What is the origin of the last name Perry?

The last name Perry has its origin in the Middle English personal name "Peter," derived from the Greek name "Petros," meaning "rock" or "stone." The name was popularized after being adopted by early Christians as a translation of the Aramaic name "Kephas," which was bestowed upon Simon by Jesus. As a surname, Perry emerged in England during the medieval period, eventually becoming a hereditary surname passed down from generation to generation, closely associated with individuals who were descendants or followers of someone named Peter.

Countries of origin for the last name Perry

Perry is a surname of English origin and it holds a significant place in genealogy, name etymology, and historical research. The wealth of knowledge available on the internet sheds light on various aspects of this last name.

First and foremost, the surname Perry is derived from the Old English word “pirige” or “piri” which means “pear tree.” This etymology suggests a connection to the fruit-bearing tree and its symbolism. The name was likely bestowed upon individuals who lived near or worked with pear trees. This ancestor-based origin is not uncommon for surnames, as many English last names derived from occupations or geographical features.

Another intriguing fact about the Perry surname is that it has multiple possible origins. Besides the English etymology mentioned earlier, it is also a variant of the Welsh surname “ap Herry,” meaning “son of Henry.” Additionally, it could derive from the French surname “Perré” or “Perret,” indicating a French ancestry. These variations indicate the complex history and multicultural influences behind the name.

The surname Perry has a relatively common presence in the United States, making it of particular interest for a US audience. Census data indicates that it ranks 157th in terms of popularity among surnames in America. Its widespread use suggests its prevalence and the existence of numerous individuals with this last name.

Throughout history, several notable individuals have borne the surname Perry. One of the most well-known figures is Matthew Calbraith Perry, an American commodore who played a pivotal role in opening up trade with Japan in the mid-19th century. His actions had a significant impact on international relations and the development of Japan as a modern nation. This connection to a historical figure adds a layer of significance to the surname.

Despite the wealth of information available about the Perry surname, there are still possibilities to be explored. For instance, the dispersion of the name across different regions and countries implies the potential for additional origins or variations. Furthermore, tracing the genealogy of diverse Perry lineages and their migration patterns could provide more insight into the history of the name.

In conclusion, the Perry surname holds a rich history and cultural significance. Its roots in the English language and possible connections to Welsh and French ancestry make it a name worthy of exploration. The prevalence of the surname in the United States, along with its association with notable historical figures, adds to its appeal. While we have uncovered many facts about the Perry surname, there remains a sense of endless exploration and discovery surrounding this intriguing last name.

Interesting facts about the last name Perry

  • The surname Perry is of Old English origin, derived from the personal name “Peter” or “Piers,” meaning “rock” or “stone.”
  • It is a relatively common surname, ranking among the top 250 most common surnames in the United States.
  • Famous individuals with the surname Perry include Matthew Perry, who is best known for his role as Chandler Bing in the television series “Friends,” and Katy Perry, a renowned singer-songwriter.
  • The Perry name has various spelling variations, including Perri, Perrey, Perrie, Parry, and Peary.
  • The name has English, Welsh, and Irish origins, and can be found in all English-speaking countries.
  • During the medieval period, the Perry surname was associated with occupations such as a person who worked as a ferryman or someone who lived near a pear tree or a pear orchard.
  • In Scotland, the Perry surname is associated with the Clan MacLean, one of the most ancient Scottish clans.
  • The Perry family name can be traced back to the Domesday Book of 1086, where it is recorded as “Pirie” or “Perie.”
  • There are several places with the name Perry, including the city of Perry in Iowa, Kansas, and Georgia, as well as Perry County in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio.
  • The Perry coat of arms features a blue shield with three silver or gold leopards’ heads.

Name Rank


There are around 221741 people with the last name Perry in the US

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