Poff History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Poff surname comes from a few possible sources, Some instances come from the German word "buff," which means "push," or "shove;" and was likely a nickname for a violent, aggressive person.

Early Origins of the Poff family

The surname Poff was first found in Austria, where the name became noted for its many branches in the region, each house acquiring a status and influence which was envied by the princes of the region. In their later history the name became a power unto themselves and were elevated to the ranks of nobility as they grew into this most influential family.

Early History of the Poff family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Poff research. Another 84 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1790 and 1853 are included under the topic Early Poff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Poff Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Puffer, Puff, Poff, Poffer, Pufer, Pofer, Pufker, Pufka and many more.

Early Notables of the Poff family (pre 1700)

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


New Zealand Poff 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:

Poff Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Johanna Poff, (b. 1848), aged 22, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 23rd December 1870 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Poff (post 1700) +

  • John William Poff (b. 1952), former American Major League Baseball outfielder
  • Alonzo M. "Lon" Poff (1870-1952), American film actor
  • Richard Harding Poff (1923-2011), American politician and judge
  • Richard Harding Poff (b. 1923), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from Virginia 6th District, 1953-72; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 1968; Justice of Virginia State Supreme Court, 1972 [2]
  • Nellie Poff, American Democrat politician, Member of West Virginia Democratic State Executive Committee, 1945 [2]
  • Charles W. Poff, American politician, Industrial Candidate for Presidential Elector for Pennsylvania, 1916 [2]
  • Jonathan Poff (b. 1983), New Zealand rugby union player


  1. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 29) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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