This surname PERDEW was a nickname of French origin - pourdieu - meaning 'By God's grace'. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. After the crusades in Europe, a need was felt for a second name, in addition to the one that had been given at birth. This was recognized by those of noble birth, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. Early records mention POURDIEU (without surname) who was recorded in 1174, County Norfolk. William Purdeye who was documented in 1199, County Essex. Geoffrey Purcaz was recorded in 1206, and Roger Purde appears in 1296. Gilbert Purdeu was recorded in County Bedfordshire in the year 1237. John Purdie, Cambridgeshire, 1279. John Purdy of County Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The name was taken early to Scotland, and John Purdie, who was one of an inquest regarding the tenament of Balincref in 1296, appears to be the first of the name on record there. David Purde was recorded in Glasgow in 1476, and John Purdie was chaplain in Brechin in 1569. A family of this name were landowners in the parish of St. Vigeans at the end of the sixteenth century. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker.
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