Powles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Welsh surname Powles comes from the personal name Hoel or Howell, which were both derived from the Old Welsh name Houel. The surname Powles features the distinctive Welsh patronymic prefix "ap-". The original form of the name was ap-Hoel or ap-Howell, but the prefixes have been assimilated into the surname over the course of time.

Early Origins of the Powles family

The surname Powles was first found in Breconshire (Welsh: Sir Frycheiniog), a traditional county in southern Wales, which takes its name from the Welsh kingdom of Brycheiniog (5th-10th centuries), where the name "are descended from Philip ap Howell, whose pedigree is traced to Edwin ap Grono, Lord of Tegaingl, founder of the XIII noble tribe of North Wales and Powys." [1] However other records claim the name came from the Welsh King Hywel Dda"the Good" ap Cadell (c.880- c.950), son of Cadell ap Rhodri, in turn a son of Rhodri the Great.

Early History of the Powles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Powles research. Another 201 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1798, 1673, 1750, 1795, 1608, 1660, 1624, 1680, 1660, 1637, 1630, 1692, 1689, 1628, 1678, 1660, 1678, 1632, 1696, 1688, 1803, 1834, 1641, 1721 and 1653 are included under the topic Early Powles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Powles Spelling Variations

Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Powles name over the years has been spelled Powell, Powel and others.

Early Notables of the Powles family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Thomas Powell (c.1608-1660), a Welsh cleric and writer from Cantref, Breconshire; Sir William Powell, 1st Baronet (c. 1624-1680), born William Hinson, an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1660; William Powell (d. 1637), was an esquire of Castle Madoc; Henry Powle (1630-1692), an English lawyer and politician, Speaker of the House of Commons in 1689; Sir Richard Powle (1628-1678), an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1678; Sir John Powell (c. 1632-1696), a Welsh judge...
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Powles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Powles family to Ireland

Some of the Powles 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.


New Zealand Powles 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:

Powles Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mary Powles, aged 37, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1850

Contemporary Notables of the name Powles (post 1700) +

  • John Diston Powles (1787-1867), English businessman
  • John Powles (1948-2010), former Canadian president of the Canada-Japan Society
  • Sophie Powles (b. 1988), English actress
  • Tim Powles (b. 1959), drummer with the Australian-formed band The Church
  • Sir Guy Richardson Powles ONZ, KBE, CMG (1905-1994), New Zealand diplomat, last Governor of Western Samoa and architect of Samoan independence

HMS Royal Oak
  • William Powles (d. 1939), British Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [2]


The Powles 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: Edrych i fynw
Motto Translation: Looking Up.


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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