Poindexter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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.  
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." 
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. 
Early History of the Poindexter family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Poindexter research. Another 44 words (3 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 Jersey, born in the parish of...
In the United States, the name Poindexter is the 2,689th most popular surname with an estimated 12,435 people with that name. 
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
Poindexter Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
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.