himself in several fierce engagements. In one of them, it is said, that having lost his leg, he undauntedly continued on horseback till he also lost his arm, and that even then, with the horse's bridle in his teeth, he persisted to deal slaughter round him till he fell by loss of blood. Notwithstanding this tradition, it is certain that he lived to return home, and was buried in the church of Weston, under a superb monument which was destroyed in the civil wars of the seventeenth century." [2]

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." [3]

Early History of the Purfifar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Purfifar 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, 1733, 1261, 1285 and 1312 are included under the topic Early Purfifar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Purfifar Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Perceval, Percival, Percevale, Percivall and others.

Early Notables of the Purfifar 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 Purfifar Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Purfifar family to Ireland

Some of the Purfifar family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 118 words (8 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 Purfifar family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Purfifar or a variant listed above were: 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 Purfifar 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. ^ 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
  3. ^ 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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