Recorded in a bewildering variety of surname spellings including Paragreen, Pelerin, Pigram, Piegrome, Pigeram, Piggrem, Peggram, Peagram, Pilgrim and many others, this is an English surname. It originates though from the Old French word "pelegrin", meaning a pilgrim, and ultimately from the Roman "peregrinus", meaning literally "a traveller through the fields". The name was originally bestowed as a nickname on a person who had made a serious pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Rome, or perhaps the tomb of St. Thomas a Becket, in Canterbury. The surname first appears on record in the latter part of the 12th Century, and other early recordings include William Pegerim or Pegrum of the county of Dorset, in the year 1201, Eustace Pelrim, of Cambridgeshire, in 1221; Robert Peregrine of Somerset, in 1243, and Robert Pelgrim of Cambridgeshire, in 1260. Examples of surname recordings in the surviving church registers include Jone Pilgrim who married Thomas Maule, at St. Dunstan's Stepney, on September 25th 1580, and Sarah Pigram of Nazeing in Essex, on June 8th 1643. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Pilegrim. This was dated 1185, in the register of the Knight Templars of Warwickshire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as 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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