Pursel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Although the Irish had their own system of hereditary surnames and the Strongbow settlers brought with them their own Anglo-Norman naming practices, the two traditions generally worked well together. The name Pursel is an occupational surname, a form of hereditary name that existed in both cultures long before the invaders arrived, but more common to the Anglo-Norman culture. Occupational surnames were derived from a word describing the actual job done by the original name bearer. Early Strongbownian names of this type often used the prefix le, meaning the, in French, but the use of this prefix did not last in the language of the vernacular. The surname Pursel came from a common occupational name for a swineherd. The surname Pursel is derived from the Norman-French word porcel, which in turn comes from the Latin word porcus, which means pig or piglet. Occupational names such as Pursel frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic surnames. The Gaelic form of the surname Pursel is Puirséil.
Early Origins of the Pursel family
The surname Pursel was first found in Surrey, England and later in County Tipperary. As many Norman families, they accompanied Strongbow in the Anglo- Norman invasion of Ireland in 1172. The English branch in Surrey continued their stronghold in Surrey for many years. As far as the Irish branch is concerned, it is generally believed that Sir Hugh Purcell, a Strongbow knight was the progenitor of the family in Ireland. His grandson, another Sir Hugh married Beatrix, daughter of Theobald FitzWalter, Chief Butler of Ireland about 1204 and received Loghmoe (Loughmore,) a village in North Tipperary as a wedding present.  A direct line of the family continued until 1722 with the death of Nicholas Purcell, 13th Baron of Loughmoe.
Early History of the Pursel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pursel research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1665, 1660, 1665, 1659, 1695, 1664, 1717, 1651 and 1691 are included under the topic Early Pursel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Pursel Spelling Variations
Church officials and medieval scribes often simply spelled names as they sounded. As a result, a single person's name may have been recorded a dozen different ways during his lifetime. Spelling variations for the name Pursel include: Purcell, Purcel, Pursell, Purcill, Purcells, Percell, Porcell, Percill, Persell, Percel, Pirsell, Porcill, Porsell, Purcelle, Purcele, Persells, Pursells, Purcels, Porcells, Purchell, Purscel, Purtill and many more.
Early Notables of the Pursel family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family up to this time was John Purcell (died 1665), Welsh politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1665; Henry Purcell (1659-1695), generally considered England's greatest composer of the Baroque era; his younger brother Daniel Purcell (1664-1717) was...
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pursel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Pursel migration to the United States +
Ireland experienced a dramatic decrease in its population during the 19th century. This was in a great measure, a response to England's imperialistic policies. Hunger and disease took the lives of many Irish people and many more chose to leave their homeland to escape the horrific conditions. North America with its promise of work, freedom, and land was an extremely popular destination for Irish families. For those families that survived the journey, all three of these things were often attained through much hard work and perseverance. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Pursel:
Pursel Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- John Pursel, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838 
- Michael Pursel, who arrived in New York in 1847 
- Ignatz Pursel, aged 18, who settled in America, in 1895
- Josef Pursel, aged 19, who landed in America, in 1895
Pursel Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- William Dana Pursel, aged 28, who immigrated to the United States from London, in 1904
- William Dana Pursel, aged 35, who settled in America, in 1910
- Sarah W. Pursel, aged 69, who immigrated to the United States, in 1914
Contemporary Notables of the name Pursel (post 1700) +
- Peter Pursel, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 1866-69
- Kent Doak Pursel (1904-1967), American Republican politician, Pharmacist; Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 1948; Alameda County Supervisor, 1951-67
- John H. Pursel (b. 1896), American politician, Delegate to New Jersey State Constitutional Convention from Warren County, 1947
- Richard D. Pursel (b. 1964), American television writer and storyboard artist
Related Stories +
The Pursel 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: Aut vincam aut periam
Motto Translation: Either conquer or perish.
- ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
- ^ 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)