Ponsenbay is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England
with the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Ponsenbay family lived in Cumberland
, at Ponsonby
, from whence the family derived their name.
Early Origins of the Ponsenbay family
The surname Ponsenbay was first found in Cumberland
at Ponsonby, a parish, in the union of Whitehaven, Allerdale ward above Derwent. CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
"Before the adoption of the surname, they are said to have been of Hale, in the same county. Still earlier, according to a family tradition, they were of the noble rank in Picardy, the founder of the house in England
having come over with the Conqueror, who appointed him his Barber! The three combs in the arms of Ponsonby are alleged in support of this story, and if further evidence can possibly be desired, the chevron that separates them may adumbrate the open razor, wherewithal the dread face of the mighty Conqueror was denuded of its manly appendage!" CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Early History of the Ponsenbay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ponsenbay research.Another 121 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1340, 1604, 1679, 1758, 1739, 1713 and 1789 are included under the topic Early Ponsenbay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ponsenbay 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 Ponsonby, Pounceby, Pownceby and others.
Early Notables of the Ponsenbay family (pre 1700)
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ponsenbay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ponsenbay family to Ireland
Some of the Ponsenbay family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 51 words (4 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 Ponsenbay 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 Ponsenbay or a variant listed above: Thomas Ponsonby arrived in Philadelphia in 1850.
The Ponsenbay 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: Pro rege, lege grege
Motto Translation: For the King, law and people.