Show ContentsPonz History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Ponz surname "is derived from the name of an ancestor. 'the son of Poynz.'". [1] It may also be derived from the Latin "pontes," meaning "bridges."

The name could have originated at Ponts, Normandy. "There is a Ponts in the Manche Dept., and another in the Seine-Inférieure Dept." [2]

Another source claims the name was "Old French Ponz, Latin Pontius, 'man from Pontus in Asia Minor', the name of a saint (Pontius) of Asia Minor whose cult was widely spread in the Middle Ages, surviving also in French Pons, Ponce and the Burgundian Point. The surname is also a nickname for a fop, the man with the points." [3]

Early Origins of the Ponz family

The surname Ponz was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where "Walter filius Ponz, [was] a tenant-in-chief at the time of the Norman survey, and Drogo, his brother who held many manors in the counties of Wilts., Gloucester, Worcester, and Hereford, were sons of Walter Ponz, a noble Norman. From Drogo filius Ponz descended the family of Clifford." [4]

Ricardus filius Puinz was listed as famous Knights Templar in Somerset in 1185 and the Pipe Rolls of 1196 list Puntis, Pontius Arnaldi in Devon. In Surrey, we found Reginald Puinz, Poinz in the Pipe Rolls of 1176-1177. Randulf Poinces was found in the Curia Regis Rolls for Surrey in 1207. Hugh de Poinz was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls for Somerset in 1221. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included entries for Hugo Poynz, Kent; Nicholas Poynz, Kent; and William Poynz, Devon. [1]

The name is "amongst the old and distinguished knightly families of Essex now rarely represented in the county is that of Poyntz, of North Ockendon, in the 16th and 17th centuries." [5]

Ponz Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Pounse, Pouncy, Pouncey, Poyntz and others.

United States Ponz migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Ponz or a variant listed above:

Ponz Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Manuel Ponz, aged 40, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1829 [6]

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook