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The name Purser is Anglo-Saxon in origin. It was a name given to a maker of purses or for a treasurer or bursar, who had the task of bearing the purse of an important official and taking care of his or her expenses. The surname Purser is derived from the Old French word borsier, which has both of these meanings.

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The surname Purser was first found in Lincolnshire, where they held a family seat from the Middle Ages.

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Purser include Burser, Bursar, Bourcer, Bursor, Borser, Berser and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Purser research. Another 412 words (29 lines of text) covering the years 1306, 1311, 1327, 1377, 1500, and 1563 are included under the topic Early Purser History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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More information is included under the topic Early Purser Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Purser were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Purser Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Geo. Purser, who came to Virginia in 1635
  • Georg Purser, who landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Geo Purser, who came to Virginia in 1637
  • John Purser, who arrived in Maryland in 1652

Purser Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Garrett Purser, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Garrett Purser, who came to Virginia in 1704
  • Catherine Purser, who arrived in America in 1752

Purser Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Purser, aged 42, landed in New York in 1812
  • David Purser, who settled in Oregon in 1886

Purser Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Purser, English convict from Sussex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Robert Purser, aged 29, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Standard"
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  • Ronald E. Purser (b. 1956), American university professor at San Francisco State University
  • Dorothy Anne Purser, American day-time actress, recipient of a 1993 Daytime Emmy and other awards
  • David Purser (b. 1987), English footballer
  • Philip Purser (b. 1925), British novelist
  • John Purser (b. 1942), Scottish composer
  • Cecil Purser FRACP (1862-1953), Australian physician, chairman of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
  • Andrew Purser (b. 1958), Australian rules footballer
  • Philip Purser (b. 1925), British television critic and novelist
  • Sarah Purser (1848-1943), Irish artist
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
    3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
    5. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
    6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    7. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    8. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    9. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
    10. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
    11. ...

    The Purser Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Purser 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 24 November 2014 at 11:17.

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