Saturday, 29 May 2010

Surname Saturday - Pyman

My interest in this surname comes from my great grandmother, Jane Pyman Pyman (yes, so good they named her twice!).  Her family can be traced back into the 1600's to a village just outside Whitby in North Yorkshire called Sandsend.  Her grandfather, George Pyman (seen below), rose from being the son of a fisherman, to being the mayor of West Hartlepool.

I've tried on and off over the past 30 years (which makes me sound much older than I am, but I started my interest in family history when in my teens), to find a link between my own Pyman family and any other Pyman's around the world.  I've gradually collected odd bits of information here and there and find that the name seems to have three sources.  There is a small family of Pyman/Peyman people in Berkshire and Oxfordshire around from 1650 onwards, my own Yorkshire gang from a similar time, and another ground in Suffolk/Essex which seem to go back slightly further to around 1550. 

There are tales amongst the Yorkshire Pyman family members that we "came over from Scandinavia", but nothing, other than being on the East coast of England, to back that up.

Moving forwards the Suffolk Pyman branch seems to be the most travelled as there are now large branches in Australia, Canada and the US, whereas my Yorkshire clan seems to have made to the US but nowhere else in any great numbers, and the Berkshire group have all but died out with the Pyman name rather than Peyman.


  1. I hope you don't take offense at this, but I'm looking at the photo thinking if the beard was gone George Pyman looks like a thin Jay Leno. He's a very nice looking guy:)

  2. No offence at all, Becky! Looking at George again I sort of see what you mean. I always think he looks a little worried and feel that he could do with a good hug.

  3. The archives of the city of Tilburg in The Netherlands has the descendants of Peymans who later became Paijmans, and is pronounced Pymans. Perhaps your ancesters came from the province of Brabant, which is shared between Belgium and the Netherlands. This family dates back to the 1300's.

  4. Nicola, I wasn't aware Sat's Child had inspired you to start a blog! That said, I was quite surprised to see the surname "Pyman", as for 20 years or so I was an acquaintance of a Steve Piemann from around Emporia, Kansas, USA. Have no idea where his family was from originally, but if memory serves, his father lived in Chase County, Kansas.

    1. Hi, as you can see I started being inspired and then ran out of steam!
      Strangely enough, because I had some Beckett related developments I was just thinking of finally doing another entry.
      Interesting he hear of your Piemann connection. I don't know if that version of the name has any links to the families I've found originating in England. There have always been tales of the name originating in Scandinavia, but having gone back to the 1600s I've not found any proof so far!

  5. Hi Nicola,just found you on this page first time i've seen it.Glad to hear you are still going strong .
    I am just starting another foray into my family history,seems to come round every couple of months then i run out of steam for a while ,guess that's what we all do.
    I now have around 273 names now on my Pyman Ancestry page ,not quite as many as you but getting there slowly,just about to try and put all my family onto one big wall chart but is harder than i thought!
    anyway ,will keep checking your page
    Happy Christmas to you and the family
    regards David

  6. Hello Nicola, I am Trevor Pyman from South Australia. My great, great, Grandfather, Henry Pyman came by sailing ship from Yorkshire to settle in the new South Land in the early 1800s. His wife to be was also on the ship, with her father. We are not sure if the boarded the ship with the intention of marrying or wether is was the result of a ship board romance. They 3 sons and 2 or 3 daughters. He his wife and a child are burried in the town of Kapunda, 30 minutes drive from where I live now. Warm Wishes, Trevor