The Poindexter 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
Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print CITATION[CLOSE]
Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Early Origins of the Poindexter family
The surname Poindexter 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. CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
Early History of the Poindexter family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Poindexter research.Another 160 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1609, 1691 and 1636 are included under the topic Early Poindexter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Poindexter Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Poindexter, Poingdester, Poingdestre, Puddister and many more.
Early Notables of the Poindexter 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... Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Poindexter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Poindexter family to Ireland
Some of the Poindexter family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 74 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Poindexter family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Poindexter or a variant listed above:
Poindexter Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- George Poindexter, who arrived in Virginia in 1660 CITATION[CLOSE]
Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
Poindexter Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Albert M. Poindexter, aged 46, who emigrated to America, in 1908
- Madeline R. Poindexter, who emigrated to the United States, in 1908
- Katharine J. Poindexter, aged 2, who settled in America, in 1909
- Kathleen F. Poindexter, aged 23, who landed in America, in 1909
- Robert Poindexter, aged 26, who settled in Los Angeles, Calif, in 1914
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Poindexter (post 1700)
- Miles Poindexter (1868-1946), American politician, United States Senator from Washington (1911-1923)
- H. R. Poindexter, American Tony award winning theatre lighting designer and set designer
- Chester Jennings "Jinx" Poindexter (1910-1983), American Major League Baseball pitcher
- George Poindexter (1779-1853), American politician, lawyer and judge, United States Senator from Mississippi (1830-1835)
- Charles D. Poindexter (b. 1942), American Republican politician, Member of the Virginia House of Delegates CITATION[CLOSE]
The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2013, January 15) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- Joseph Boyd Poindexter (1869-1951), American politician, the 8th Territorial Governor of Hawaii (1934-1942)
- Emmett Williamson Poindexter (1892-1945), American lawyer and politician
- Hildrus Augustus Poindexter (1901-1987), American bacteriologist who studied the epidemiology of tropical diseases
- Captain (USN) Alan Goodwin "Dex" Poindexter (b. 1961), American astronaut with over 306 hours in space and son of Admiral John Poindexter CITATION[CLOSE]
NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Alan Poindexter. Retrieved from http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/poindexter.html
- Admiral John Poindexter (b. 1936), American politician, involved in the Iran-Contra Affair
- ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Suggested Readings for the name Poindexter
- A Poingdestre-Poindexter Genealogy: an Account of the Lineage of the Houston, Texas Branch of the Family by John D. Poindexter.
The Poindexter 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.