Recorded as Ponter and Punter, this is a surname of French origins. It is a topographical for a person who lived or worked on a causeway or road. This would have been raised above the surrounding landscape, and is from the Old French word "pont" introduced into England at the Norman Invasion of 1066, and ultimately is derived from the Latin "pons". Topographical surnames were amongst the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names. The surname development includes recordings such as that of : Stephen le Punter of Somerset in 1243 and John Ponter of Shropshire in 1255. Amongst the sample recordings in the churcvh registers of the city of London are the marriage of George Punter and Grace Chaundler on August 7th 1643, and the christening of Austin, son of Austin and Elizabeth Ponter, on September 28th 1655, both at St. Dunstan's in the East, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Punter. This was dated 1214, in the Curia Regis Rolls of Northamptonshire, during the reign of King John of England, 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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