This is a locational surname which derives from the village of Purslow in Shropshire. The origin of the village name is Olde English pre 7th century, being made up of the elements 'Posse' a personal name, plus 'hlaw' - a burial mound or small hill. It has also been suggested that the first element could derive from 'pur', the original word for a 'bittern' (bird), but this seems unlikely judging by the earliest known recordings. These were 'Posselaw' in the 1086 Domesday Book, and 'Pusselawe' in the 1226 'Book of Fees'. What does seem certain is that people with the surname of 'Purslow' descend from the original 'Lords of the Manor'. This is proven by the fact that all known early recordings come from the area around Purslow itself, whereas had the village been 'cleared' by the Enclosure Acts, the name would tend to predominate elsewhere. Early recordings include Edward Purselowe, whose son Richard was christened at Sidbury, Salop, on October 13th 1570, and Penelope Purslow, the daughter of Henrici Purslow, christened at the same place on April 23rd 1596. The coat of arms granted to the Purslows of Purslow, has the blazon of a silver field charged with a black cross patonce engrailed, inside a red bordure, bezantee. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robarte de Purselowe, which was dated 1255, in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Shropshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. 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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