People & Places

For the lucky few, finding their Pursey forebears will be straightforward. For others, the process is more tortuous. For example, you may well find your ancestor lurking under various transcriptions such as: Pussey, Purssey, Parsey, Persey, Pursy, Piercey, Persie, Percy, Percey, Purcy, and even Pinsey!

Places can be confusing too: Walton, Wilton, and Williton have been home to various Purseys in the past. They are all in different areas of Somerset – as are Bathealton (near Taunton) and Batheaston (east of Bath). You’ll find Purseys in the former but not in the latter!

Individuals from all the 20 branches below can be found on the database. Please refer to DNA info page for DNA requests of named families within these branches.

All Pursey unless stated. If you can’t find your ancestors be sure to search under Percy and Purcey!

  1. Berkshire/Hampshire (Berkshire Purseys mostly found in Binfield, Finchamstead, Eashampstead, Barkham, Wokingham. Hampshire Purseys from Farnham and Basingstoke)
  2. Buckinghamshire  (one complete family starting with Richard and Johanna Pusey in Penn)
  3. Cornwall (small complete family starting late 1700s. Probably linked to Taunton carpenters)
  4. Devon_Persey (one complete family beginning Kentisbere in mid 1600s. Some Perceys)
  5. Devon_Pursey (two complete families – one beginning with John b 1742 and his wife Ann in Uffculme; the other William and Jane Herniman). Please be sure to read the notes on each individual. No obvious connection to Devon Perseys, Percys, Pears(c)eys, Piers(c)ey etc!
  6. Hertfordshire (one complete family beginning with George Pursye (d 1598) and ending with Samuel in 1750) No known link with any other Pursey tree
  7. Kent (one complete family beginning with Joseph Purssey (b 1785) and Avice Seymour)
  8. Nottinghamshire (collection of two small families and other individuals). No links as yet with other Pursey trees
  9. Somerset, Pitminster & West Buckland (one complete family starting with Thomas and Catherine in the mid 1600s). The largest of all the Pursey branches
  10. Somerset, Bradford-on-Tone (a collection of families containing some of the earliest recorded Purseys in Somerset, starting about 1650)
  11. Somerset, Stogumber (three separate families of Pursseys, the earliest of which begins in late 1600s)
  12. Somerset, Taunton St James (one complete family dating from late 1600s. Many were weavers. Probably linked to Pitminster and West Buckland)
  13. Somerset, Taunton St Mary (one complete family starting with Edward and Sarah Lucas, late 1600s. Many in this tree are carpenters and builders)
  14. Somerset, Bishop’s Hull (the small and wealthy family of Christopher and Joan White. Apparently died out in London in mid 1800s. No links to other Pursey trees)
  15. Somerset, Walton and Street (the single family of William Pursey of Shapwick and wife Hannah Hawkins. Perhaps the most widely documented Pursey line. Thanks to Sheila B. & Stuart B. for help with this branch generally)
  16. Somerset, Taunton St Mary (the family of William Purssey and Dorcas Gilbert)
  17. Strays  – Pursey
  18. Strays – Purssey
  19. Strays – Percy
  20. Percy (the descendants of forth Earl of Northumberland Henry Percy and wife Maud Herbert containing gunpowder plotter Thomas Percy who provides a link – albeit tenuous – between the Percys and the Purseys. Robert Percy, son of Thomas, the plotter, married Emma Meade in Wiveliscombe, Somerset and had four known children: Francis, Ann, Thomas and James. Only offspring of Francis are known. His line eventually died out in Cambridge, England. Also contains tree of James the Trunkmaker)

I also have three trees of old Percys from Shaftesbury, Weymouth and Wimborne – unconnected, I believe with any of the Pursey lines. They are noted posted on the database

These trees are a work in progress. Inevitably, there will be some mistakes. Please do get in touch, if you have any additional information or you have any queries about the dates/details given.