This very unusual name is a John of patronymic which derived form the job descriptive 'Purchas' a French medieval name for a messenger or courier. As Purchar, Perchin, and Purchan the elements break down as Purch and Kin (or son) to give 'The son of Purkas'. The name is rare in all its spellings possibly because the original job descriptive was only applied to a very specific form of messenger, although the precise 'specific' is now lost. The name developments include Mary Purchon who quite appropriately married Hardwick Spurr at St.Mary le Bone, London, on May 5th 1802, and William Purchan a witness at St. Leonards Church, Shoreditch in August 1853. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hannah Perchin, which was dated 1793, christened at Endell Street Hospital, London, during the reign of King George III, 'Farmer George', 1760 - 1820. 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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