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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Powney family come from? What is the English Powney family crest and coat of arms? When did the Powney family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Powney family history?

Powney is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Powney family lived in Cheshire, at Pownall, from whence they derived their name.


Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Pownall, Pownal, Pownell, Pownel and others.

First found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Powney research. Another 238 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1350, 1722, 1757, and 1805 are included under the topic Early Powney History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 37 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Powney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Powney or a variant listed above:

Powney Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas Powney, who arrived in Maryland in 1652


  • Cassie Powney (b. 1983), English actress, twin sister to Connie Powney, nominated Best Actress at the 2006 British Soap Awards
  • Connie Powney (b. 1983), English actress, twin sister to Cassie Powney


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: Officium praesto
Motto Translation: I perform my duty.


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  1. 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).
  2. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  11. ...

The Powney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Powney 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 25 November 2013 at 08:11.

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