A good many Purseys have delusions of grandeur. One or two have gone so far as to change the spelling of their name.
One of note is Theodore Pursey/Percy d 1926 (Walton/Street tree). With his brother Joseph, he went in search of adventure aboard the Phoebe Dunbar in 1856. I have posted his obit under the ‘Obits and Wills’ section and more information about the brothers can be found here: http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/p/u/r/Bill-Pursey/BOOK-0001/0004-0001.html
This is a post that I expect to grow as an increasing number of Percy families look into their roots only to discover their ancestors went under a different name.
1. Those who have wholly embraced the change are the descendants of Thomas Pursey, b 1725 Taunton, Somerset d 1810 Sherborne, Dorset. Coming from a family of carpenters and joiners, Thomas born a Pursey, was definitely a Percy in the parish register when he died. Interesting he signed his will, Percey. (See Taunton Purseys in the database).
2. More understandable is change perhaps is that of John Pursey from Walton, Somerset. Born to William Pursey and Ann Taylor, he finished his days a Percy in the predominantly French-speaking province of Ontario. He married Elizabeth Young in England in 1832. His children, all of whom were born in Canada, (and their descendants too) all carry the Percy name.
3. A more intriguing case is that of Isaac William Pursey, b 1844 in Pitminster, Somerset to Isaac and Mary Marke. Married to Annie Maria Howe around 1870, sons William George and Albert Edward were both registered under Pursey. Subsequently, three children – George, Florence and Leonard – were registered under Percy. Isaac (or William as he became) signed himself in then 1911 census, as Percy. Son Albert Edward is subsequently registered in 1911 as Percy.
Did … do these families know something the rest of us don’t. Are we all really Percys? Thats the $64,000 question!