Recorded as Punch, Punchard, Punche, and Puncher, this is an English surname, but one which is almost certainly of medieval French origins. It has several possible origins of which the most probable would seem to be from the word "poynte" itself a derivative of the French word "pointe", introduced by the Normans after the conquest of England in 1066. If this is the case then the name is occupational for a maker of pointe, a twisted cord made of yarn, silk, or even leather, and used in the clothing trade for fastening hose and doublet together.However it may also describe "pointing", a term used in the building and construction trade. This occurs when bricks, tiles, or slates, were "pointed" with mortar to prevent water from entering. A third possibility is that the name is a derivative of the Olde French word "ponz" itself from the Latin pontius, and describing either a person from Pontus in Asia Minor, or perhaps more logically one who lived by a pontes or bridge. The name where it occurs with the agent suffix "-er" would suggest that it refers to one who lived or worked on a bridge. We have found no evidence to suggest with this name any connection with "cow punchers", a term used in the Wild West for a cowboy. The first known recording is probably that of Walterus Poinz in the Domeday Book for England in 1086 in the county of Berkshire, Godfrey Punch in the Pipe Rolls of the city of London in 1181, Robert Puncard of Oxford in 1230, and John Puncare in the assize rolls of Somerset in 1243.
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