Lower, Mark A (1860) Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom. London: J.R. Smith. Public Domain.
We don't have any stats on how common this name is. This is probably because it's very rare in the UK.
Region of origin
Country of origin
Language of origin
Religion of origin
Related and similar surnames
The Cell surname in historical dictionaries
Patronymica Britannica (1860)
PUR CELL. A Norman name of great antiquity. As it is not found prefixed by the territorial De, I think it must be referred to a class of sobriquets very prevalent among the early Normans, and that it means Lat. : '(5rr<'?5,' 0. Fi:, jjo'cel — a little pig. A Frenchman in our days considei's ' cochon ' the most opprobrious of designations ; but it was far otherwise in ancient times, as witness the ' pigs ' and ' old sows ' (Forci and Scroffe), eminent ■ family names among the Romans ; the French Legryce, Legriel, &c. ; and our own indigenous Hogg, Pigg, Littlehog, Wildbore, &c. The arms of the various branches of the family have boars' heads, allusive to the name. Comp. Lovel from Lupus. The Purcells came into England at the Conquest, and there is a tradition of their descent from one Hugh, " the first of the followers of the Bastard Duke to set foot on the shore of Pevensey," This personage obtained some manors in Sussex, and a Geoffrey Porcellus, of Surrey, is mentioned in a Pipe Pioll of 1131. The family were planted in Ireland by Sir Hugh Purcell, who took part in the subjugation of that country in the reign of Henry II., and married Beatrix, daughter of the celebrated Theobald Butler. '• This name," says Mr. D'Alton, '■ was early introduced into Munster, where it soon became so numerous that the rolls of licenses for protection and pardon in the )'ear 1310, (in prudence then necessitated), included no less than thirteen adult Purcells ; while eight years previously, Hugh, Philij), Maurice, and Adam Purcell were of the Irish magnates summoned to the Scottish