Perkins is one of the most notable surnames from the European genealogical research of Anglo/Saxon surnames, and its historical trail has emerged from the mists of time as an influential surname of the middle ages.
This essay is intended to document the facts ...The writer's purpose was to clear up some of the errors, omissions, folklore and stories, which were uncovered during a search for family history.
It should be noted at the beginning that the original spelling of the name was not Perkins. Confusing to most, the name was originally deMorlaix as the manuscripts of this time period were, most always, written in Latin or French. The later translators Anglicized the name from deMorlaix to Morley.
Research of ancient manuscripts, which include the Doomsday Book by Duke William of Normandy in 1086 A.D., the Ragman Rolls of 1291-1296 authorized by King Edward 1st of England, the Curia Regis Rolls, The Pipe Rolls and The Hearth Rolls of England, found the first record of the name Perkins in Leicestershire, England
The name Perkins, in one form or another (i.e.: deMorlaix/Morley), first appears on the census rolls taken by the Kings of England beginning about 400 A.D.
The family name Perkins is one of the most distinguished of the ancient world during a time of Kingdoms, Kings and Knights
If we are to believe Bede, the Chronicler of the Saxons, this founding race of England was led by the Saxon General/Commanders Hengist and Horsa and settled in Kent during this time and was a Anglo/Saxon race.
However, there is evidence to support the claim that the name is of Celtic/Welsh origin.
Based on British history we know that after the last Roman Legions left the continent in the early part of the 5th century the Saxons, Angles and other Low German tribes settled in Southeastern England around Kent.
However, the Ancient Britons (Celtics) were the true natives of the area and it is an amalgamation of the Angles, Saxons and Celtic Britons who became what we refer to today as the Anglo/Saxons. The truth is that the Angles and Saxons may have "moved in", but the Britons were there in far greater numbers, thus accounting for the claim that the blood line is far more Celtic than any other.
Therefore it should be concluded that the origins of the Perkins "Clan" are Celtic/Welsh.
By the 13th century the family name Perkins emerged as a notable English family in the county of Leicester, where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated as Lords of the manor and estates in that shire.
They had branched to Ufton Court in Berkshire and Sutton Coldfield inWarwickshire, later branching to Nuneaton, Marston and Hillmorton, Warwickshire. The main stem of the family continued at Orton Hall in Leicestershire, where it remains to this day.
Notable amongst the family at this time was Perkins of Leicester. For the next two or three centuries bearers of the surname Perkins flourished and played a significant role in the political development of England.
It is at this point where we pick up the story of the present day Perkins. The last generation to use the original spelling of Morlaix in or around 1331 was the family of one Pierre de Morlaix of Shropshire, England.The last generation? The only person who used the name was Pierre. Unless there were lots of de Morlaix's running around Morlaix in France.
He appears to have been born 1312 in Bretagne, Morliax, Normandy, France and died about 1384 in Shropshire, England.I think this should read, based on a wild guess he was born in 1312 and what his date of death is based on, since, remember now, the only time his name is ever written was in the Visitation manuscript, there is no way to know when he died. The manuscript only says that he was alive in 1381.
His name indicates that although originally from Morlaix, Normandy, France he was part of the Celtic/Welsh group previously mentioned who migrated to England.What part of this makes sense to anyone? Why does the fact that he was from Morlaix in France and named for the town of Morlaix lead you to believe that he was Celtic/Welsh. Am I the only one who doesn't get this?
During this time period surnames were not in common use. Everybody was known by some personal characteristic such as what they did, who there father was or where they came from, hence Pierre de Morlaix was from Morlaix, France.Exactly, he was called de Morlaix because he was from Morlaix, France.
Attaining a high position within English society, Pierre became the High Steward of the Hugo de Spencer Estate of Oxfordshire, England (later known as the House of Spencer, of whom Princes Diana was a daughter).
Pierre changed his name to the English translated version "Peter Morley" when Charles V, the Black Prince of France renewed the Hundred Years War with England. This war was disrupting English shipping, compromising trade with Spain and the Netherlands and persecuting English subjects on the mainland in many ways.So, I covered this part in my previous post, but it's too good to pass up. Charles V, the King of France, did renew the Hundred Years War in 1369. He fought against English forces led by Edward, The Black Prince, son of Edward III.
Because of the French victory at the Battle of Hastings, Frenchmen became persona-non-grata in England so to conceal his French origins Pierre changed his name to the English translation, Peter Morley. (1312-1384)
Unwilling to end the heritage of the deMorlaix name, when Peter (Pierre de Morlaix) Morley married Agnes Taylor, daughter of John Taylor of Madresield, Worcestershire, England, they had a son.
He was to be named Henry Pierrekin (meaning "first son of Pierre", born 1340 in Shropshire, England and died in Hillmorton, Warwickshire, England).He was to be or he was. Actually, all we know is that his name was Henry Perkins, thats it, nothing else, nada. We don't know when he was born, where he was born or when he died. (but it probably wasn't Hillmorton).
The "kin" suffix indicates the eldest son in a family and any subsequent sons are simply called with the suffix "son", as in "Pierreson". Hence, the first son is Pierrekin and the second son of Peter (Pierre) Morley would be "Pierreson".
Henry Pierrekin altered the name further, again to disguise the French origin, becoming the very English Henry Pierkyn.Nope, all we know is that he was Henry Perkins. This is his entry in the genealogy:
Henricus Perkins filius Petri = [blank] and had
When Henry married his eldest son was to be called John Perkyns (born 1360 in Madresfield, Worcestershire, England and died 05 Jan 1400 in the same place); again the suffix to indicate the eldest but changed from "kin" to "kyns". John became quite well educated and began often signing his name as John Perkins. Now as the prosperous John Perkins, Esquire he attained the position of Lord of the manor of Madrasfield as well as High Steward of the deSpencers at the passing of his father Henry. Thus began the spelling carried by all subsequent generations.Not true the name continued to have various spellings, including the Parkyns of Upton in 1623. And John was not Perkins but Parkyns. There is just a few more lines to the essay, but it's just more of the same stuff.
Susan Higginbotham, The Other Hugh Le Despenser
I welcome any comments you might have good or bad, I only ask that if you want to argue a point you provide a source.