Show ContentsPottinger History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Pottinger is an old Anglo-Saxon name that was given to a person 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

Early Origins of the Pottinger family

The surname Pottinger was first found in various shires throughout ancient England. The Writs of Parliament may have the first entry for the name as it lists Walter le Potager, 1303. Kirby's Quest lists John le Potager, Somerset, 1 Edward III 2 and the Freemen of York listed Simon de Wederhale, potager, 2 Edward III. 3

For these last two entries, the reader needs to understand that many early rolls merely had entries for each year of the king's reign as it took years to complete a given rolls. By example, "1 Edward III" meant "during the first year of King Edward III's reign."

Walter le Potagier was listed in 1300 and Walter le Potager was listed in Oxfordshire in 1321. 4

Quite unexpectedly, Scottish entries for the name were later. "The surname appears in Scotland to have been confined mainly to Orkney and Shetland. Alexander Potyngeir and Thome Potyngeir were jurors on an inquest held at Sabay, Orkney, 1522. Alexander Potinger was one of the witnesses to a deed of sale in Orkney, 1552." 5

Early History of the Pottinger family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pottinger research. Another 224 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1321, 1373, 1500, 1556, 1575, 1640, 1642, 1647, 1652, 1658, 1659, 1664, 1691, 1733, 1762, 1776, 1789, 1805 and 1856 are included under the topic Early Pottinger History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pottinger Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Pottinger has been recorded under many different variations, including Pottinger, Potinger, Pottingal, Pottingale and others.

Early Notables of the Pottinger family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • John Potenger or Pottinger (1647-1733), was a master in chancery and author, the son of John Potenger, D.D. His father was headmaster of Winchester School from 1 Aug. 1642 to 1652, and died in 1659. P...

Ireland Migration of the Pottinger family to Ireland

Some of the Pottinger family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Pottinger migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Pottinger or a variant listed above:

Pottinger Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Pottinger, who arrived in Maryland in 1665 6
  • John Pottinger, who arrived in Maryland in 1684
Pottinger Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jane Pottinger and her husband, who settled in Virginia in 1729
  • Jane Pottinger, who settled in Philadelphia in 1774
Pottinger Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Pottinger, who landed in New York in 1848 6

Australia Pottinger migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Pottinger Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Caroline Pottinger, English convict who was convicted in Clerkenwell, London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Emma Eugenia" on 22nd January 1846, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 7
  • Ann Pottinger, aged 22, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo" 8

Contemporary Notables of the name Pottinger (post 1700) +

  • Julia Pottinger (b. 1970), born Julie Cotler, an American historical romance novelist
  • Allison Pottinger (b. 1973), Canadian-born, American curler, two-time gold and four-time silver medalist
  • Willett Pottinger, American politician, Member of Nebraska State Senate, 1871 9
  • Craig Pottinger, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Arizona, 1936, 1940, 1944, 1956; U.S. Collector of Customs, 1946-51 9
  • Israel Pottinger (b. 1770), English dramatist who began life as an apprentice to a book-seller named Worral
  • Sir Henry Pottinger (1834-1909), 3rd Baronet, English peer
  • Judith Anne "Tinks" Pottinger (1956-2020), née White, New Zealand bronze medalist horsewoman at the 1988 Summer Olympics
  • Jason "Jay" "J-Po" Pottinger (b. 1983), Canadian football linebacker for the Ottawa Redblacks
  • Sir Frederick William Pottinger (1831-1865), 2nd Baronet, India-born, Australian police inspector, son of Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Pottinger
  • Tinks Pottinger (b. 1956), New Zealand horsewoman and bronze medalist at the 1988 Summer Olympics
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Pottinger 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: Virtus in ardua
Motto Translation: Courage against difficulties.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. 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.
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  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)
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 4th April 2022).
  8. South Australian Register Thursday 23rd November 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Dirigo 1854. Retrieved
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook