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Our 2,974 members have registered
2,531 study surnames with us
and a further 6,411 variant names.
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3428

Purr

 

About the study

The study began with the intention of finding the origins of my husband'€™s 5xGt. Grandmother, Hannah PURR. All we knew about her was that she was the mother of an illegitimate son, who was baptized 1773. So the search began for all those with the surname of PURR.

Variant names

The study began with the intention of finding the origins of my husband'€™s 5xGt. Grandmother, Hannah PURR. All we knew about her was that she was the mother of an illegitimate son, who was baptized 1773. So the search began for all those with the surname of PURR.

Name origin

Reaney & Wilson suggest that it is derived from '€˜pϋ‹r'€™ the Old English nickname for a bittern. Another theory is that it is a corruption of Pierre. As the name is more common in Germany and the Balkans than in the UK, it may be that the first PURR came from the Continent to help dig the fens.

Name frequency

In 1881 there were 49 PURRs in Cambridgeshire and 32 in Suffolk, 25 in Middlesex and Surrey and the odd individual in just six other counties. The only significant movement from this pattern by 1998 was a cluster of families in Devon. From 125 in the 1841 census, the number had decreased to 119 by 1911 -€“ this was probably due to former PURRs becoming PARR around the end of the 19C and the family retaining this spelling.

Distribution of the name

The name is mostly found in East Anglia, particularly around Chippenham on the Cambridge and Suffolk border, and another cluster around Stowmarket in central Suffolk

Data

I have data from all the GRO Indexes; Census entries 1841-1901; IGI; most of the parish register entries in Cambridge and Suffolk; probate records from 1858; military records and other miscellaneous lists. Where possible everyone is placed within a family tree.

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