Recorded as Pelfer, Pelefer, Pelferman, this is a very interesting surname. As it has been recorded even if only rarely in England since at least very early Elizabethan times, which would suggest that it is English in origin, but this is not proven. It would also seem to be occupational, but if so the only occupation which would seem to have any possible association with the spelling of the name is that of 'peleter'. A peleter was a furrier, derived from the French word pel, from which we get pelt, and the known surnames included Pelter and Pilter, not far in spelling from this surname. The Dictionnaire de noms de France has nothing nearer, and the only other suggestion that we have is from the Olde French word 'pelf'. This described 'booty' of some sort, although whether it was gained falsely or honestly, assuming that one can do such a thing, is unclear. Early recordings include Jone Pellefer who married William Haines at St Mary Woolnoth, city of London, on January 27th 1566, and William Pelferman, achristening witness at the famous church of St Mary-le-Bone, on October 15th 1732.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017