Petty Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


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Petty Origin:

England, Scotland

Origins of Petty:

The surname of Petty can be traced to the medieval period, in both England and Scotland. The original derivation of the surname of Petty can be found within the Anglo-Norman society. The Anglo-Norman word of “petit” which can be translated to mean “small,” was given as a nickname for someone who was small in stature, and it was considered to be a “nursery word.” 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. This surname of Petty was also used to distinguish the younger of two people who were given the same name, often a father and a son, or an elder brother and a younger brother.


More common variations are: Pettey, Pettie, Pettey, Pettay, Pettye, Pettya, Peatty, Peetty, Puetty


The first recorded spelling of the surname of Petty can be found within the country of England. One person, who was recorded to bear the surname of Petty, was named as one William Petie, who was mentioned in the document known as the Feet Fines of Nottinghamshire, in the year of 1198. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King Richard I, who was known throughout the ages and commonly referred to throughout history as one “Richard the Lionheart.” King Richard I of England ruled from the year 1189 to the year 1199. Other mentions of the surname of Petty can be found within the country of England. One Walter Peiticlark was mentioned as residing in the area of Gloucestershire in the year of 1304, one John Petijohan was named as dwelling within the areas of Sussex in the year of 1327, and one John le Petit Smyth was recorded as living in the year of Essex in the year of 1351. Those who carry the surname of Petty within the country of England can be found in large concentrations in the areas of Warwickshire, Lancashire, Hampshire, and Yorkshire. The areas in and around the city of London also boast a large population of those who are known by the surname of Petty.


In the country of Scotland, there is a sizeable population of people who carry the surname of Petty. These people who are known by the surname of Petty can be found in high concentrations in the areas of Angus, Stirlingshire, Dumfries-shire, and within the county of Midlothian.

United States of America:

Throughout the 17th Century, European settlers began to migrate to the United States of America in search of a better life for them and their families. Among these people were William Petty, who settled in New Jersey in the year of 1664, bringing the surname of Petty to the New World. Those who are known by the surname of Petty can be found in New Jersey, New York, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Massachusetts.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Petty: United States 39,662; England 3,178; Australia 1,305; Kenya 785; Canada 725; Brazil 588; South Africa 530; Germany 504; Taiwan 406; Philippines 258

Notable People:

Kyle Eugene Petty who was born in the year 1960 and who is now a retired NASCAR driver from America

Lieutenant Orlando Henderson Petty (1874-1932) who was a naval officer and physician from America who was granted the Congressional Medal of Honor for his brave actions during World War 1

Norman Petty (1927-1984) who was a musician as well as a songwriter and producer from America

Thomas “Tom” Earl Petty who was born in the year 1950 in America and who is a songwriter and rock musician who is most well-known as the founder and lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreaks as well as the band the Traveling Wilburys

Richard Petty who was born in the year 1937 and who is a former NASCAR driver from America who was once awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Lori Petty who was born in the year 1937 and who is a film and television actress from America

Dini Petty who was born in the year 1945 and who is a radio and television host from Canada

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (granted by Carney, Ulster, 20 March, 1656, to William Petty, M.D., son of Anthony Petty, of Rumsey, co. Hanta. This William Petty became Physician-General to the army in Ireland, and was Surveyor-General of that kingdom; he was knighted in 1661, and founded the noble house of Petty, Barons and Earls of Shelburne). Motto—Ut apes geometriam. Sir W. Petty’s explanation of his coat of arms: Coerulcus candore color mea seuta decoret, Non atrum aut fulvum, nec cruer horrifleet. Stellam ut spectat avis, positeque timore quiescit, Sic mens quaerere apum est, scire geometriae. Sedulus ergo ut apes feci geometriam ut inde, Utile cum dulci scire et habere queam. At si perdam ut apes quae per geometriam habebam Heu! “Vos non vobis melliticatis apes”. Erm. on a bend az. a magnetic needle ppr. pointing at the pole star or. Crest—A beehive and bees ppr.
2) (Earls of Shelburne). Arms, Crest, and Motto, as the preceding. Supporters—Two pegasuses erm. bridled, maned, tailed, winged, and hoofed or, each charged on the shoîlder with a fleur-de-lis az.
3) (Ilmington, co. Warwick, Harl. MSS.). Quarterly, or and az. on a bend vert three martlets of the first. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet or, an elephant’s head ar. tusked and eared gu.
4) (Stoke-Talmach, co. Oxford; Mary, dau. of John Petty, Esq., of that place, m. Sir James Ley, Chief Justice of the King’s Bench in Ireland, temp. James I., Reg. Ulster’s Office). Quarterly, or and az., on a bend vert three martlets of the first.

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