Ponsfort History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Ponsfort was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ponsfort family lived in Gloucestershire, where the family was found since the early Middle Ages.

Early Origins of the Ponsfort family

The surname Ponsfort 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 Ponsfort family

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

Ponsfort 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 Pauncefoot, Pauncefort, Pauncefoote, Pauncefote and others.

Early Notables of the Ponsfort family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Ponsfort family

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 Ponsfort or a variant listed above: John Pauncefoot who landed in North America in 1750.



The Ponsfort 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.


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