Research & Links

For the lucky few, finding their Pursey forebears will be straightforward. For others, the process is more tortuous. For example, you may well find your ancestor lurking under various transcriptions such as: Pussey, Purssey, Parsey, Persey, Pursy, Piercey, Persie, Percy, Percey, Purcy, and even Pinsey!

Places can be confusing too: Walton, Wilton, and Williton have been home to various Purseys in the past. They are all in different areas of Somerset – as are Bathealton (near Taunton) and Batheaston (east of Bath). You’ll find Purseys in the former but not in the latter!

To help ease the search, you can now consult the new Pursey Project database which lists close on 1000 Purseys – the majority born before the 1850s.

If you find your ancestors are not listed, please do get in touch.


My main research tool has been the Ancestry website. Find My Past is increasingly good whilst The Genealogist can throw up some useful information.

In terms of researching the numerous Somerset Purseys – the following have proved invaluable:

Roy Parkhouse’s site – Roy has transcribed the parish registers of a good number of parishes west of Taunton
Paul Bridgmore’s site – Paul has posted some inquests and has newspaper some indexes
Martin Southwood’s site – Martin has transcribed a large number of West Somerset parish registers
And if you can’t find your Pursey forebears in the above then try Ian Sage’s site which lists sources for every Somerset parish!

Specific Pursey Lines

Stuart Batrum’s The Descendants of William Pursey gives details of the descendants of the elusive William Pursey of Shapwick
Winsome Griffin’s site offers information on the descendants of Thomas William Pursey and Sarah Cone
See Ralph Ballard’s site for the most current information on his Stogumber Purs(s)ey line.

Kevin Percy’s ‘Percy Family History’ generously provided a great deal of early information about Purseys in Taunton and surrounding areas. Sadly, this site is no longer online