Pow History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The surname Pow is derived from a nickname in the Old French. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.
In the pre-Christian era, many pagan gods and demi-gods 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 that portrayed animals behaving as humans. The Old French nickname Pow, meant peacock. It was a nickname given to people known for their florid manner and pride in their appearance. Nicknames were a broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, and were a type of hereditary surname. Nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. 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 Pow family
The surname Pow was first found in Devon where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Blackborough. The family can trace their ancestry to 846 in Brittany to the Lords of Poncar. Descended were the Viscounts of Poncar in the 11th century. Accompanying William the Conqueror at Hastings in 1066, they were granted lands in Devon.
In nearby Cornwall, "Poughill, or Pouguill, is simply Cornish, and signifies the country frequented with gulls, unless it be a deviation from Pouguillan which implies the low country; which latter term, from the situation of the parish in the county, does not seem to be very applicable." 
Early rolls revealed entries for the name as a forename and surname with a wide variety of spellings. Tedricus Paue filius was listed in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk c.1095. Pavo Cocus was found in the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1203; Robert son of Pawe was listed at Wakefield, Yorkshire in 1277; Walter Pa was listed in Lincolnshire, while Robert Pa was found in the Assize Rolls for Yorkshire in 1260. Robert Paue was found in the Assize Rolls for Lincolnshire in 1202 and William, Morice Powe was found in the Pipe Rolls for Yorkshire in 1207. 
Early History of the Pow family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pow research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1299 and 1631 are included under the topic Early Pow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Pow Spelling Variations
The Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, and therefore, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. The spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. Therefore, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Poe, Po, Poee, Pow, Pough and others.
Early Notables of the Pow family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Pow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Pow family to Ireland
Some of the Pow family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
| Pow migration to the United States ||+|
Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Pow family to immigrate North America:
Pow Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- John P Pow, who landed in Maryland in 1638 
Pow Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Margaret Pow, who settled in Annapolis Maryland in 1726
- William Pow, who landed in North Carolina in 1748-1749 
- Frederick Pow, who settled in North America in 1765
Pow Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- B. G. Pow, who settled in Baltimore, Maryland in 1820 with two children
- Michael Pow, aged 36, who arrived in New York, NY in 1850 
| Pow migration to Australia ||+|
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Pow Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Mr. Jacob Pow, (b. 1802), aged 22, English carpenter who was convicted in Somerset, England for life for burglary, transported aboard the "Chapman" on 6th April 1824, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1853 
| Pow 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:
Pow Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Mr. George Pow, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Jura" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 23rd September 1858 
- Mrs. Pow, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow with 3 children aboard the ship "Jura" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 23rd September 1858 
| Pow migration to West Indies ||+|
The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. 
Pow Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
- Katherine Pow, who settled in Barbados in 1670
|Contemporary Notables of the name Pow (post 1700) ||+|
- Duncan Pow, Scottish actor best known in his role in Sky One 's Dream Team
- Tom Pow (b. 1950), Scottish poet
- Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- 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)
- Convict Records of Australia. Retreived 26th January 2021 from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/chapman
- New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html