Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is a medieval English surname. There are two possible origins. The first is residential for someone who lived by a pear orchard, or more probably one who owned such a place. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th century word "pirige", meaning pear-tree. Residential surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The second possible origin is Welsh and a patronymic form of the medieval given name "Herry". This is a form of Henry, and when fused with the Welsh patronymic prefix of "ap" produces Ap Herry or Perry. The development of the surname includes Richard Pirie (1198, Kent), Gilbert atte Pyrie (1263, Surrey), and Richard atte Perye in the medieval English names list, for the county of Sussex in 1392. The modern surname spellings include Perry, Perrie, Perree, Pirie, Pirrie, and Pury. Church recordings include Elizabeth Perry, the daughter of Steven and Alice Perry, who was christened on July 25th 1675, at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, London. The coat of arms granted in Gloucester in 1639 has the blazon of Quarterly red and gold, on a silver bend, three black lions passant. The crest is a hinds head proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Peri. This was dated 1176, in the "Staffordshire Pipe Rolls", during the reign of King Henry 11nd, 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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