Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Peter Name
Origins of Peter:
The surname of Peter is arguably one of the most prominent surnames in the world, especially among those who follow Christianity. It is said that in the Bible, it is written that Jesus Christ chose Peter to be “the rock of the church,” on which it was to be founded. Following the crusades of the early medieval period, this name gained popularity throughout Europe. The name of Peter itself derives from the personal given name of Peter, and is thus popular among the Christian population. St. Peter was one of the favorite saints of the medieval Catholic church, and thus was popular throughout the country of England. The name of Peter can be translated to mean “rock,” or someone who is “steadfast,” which is derived from the Greek word of “petros,” which can be translated to mean “rock,” or “stone.” The surname of Peter was also used as a nickname. It is a common element of surnames throughout Europe that many of them originally derived from nicknames, as it was a very common practice in medieval times. In the beginning, nicknames were applied to people who had distinguishing characteristics, such as moral or mental peculiarities, a similar appearance to a bird or animal, a similar disposition to a bird or animal, occupation of an individual, their habits, or their manner of dress. In the case of the surname of Peter, those who bore this surname were often said to be “strong-willed,” or “steadfast.”
More common variations are: Peters, Peterson, Peterken, Pears, Pearse, Perkin, Perkins, Perkinson, Pyrke, Parkin, Parkyn, Parkins, Parkyns, Parkinson
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Peter can be traced to the country of England. One person by the name of one Ralph Peter was mentioned in the document knowns as the Pipe Rolls of the county of Hertford, in the year of 1195. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King Richard I of England, who was known throughout the ages and commonly referred to as one “The Lionheart.” King Richard I of England ruled from the year of 1189 to the year of 1199. Other mentions of the surname of Peter include one Luke Petre, who was recorded as living in London, England in the year of 1282, and one William Petres who was recorded as living in Somerset, England in the year of 1327.
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Peter within the country of Spain was one person by the name of Andres Guillen Perez, who was recorded as residing within the area of Aguaron, Zaragoza, Spain in the year of 1565.
Within the country of Mexico, there is a sizable population of those who bear the surname of Peter. One person by the name of Martina Josepha Perez was recorded as residing in the area of Santa Catarina, Mexico in the year of 1775, and is the first recorded person to bear this surname in the country. Another mention of the surname of Peter within the country of Mexico includes one Diego Peres, who married one Maria Ysabel Yorba in Mexico City, Mexico, before migrating to the United States of America, and settling in Santa Catarina, Los Angeles in the year of 1775.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Peter: Nigeria 235,519; Tanzania 178,779; Uganda 48,357; Kenya 29,269; Papua New Guinea 22,914; India 20,021; Sudan 17,526; Hungary 14,920; South Africa 14,629; United States 14,140; Malaysia 10,776
Victor St. Peter, who was an American Democrat politician, and who served as the Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Maine in the year of 1964.
George St. Peter, who was an American Republican politician, and was elected to the Missouri State House of Representatives from Mercer County in the year of 1964.
Francis X. St. Peter, who was an American Republican politician, who served as the Presidential Elector for Michigan in the year of 1920.
Werner Peter (born in 1950), former football player from East Germany.
Samuel Peter (born in 1980) heavyweight boxer from the country of Nigeria.
Philipp Peter (born in 1969) racing car driver from the country of Austria.
John Peter (1937-1998) field hockey player from the country of India.
John Peter (1921-1983) literary scholar and novelist from the country of Canada.
Friedrich Peter (1921-2005) who became the leader of the FPO Parliament Group in 1970, and won the Grosses Verdienstkreuz mit Stern, and who was a politician from Austria.
Peter Family Gift Ideas
Browse Peter family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.
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Peter Family Crest Corn Hole Game$224.00Purchase »
Peter Family Crest Ping Pong Table$167.59Purchase »
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Blazons & Genealogy Notes
1) (Bowhay, co. Devon. Visit. Devon, 1620; descended from William Peter, younger brother of John Petre, of Torr Newton, ancestor of the Lords Petre, of Writtle; John Peter, Esq., the last of the Bowhay branch, d. in 1643, leaving an only dau. and heir, m. to Sir Allen Apsley, ancestor in the female line of Earl Bathurst). Mottoes—Sans Dieu rien; and, Sub libertate quietem. (Chyverton and Harlyn, co. Cornwall; descended from the marriage of Thomas Peter, third son of John Peter, Esq., of Bowhay, M.P. for Exeter, temp. Mary I., with Elizabeth, only dau. and heir of Henry Mitchell, Esq.). Gu. on a bend or, betw. two escallops ar. a Cornish chough ppr. enclosed by as many cinquefoils az. Crest—Two lions’ heads erased and endorsed, the dexter or, the sinister az. gorged with a plain collar, counterchanged.
2) (co. Essex). Gu. on a bend (sometimes a chev.) or, betw. two escallops ar. a Cornish chough ppr. enclosed by as many cinquefoils az. on a chief of the second a rose betw. two fleurs-de-lis of the first, seeded or, barbed and leaved vert. Crest—Two lions’ heads erased, conjoined and endorsed, the dexter or, the sinister az. collared and ringed, counterchanged.
3) Gu. on a bend or, a martlet sa. on a chief of the second a rose betw. two cinquefoils az. Same Crest as the last.
4) (Ingatestone, co. Essex). Gu. on a bend or, betw. two escallops ar. a Cornish chough ppr. betw. as many cinquefoils az. a chief of the second charged with a cross betw. two demi fleurs-de-lis of the first.
5) Ar. a chev. gu. betw. three leopards’ faces of the second.
6) Gu. a bend or, betw. two escallops ar.
7) (Brigadier-General Thomas Peter, of Corsbasket, co. Forfar, 1806). Motto—Pour mon Dieu. Vert a crescent betw. three pairs of keys in saltire or. Crest—Out of a mural crown ar. masoned sa. a dexter arm in armour vambraced, grasping a scymitar ppr.
8) (Platbridge, co. Lancaster). Motto—Sans Dieu rien. Gu. a bend or, betw. two escallops ar. Crest—Two lions’ heads erased and addorsed, the dexter or, the sinister az. each gorged with a plain collar counterchanged.
9) (Black Friars, Canterbury, co. Kent). Or, three roses gu. Crest—An arm holding a rose sprig ppr.
10) (London; granted 1748). Or, a lion ramp. sa. on a chief of the last three mascles of the first. Crest—A swan, reguard. ppr. gorged with a ducal coronet sa. reposing the dexter foot on a mascle or.
11) (London). Gu. on a bend or, betw. two escallops ar. a Cornish chough ppr. enclosed by as many cinquefoils az.
12) (Newcastle-on-Tyne). Motto—Absque Deo nihil. Sa. on a bend erm. cotised engr. or, betw. two cinquefoils of the last a hurt enclosed by as many escallops az. Crest—A lion’s head erased erm. charged with a bend engr. betw. two escallops az.
13) (London). Gu. a bend ar. betw. two escallops or, on a chief of the last a cinquefoil enclosed by as many fleurs- de-lis az. Crest—A buckle ar.
14) (London; James Peters, Esq., of Park Street, Grosvenor Square). Motto—Invidiâ major. Or, a lion ramp. sa. on a chief of the second three mascles of the field. Crest—A swan wings endorsed reguard. ar. ducally gorged or, reposing the dexter foot on a mascle sa.
15) (Rev. Michael Nowell Peters, Vicar of Madron, co. Cornwall). Gu. on a bend or, betw. two escallops ar. a Cornish chough ppr. enclosed by as many cinquefoils az. Crest—Two lions’ heads erased and addorsed, the dexter or, the sinister az.
16) (Parsons-Peters; William Parsons-Peters, Esq., Yeabridge, co. Somerset). Motto—Fidelitas et veritas. Az. on a fesse betw. five escallops, three ia chief, and two in base ar. as many lozenges conjoined of the first. Crest—A horse’s head ar. crusily az. holding in the mouth a cinquefoil slipped vert.
17) (Kilburn, and Westbourne Terrace, Bayswater). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, or, a lion ramp. sa., on a chief of the second three mascles of the first; 2nd and 3rd, ar. a buglehorn stringed betw. three double attires all sa., for Winpenny. Crests—Peters: A swan reguard. ppr. resting the dexter foot on a mascle or; Winpenny: A griffin’s head couped ppr. holding by the string a buglehorn az.