The House of Percy descends from William de Percy who came to England from France in 1067. Apparently, he must have made an impression on William the Conqueror and was made baron of Topcliffe. William de Percy rebuilt York Castle in 1070 - previously to that the family name was derived from their castle in Normandy. Throughout the years the family gained influence and the titles of Earl or Duke of Northumberland (alongside that if Baron Percy) has been in the family for centuries.
Had it not been for the women in the family, the name would have died out because the male line died out twice - in both cases a Percy-lady's husband would adopt the name to keep it alive. The family produced countless of prominent gentlemen and ladies among which are:
Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland - supported Henry VI but was killed at the beginning of the War of the Roses
Henry Percy, 6th Earl of Northumberland - was betrothed to Anne Boleyn
Sir Henry Percy - better known as Harry Hotspur
Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland - imprisoned after the Gunpowder Plot