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Herb & Barbara our interests and family
Name variations include: Perkins, Pirkins, Perkyn, Perkyns, Parkyns, Pierrekin, Pierkyn, Perdins & Purkins.
Perkins is an English patrynomic. Like "Svensson" in Swedish or "Ilyitch" in Russian, it denotes the fact that this man was "the son of Sven" or Ilya or what have you. James Fulton Perkins, working from the research of Paula Perkins Mortensen, has done a wonderful job of sorting the legend from the fact in researching the actual history of the Perkins family and its name. Modern genealogists are discovering a number of fables & fictions which arose over years of "embellishing & embroidering" family genealogies. James Fulton Perkins has done the finest job I've yet seen of accurately describing the history of the family surname. From his essay on the Perkins name:
"...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.
The Anglo/Saxon five-century domination of English society was an uncertain time and the nation divided into five separate kingdoms. By 1066 King Harold had come to the throne of England and was enjoying reasonable peace and prosperity. However, the invasion from France and their victory at the Battle of Hastings, found many Englishmen moving.
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 in Warwickshire, 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..."
James Fulton further explains how "de Morlaix" became "Perkins":
Other authors have noted that the suffix "-kin" means "little" (as in "catkin" or "grimalkin"); that "per" is a diminuitive form of "Peter" and that an "s" on the end of an early surname meant "son of..." Thus, "Perkins" indicated "son of Little Peter". Note that the current meaning of "kin", meaning a relation, came from this diminutive endearment suffix and not the other way around.
"Perkyn" & "Perkyns" can be found on the 1327 Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk (Edmund) & Worcestershire (Walter), but the family is far older than that; it has long been a noble family located mainly in the southern part of England. Other branches of the family are in the south Midlands and west into Wales following their Marcher Lords, like the DeSpencers, into the Welsh Marches.
This branch of the family thrived around Hillmorton, Warwickshire; Ufton, Berkshire & Madresfield, Worcestershire. Some say that the Ufton branch in particular is the "source" of the Perkins family in England. It is definitely the source for the early American family. The Madresfield branch married into Herefordshire families and from there spread Perkins lines into Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire & Ireland.
Surname variations found in American Colonial records include Perkins, Pirkins, Perkines, Purkins & Perdins.