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Prior Family History

This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "prior" a prior, a monastic official immediately subordinate to an abbot, and would have originated as an occupational name for the servant of a prior. Later, the name became a nickname for a person bearing the qualities associated with a prior. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics, as in this instance "the official one". The surname is first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: Roger le Priur, noted in the Feet of Fines of Cambridgeshire (1237), and Nicholas le Prior, a witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Somerset (1268)...

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