Only a few people have ever been named Pearkins. Current usage in North America began in the mid-1940s with a single change of Surname in Vancouver (Canada) from Perkins, as an intentional misspelling. There is only one remaining member of the resultant family, still with the surname of Pearkins.

The name Pearkins did appear occasionally in print in North America about two centuries ago, before Dictionaries were widely available and Spelling was standardized. As well as a few official records identifying people with the Pearkins surname, at least one gravestone still exists from that time with the name Pearkins engraved upon it.

History looked like it would repeat itself around the turn of the century, during the Dot Com bubble. Information companies began shipping U.S. telephone directories overseas to be inexpensively typed on computers so they could be offered on the Internet. A few times, the name Perkins was mistyped as Pearkins.

Elsewhere in the world, in non-English speaking countries, the name Pearkins is currently used very occasionally, as both a First and Last Name.