This long-established surname has two distinct possible origins. Firstly, it may be of Old Norman French derivation, as a nickname for someone who was handy with his fists, from the Old French "poigneor", a fighter, ultimately from the Latin "pugnus", fist. The surname from this source was introduced into England by the Normans, in the aftermath of the Conquest of 1066. Secondly, in some instances the surname may be an Anglicized form of the Welsh patronymic phrase "ab Ynyr", composed of the Welsh prefix "ab", son of, and the personal name "Ynyr", apparently from the Latin "Honorius", meaning "Honoured".Variant surnames originating from the first source mentioned above, include Poynor and Punyer; while other variant forms from the second source are Bonner and Bunner. Early examples of the surname include: William le Poinur, recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Herefordshire (1230); William le Pungneur, mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire (1230); Ralph Poyner, listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk (1283); and Richard Punyer, who appears in the Pinchbeck Register (Suffolk, 1327). John Poyner married Agnes Worthington on November 3rd 1560, at St. Mary at Hill, London. The family Coat of Arms depicts on a gold shield, a green parrot closed, red legged. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey le Poinnur, which was dated 1220, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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