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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The Anglo-Saxons of Britain first developed the name Pottingal. It was a name given to someone who was a maker and seller of soup which is derived from the Old French word potagier, which meant "maker and seller of pottage." Pottage is a thick soup or broth. The original bearer of this surname may very well have been an itinerant peddler traveling with a fair. It was common to have food sellers traveling with medieval fairs; pottage was a popular food stuff to be found at these events. A good literary example of this type of trade appears in the beginning of Thomas Hardy's book The Mayor of Casterbridge, where the "furmity woman" precipitates the events of the novel by selling soup laced with alcohol to Henchard, who in later years becomes the Mayor of the title of the book. The word pottinger is Scottish for an apothecary. In the Household Book of James V. of Scotland, one of the king's horses, set apart for carrying the drugs of the royal household, is jocosely known by this name: - 'uno equo pharmacopile, vulgo de Pottinger.' " [1]

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The surname Pottingal was first found in Berkshire, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Pottingal have been found, including Pottinger, Potinger, Pottingal, Pottingale and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pottingal research. Another 187 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1556, 1789 and 1856 are included under the topic Early Pottingal History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pottingal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Pottingal family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Pottingal, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were: John Pottinger, who arrived in Maryland in 1684; Jane Pottinger and her husband, who settled in Virginia in 1729; and Jane Pottinger, who came to Philadelphia in 1774..

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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: Virtus in ardua
Motto Translation: Courage against difficulties.

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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Pottingal Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pottingal 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 7 March 2016 at 09:17.

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