This is a Medieval English occupational surname found as "Pionter" or "Poynter", "Points", which were a kind of tagged lace or cord of twisted yarn, silk, or leather used for fastening together the doublet and hose worn in the Middle Ages. Falstaff in the act of saying "Their points being broken", is interrupted by the remark "Down fell their hose" in William Shakespears "Henry IV Part I". The derivation of the name is from the Middle English "Poynte" or "Point", from the Old French "Pointe" meaning "a sharp or pointed end", ultimately from the Latin "Puncta", from "Pungere", to pierce. The name may also mean a "Slater", since in medieval roofing, it was usual for all the layers of tiles to be "pointed" or rendered with mortar, and this is called "pointing" as early as 1265. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Benedict le Puintur, which was dated 1206, in the "Pipe Rolls of Berkshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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