Recorded in several forms including Pevsner, Posvner, Posner, Poznan, Poznanski (Polish and Ashkenasic), Posen (German), Peasnone and Posnone (English), this is a surname of medieval origins. It is locational and named after the Polish city of Poznan. This place has a very unusual background. It is said to derive from the words 'poznac sie' meaning 'getting to know you', and as such it was the meeting place in about the year 1080 of the king of Poland Boleslaw Chrobny, and Otto 111, the Emperor of the Germans. Places have been named for more pretenious reasons so perhaps this is the correct explanation. However given the hate relationship between the Germans and the Poles, clearly 'getting to know you' did not as a principle, work too well! Locational surnames are by their nature 'from' names. That is names given to people after they left their original homes in this case Poznan, to move somewhere else. In so doing as spelling was at best indifferent and local accents very thick, variant forms often developed. This name is no exception. In England the name is principally known through the work of the late Sir Nicholas Pevsner, who almost single handedly catalogued every major building in the British Isles. The success of his task was ultimately to lead to the creation of English Heritage.
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