This uncommon and intriguing name has two possible interpretations, each with its own distinct meaning and derivation. Firstly, it may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a topographical surname for someone who lived by or near a pear tree, derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "pyrige, pirige", from "pere", pear, which in Middle English became "per(r)ie". Early examples of the surname from this source include: William le Piryere (1327, Sussex), and John Peryere (1327, Essex). Secondly, the surname may be of Old French origin, introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066, as an occupational name for a quarrier, a quarryman. The derivation here is from the Old French "perrier", an agent derivative of "pierre", stone, rock. Early examples of the surname from this source include: Robert Perier (1194, London), and Richard Le Perur (1288, Sussex). The modern surname forms from both sources range from Perrier, Per(r)yer and Pierrier, to Peirier, Purrier and Puryer. In London, the marriage of Thomas Purrier and Catherin Goddin was recorded at St. Gregory by St. Paul, on April 2nd 1635. A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name is blazoned as follows: Argent (silver) a chevron vert (green) between two spears in chief of the last, and in base on a mount of the second a pear tree proper fructed or (gold), a chief ermine. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Puriere, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1327 - 1377. 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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