This very rare name is a peculiarly Yorkshire dialectal variant of the more commonly found surname 'Perry', which is itself of Anglo-Saxon origin. The surname is topographical, and denotes residence by or near a pear tree, derived from the Old English pre 7th Century 'pyrige' or 'pirige', a derivative of 'pere', pear, 'per(r)ie' in Middle English. Topographical surnames were among the earliest and most numerous, since either natural or man-made features in the landscape provided obvious distinguishing names. The name development has included Richard Pirie (1198, Kent), Gilbert atte Pyrie (1263, Surrey), and Richard del Piry (1381, Staffordshire). The marriage between James Pyrah and Mary Crabtree was recorded on April 24th 1707, in Bradford, Yorkshire, and one John son of Ebenezzar Pyrah, was christened at Holy Trinity, Wibsey, in Yorkshire on September 1st 1749. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Peri, which was dated 1176, The Staffordshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 11, 'The Builder of Churches', 1154 - 1189. 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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