The Irish surname Pursel is of Norman French origin being derived from the Old French term pourcel meaning “piglet” hence a metonymic occupational name for a swineherd. The name was established in Ireland in the 11th Century and is most frequently found in counties Kilkenny and Tipperary. The picturesque ruined castle of Loughmoe, the seat of the head of the family, is a well known landmark near Thurles in Co. Tipperary. James Purcell and Elizabeth Norman were married in Co. Cork in 1681. The name is first recorded in the New World in 1701 when Garret Purcell arrived in Virginia. Today there are approximately 1,200 bearers of the name Pursel living in the United States.