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Surname Pearse - Meaning and Origin

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Pearse: What does the surname Pearse mean?

The last name Pearse originates from the Irish surname O'Pearsaigh, which is derived from the Gaelic word "péarás," meaning pear. It is believed to have come to Ireland from Normandy in the 11th century.

The Pearses were initially an important Gaelic family in Munster. Their most famous member was William Pearse, a Gaelic scholar who was involved in the Irish independence movement.

In modern times, the name Pearse is still associated with education and freedom. The Irish nationalist, Padraig Pearse, was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916.

In Ireland, the name Pearse is still very common in areas where Gaelic is spoken, such as County Cork and County Kerry. In fact, Pearse Street is a well-known address in Dublin.

The meaning of the last name Pearse is also conveyed through its use as a first name. Popular namesakes include Padraig Pearse, an Irish patriot, and Christopher Pearse Cranch, an American poet and painter.

Overall, the last name Pearse conveys a sense of Irish history, education, and freedom. It is a powerful reminder of the legacy of those who fought for a free and independent Ireland.

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Pearse: Where does the name Pearse come from?

The last name Pearse is most commonly found in Ireland, where it is particularly prevalent in the province of Leinster, particularly in the counties of Dublin, Wicklow, and Wexford. The name is also found in England, particularly in the South-East counties of Berkshire, Wiltshire, and Hampshire. In the United States, Pearse is a somewhat less common surname; the most populous states with people bearing the name are New York, California, Florida, Texas, and Massachusetts.

The name Pearse is of English origin, derived from an Old English personal name Piers, as seen in other forms such as Pearce, Peers, and Percival. The name literally means “rock”, from the Old English pier, and likely referred to someone who was described as being like a rock – steadfast and reliable. The earliest known reference to the name Pearse is from 1220 in a Wiltshire court record.

The surname Pearse is associated with the Irish patriot Patrick Pearse, leader of the 1916 Easter Rising. Following his execution, many people changed their name to Pearse in commemoration of Pearse and his cause, and it is thought this is the origin of the last name’s prevalence in Ireland today. It is likely that many of the people with the last name Pearse in Ireland today are descended from people who changed their names in the late 19th century.

Variations of the surname Pearse

The surname Pearse is a variant spelling of the surnames Pierce, Pearce, and Piers. All of these surnames can vary in spelling due to transcribing errors and regional dialects. Variants of spelling have been found in both English and Irish sources over the centuries.

The surname Pearse has its origins in the Middle English word ‘pier’, which is derived from the Old French ‘pier’, which means ‘to pierce or cut’. It was most likely first used as a nickname for someone who was skilled with a sword or lance.

Additionally, the spelling variants of Pearce, Pierce, Piers, Pisces, Pears, and Persu can also be attributed to the name. These variants are found in Ireland, England, and Scotland.

Other surnames which evolved from the name Pearse include Pers, Peirson, Piers, Pearson, and Person. Some other forms of the name Pearce have even been found in the United States.

The surname Pearse is the most common spelling of the name, and is most prevalent in the areas of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, and Dorset, as well as the Isle of Wight in England. Additionally, it has also been found in Ireland, especially in Leinster and Munster, as well as in some parts of Scotland.

Famous people with the name Pearse

  • Michael Pearse: Irish politician, active in the early twentieth century and was a leader of the Rising of Easter 1916.
  • Irene Pearse: was a British actress and singer in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
  • Geoffrey Pearse: British architect and civil engineer who worked on much of London's transport infrastructure during the twentieth century.
  • Martin Pearse: English politician and Member of Parliament in the late nineteenth century.
  • Peter Pearse: English businessman and philanthropist in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
  • Julian Pearse: British actor, best known for his role in the British period drama 'Upstairs Downstairs' in 1974.
  • Patrick Pearse: Irish writer, poet, and leader of the Easter Rising in 1916.
  • John Pearse: British artist and Expressionist painter in the early twentieth century.
  • Albert Pearse: English pianist and composer in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
  • Joe Pearse: British footballer in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

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