This unusual and interesting name is the metronymic form of the female personal name "Pearl". Metronymics are themselves very uncommon, since European society has been patriarcal for hundreds of years and it was usual for the given name of the male head of the household to be handed on as a distinguishing name, rather than that of the female head. The female given name "Pearl" is ornamental and was often used as a pet name for Margaret or Marguerite, since the Greek word for "Pearl" is "Margaretes". In the modern idiom the metronymic surname can be found as "Pearless, Peerless, Peerlis, Perlis, Perles, and Perlis". One John Peerelesse" married Sara Walker at St. James, Clerkenwell, London in August 1643. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Pearles, married Grace Cotton. which was dated 6th August 1623, St. Gregory by St. Paul's, London. during the reign of King James 1, of England and VI, of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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