Parsons

Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English: occupational name for the servant of a parish priest or parson, or a patronymic denoting the child of a parson, from the possessive case of Middle English persone, parsoun (see Parson).
  2. English: many early examples are found with prepositions (e.g. Ralph del Persones 1323); these are habitational names, with the omission of house, hence in effect occupational names for servants employed at the parson’s house.
  3. Irish: usually of English origin (see above), but sometimes a reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac an Phearsain, which is of Highland Scottish origin (see McPherson).
  4. Members of an Irish family called Parsons wre twice created earl of Rosse, first in 1718 and again in 1806. They settled in Ireland c.1590, when two brothers, William and Laurence Parsons, were granted large estates. Birr Castle, Parsonstown, became the family seat. Samuel Holden Parsons, born Lyme, CT, in 1737 was a Connecticut legislator and revolutionary war officer. Theophilius Parsons (1750–1813) was born in Byfield, MA, and was chief justice of the MA supreme court (1806–13); his son, also Theophilius, was a professor at Harvard Law School (1848–1869).
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