Pertwee Surname Genealogy

The name Pertwee is of Huguenot extraction and was originally
Perthuis. After the French purge of Huguenots in 1685, many
refugees fled to Protestant countries such as England. In
England, the Perthuis settled in Essex. Due to
the locals’ inability to pronounce Perthuis, the name got corrupted to
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England. The
Pertwee was originally
of Huguenot extraction.

Essex. A
Perthuis family settled at Langenhoe near Colchester in Essex, after
been expelled from France in 1685. The name was
still recorded as Perthuis in 1813. But Thomas Pertwee,
presumably a descendant, was
a farmer at Langenhoe Lodge later in the 19th century.
He survived the great Langenhoe earthquake of
1884, reporting that “the chimneys were thrown down,
the walls much
cracked, ceilings uplifted, and bottles

down and broken.

Canon Arthur
was the vicar of
Brightlingsea from 1872 to 1917.
He was known to climb the belfry tower during stormy nights to
shine out
a lantern for distressed mariners at sea. In 1883 he established
memorial at the All Saints church for all those from Brightlingsea lost
at sea. The Rev. Ellsworth Pertwee,
described by a friend as a “saintly, spry, white-haired elf,” went
out to South Africa in the 1970’s to give support to the anti-apartheid

James Pertwee was a farmer at Woodham Ferrers
near Maldon in the 1820’s. His son or
Albert was recorded at the Fen farm forty years later.
And there were Pertwees prominent in local
affairs in Chelmsford and Colchester. Charles Pertwee, an
architect and
subsequent borough engineer, designed many of Chelmsford’s Victorian
buildings. Frank Pertwee started as a corn merchant at Hythe Quay
in Colchester in 1899. The business has passed through four
generations, although it now manages real estate in Colchester.

There was said to be a family link between the
Charles Pertwee of Chelmsford who died in 1905 and the Ernest Pertwee
married Emily Moore in Brighton in the early 1880’s.
Ernest compiled and edited verse anthologies while
his wife was active in the suffragette movement. Subsequent
Pertwees of this line made their
names in TV and film. Son Roland and grandson Michael Pertwee
screen-writers; and grandson Jon Pertwee and cousin Bill
Pertwee became well-known TV
actors in
the 1970’s, Jon in Dr. Who and Bill in Dad’s Army.

Canada. The Perthuis who
left France for Canada kept their Perthuis spelling. Charles
Perthuis arrived in the early 1690’s and became a prominent merchant in
Quebec. His sons Joseph and Jean-Baptiste followed in their
father’s footsteps but returned to France after the defeat to the
English in 1763.

The descendants of Pierre Perthuis, a fur trader in Montreal, did
stay. They moved south to Detroit and later as Pertuis to
Arkansas when it was still a French trading outpost of colonial
Louisiana. Pierre Pertuis there became Peter Pertuis.

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If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

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Charles Perthuis was a prominent Quebec merchant in the early 1700’s.
Canon Arthur Pertwee
of Brightlingsea saved many a mariner out at sea in the

Jon Pertwee the actor made his name on TV as
Dr. Who.

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