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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Ponsonby is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Ponsonby family when they migrated to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Ponsonby family lived in Cumberland, at Ponsonby, from whence the family derived their name.
The surname Ponsonby was first found in Cumberland at Ponsonby, a parish, in the union of Whitehaven, Allerdale ward above Derwent.  "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!" 
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Ponsonby have been found, including Ponsonby, Pounceby, Pownceby and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ponsonby 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 Ponsonby History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ponsonby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Ponsonby 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.
For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Ponsonby were among those contributors:
Ponsonby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Ponsonby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Ponsonby Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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.
The Ponsonby Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ponsonby Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 16 December 2015 at 04:16.