Monday, August 30, 2010

Pearson Surname

Pearson is French.

Pearson translates as son of Pierre, Pierre being the French for Peter, literally "rock". The Bible explains that the apostle Peter was named by Jesus, the rock or foundation on which Jesus would build his church. Prior to 1066, it can be safely assumed that there were no Pierres in England. Cuthbert, Canute, Edward, all good Anglo-Saxon names, but no Pierres. This changed with the invasion of  a Norman from France, William the Conqueror. Following William's defeat of King Harold in 1066, England and Scotland received an infusion of Norman and French immigrants. Many must have had the name Pierre, which was a popular Christian name. When it became important to distinguish individuals for purposes of land holdings, offices, and taxation, surnames were needed. Thus, Pierson or Pearson entered the written records. has a good explanation of the surname Pearson. The site page concerns the Scottish side using the name Pearson. The site can be found by googling "surname Pearson" or just use the link here. Another explanation of the surname Pearson on the English side can be found at another Ancestry page.

The first recorded Pearson was Wautier Pieressone in 1296.The Campbell branch of the family will be interested in learning that the name Pearson is Scottish, deriving from MacPherson ("mac" meaning son of). Other spellings of Pearson include:Pairsone, Pearsone, Peirsonde, Peirsone, Peirsound, Pesirsaunde, Persone, Peyrsoune, Peyrson , as well as, Pierson, (which our grandfather used briefly in France during World War I), and the names Piersone, Peirsoun, Pieressone, Perysoun and Person.

The first recorded Pearson - Wautier Pieressone, a landowner in Berwickshire, was mentioned in 1226 in the Ragman’s Roll as Pledging Alliegance to Edward I, King of England. The event was not a happy one for the Scots. King Edward I went to the city of Berwick in August 1296 to receive formal homage from some 2,000 Scottish nobles, after defeating the Scots at the Battle of Dunbar in April and forcing King John I of Scotland (John Balliol) to abdicate.The Ragman Roll in which Wautier Pierssone's name appeared was considered with disdain by the Scots as the city went back and forth between Scotland and England. Today, Berwick is the northernmost city in Northumberland, a scant 4 miles from Scotland.

The English Pearsons appear somewhat after the Scottish names.Early recordings of the surname include: John Pierisson, documented in 1332 Wales; Robertus Perrison of Yorkshire listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379; William Pierson recorded in the year 1412 in Lancashire; and, John Peyrson registered at Oxford University in 1510.

In 1596, we read of Edward Peersonne, who lived in Cheshire, England.



Blogger Jude Cowell said...

Hi, it's Nov 5, 2016 and I just found your blog on the Pearson family which I had not known was allied with the lines I'm researching, the Browns and Whites. Guess you haven't posted since 2012? Are you still researching?

Anyway, am glad I found this info even if you're no longer posting!


Jude Cowell
North of Atlanta, GA

November 05, 2016  

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