Pryer Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


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Pryer Origin:


Origins of Pryer:

This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and acquires from the Olde English pre 7th Century “prior” which means former, and would have started as a professional name for a servant. After that, the name became a nickname for a person showing the qualities related to priest. The formulation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames acquire from old nicknames relating to particular features, as in this example “the official one.” The surname was first noted in the early 13th Century, and other early registrations contain Roger le Priur, recorded in the Feet of Fines of Cambridgeshire (1237), and Nicholas le Prior, an observer in the Assize Court Rolls of Somerset (1268). In the new era, the surname has many various spellings such as Prier, Prior, Pryer and Pryor. In January 1541, Ellen Pryor married John Ashbey at the Parish of St. Lawrence Jewry and St. Mary Magdalene, Milk Street, London. A Royal symbol given to the family represents three red chevronels on an ermine curve, between four gold stars of eight points wavy, the peak being a star (as in the arms). The Saying, “Malo mori quam feodari,” converts as, “I would rather die than be dishonored.”


More common variations are: Puryer, Peryer, Paryer, Proyer, Prayer, Preyer, Pryear, Pryuer, Poryer


The surname Pryer first appeared in Derbyshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were given lands by Duke William of Normandy, their true King, for their outstanding support at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 AD.

The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Roger Priur, dated about 1205, in the “Curia Regis Rolls of Suffolk.” It was during the time of King John who was known to be the “Lackland,” dated 1199 – 1216. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.


Many of the people with surname Pryer had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Pryer landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Pryer who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Daniell Pryer, who came to New England in 1635 at the age of 13. Daniell Pryer at the age of 13, arrived in New England in 1635. Peter Pryer at the age of 26, landed in Virginia in 1635. John Pryer, who landed in Virginia in 1656. Thomas Pryer, who arrived in Virginia in 1663.

People with the surname Pryer who landed in the United States in the 18th century included Thomas Pryer, who came to Virginia in 1764.

The following century saw more Pryer surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Pryer who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Joseph Pryer, who arrived in New York in 1836.


Individuals with the surname Pryer who landed in Canada in the 18th century included Mr. Edward Pryer U.E. who settled in Parr Town, Saint John, New Brunswick near the year 1784.


Some of the individuals with the surname Pryer who landed in Australia in the 19th century included F. Pryer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “Mary Ridgway” in 1839.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Pryer: United States 819; England 774; Australia 215; Canada 80; Scotland 33; New Zealand 12; Wales 2; South Africa 2; Spain 1; Austria 1.

Notable People:

Kathryn Pryer was born in July 1990. She is an Australian football (soccer) player. She played for the Central Coast Mariners in the Australian W-League during the 2008–09 season. Kathryn made her debut against Perth Glory on Saturday, November 2008 after being replaced for team-mate Trudy Camilleri.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (France). Or, on two bars gu. eight escallops ar. a bordure vert.
2) (High Elms, Baldock,co. Herts). Ar. three bars wavy sa. on a chief gu. a saltire or. Crest—A demi lion ramp.

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