Povey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Povey is a name whose history is entwined with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It was a name for a person with the characteristics of an owl. Often nicknames described strong traits or attributes that people wished to emulate in a specific animal. In the pre-Christian era, many pagan gods and demigods were believed to be a mixture of animals and humans, such as the Greek god Pan who was the god of flocks and herds and was represented as a man with the legs, horns and ears of a goat. In the Middle Ages, anthropomorphic ideas, which attributed human qualities and form to gods or animals, were held about the characters of other living creatures. They were based on the creature's habits. Moreover, these associations were reflected in folk-tales, mythology, and legends which portrayed animals behaving as humans.

Early Origins of the Povey family

The surname Povey was first found in Gloucestershire where the name Povey is a provincialism for an owl. [1]

Early History of the Povey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Povey research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1613, 1705, 1650, 1660, 1652, 1743, 1690, 1706, 1702, 1706, 1621, 1679, 1673 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Povey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Povey Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Povey were recorded, including Povey, Povy and others.

Early Notables of the Povey family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Thomas Povey (1613-1705) FRS, London merchant and politician, active in colonial affairs from the 1650s, he was a member from 1660 of Charles II's Council for Foreign Plantations. Charles Povey (c. 1652-1743), was an English miscellaneous writer...
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Povey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Povey family to Ireland

Some of the Povey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 56 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 Povey migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Povey family emigrate to North America:

Povey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Povey, who landed in Virginia in 1643 [2]
  • Richard Povey, who arrived in Virginia in 1663 [2]
  • Robert Povey, who landed in Virginia in 1695 [2]
  • Anne Povey and her husband who settled in Barbados in 1697
Povey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James, John and William Povey, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1174 and 1852
  • Walter Povey, aged 26, who immigrated to America, in 1893
  • Walter Povey, aged 37, who landed in America from Liverpool, in 1897
Povey Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Samuel Povey, aged 22, who immigrated to the United States from Ewias Harold, Herfordshire, England, in 1907
  • Fanny J. Povey, aged 40, who landed in America from England, in 1909
  • Jesse Povey, aged 45, who landed in America from England, in 1910
  • Eleonor Povey, aged 24, who settled in America from England, in 1910
  • Jeffery George Povey, aged 27, who immigrated to the United States from Hereford, England, in 1912
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Povey migration to Australia +

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

Povey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Povey, English convict from Berkshire, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia [3]

New Zealand Povey migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Povey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Povey, (b. 1838), aged 32, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Monarch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1870 [4]
  • Mr. Alexander Povey, (b. 1846), aged 24, British farm labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Monarch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1870 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Povey (post 1700) +

  • Graham Povey, American special effects supervisor, known for his work on Gladiator (2000), Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Prometheus (2012)
  • D. L. Povey, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oregon, 1916 [5]
  • William "Bill" Povey (b. 1943), English former professional footballer who played as a winger for York City in 1964
  • Arthur Povey (1886-1946), English cricketer who appeared in five first-class matches for Kent County Cricket Club as a wicket-keeper in 1921 and 1922
  • Colin Povey, English Chief Executive of Warwickshire County Cricket Club
  • Jeff Povey, English author, screenwriter and director, known for his work on EastEnders (1985), Casualty (1986) and By Any Means (2013)
  • Michael "Meic" Povey (1950-2017), Welsh actor, screenwriter and director, co-creator of the long running soap opera Pobol y Cwm
  • Caroline Povey (b. 1980), British bronze medalist sport shooter at the 2014 Commonwealth Games
  • Guy Povey (b. 1960), British auto racing driver


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 27) Andromeda voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1832 with 186 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/andromeda/1832
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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