Pritchard Surname Genealogy
Welsh patronymic ap Rhisiart or
ap Richard (meaning “son of Richard”)
translated into the English surnames Prichard and Pritchard when they
displace Welsh-style appellations in the 16th century.
These English names appeared not just in
Wales but in the English counties bordering or in close proximity to
Pritchard spelling began to replace Prichard in Wales as the 19th
is now the dominant
Pritchard Resources on
- Colonel Prichard
Edward Prichard in Glamorgan during the Civil War.
- The Pritchards
From the Black Country to Australia.
- Pritchard’s Shipyard
Paul Pritchard’s shipyard in Charleston, South Carolina.
- Descendants of Thomas Pritchard
Thomas Pritchard, an early Virginia settler.
- Pritchard Family Genealogy
Pritchards from Breconshire to America.
- The Pritchards and Related Families
Pritchards from Ireland to Canada.
- Pritchard DNA Project
only emerged as a surname in Wales when English-style surnames
developed in the
16th century. There seems to have been
no regional bias to the name as it was found in both south and north
Wales. The English nomenclature may
mask the Welsh ancestry. William ap
Richard of Llanover Court in Monmouthshire, the first to adopt the name
Richard, later took the surname of Prichard.
He died in the late 1500’s and his tombstone read as follows:
the bodies of William Prichard esq. of Llanover and Matthew Prichard
Llanover, his son and heir, lineally descended from the body of Cradock
Vras, Earl of Hereford and prince between the Wye and Severn.”
fortunes fluctuated during the 17th century.
Llanover manor was lost during the Civil War, the Goytre manor
the Llanover estate reclaimed after the Restoration.
But this had to be sold in 1730, although
Prichards did remain in the area.
Another old lineage, said to have been descended
from Ifor Bach, characterized the
Prichards of Llancaiach Fawr in Glamorgan.
It was Dafydd ap Richard who built the manor house around 1550. His best-known descendant was Colonel Edward
Prichard, the man who successfully changed sides during the Civil War.
Wales. Some early Prichards were
churchmen. Edward Prichard was vicar of
Llansannan in Conwy in 1660. William
Prichard grew up in Caernarvonshire in the early 1700’s but
made his mark in
Anglesey as a Dissenting minister. Meanwhile Richard Pritchard,
who died in 1722,
was the first to be described as of Trescawen in
Anglesey. The family were local
gentry. His son William Pritchard was
Sheriff of Anglesey in 1786 and George Pritchard held the same title in
England. A few Welsh Prichards made it
to London. Francis Prichard came in the
early 1600’s and
was a ropemaker in Southwark. His son
William, who initially took up his father’s trade, later prospered as a
merchant, was Lord Mayor of London in 1682 and then MP for the City of
London. He died in 1705 with an estate
in Buckinghamshire but left no male heirs.
Pritchard in London at this time was said to have been Stephen
a man who may have emigrated to the island of St. Helena after the
of 1666. A descendant Henry Pritchard
was responsible for monitoring Napoleon when he was exiled there in 1815.
in England, however, were to be found in the border counties. Two notable Pritchards from Shropshire were:
Farnolls Pritchard, born in Shrewsbury in 1723, who was the man who
the first Ironbridge. Pritchard Way in
Shrewsbury commemorates him.
Pritchard family from Broseley near Bridgenorth. John
Pritchard, a victualler by trade who
died in 1799, was the forebear of a successful Pritchard
banking family that continued until 1891 (when Lloyds acquired the
Pritchard name later extended into Staffordshire and Lancashire.
Ireland. The Pritchard name does occur in Ireland,
presumably from either Welsh or English origins. Two
Pritchards who subsequently crossed the
Atlantic to America were:
Pritchards of Coppingerstown in county Cork who
may have been there since the 17th century. Paul
Pritchard departed from there for South Carolina in the
acquired the Charleston naval
in 1788. He and his son William operated
the yard building ships until 1831.
the Pritchards of Currin parish in
county Monaghan who were probably 18th century Irish arrivals. James and Judith Pritchard emigrated from
there to Alcove in Quebec in the 1830’s.
were two early Pritchard arrivals in America, but from England not
Pritchard to Virginia in 1610
William Prichard to New England in the 1630’s.
Virginia. Thomas Pritchard arrived in Jamestown,
with two brothers, on the Starr in
1610. He came from Kent, does not
appear to have been Welsh, and his surname sometimes was Prickett or
Pritchett. His line extended through his
son Thomas in Westmoreland county, Virginia and then onto Loudoun
fought in the
Revolutionary War and belatedly received his pension in 1834, by which
had moved to Indiana. Emily Cary’s 2006
book The Pritchard Family History
covered the line.
New England. William
Prichard from Suffolk was probably originally a Pritchett as well. He came to New England in the 1630’s and
later was one of the original settlers of Brookfield, Massachusetts. William and his son Samuel were both slain
during an Indian attack on the village in 1675.
was outside the garrison at Brookfield
when the attack began. They cut off his head, tossed it about like a
sight of the settlers, and then set on a pole against his dead father’s
Probably related to these Prichards was Roger
Pritchard who had come to Boston in 1636 and later settled in the New
colony. His son Joseph was also killed
in this Brookfield massacre.
Welsh Prichards. The Prichards who began to appear in
and Maryland in the late 1600’s may have been the first Welsh Prichards
America. Henry Pritchard was a Quaker
who came to Philadelphia around the year 1682.
Obadiah and Margaret Prichard, married in 1699, were the
forebears of a
line in Baltimore county, Maryland. James
Prichard fought in the Revolutionary War and subsequently headed
west to Kentucky to farm. His
descendants formed a Prichard Association in Indiana in 1912 and Martha
Johnson’s 1915 book The Prichard Family
covered their family line.
Another arrival in Kentucky, in 1811, was William
Prichard. Tradition has it that William
was born in Wales and kidnapped and brought to Virginia with his
where they were apprenticed to Virginia planters.
William Pritchard was born
probably in Tennessee in 1812. He died
in 1864 of disease contracted during the Civil War, leaving a son Jeter
just seven. Jeter, apprenticed out,
later embarked on a political career which culminated in him becoming
Senator for North Carolina from 1895 to 1903.
His son George ran twice as Governor for North Carolina, but in
South Wales in the 19th century offered farming and coal
mining as occupations, but at low wages.
America beckoned for some:
- John Pritchard from Treflys in
Breconshire departed for Ohio
in 1860 and later homesteaded in Illinois. His
son Will farmed in Chelsea, Michigan. They
felt fortunate to have escaped the
grinding poverty back in Wales.
William Pritchard from Carmarthenshire came out
as a young man to Pennsylvania in 1881 and worked in the coal mines
before migrating to West Virginia where he became general manager of a
of coal companies.
Pritchard, a descendant of the St. Helena Pritchards, migrated
to the Cape Colony
in 1838. He farmed in Langeberg and was
one of the pioneers at Beaufort West.
Kenneth Pritchard’s 1989 book The
Pritchard Family in South Africa covered this history plus the
family history in St. Helena.
If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:
was an early Welsh nonconformist, a pioneer of dissent in the Anglesey
the mid-18th century.
Thomas Farnolls Pritchard
from Shropshire is best
remembered for his design of the first cast iron bridge in the world. This bridge spanned the Severn river in
Shropshire and was completed in 1780.
Jack Pritchard was a London-based furniture designer
was influential in England during the inter-war period of the 20th
Select Pritchards Today
- 32,000 in the UK (most numerous
- 10,000 in America (most numerous in California)
- 12,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)
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