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The Puncher surname

When my brother met a man at a fair

A few years after I'd purchased my information from a man at a craft fair, my brother met a similar man at a similar fair. This is what he came away with:


SPELLING VARIANTS. All modern languages have evolved from many influences. These influences, together with the semi literacy of early clerks mean there will be varying spellings in your own family history, especially before 1750. Also many surnames have varying modern spellings. In the instance of your surname 'Punchard' is the only recorded, modern spelling variant.

EARLY RECORDS. Hereditary surnames began to be given following the Norman Conquest of 1066. Most families possessed a surname by the 1400's in England, Scotland and Ireland, and by the 1700's in Wales. Documents show the following attested records for your surname
Olyver Puncharde - 1243 - Somerset
Wyllam Ponchard - 1546 - Barnstaple
John Puncher - 1758 - Northam both in Devon

ORIGINS. Generally, surnames are derived from just one of four sources:
  1. 'Local' surnames from a place where a man once resided or held land.
  2. 'Baptismal' surnames from the personal name of an ancestor.
  3. 'Occupational' surnames from the trade or office of the bearer.
  4. 'Nicknames' from a personal characteristic or peculiarity.
The origin of your surname is
Son of a man named 'Ponchard', an Old Norman French personal name brought in the wake of the conquest.
A pet form of 'Ponche', itself Latinized as 'Pontius', originally from 'Pontus' in Asia Minor, from the Greek 'pontos' meaning 'ocean'.