There is no doubt that the Pursey name was distinctively in use at the end of the 1400s. One of the earliest individuals bearing the name was one George Purseye in Hertfordshire. (That line continued unbroken until the mid 1700s when it died it with William – or so it seems, currently. Then there are the Purseys of Somerset – by far the largest concentration of those with the name. One of the earliest is Elizabeth in Milverton who married Andrew Lucas in 1546. The name then occurs with more regularity in Bradford on Tone and Halse andÂ Bridgwater. By the late 1600s there are more in Pitminster and West Buckland. By the 1700s, it can be found in Devon, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.
Researching a Pursey family can be a tricky thing. It is after all quite an unusual name with a distinctive spelling. Some are lucky in that they can enter a not-too-distant ancestor into the search box and see their whole line unfold before them, uniformly listed as Pursey.
Others are not so lucky, especially those with ancestors that travelled. Here are a few of the variations of the name that might turn up your hitherto missing ancestor:
Pursey, Pursy, Pursye, Purzey, Pursy, Purzie
Purssey, Purrsey, Parssey, Perssey
Parsey, Persey, Pirsey, Porsey, Pursie,
Purfey, Purney, Purpey, Purrey, Purvey
Passey, Pussey, Pussy, Pusey
Pircey, Piercey, Piercy, Pearsey, Pearsy
Percy, Percey, Percie, Purcy, Purcie
Bursey, Fursey, Tursey, Rursey
Purse, Purze, Purs, Pers
and some one-offs: Resley, Russey, Puney, Penny, Pacey, Bessey
And this is by no means exhaustive! If you have other unlikely spellings/transcriptions, please let me know.