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Surname Purtell - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'P'

Purtell: What does the surname Purtell mean?

The last name Purtell is of Irish origin and traces back to Gaelic roots. It is derived from "O Poirteil," a patronymic surname, where "O" signified "descendant of" or "grandson of," while "Poirteil" was a personal name that meant "searcher" or "seeker." Over time, the original Gaelic form evolved under Anglo-Norman influence and experienced various spellings, including Portell, Pertell, Portill, and ultimately Purtell. The meaning of Purtell, therefore, carries a connotation of a descendant or lineage of seekers, implying qualities such as curiosity, diligence, and perseverance. However, like many surnames, it has lost most of its original implications over generations and cultures and is now largely a way of identity. It is important to note that surname meanings can vary based on geographical locations and historical periods, so the interpretation of Purtell may differ across different cultures.

Purtell: Where does the name Purtell come from?

The last name Purtell is most commonly found in the United States today. In the 2020 United States census, 1,192 people had it as their last name. An additional 164 people had the name in the United Kingdom.

The name Purtell is believed to have been derived from the Irish surname O Purtail or O Purtill, which comes from the Gaelic “O’Port giolla Toille” meaning “descendant of the follower of the illustrious one”. It is thought that the Purtell name originated from Cork and Kerry counties in the Munster province of the south of Ireland.

The surname Purtell has also been found in other parts of the world, specifically in England, Australia and New Zealand. It has been listed as a top 400 last name in the United Kingdom, and it is believed to have entered the country with the many Irish immigrants who traveled there in the 19th century.

The Purtell surname is still most commonly found in the area of Ireland where records first list it as a family name, but it has spread throughout the world. It is likely that the prevalence of Purtells in the United States today is a result of the wave of Irish immigration in the 19th century, although people bearing this name are now found in other countries as well.

Variations of the surname Purtell

The surname Purtell is an anglicized variant of the Irish surname Mac an Phúirt, which translates as "son of the court" or "son of the steward". Variants of this surname include Purty, Porat, Purtyle, Purtyl, Purtill and Purtel. It is important to note that many of the surnames may have slight spelling variations due to incorrect translations and dialects.

In some cases, individuals may take the anglicized version of the name, depending on when and where the family immigrated and their preference. The spellings and surnames mentioned above all originate from the Irish Mac an Phúirt.

The most common way to spell the name today is Purtell. Because the name originates from Ireland, many Irish immigrants to other English-speaking countries may spell it differently. Variations of these spellings are likely to be found in records outside of Ireland, such as Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries or colonies populated with Irish immigrants.

In some cases, the surname may have been changed by the individual, their descendants or their employers. Examples of this include the surnames MacIntire, MacQuaid and MacFarlane, which all originated from Mac an Phúirt .

Ultimately, all these surnames, spellings and variants of this surname are from the same origin, Mac an Phúirt. and it is important to recognize the similarities between them for accurate family history research.

Famous people with the name Purtell

  • Alex Purtell: former Major League Baseball pitcher from 1970–1979
  • Dan Purtell: radio host and author
  • Deborah Purtell: multiple Emmy-award winner for her work in editing
  • Philip Purtell: English footballer
  • Peter Purtell: actor and writer
  • William Purtell: professional boxer who was featherweight champion of the world from 1895–1896
  • Michael Purtell: American jockey
  • Mark Purtell: Irish international rugby player
  • John Purtell: Olympic medallist from 1932
  • Harrison Purtell: strongman competitor and world record holder

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