Pomroy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Pomroy is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Pomroy 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. [1]

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." [2]

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." [3]

Early Origins of the Pomroy family

The surname Pomroy 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." [4]

"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." [5]

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." [3]

"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." [6]

"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." [7]

Early History of the Pomroy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pomroy 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 Pomroy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pomroy Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Pomroy were recorded, including Pomeroy, Pomrey, Pomroy, Pomry and others.

Early Notables of the Pomroy 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 Pomroy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Pomroy family to Ireland

Some of the Pomroy 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.


United States Pomroy migration to the United States +

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Pomroy arrived in North America very early:

Pomroy Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Eltweed Pomroy, who landed in Massachusetts in 1630 [8]
  • Mary Pomroy, who landed in Virginia in 1653 [8]
Pomroy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Pomroy, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [8]
  • John Pomroy, who settled in Annapolis in 1723
  • Samuel Pomroy, who settled in Virginia in 1739
Pomroy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Ephraim Pomroy, who settled in Portland Maine in 1822
  • William Charles Pomroy, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1850 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Pomroy (post 1700) +

  • Rebecca Rossignol Pomroy (1817-1884), American nurse and philanthropist who twice looked after the family of President Abraham Lincoln
  • David Pomroy (b. 1983), English professional poker player from London, of January 2008, his winnings exceed 100,000
  • Colin Pomroy, British co-founder of Tempo Records (UK) in 1949
  • Colonel Benjamin Pomroy (1859-1874), Canadian founder of Eastern Townships Bank in 1859


The Pomroy 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: Virtutis fortuna comes
Motto Translation: Fortune is the companion of valour


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  8. ^ 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)


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