>Welcome to this temporary Powner index pageThis site is for the display & storage of any text, photos, videos and files relating to the North Staffordshire Powner families. Any input, or requests for amendments, removals and replacements should be first addressed to:David Powner To view the latest (but basic) family tree, click here To view any available documents/transcripts, click here To view any available photos/images, click here To view the current Budapest photos, click here North Staffordshire Oatcake recipes - click here Currently focussed on the earliest known ancestor of David Powner - a Tom Powner, butcher/farmer , married to Margaret Barker of Barlaston, Staffordshire, born somewhere around 1785.
It would appear that the name Powner was recorded as early as 1660, referring to a Cordwainer (worker in Cordovan leather), located in Eccleshall, Staffordshire. Later information indicates that many Powners were in the nearby district of Stone, and from there gradually migrated in an obvious progression to Newcastle and Stoke-on-Trent, where there is still the highest concentration.
Recorded in several forms as shown below, this long-established surname is best described as English, but has two distinct possible origins.
Firstly, it may be of Norman French derivation, and a medieval nickname for someone who was handy with his fists. This is from the word "poigneor", meaning a fighter, and ultimately from the Latin "pugnus", fist. The word was introduced into England by the Normans, in the aftermath of the Conquest of 1066.
Secondly, in some instances the surname may be a form of the Welsh patronymic "ab Ynyr", composed of the prefix "ab", meaning son of, and the personal name "Ynyr", apparently from the Latin "Honorius", meaning Honoured. Examples of the surname spelling are known to include Poynor, Powner and Punyer as well as the dialectals Bonner and Bunner. Early examples of the surname include: William le Poinur, in the Pipe Rolls of Herefordshire in the year 1230; William le Pungneur, in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire also in 1230; Ralph Poyner, listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1283; and Richard Pownyer, who appears in the Pinchbeck Register for the county of Suffolk, in 1327. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey le Poinnur. This was dated 1220, in the Curia Regis Rolls of Essex, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax.
Personally, I have a sneaking preference for the first version, particularly as when researching the earlier years of my father (after he died), I chanced upon one of his childhood acquaintances, who recalled that my father was handy with his fists, engaging (along with his brothers) in street-fighting for money.
Coincidence, or a genetic inevitability?
In due course, a more detailed range of options will be made available.
If required, password-protected storage is offered for any family members who may wish to avail themselves of the web space.
This page created on 22nd February, 2009 This page last edited on 27th February, 2012