This unusual surname recorded in the spellings of Pranger, Pringer, Pringuer, and Pringour, is probably French in origin. If so it originates from either a place called 'Pringe', whose translation is uncertain, in the department of Sarthe, or possibly from a corrupted form of 'Perrin Gault', a hamlet in the former department of l'Orne. This placename translates as 'the wood (gault) of the son (kin) of Perre (a form of Pierre). These place names undoubtably gave rise to the surnames Pringee and Pringault, and there seems little doubt that Pringer/Pringuer, have the same origins. However the earliest recordings that we have been able to trace do not confirm the French ancestry, and certainly not during the Huguenot period of approximately 1580 to 1750. Most Huguenots were recorded in the many French Protestant churches specially built in Britain for the incoming refugees. Unfortunately a number of early registers are missing, and it may be that the first recordings of 'Pring(u)er' would have been found there. Nethertheless the name is well recorded in London registers from the Mid 17th century and these recordings include the following examples. William Pringuer, who with his wife Decima, were witnesses at the christening of their daughter Harriet An at St Matthews, Bethnell Green, on April 25th 1755, Thomas Pringuer, also recorded as Pringour, at the same church on March 5th 1814, and William Pranger, son of Edward, christened at St Pauls Deptford, on June 19th 1835. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Pringer, which was dated July 14th 1672, a witness at St James church, Clerkenwell, London, during the reign of King Charles 11, known as 'The merry monarch', 1660 - 1685. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was 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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