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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Soon after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, the name Pye was recognized on the island as a name for a talkative or thieving person. Such a person was so named for a fancied resemblance to the magpie, a common bird in England at the time that was known for such characteristics.


The surname Pye was first found in Herefordshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Pye, Pie, Pyman, Piemakere, Pies and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pye research. Another 369 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1177, 1066, 1296, 1273, 1332, 1524, 1585, 1662, 1620, 1620, 1701, 1620, 1626, 1607, 1673, 1661, 1673, 1626, 1697, 1651, 1721, 1689, 1724, 1696 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Pye History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 177 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pye Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Pye or a variant listed above:

Pye Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Pye, who settled in Virginia in 1649
  • Elizabeth Pye, who arrived in Virginia in 1651
  • Joseph Pye, who arrived in Virginia in 1652
  • Joseph Pye, who landed in Virginia in 1652
  • Elizabeth Pye, who landed in Virginia in 1656

Pye Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Mary Booth Pye, who came to Maryland in 1771
  • John Pye, who came to Philadelphia in 1774

Pye Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Pye, aged 62, landed in New York in 1812
  • William Pye, aged 32, arrived in New York in 1812
  • John Pye, aged 38, arrived in New York in 1812
  • David Pye, who came to New York in 1826
  • Edward Henry Pye, who arrived in Maryland in 1826

Pye Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Elisha Pye, who settled in Carbonear, Newfoundland in 1799

Pye Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Mary Pye, aged 19, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Fitzjames"

Pye Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • James Pye arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Phoenix" in 1860


  • David Pye, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Orange County, 1780-81, 1794-96; Member of New York State Senate Middle District, 1790-94
  • Vice Admiral William Satterlee Pye (1880-1959), American naval officer, recipient of the Navy Cross
  • Jack Pye (b. 1903), known as Dirty Jack Pye, Filthy Jack Pye and The Doncaster Panther, an English professional wrestler and actor
  • Jesse Pye (1919-1984), English footballer
  • Henry James Pye (1745-1813), English poet, Poet Laureate from 1790 until his death, the first poet laureate to receive a fixed salary of 27 instead of the historic tierce of Canary wine
  • Charles Pye VC (1820-1876), English Victoria Cross recipient
  • William George Pye (1869-1949), English founder the electronics company W.G.Pye & Co. in 1896
  • John Pye (1782-1874), English engraver, founder of modern landscape engraving
  • Patrick Pye (b. 1929), English sculptor, painter and stained glass artist
  • Miss Marjorie Pye (d. 1915), Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered



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  1. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  7. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  11. ...

The Pye Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Pye 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 3 February 2016 at 09:31.

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