This interesting name has two possible origins. The first being a locational name from any of the various places in North France, so called from the Gallo-Roman personal name Persius, plus the local suffix "acum". The surname from this source is first recorded in the latter half of the 11th Century, (see below). Anglicized forms of the original French Perci include Percy, Pearcey, Pearsey and Pursey. The last mentioned form is particularly well recorded in Somerset from the mid 16th Century. In 1546 Elizabeth Pursey and Andrew Lucas were married at Milverston. A second distinct possibility is that the name originated as a nickname for a soldier remembered for his breach of fortification. In this case the name derives from the Olde French "percer" to pierce, plus "haic", a hedge or enclosure.One of the earliest settlers in America was a Robert Percy aged 40 years, who departed from the Port of London in January 1634, aboard the "Bonaventure", bound for Virginia. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family originating from Baron Percy descended from William De Percy, who accompanied William 1st from Normandy in 1066, has the blazon of on a blue shield, five fusils conjoined in fess all gold, depicting one of noble birth. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de (of) Perci, which was dated 1086, The Domesday Book of Yorkshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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