This interesting name, recorded in the spellings of Partridge, and the rare dialectals Parridge and Paridge, is of early medieval English and Old French origin, derived from the Middle English word "pertrich", partridge, from the Old French "perdriz", itself from the Latin "perdix, perdicis". As a surname, Partridge or its variant forms, Partriche and Partrick, may be either a metonymic occupational name for a hunter or catcher of a partridge (the bird", or it may derive from a medieval nickname given to someone who had some fancied resemblance to a partridge. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary, while a sizeable group of early European surnames were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, or supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition. In some cases, the name may be topographical, given in the first instance to someone living in a house distinguished by the sign of a partridge. The surname development since 1176 (see below) includes: John Perdrich (1244, Staffordshire); Philip Partrich (1260, Cheshire); Sibil Partryge (1332, Staffordshire); and John Pattridge (1622, Suffolk). One John Partridge was an early emigrant to the American Colonies, leaving London on the "Assurance" in July 1635, bound for Virginia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ailward Pertriz, which was dated 1176, in the "Pipe Rolls of Devonshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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