This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place in Leicestershire, near Lutterworth, now called Poultney. The placename was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Pontenei", and it is this Norman form that is the source for the modern surname Pountney. The placename is again recorded in 1209, as "Pulteney", in the Leicestershire Episcopal Registers, showing its original derivation from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name, "Pulta", with "eg", island; thus, "Pulta's island". The Domesday form of the placename shows the common Norman French substitution of "-n-" for the Olde English "-l-". The latter form is reflected in the other modern forms of the surname, which are Poultney, Poulney, and Pulteney, and of course in the modern placename. Locational surnames were acquired especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the christening of Nicholas Powntney at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, on May 15th 1580, and the marriage of Robert Pountney and Hannah Chrichly at St. James', Duke's Place, on April 23rd 1690. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Pulteneye, which was dated 1334, in the "Calendar of Letter Books of 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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