This unusual surname found in the spellings of Pointon, Poynton, and the dialectals Painten, Pontin, Paynton, and Punton, has two possible origins. The first, and for the majority of nameholders, the most likely, is medieval English and locational from one of the places called Pointon or Poynton in Lincolnshire, Cheshire, and Shropshire. Dialectual differences in pronunciation and hence spelling, account for the great variety of English surnames. This is a good example of the genre. "Poynton" in Cheshire derives from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Pun(a)" plus "tun", a far of hamlet, whist "Poynton" in Shropshire translates as "Peofa's" tun. Early examples of the surnamer recording include Jordan de Poyngntun in the 1210 rolls of Lincoln, whilst Alice de Pynton is so recorded in the 1344 court of the London Pleas. Later recordings include examples such as Robert Pointon of Essex, recorded their in the rolls known as 'Feet of Fines' in 1419, whilst in November 1562, Joan Paintayn was married to John Burton at Dronfield, in Derbyshire. The second possible source, which has now interchanged with the native English, is from the Huguenot surname "Pantin", originally recorded at Aryon in France, and introduced into England at the end of the 17th Century. An early example being Freind Paintin, who was christened at the French Church, Threadneedle Street, London, in 1706. The coat of arms granted in Cheshire, has the blazon of chequy gold and blue, on a red canton, a silver lion rampant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alice de Poynton, which was dated 1344, in the Calendar of Pleas in the City of London, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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