Powys History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The forbears of the name Powys once lived in Powys, an ancient district in North Wales. It was divided into the counties of Brecknock, Radnor, and Montgomery by the English in the late 13th century according to the terms of the Statute of Rhuddan.

Early Origins of the Powys family

The surname Powys was first found in Shropshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Powys family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Powys research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1649, 1719, 1688, 1713, 1714, 1648 and 1732 are included under the topic Early Powys History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Powys Spelling Variations

Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Powys have included Powys, Powis and others.

Early Notables of the Powys family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Sir Thomas Powys (1649-1719), from Henley Hall, Shropshire, Attorney General to King James II. He was chief prosecutor at the trial of the Seven Bishops in June 1688, and was a Justice of...
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Powys Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Powys migration to the United States +

Many Welsh joined the great migrations to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like their Scottish and Irish neighbors, many Welsh families left their homeland hoping to find hope and prosperity in a land that the English did not exercise a tight rule over. Those Welsh immigrants that successfully traveled to North America went on to make significant contributions to the rapid development of both Canada and the United States in terms of the settling of land and the establishment of industry. They also added to the rich cultural heritage of both countries. An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Powys:

Powys Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Sarah Powys, who settled in South Carolina sometime between 1670 and 1686
  • John Powys, who settled in South Carolina in 1683
  • Thomas Powys, who arrived in Boston in 1684
  • Tho Powys, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1684 [1]
Powys Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • John Powys, aged 32, who immigrated to the United States from Avondale, England, in 1905
  • John Cowper Powys, aged 37, who immigrated to the United States from Burpham Arundel, England, in 1909
  • Marian Powys, aged 29, who landed in America from Montacute, England, in 1911
  • John Powys, aged 40, who landed in America from Durpha, England, in 1913
  • Warwith Gurnsey Powys, aged 42, who landed in America from London, England, in 1914
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Powys migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Powys Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Ernest Aubrey Powys, aged 50, who immigrated to New Westminster, Canada, in 1918

Australia Powys migration to Australia +

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

Powys Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Robert Owen Powys, a upholsterer, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Thomas Powys, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Cygnet" in 1836 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Powys (post 1700) +

  • Betsan Powys (b. 1964), Welsh journalist
  • Horatio Powys (1805-1877), English priest in the Church of England and Bishop of Sodor and Man, third son of Thomas Powys, second Baron Lilford (1775–1825)
  • Thomas Powys (1743-1800), English politician, made 1st Baron Lilford in 1777
  • Thomas Littleton Powys (1833-1896), British aristocrat and ornithologist, 4th Baron Lilford
  • Llewelyn Powys (1884-1939), British writer
  • John Cowper Powys (1872-1963), British author and lecturer
  • Gerard Powys Dewhurst J.P. (1872-1956), English cotton merchant, banker and amateur footballer, and earned one international cap for England in 1895
  • Edward Powys Mathers (1892-1939), English translator and poet who creates cryptic crosswords for The Observer under the pseudonym "Torquemada"

The Powys 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: Parta tueri
Motto Translation: Defend your acquisitions.

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Cygnet arrived Holdfast Bay, Adealide Sept. 11, 1836. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1836Cygnet.htm

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