The name Pontain came to England
with the ancestors of the Pontain family in the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Pontain family lived near a spring or well
which was in turn derived from the Old French word fontane,
which means spring or well.
Pontain is a topographic
surname, which is a type of surname that was given to a person who resided near a landmark such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree.
John Pherd (died 1225), Bishop of Ely, properly called John of Fountains, was a Cistercian monk of Fountains, and was chosen ninth abbot of his house in December 1211. CITATION[CLOSE]
Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
Early Origins of the Pontain family
The surname Pontain was first found in Norfolk
at Harford, a parish, in the union of Swaffham, hundred
of South Greenhoe. " Narford Hall was built by Sir Andrew Fountaine, vice-chamberlain to Queen Caroline (consort of George II.), and the companion of Pope, Swift, and their literary society; he enriched the mansion with a collection of antiquities, paintings, and curiosities, which has been considerably increased by the present proprietor. In the reign of Edward III. Sir Thomas de Narford obtained for it a market and two fairs, long since fallen into disuse." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Pontain family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pontain research.Another 193 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1430, 1676, 1753, 1600, 1671, 1659 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Pontain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Pontain 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 Fountaine, Fountain, Fountayne, Fontain, Fontibus, Ffountain, Ffounteyn and many more.
Early Notables of the Pontain family (pre 1700)
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pontain Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Pontain family to Ireland
Some of the Pontain family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 74 words (5 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 Pontain 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 Pontain or a variant listed above: Nicholas Fountain who settled in Maryland in 1661; Lewis
Fountain settled in Maryland in 1775; Edward Fountaine settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1635.
The Pontain 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: Vix ea nostra voco
Motto Translation: I scarce call these things our own.