SDB Popularity Ranking: 10397

Last name: Pow

SDB Popularity ranking: 10397

Recorded as Po, Poe, Poo, Pow, Powe, and possibly Paw, Piau, and Pooe, as well as the popular Pugh, this is not only sometimes the shortest of all surnames, but it has several possible origins. We are tempted to say that it is English and for many nameholders it is, but it may also be Welsh, and apparently as Pow chiefly Scottish, or it may even in some cases be locational, and Italian from former residence by one of the several rivers called Po. This may apply to Elizabeth Po, a christening witness at St Ann's Soho, Westminster, on October 1st 1757. The most recent dictionary of surnames lists it as either English, and a medieval nickname from the peacock bird, which in its short form was known as 'po,' or Welsh and a fused spelling of ap Howe, meaning the son of Howe, with ap being cognate with the Gaelic - Celtic 'Mac or Mc'. Clearly with such a confused set of origins it is difficult to be precise as to etymology. However the surname has been well recorded in all the above spellings in the city of London since at least Elizabethan times. These recordings include examples such as David Poo who married Margaret Reinolds at Lawrence Pountney on July 16th 1564, Ann Poe, who married John Smith on March 22nd 1636, at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, and Ann Pow christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on July 31st 1736,

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