Some mystery surrounds the origin of this name which is found widespread in the North of England and Scotland and most like is of Scottish locational origin from Pert near Montrose and is so called from a Pictish or Celtic term for a wood or copse. Very often placenames were used as a means of identifying people from each other. Hence, a persons place origin was used as their surname, thus placenames were a major influence in surname origination. The surname itself first appears in records relatively late, in the mid 16th Century (see below). One Thomas Pearte was christened in London on December 24th 1570, as was a William Peart at All Hallows the Less, on November 6th 1575. William, son of Leonard Peart, was christened at St. Lawrence Pountney, London, on April 3rd 1580. Elizabeth Pearde married Robert Banckworth at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, on December 17th 1607. One Charles Peart (circa 1778 - 1798) received a gold medal from the Royal Academy for his sculptures. Edward Peart (1756 - 1824) was a physician, chiefly remembered for his works on chemical and physical theory. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Pert, which was dated July 19th 1568, marriage to Jane Knowles, at St. Antholin's, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.