A good number of Purseys made the trip across the water to the United States of America. They often went “en famille”.
One such were the brothers Thomas, Charles and George Pursey from Middlezoy, Somerset. Sons of cattle-drover Thomas Pursey and his wife Sarah Anne Fields, they all emigrated in the 1880s, settling in the mid-western township of Polk, Illinois. A large number of descendants remain there to this day.
First to leave was George in 1880 followed by Charles in 1881. A warm biography of Charles’s life is posted here whilst a comprehensive listing of his descendants in the US can be found here The death of George was announced in the Macoupin County Equirer in 1944 and can be found here
Their cattle-drover father Thomas was the son of William and Hannah Kitch.
Many Purseys born in Walton, Somerset also ended up in the USA or Canada. They can be variously found in Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. For the most part they were farmers.
Three Brothers – from Slough to Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Another Pursey line to establish itself in the States came from Slough. (Historically, part of Buckinghamshire, Slough is now a town in Berkshire.)
Three of the five sons of James Pursey and Elizabeth Leader emigrated to Ohio during the 1880s and 1890s. First was John Thomas who emigrated in 1887, at the age of 17. He was followed by Edward Alfred, and then George. All followed their uncle Charles (m Sarah Ormrod).
James and his brother Charles were children of William and Sarah Rance.