Recorded in several forms including Parsand, Persand, Persence, Persent, and almost certainly others, this is a surname of French and probably Huguenot protestant origins. Seemingly recorded in France as Persent, it is apparently a form of the ancient surnames Persant and Person. As such it is of medieval origins, possibly from the Champagne region, and probably a satirical nickname for somebody who regarded themselves as very important, an opinion which may not have been wholly shared by their peer group! Surnames from Medieval nicknames form one of the largest groups of European surnames, and it would seem that humour in those far of days, was considerably more robust than would be acceptable today. In England the surname seems to be an 18th century introduction from France, and it has it would seem, undergone a number of transpositions, whilst probably others remain to be discovered. Early examples of recordings from surviving registers of the city of London include Richard Parsand at St Botolophs without Aldgate, on March 13th 1719, and Walter Persent at St Helens Bishogate, on December 24th 1796. Throughout the centuries surnames have continued to 'develop' and this one would seem to be no exception.
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