Recorded in a wide range of spellings including Presha, Preshaw, Presho and Prasha, this is a surname usually associated with Ireland, but almost certainly of post medieval English origins. It is certainly locational and probably comes from the now 'dimished' village of Preshaw, near Waltham, in the county of Hampshire. Preshaw, now known only as Preshaw House, means 'the priests wood', and is believed to have been 'cleared' during the infamous enclosure period when in order to facilitate sheep farming in England, tenants were forced off their common lands and had to seek new homes and employment elsewhere. Many were promised lands in Ireland, and it is possible that the holders of this surname today in its many spellings, date from that period. The surname appears in the church registers recordings of Ireland in the reign of King William 111rd of Orange, the first possibly being that of James Prashaw of Clones, County Monaghan, on November 22nd 1693. For the next century the name appears only in Clones, although the spelling varies with for instance Ann Presho who married Hugh Craford, being recorded on January 16th 1764.
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