This is a medieval surname of French or Flanders origins. Probably introduced twice into the British Isles, firstly in the 14th century with the famous Flemish Weavers, and later as a Huguenot refugee name, it is recorded in a wide range of spellings including Poncet, Ponnsett, Poinsett, Pounsett, Point, Points, Pointer, Poynter, and Poyntz. In the Middle Ages "points" were a kind of tagged lace or cord of twisted yarn, sometimes in silk or even leather, and used for fastening together the doublet and hose worn in those times. Falstaff in the act of saying "Their points being broken", is interrupted by the remark "Down fell their hose" in William Shakespear's play Henry IV Part I. The derivation of the name is from the pre 10th century Old French "pointe" meaning a sharp or pointed end, and ultimately from the Latin "puncta", to pierce. The name may also be occupational in another sense. In medieval roofing, it was usual for all the layers of tiles to be rendered with mortar, and this work called "pointing" was recorded as early as 1265. Early recordings of the family name include Benedict le Puintur, which was dated 1206, in the pipe rolls of the county of Berkshire, whilst Hugo Poyntz, whose family held lands in Devon. He served in Ireland in 1210, and held lands there. Later examples of the recordings include William Pounsett, at the church of St Leonards Eastcheap, in the city of London, on January 16trh 1550, and Thomas Pouncet, at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on April 17th 1597. Throughout the centuries surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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