This is almost certainly a name of early French origins, although there are some claims for a Welsh ancestry. Recorded in several spelling forms including Peche, Pechard, Perchard and Prechard, our research clearly indicates that the name is occupational. The origination is from the pre 10th century word "peche" meaning a fish or "pechard", a fisherman or angler, or possibly a fish merchant. The famous International Genealogical Index lists the name in the United Kingdom as proably deriving from the same origins as the Welsh surname "Pritchard", from Ap Richard, the son of Richard.We do not believe that this is correct, although amongst the lists of Pritchards are a number with the spelling Prichard, such as Dorothy Prichard, a witness at the church of St Martins in the Field, Westminster, in 1615 and also some Perchard's, Peter Perchard marrying Dorothy Albin at St Brides church, Fleet Street, London, in 1700. Despite being in the Pritchard lists, we have little doubt that the Perchards and Prechardsare descendants of Huguenots, protestant French immigrants who entered England in the 16th and 17th century, or possibly earlier. Unfortunately of the French records that might prove the case, most were destroyed in the Revolution of 1789 - 1792, when the church was banned, and the revolutionaries took the opportunity to destroy the existing charters and registers, considering them to be the tools of the secret police. From those that have survived we have Nicholas Peche, of Civy-sur-Vezouse, Meurthe et Moselle, on August 10th 1796, and earlier Pierre Percheur, at Angers, Maine et Loire, on October 28th 1653.
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