Pennefather History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Pennefather is derived from the Old English words "penig," which means "penny," and "fæder," which means "father." The surname Pennefather was a nickname for a person noted for uncompromising frugality, which then became a hereditary surname. Some instances of the surname may be have derived from the name of the manor of Pontfathew in Merioneth.

Early Origins of the Pennefather family

The surname Pennefather was first found in Merionethshire (Welsh: Sir Feirionnydd), made a county in Northwest Wales in 1284, and anciently part of the kingdom of Gwynedd, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Pennefather family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pennefather research. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1666, 1735, 1716 and 1733 are included under the topic Early Pennefather History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pennefather Spelling Variations

The Welsh have an extremely large amount of spelling variations of their native surnames to their credit. As time progressed, the old Brythonic names of Wales were recorded in English, which was especially problematic since the English language had extreme difficulty recording the highly inflected sounds of Cymraeg. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Pennefather have included Pennefather, Penniefather, Penyfather, Pennyfadyr and many more.

Early Notables of the Pennefather family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Pennefather Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Pennefather family to Ireland

Some of the Pennefather family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 147 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Pennefather migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Pennefather Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. A.A. Pennefather, Australian settler travelling from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia aboard the ship "Balmoral" arriving in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand on 26th November 1863 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Pennefather (post 1700) +

  • Richard Pennefather (1808-1849), Irish Under-Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, High Sheriff of Tipperary in 1848, son of Richard Pennefather (1773-1859)
  • William Pennefather (1816-1873), Irish divine, youngest son of Richard Pennefather, Baron of the Irish court of exchequer
  • Richard Pennefather (1773-1859), Irish judge, eldest son of Major William Pennefather of Knockevan, Tipperary
  • Sir John Lysaght Pennefather (1800-1872), Irish general, third son of the Rev. John Pennefather of co. Tipperary
  • Edward Pennefather (1774-1847), Irish judge, of Rathsellagh, Dunlavin, Wicklow


The Pennefather 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: I abyde my tyme
Motto Translation: I byde my time.


  1. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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