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Surname Palgrave - Meaning and Origin

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Palgrave: What does the surname Palgrave mean?

The last name Palgrave is an English surname derived from the combination of two Old French words, "paleis" meaning palace, and "grave" meaning count or nobleman. The name was most likely originally used to describe a person of noble rank or standing who held a position in a royal palace.

The name originally developed as a nickname or descriptive term for the ruler or beneficiary of a particular estate or palatial residence. Over time, the nickname became hereditary, and as the UK began to form, the surname Palgrave began to be used as a last name to distinguish those of the same family name.

Today, the Palgrave surname is found most prominently in the United Kingdom, specifically in the counties of Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, and Oxfordshire. Descendants of the Palgrave family, however, can be found in various countries around the world, all of whom trace their roots back to the Old French palace-dwelling noblemen of the 12th century.

The Palgrave name is typically associated with a strong sense of family, with records of the Palgrave family remaining close-knit even during periods of war and political conflicts. Loyalty to the family is greatly esteemed, with records of generations of Palgraves serving in official positions both in the public and private sector.

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Palgrave: Where does the name Palgrave come from?

The Palgrave surname is most common in the United Kingdom, having originated in Norfolk. It is also found in small pockets of various places around the world, including the United States and India.

In Norfolk, the Palgrave surname is considered to be quite old — records of the surname being used date back to at least 1275, when Ralph de Palgrave lived in the county.

The surname was originally derived from the Latin word palacium, meaning palace, while the first recorded use of the name as a surname was in the 11th century — when one Rainulf De Palgrave was recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book.

Over the centuries, the surname has spread around the world, and it’s still quite common today — particularly in the UK, but also in places like India, the US, and Canada. In India, for example, the Palgrave surname is found in the state of Gujarat.

However, the Palgrave surname is still much more common in the UK — particularly in Norfolk, where it has been used for hundreds of years.

Variations of the surname Palgrave

The surname Palgrave is of French origin and has a variety of different spelling variants, surnames of the same origin, and even some synonyms. These variations include Palgrave, Palgraves, Pelgrave, Pellgrave, and Pelgraves. The spelling variants may vary depending on the region and the source of the record.

The surname may also be derived from the Old French personal name Pail, which comes from the Latin paulus, which means ‘little’. Other surnames of the same origin, derived from Pail, include Paule, Paull, Paale, and Palle.

Other synonyms and variants for the surname include Palgreve, Palgerve, and Palgrav. The synonyms appear to have been derived from old Germanic words such as Greven and Grive, which refer to an official rank.

Certain Irish families use the surname Palligrave as an Anglicized variation of the surname. This was used to mark families who had married into (or were part of) the Anglo-Irish aristocracy.

In addition, some sources claim that Palgrave could have been derived from the old Italian word paglialore, which refers to the occupation of a marketer or merchant. However, this is unconfirmed.

Overall, the surname Palgrave has a variety of spelling variants, surnames of the same origin, and even some synonyms. These variations and variants may vary depending on the region and the source of the record.

Famous people with the name Palgrave

  • William Gifford Palgrave (1826-1888): British orientalist, traveler, and writer.
  • Francis Palgrave (1788-1861): Banker, scholar and editor of the "Golden Treasury".
  • Mond Palgrave (1857-1931): Artist, assistant secretary to the Royal Academy, father of the economist John Maynard Keynes.
  • Richard Palgrave (1827–1888): Educator, mathematician and scholar.
  • Robert Harry Inglis Palgrave (1827–1919): Banker, wrote the Dictionary of Political Economy.
  • Richard Francis Palgrave (1850–1938): Chief Officer of the Machine Gun Corps and author of "The Jews in Spain".
  • Michael Palgrave (1887–1941): English officer, diplomat, explorer and big game hunter.
  • Reginald Palgrave (1829–1904): English civil servant and literary editor.
  • Elizabeth Helen Palgrave (1930–2019): British academic and business woman.
  • William Macleod Palgrave (1825–1888): British soldier, artist and writer.

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