This is surely one of the worlds most unusual surnames. As far as we are able to tell, it is first recorded in its 'modern' spelling in the surviving church registers of the city of London on February 11th 1608, when Phillip, the son of Richard Perringchiffe was christened at St Andrews Holborn, and again three years later when a daughter Anne, was also christened at the same church There then seems to be something of a gap in recordings until 1684, when at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, we have the recording of Samuel Perrinchief, whose son also called Samuel, was christened on May 8th of that year. The name appears to be locational from some place called Perran Cliffe, Perranchief or similar except that no such place or indeed anything quite like it, appears in any known gazetter of the British Isles. Another possibility is that it is a very early double barrelled name, although if so the only explanation that we can offer is that it certainly seems to be made up of the popular surname Perrin, but the suffix is at best uncertain. It may have been Chief, although this is not as far as we know, a surname. Curously there is or was a place called Chieflowman, and Perrinchief seems to be a sort of reverse of this spelling.
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