Pendexter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Pendexter family name is a legacy Britain's Norman past. It comes from the Old French "poing destre," meaning "right fist;" and as such is thought to have originally been some kind of nickname. [1] [2]

However, another source disagrees with this generally accepted origin. "This name does not signify ' the right hand,' as might easily be imagined, but is an old Norman name, signifying Spur the Steed, and analogous to Hotspur. It comes from two old words, which Wace often uses in the Roman de Rou; the first meaning ' to spur,'from the Latin pungo; the second, 'a steed or courser,' in French destrier, Ital. destriere." [3]

Early Origins of the Pendexter family

The surname Pendexter was first found in on the Island of Jersey where the earliest record of the names was of Geoffrey and Raoul Poingdestre as land owners in Jersey in 1250. Looking back further, the Pipe Rolls of the Exchequer of Normandy for the Reign of Henry ll, 1180 and 1184 list Ricardus Poingdestre, in the Bayeux District of the Bessin in Normandy (Lower Normandy) in 1180 and in 1195. Another reference confirms this entry but has modernized the spelling to Richard Poindestre and confirmed the year 1180. [4]

Early History of the Pendexter family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pendexter research. Another 44 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1609, 1691 and 1636 are included under the topic Early Pendexter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pendexter Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Pendexter have been found, including Poindexter, Poingdester, Poingdestre, Puddister and many more.

Early Notables of the Pendexter family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Jean Poingdestre (1609-1691), a Jersey native who was a supporter of the Royalists in the English Civil War and later became Lieutenant Bailiff of Jersey. He was a writer on the laws and history of Jersey, born in the parish of...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pendexter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Pendexter family

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Pendexter were among those contributors: George Poindexter, progenitor of a distinguished American family, originally of the Island of Jersey, who settled in Virginia in 1650; Jacob Poindexter, who came to Salem, MA sometime between 1600 and 1692.

Contemporary Notables of the name Pendexter (post 1700) +

  • Hugh Pendexter (1875-1940), American journalist, novelist and screenwriter, best known for his historical novels and Westerns for such publications as Adventure and Argosy

The Pendexter Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Nemo me impune lacessit
Motto Translation: No one provokes me with impunity.

  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X) on Facebook