Poach History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Scottish name Poach was first used by the Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. The original bearer of the name lived at Pollok (Gaelic: Pollag), a large district on the south-western side of the city of Glasgow, home to Crookston Castle, where Mary, Queen of Scots, was once held. The name of the town has Gaelic origins, from the word 'poll', meaning "pool" or "pit".

Early Origins of the Poach family

The surname Poach was first found in Renfrewshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Friù), a historic county of Scotland, today encompassing the Council Areas of Renfrew, East Renfrewshire, and Iverclyde, in the Strathclyde region of southwestern Scotland, where the first occurrence of the name is Peter, son of Fulbert or Fulburt who was granted the lands of Upper Pollock by the High Steward, and who took the surname from the lands, making him the first Pollock. Peter gave the church of Pulloc and its pertinents to the monastery of Paisley, sometime between 1177 and 1199. Within that same period of time, he also confirmed the charter of his brother Helias of Perthic to the same house. Peter also possessed lands in Moray and circa 1175, he witnessed the charter by William the Lion granting Burgin to the Abbey of Kinlos. [1]

Circa 1230, Murial de Polloc, a daughter of Peter, gifted her land of Inuerorkel and all its pertinents for the benefit of the hospital erected beside the bridge of Spey for the reception of travelers. Continuing this pattern of generosity, Robert de Pollok granted to the monastery of Paisley, during the reign of Alexander II, alms of twelve pennies a year from the rents he earned from his lands. Other important Pollocks include John Pollok who was both steward of the Abbey of Arbroath and sheriff of Forfar. [1]

In England, Pook was a popular variant and in this case, the family was probably from Puckney Gill in the parish of Charlwood, County Surrey, so called from the Old English word "puca" (goblin) and "eg" (island). [2] The surname is first found in Sussex in 1332 as atte Pukenegh, and occurs also in County Surrey at about the same date. From the fourteenth to the seventeenth century the name was largely confined to a small central area of central Sussex, around West Grinstead. The name was also occasionally used as a nickname 'the puk' from the complexion of hair or dress, a colour between russet and black. [3]

William Puch was documented in the year 1166, and appears to be the first of the name on record. William le Puk of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and John Pouk was recorded in County Somerset at the same time. [4]

Early History of the Poach family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Poach research. Another 220 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1234, 1272, 1590, 1603, 1827, 1660 and are included under the topic Early Poach History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Poach Spelling Variations

The many spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names result from the fact that scribes in that era spelled words according to sound. Translation too, was an undeveloped science, and many names were altered into complete obscurity. Over the years Poach has been spelled Pollock, Pollocke, Polk, Polke, Pollok, Pollick, Polloch, Pook, Pooke, Poock, Pogue, Poag, Poage, Poague, Poak and many more.

Early Notables of the Poach family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Poach family to Ireland

Some of the Poach family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Poach migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Poach Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Mr. George Poach, (b. 1773), aged 24, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 25th March 1797, sentenced for life, transported aboard the ship "Barwell" on November 7th 1797 to New South Wales, Australia [5]


The Poach 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: Audacter et strenue
Motto Translation: Boldly and earnestly.


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf


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