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PARSONS Family History

This interesting surname has two related origins, both deriving from the Old French word "persone", in Middle English (1200 - 1500) "persone" or "persoun", meaning a parson or a priest. The ultimate derivation is from the Latin word "persona", meaning "person" or "character", and it is thought that the shift in meaning from "person" to "priest" arose from the position of the local priest as the "representative" person of the parish. The surname Parsons can be an occupational name for "the parson's servant", or a patronymic form denoting the child of a parson, and it can also be a locational name, especially when found with the preposition "de" or "del" as in Ralph del Persones (1323), denoting residence at, and therefore, employment at the parson's house...

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