Perkins Family     Websites

Perkins History by: John A. Perkins

Perkins @ Rootsweb by: Sonya Perkins Lynch



Perkins, a name of English or Wales Origin......


The English surname PERKINS is patronymic in origin, being one of those names derived from the first name of a father. In this case, the surname is composed of two elements: "Per", which is a contracted form of Peter and the diminutive suffix "kin". Hence, the literal meaning of this surname is "Little Peter". The "s" ending usually denoted "Son Of". The surnames of Parkin and Perkinson are other variants of the name. This custom of naming appears to have commenced in the Middle Ages, when it was the practice for sons to take their surnames from the Christian name of their fathers.

Early instances of the surname include one Edmund Perkyn, whose name was recorded in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1327, and a Walter Perkyns, who lived in Worcestershire in 1327 (Subsidy Rolls). More recent records reveal that this is the surname of some notable English Families. The name is most numerous in the south of England, the south Midlands and South Wales. Notable bearers of the surname include the English theologian William Perkins (1588-1602) and, more recently, the American editor Maxwell Evarts Perkins (1884-1947).

The Perkins family is so ancient, so shadowed in the legends and traditions of a time when accurate records were not kept, that it is impossible to say when or where it had its origin. The very fact that the surname evolved from a Christian name would indicate not only that there are several "branches", but that in all probability, if they could be traced, there are many distinct families of the same surname, derived from ancestors who had the same Christian name, though in no way related to each other.

Before 1700 one family of Perkins produced a then "old pedigree" tracing back to the ancient Kings of Britain before England was a name. There is another pedigree showing the descendants of a Osbert Parkins, who lived soon after the Norman Conquest. And in an old Subsidy Roll of Worcestershire for the Sixth of Edward III (1318) a Julia or Juliana Perkins is recorded as living and paying taxes in Madresfield, when Peter Perkins of the Ufton pedigree was still a boy.

The Perkins of Ufton, Berkshire, are generally believed by genealogists to be the parent branch from which nearly all the Perkins of England and America are descended. The most widely used pedigree is that of Peter or Perkin Morley, who is stated to have been "serviens" ( probably a military rank next below Knight) to Hugh DeSpencer who was at the time one of the richest, most powerful nobles in England and who was living in the year of the poll tax (1381). Traditionally this man is said to have been Pierre de Morlaix, High Steward of the estates of Hugh DeSpencer. He is suppose to have been a younger son of the Morlaix family who fled to England in the train of the DeSpencers. Whether he was the scion of French nobility or the Shropshire man that many genealogists suggest, he is recorded as Peter Morley, alias Perkins of Shropshire, "sevients" to Lord Hugh DeSpencer of the manor of Shipton in Oxfordshire, and husband of Agnes Taylor. This Perkins had a son, Henry Perkins who had a son, John Perkins, living in 1399 who was Seneschal to Thomas DeSpencer, Earl of Gloucester, 1398, recorded in an old Court Roll of Madresfield Manor. John Perkins had a son, William Perkins living in 1420 who married a certain Margaret. In 1424 there was a fine imposed between John Collee and Elizabeth and William Perkins, (son of John the Seneschal) and Margaret, his wife, by which the manor and advowson of Ufton Robert (near Reading) and a moiety of land in Buscot and other places and Ufton where settled on William and Margaret Perkins and their heirs. That is how the family acquired the Ufton estate which belonged to Richard II in which there are records that he acknowledged to hold an estate of the manor of Madresfield by fealty and 8s 5d per annum. The Ufton estate remained some centuries with the descendants of this William & Margaret Perkins. In 1444, William signed as witness to a deed or grant from Henry VI to provost and college of Eton, of lands in New and Old Windsor and Clewer. In 1447 he is mentioned in the Court Roll of the Manor of Bray as holding the office of "Baillous" to the Duke of Gloucester, who was brother to Henry V and uncle and guardian to Henry VI during his minority. William Perkins had a son, Thomas Perkins,Esq., living in 1460 and dead before 1479. In the "Close Roll" , Edward IV (1461) there is a deed by which Thomas Perkins,Esq. in conjunction with the "King Maker", Earl of Warwick, and his brother John, Lord Montague, received certain manors in Hampshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, in which he probably acted as co-trustee. From this Thomas Perkins,Esq., both the Berkshire and Nottinghamshire families descended, the former from John Perkins,(eldest son of Thomas Perkins.Esq.), who inherited the Ufton estates, the latter from another son, Thomas Perkins, to whom the property at Madresfield passed. John Perkins,(eldest son of Thomas Perkins Esq.), had a son named Thomas, who married the daughter and heir of a certain More. This Thomas Perkins had two sons, Richard Perkins, the eldest, he died without issue by his wife, and William Perkins, who married the daughter of a Wells. This William Perkins had a son, Francis Perkins, Esq., of Ufton, who married Anna Plowden. Francis & Anna (Plowden) Perkins had two sons I mention, Francis Perkins the heir, living 1623 who married Margareta, daughter of Jo Eston DeCatmore, Esq. of County Berks; and Edward Perkins, second son. In 1623 there were probably branches of the Ufton family scattered throughout England.

Thomas Perkins (son of Thomas Perkins, Esq.,) to whom passed the estate of Madresfield in Worcestershire, married Ellen Tomplins of Nupend, their eldest son, William Perkins married into Warwickshire, as so did William's son, Richard Perkins of the parish of West Hide, County Hereford.

There was a large settlement of Perkins in the district around Madresfield from much earlier times then the pedigree suggests. They of Madresfield married chiefly into Herefordshire, where they had property. From them various branches appear to have sprung in that and adjacent counties. The families descended from Madresfield are those of Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire and Ireland.

From William Perkins (1495), of Hillmorton Parish, Warwickshire, was descended the John Perkins who possibly was the one that settled in Ipswich, MA and was the progenitor of many American branches of the Perkins Family.






   Search this site                 powered by FreeFind


 Site design by Perkins Research