Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Peterson Name
Origins of Name:
The surname of Peterson is said to have Christian elements, but derives from the Greeks. The Greek word of “Petros” which can be translated to mean “the rock” is where the surname stems from. Peterson is the patronymic form of the personal given name of Peter, which has the original derivative of the Greek word “Petros.” Thus, the surname of Peterson can be translated to mean “son of the rock.” There are over seven hundred estimated spellings of the personal given name of Peter, meaning that there are many possible spellings of the surname of Peterson. The popularity of the surname of Peterson within Christian countries and cultures can be largely attributed to Peter, whom Christ allegedly chose to build the foundation of the church. Thus, in a Biblical setting, Peter was chosen to be “the rock on which the church was to be founded.” This personal given name gained popularity following the Crusades, which was how it was brought to Europe, most specifically the country of England.
More common variations are: Peter, Petterson, Pieterson, Peaterson, Petersson, Petersone, Petersohn, Peiterson, Petereson, Peterseon, Petersonn
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Peterson can be found in the country of England. One person by the name of Ralph Peter was mentioned and named in the Pipe Rolls of the County Hertford in the year of 1195. This document, the Pipe Rolls of the Country Hertford, was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King Richard I of England, who was known throughout the history of the ages as one “Richard the Lionheart” or “The Lionheart.” King Richard I of England ruled from the year 1189 to the year 1199. Other mentions of the surname of Peterson within the country of England includes Luke Petre who was mentioned in the city of London, England in the year of 1282, and William Petres, who was mentioned as living in Somerset, England, in they ear 1327. Those who bear the surname of Peterson can be found in large concentrations throughout the country of England. The areas that have the most recognizable populations of people who bear the surname of Peterson are in the counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire.
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Peterson within the country of Spain was found in the year of 1565. One person who was recorded to bear the name of Andres Guillen Perez was mentioned as living within the area of Zaragoza, Spain.
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Peterson in the country of Mexico was said to be found within the year of 1775. One person who was named as Martina Josepha Perez was said to have lived in or around the area of Santa Catarina, Mexico in the month of December, on the 23rd day.
United States of America:
During the 17th Century, the European Migration began, which placed more and more settlers in the United States of America. The U.S. which at that time was referred to as The New World, or The Colonies, became an area where many Europeans who were dissatisfied with the state of their government, flocked to. The first person to bear the surname of Peterson in the United States was one Henry Peterson, who arrived in Virginia in 1622. Those with the surname of Peterson can be found in Illinois and in Minnesota.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Peterson: United States 324,042; Canada 13,238; Haiti 12,785; Brazil 10,319; Nigeria 10,240; South Africa 7,634; Australia 7,596; Uganda 6,535; Sweden 5,525; Germany 4,808
Phyllis Amanda Peterson (1971-2015) who was an actress from America, and who is most notably recognized from the film Can’t Buy Me Love for her role as Cindy Mancini in the year 1987
Major-General Virgil Lee Peterson (1882-1956) who was a Director of Personnel in the Army Service Forces in the year 1945
Michael J. Peterson (1941-2014) who was a Democratic politician from America, who served as a Member of the Kansas House of Representatives from the year 1979 to the year 1990
Roger Tory Peterson (1908-1996) who was a naturalist from America, and who was also an ornithologist, educator, and artist, who was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Ole Peterson, who was a politician from America, and served as a Member of the Minnesota State Senate in the 39th District in the year of 1872
Opal Peterson, who was a Democratic politician from America, who also served as the Presidential Elector for Minnesota in the year 1996
Oscar Peterson Jr, who was a Republican politician from America, and who served as a Member of the Connecticut State House of Representatives from Stratford and who was elected in the year of 1946
Peterson Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Peterson blazon are the lion rampant, eagle, talbot and cross. The three main tinctures (colors) are argent, sable and gules .
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur . In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known . Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy .
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines . Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).
There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. Originally it appeared only in one pose, erect, on one paw, with the others raised but such was the popularity of this figure, and the need to distinguish arms from each other, that it soon came to be shown in an enormous range of forms . The lion rampant is an example of these modified form, and any family would be proud to have such a noble creature displayed on their arms. Rampant is the default attitude of the lion, raised on its hind legs, facing to the dexter and with front paws extended in a fearsome and powerful pose.
Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period . They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject , but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!
Many breeds of dog appear in coats of arms, reflecting their status as man’s closet companion. The talbot is a hunting dog akin to a terrier, and usually illustrated in a lifelike style and eager pose. In common with the other heraldic dogs, Wade suggests that their presence should suggest “courage, vigilance and loyal fidelity”. Others might say we need look no further than a pleasure in the hunt and the affection for this sturdy breed.