This unusual and interesting surname, widely recorded in Shropshire Church Registers from the early 17th Century, is of medieval Welsh origin, and is a patronymic form of the medieval Welsh male given name "Hwfa, Hofa" or "Hova", with the fused prefix "ab, ap", son of. One Houa ap David, and an Ythel ab Houa were recorded in the 1292 Subsidy Rolls of Powys. Further early forms of the name include: "Howa, Hova" and "Hona", the "n" in "Hona" being a misreading for "u". Surnames derived from given names are the oldest and most pervasive surname type, and in Wales, "p" and "b", vestiges of the Welsh patronymic prefix "(m)ab, (m)ap", are widely found preceding the given name, as in Price, Probert and Bowen. Carreghofa or Carreghwfa near Welshpool in Montgomeryshire is so called from "carreg", rock, and the personal name "Hofa, Hwfa". The surname appears in Shropshire Church Registers under the variant spellings Powvah, Povah, Povey, Povea, Pova and Poveah. On September 9th 1607, William, son of Hugh Powvah, was christened at High Ercall, Shropshire, and on May 12th 1688, Elizabeth, daughter of Nicholas Povah, was christened at Whitchurch. The christening of Sarah Povah, daughter of Samuel Povah or Povey, also took place at Whitchurch, on December 6th 1857. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Bledrys ap Hova, which was dated circa 1294, in "Early Medieval Records of Lleyn", Carnarvonshire, Wales, during the reign of Llewelyn ap Griffith, Prince of Wales, 1246 - 1282. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017