Pomeray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Pomeray is one of the many names that the Normans brought with them when they conquered England in 1066. The Pomeray family lived in Devon. Their name, however, is a reference to La Pommeroie, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The name of this place translates as from the French as apple orchard. 
More specifically, the name is derived from "pomme-roi, a kind of apple, the royal apple, king's apple, or king of apples; a name probably given to a gardener for his skill in raising them, or a name of place where such apples were raised." 
The family was the "Castellans of La Pommeraie, Normandy (De Gerville, Anciens Châteaux de la Manche). 'A fragment of this Norman stronghold still remains in the cinglais, not far from Falaise. It is there called Château Ganne Ganelon's Castle, a name given in Normandy to more than one such ruin. It is really the Château de la Pommeraie, and here, no doubt, was the original pomeraie or orchard which gave name to the stronghold and the family." 
Early Origins of the Pomeray family
The surname Pomeray was first found in Devon where "the ancient family of Pomeray founded by the Norman continued to possess the Barony of Berry, until the attainder of Sir Thomas Pomeroy in the reign of Edward VI. They had intermarried with heiresses or co-heiresses of Vallefort, Merton, Bevill, and Denzell. Younger branches were of Sandridge and Ingeston, Devon, and of Pallice, co. Cork." 
"The parish of S. Sauveur de la Pommeraye, in the department of La Manche, Normandy, gave name to a great family mentioned in Domesday Book, and by Brompton; and they in turn conferred it upon Berry Pomeroy, co. Devon." 
Another source provides more details: " Two of the name-Hugue and Raoul de la Pomeraie are on the Dives Roll. Ralph appears in Domesday [Book] holding sixty manors de Wife; all of them, with only two exceptions, in Devonshire, where Berry Pomeroy became the head of his barony. He first built the castle whose ruins nobly crown its precipitous hill. His successor, William, had a younger son named Ethelward, who founded Buckfast Abbey in the time of Henry I., and whose name suggests an alliance with some Saxon house, but the earlier intermarriages are not given. The elder brother, Henry, ' taking heart at the imprisonment of Richard I. by the Duke of Austria,' declared for Prince John, garrisoned his castle of Berry-Pomeroy, and chased the monks from the famous Cornish monastery of 'St. Michael of the danger of the sea,' which had been granted by the Earl of Mortaine in 1070 as a cell to its namesake in Normandy." 
"Pomeroy is an ancient Devonshire surname, and the name of a parish (Berry Pomeroy) in that county. From the Conquest to the reign of Edward VI. the powerful and ennobled family of De Pomeroy owned the manor of Berry Pomeroy and much other property in that county." 
"The Castle of Berry Pomeroy, shrouded in dense woods on a bold bluff above a feeder of the little river Hems, is the finest ruin left in Devon. The Berry naturally indicates the presence of some defensive works in early times; and perhaps Alric, its last Saxon owner, had his chief ' strength ' here, seeing that Ralph de Pomeroy, to whom it was given with fifty-eight other lordships by the Conqueror, built a castle at Berry, and made it the seat of his barony. A great family, and of wide-reaching influence, did the Pomeroys become ; and for nearly five centuries they continued in the front rank of Devonshire landowners, though they ceased to be summoned to Parliament in the closing years of the reign or Henry III. A few vicissitudes they had, but still they retained their estates, and no badge in Devon was held in greater honour than the Pomeroy lion, until the fatal day when Sir Thomas Pomeroy, the last Pomeroy lord of Berry, placed himself at the head of the Western Rebellion in the reign of Edward VI. ; and with the failure of the movement lost all his estates, though he saved his life. Berry then passed to the Seymours, in whom it still remains, probably by purchase." 
Early History of the Pomeray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pomeray research. Another 252 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1114, 1102, 1347, 1416, 1446, 1442, 1496, 1473, 1503, 1566, 1547, 1529 and 1593 are included under the topic Early Pomeray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Pomeray Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Pomeroy, Pomrey, Pomroy, Pomry and others.
Early Notables of the Pomeray family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John de la Pomeroy (1347-1416), who married Joan de Merton, daughter and co-heir of Richard de Merton and widow of John Bampfield of Poltimore; Edward I de Pomeroy (d.1446), grandson of Thomas the 5th son of Sir Henry by Joan Moels; Sir Richard de Pomeroy (1442-1496), Sheriff of Devon in 1473, a...
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pomeray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Pomeray family to Ireland
Some of the Pomeray family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Pomeray family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Pomeray name or one of its variants: Eltweed Pomeroy, who settled with his wife in Nantasket in 1630; James Pomeroy and Theophilus Pomeroy, who settled in Barbados in 1685; John Pomroy, who settled in Annapolis in 1723.
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: Virtutis fortuna comes
Motto Translation: Fortune is the companion of valour
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- Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
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- Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital