Show ContentsPuddexter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Puddexter family name is a legacy Britain's Norman past. It comes from the Old French "poing destre," meaning "right fist;" and as such is thought to have originally been some kind of nickname. [1] [2]

However, another source disagrees with this generally accepted origin. "This name does not signify ' the right hand,' as might easily be imagined, but is an old Norman name, signifying Spur the Steed, and analogous to Hotspur. It comes from two old words, which Wace often uses in the Roman de Rou; the first meaning ' to spur,'from the Latin pungo; the second, 'a steed or courser,' in French destrier, Ital. destriere." [3]

Early Origins of the Puddexter family

The surname Puddexter was first found in on the Island of Jersey where the earliest record of the names was of Geoffrey and Raoul Poingdestre as land owners in Jersey in 1250. Looking back further, the Pipe Rolls of the Exchequer of Normandy for the Reign of Henry ll, 1180 and 1184 list Ricardus Poingdestre, in the Bayeux District of the Bessin in Normandy (Lower Normandy) in 1180 and in 1195. Another reference confirms this entry but has modernized the spelling to Richard Poindestre and confirmed the year 1180. [4]

Early History of the Puddexter family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Puddexter research. Another 44 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1609, 1691 and 1636 are included under the topic Early Puddexter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Puddexter Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Poindexter, Poingdester, Poingdestre, Puddister and many more.

Early Notables of the Puddexter family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Jean Poingdestre (1609-1691), a Jersey native who was a supporter of the Royalists in the English Civil War and later became Lieutenant Bailiff of Jersey. He was a writer on the laws and history of Jersey, born in the parish of...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Puddexter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Puddexter family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Puddexter or a variant listed above: George Poindexter, progenitor of a distinguished American family, originally of the Island of Jersey, who settled in Virginia in 1650; Jacob Poindexter, who came to Salem, MA sometime between 1600 and 1692.

The Puddexter 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: Nemo me impune lacessit
Motto Translation: No one provokes me with impunity.

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X) on Facebook