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Purkey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



Purkey is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is a name for a messenger or herald. Purkey 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 Purkey family


The surname Purkey 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 Purkey family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Purkey 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 Purkey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Purkey Spelling Variations


A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Purchase, Purchas, Purchass, Purches, Purchis, Purkiss, Purkess, Purkis, Purkeys, Purkys, Purkes and many more.

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

Migration of the Purkey family to the New World and Oceana


Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Purkey or a variant listed above: Aquila Purchase settled in Boston in 1633; with his wife Anne; Henry Purchase settled in Virginia in 1652; Thomas Purchase settled in Salem in 1630 with his wife Sarah.

Contemporary Notables of the name Purkey (post 1700)


  • Harry Robert Purkey (b. 1934), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 2004; Elected Virginia State House of Delegates 82nd District 2011
  • William Watson Purkey (b. 1929), American author and professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina
  • Harry R. "Bob" Purkey (b. 1934), American politician from Parsons, West Virginia
  • Robert Thomas Purkey (1929-2008), American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher

The Purkey 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.


Purkey Family Crest Products



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