The English surname Parson, also found in Ireland and Scotland, is an occupational name for the servant of a parish priest or parson, or a patronymic denoting the child of a parson, from the possessive case of Middle English persone, parsoun. When found in Ireland and Scotland the name Parsons is usually of English origin, but sometimes an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Mac an Phearsain, which is of Highland Scottish origin. The first recorded spelling of the name is shown to be that of Rodger le Persones, which was dated 1323, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire." The name is first recorded in the New World in 1624 when Samuel Parson arrived in Virginia. Today there are approximately 12,500 bearers of the name Parson living in the US.