Ponsford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ponsford is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ponsford family lived in Gloucestershire, where the family was found since the early Middle Ages.

Early Origins of the Ponsford family

The surname Ponsford was first found in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Hasfield. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book in the year 1086 A.D., a survey of England initiated by Duke William of Normandy after his conquest of England in 1066, the chief tenant of Hasfield was Westminster Abbey and holding the land from the Abbey was Thurstan FitzRolf. It is from this latter Norman noble that the Paunceforts are conjecturally descended. Pancevold was a tenant-in-chief at the survey, and Pancefolt was an under-tenant. They held this manor until 1598. The name is derived from the French Pancevolt. [1]

"The first of the name on record is Bernard Pancevolt, a Domesday tenant-in-chief in Hampshire. Geoffrey de Pauncevote was steward to the household of King John." [2]Samual Pancevot was listed in Hampshire, Henry, Edward I. [3]

In 1165 Humphrey Paunevolt held fiefs in Gloucester from Newmarch [4]. Humphrey Pancevolt witnessed the foundation of Shireburn Abbey, Hants. The name long continued in Gloucester and elsewhere. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included Grimbald Pancefot, Hertfordshire; and Walter Pancevot, Somerset. [5] In Somerset, John Paucefot was registered there 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [6]

Early History of the Ponsford family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ponsford research. Another 125 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1383 and 1437 are included under the topic Early Ponsford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ponsford Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Ponsford family name include Pauncefoot, Pauncefort, Pauncefoote, Pauncefote and others.

Early Notables of the Ponsford family (pre 1700)

Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ponsford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Ponsford migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Ponsford family to immigrate North America:

Ponsford Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John W. Ponsford, (b. 1847), aged 42, Cornish miner departing from Liverpool aboard the ship "Umbria" arriving in the United States on 8 April 1889 [7]

Australia Ponsford migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Ponsford Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Harriet Ponsford, English convict from Bristol, who was transported aboard the "America" on December 30, 1830, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [8]

New Zealand Ponsford migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Ponsford Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Ponsford, (b. 1849), aged 21, British wheelwright travelling from London aboard the ship "Monarch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1870 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ponsford (post 1700) +

  • Joan Ponsford, English actress, known for Everybody Dance (1936), Night Ride (1937) and The Reverse Be My Lot (1937)
  • Lauren Ponsford, Australian voice actress, known for her work on Morph's Epic Adventures (2020), The Epic Adventures of Morph (2020) and Learning Time with Timmy (2018)
  • Scott Ponsford, Australian actor, known for The Secret Life of Us (2001) and The Secret Life of Us (2001)
  • Kimora Ponsford., British actress, known for Just Remember (2018) and Wither (2019)
  • Jennie Louise Ponsford AO, Australian neuroscience researcher at Monash University, Victoria
  • William Harold "Bill" Ponsford MBE (1900-1991), Australian cricketer who usually playing as an opening batsman for Victoria (1921-1934), one of the ten initial inductees into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame


The Ponsford 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: Pensez forte
Motto Translation: Think firmly.


  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. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  4. ^ Liber Niger Scutarii ("Black Book of the Exchequer"), containing reports by county on feudal holdings in England in 1166 (reign of Henry II)
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_new_york_1820_1891.pdf
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 26) America voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1830 with 135 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/america/1830
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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