Recorded in the spellings of Penberthy and Penbarthy, this is an English and specifically Cornish, locational surname. It originates either from the village of Penberth in West Cornwall or from some now 'lost' medieval site called Penberthy or similar. The name is believed to translate as 'the end of the trees' which seems a rather obscure description, but parts of Cornwall are very short of trees. In the small communities of the medieval period when by and large surnames were first formed, almost any natural or man made feature in the countryside could provide the basis for a surname or a place name. Many church register recordings are to be found in London before the names actaul 'natural' home, and this is no different. This is because of the delay in getting outlying regions of Britain to commence the compulsory church register recordings of Births and Marriages, whch started in the city of London from about 1536. This 'delay' was in some areas over a century. In this case early examples of the recordings include: Johannes Pinberye, who married Sybilla Kinge at the famous church of St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on September 1st 1555, in the reign of Queen Mary, known as 'Bloody Mary' 1554 - 1558, and Mary Penberthy who married Bennett Sakerly at St Just, Cornwall, on September 8th 1605.
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