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Our 2,765 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

My Purple One-Name Study is an on-going collection of data, history, location, personal histories and photographs of the Purple Families that I have come across over the last twenty five years. This collection will eventually covers all Countries with this surname.

Variant names

Variants of this surname are as follows:- Purpell, Purphell, Perple/s, Perpall, Purpill, Purpyll and Purpoyle.

Name origin

The first explanation of the surname Purple is a description of a personal or physical characteristic of the initial bearer. Derived from the Old and Middle English word 'purpel', from the Latin 'purpure' which means 'purple'. This indicates 'one who habitually dressed in purple', which was a colour associated with high rank and royalty. Among the ancient Greeks and Romans purple robes were a mark of dignity and were worn by magistrates, military commanders and kings, and thus it soon became a symbol of luxury and power.

The second explanation of the surname Purple is an imitative form of the surname Pople, Popple. Derived from the place where the initial bearer may have lived. From the Middle English 'popler, from the Old French, poplier, peuple, meaning 'poplar tree'.


Data collected starts from about 1525 with Mary Purple of Essex. Data has been collected from many County areas of England, Cambridge, Essex, Kent, Norfolk, Suffolk, Sussex, Surrey, London areas, Middlesex, Manchester and Yorkshire.

Also collected much from America areas, Australia, Canada and Ireland, present study.