Recorded in many spelling forms including Presdee, Pressdee, Prestie, Presdie, and Presidey, this is a British surname. It is has not been too difficult to find surviving church recordings at least back to the 18th century, but deciding its precise origin and meaning is a subject of some conjecture. The name, however spelt, appears to be locational, and experience suggests that it is a dialectal variant of the 'lost' medieval village name 'Priestley', which itself gave rise to the popular English surname 'Presley'.Locational surnames are by their nature generally 'from' names. That is to say that they were given to people after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere. Education being at best rudimentary, and local accents very thick, often lead to the development of 'sounds like' spellings. The village of Priestley was in the county of Bedfordshire, north of London, and it was in London that this surname as Pressdee, Prestie and Prestly, was found in the surviving church registers. The derivation of 'Priestley' is from the Olde English pre 7th century 'preost' meaning a priest and 'leah', a fenced farm in the forest. This suggests that the village was probably originally owned by a local monastery, although this is conjecture. Examples of the surname recordings include Thomas and Jane Pressdee, who were christening witnesses at the church of St Mary Whitechapel, city of London, on April 1st 1795, and far away in Glamorgan, South Wales, where the name is now quite well recorded, William Pressdee was a witness at Oystermouth church, on July 21st 1848.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2024