Ponsenby is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest
brought to England
in 1066. The Ponsenby family lived in Cumberland
, at Ponsonby
, from whence the family derived their name.
Early Origins of the Ponsenby family
The surname Ponsenby 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 Ponsenby family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ponsenby 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 Ponsenby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ponsenby Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations
are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans
introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Ponsonby, Pounceby, Pownceby and others.
Early Notables of the Ponsenby family (pre 1700)
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ponsenby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ponsenby family to Ireland
Some of the Ponsenby 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 Ponsenby family to the New World and Oceana
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland
, North America, and Australia
in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England
. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Ponsenby or a variant listed above: Thomas Ponsonby arrived in Philadelphia in 1850.
The Ponsenby 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.