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About the study

The origin of this name appeared in no reference book and that was the incentive to start this research

Variant names

The name pronounced 'dyne' in Lincolnshire is pronounced 'dean' further south. Three brothers in London decided to spell their name Pepperdene towards the end of the nineteenth century.

Pepperdine itself is a variant, see later.

Name origin

The following possibilities have been examined and rejected but further facts may still reveal a connection. An occupational name or nickname seems unlikely as the name comes into existence no earlier than 1562. The places Pepperdale in Lincolnshire, Pipton (formerly Pipperton) in the Brecon Beacons or Piperden/Pepperden in Northumberland and the surname Pepperday/Peberdy have been considered.

As Sherlock Holmes would have it 'when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however mprobable, must be the truth'. It appears that Pepperdine was formerly Pedwardine although proof is still lacking. In the parish of Howden, Yorkshire the surname Petwardine can be seen to change via Pepwardine, Pepwerdine to Pepperdine or Peppertine on three occasions, although these are not the ancestors of any Pepperdine alive today.

Historical occurrences of the name

In 1287 Edward I's forces laid siege to Rhys Ap Maredudd at Drysylwn castle near Carmarthen. Walter de Pedwardine was responsible with 7 others for keeping accounts and paying the troops. This Walter could be the father of Roger de Pedwardine who acquired Burton Pedwardine in Lincolnshire by marriage.

George Pepperdine (1886-1962) founded the University in Los Angeles which later hosted the swimming events at the Los Angeles Olympics and now has branches in Europe.

Frank Simpson Pepperdene the X ray martyr was born Simpson Thomas Pepperdine in Camberwell, London 1862 died Quebec, Canada 1933.

Name frequency


Distribution of the name

Roger the last Pedwardine to hold the manor of Burton Pedwardine died 1468, and had six sons born 1433 to 1443. Christopher returned to the ancestral home in Shropshire, John may be the ancestor of the Petwardines in Howden, Yorkshire. The appearance of Pepperdines early in parish registers in Lincolnshire, and north Northamptonshire where the Pedwardines held lands, suggests that the name may have evolved from Pedwardine on more than one occasion.

All present day Pepperdines whose ancestry has been established, can be traced to one of five mid 18th century marriages in Lincolnshire. Initially migration out of the county was to Sheffield, Manchester and London. The Scopwick family now exist only in USA. Fiskerton, Boston and Lincoln families have branches in Canada. The Boston family is well represented in USA. The name has moved three times to Australia but only the Pepperdene variant has taken root. The Street name 'Pepperdene Way' in Geelong, Victoria is due to its being lined with Pepper trees (Schinus Molle) imported from S America.


Births in England and Wales since 1837 average about four per year, but whilst there is a tendency for this figure to fall in recent years, there is healthy growth in N America. We acquire our surname by birth, marriage or adoption. The total past and present population worldwide amounts to some 1,700. Further work is still required in USA.

Currently the total individuals, including marriage partners, known to be related in each family are: Lincoln 520 plus, Fiskerton 490 plus, Boston 480 plus, Scopwick 200 plus and Grantham 90 plus. There are 135 individuals on the trees prior to mid 18th century which suggest a common origin in Billinghay, although the Grantham family may yet prove to be a branch of the Pepperdays.