This long-established surname is of early medieval English origin, and belongs to that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These nicknames were originally given with reference to occupation and to a variety of personal characteristics, or to habits of dress and behaviour. The derivation, in this instance, is from the Middle English "pilegrim, pelgrim", Old French "pelegrin", ultimately from the Latin "peregrinus", traveller, a derivative of "peregre", abroad (Latin "per agros", literally "through the fields", from "ager", field). The name denoted someone who had been on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Rome, or perhaps the tomb of St. Thomas a Becket at Canterbury. Such pilgrimages were frequently imposed as penances, more serious sins requiring more arduous journeys. Early examples of the surname include: Hago le Pelerin (Norfolk , 1198); William Pegerim or Pegrum (Dorset, 1200); William Pegrin (Cambridgeshire); and Symon Pegrym (Suffolk, 1327). In the modern idiom the name has a number of spelling variations ranging from Pilgrim, Pilgram, Pagram, Peagram and Peggram, to Pigram, Pigrome, Peregrine and Paragreen. On June 24th 1663, Thomas Pegrum and Mercy Randull were married at Ware, Hertfordshire. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is an azure shield with two gold pilgrims' staves, the Crest being a golden escallop. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Pilegrim, which was dated 1185, in the "Knights Templars Records of Warwickshire", 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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