This interesting name is a variant form of Pont, which is of English and Anglo-Norman French origin. It is a topographical name for someone who lived near a bridge, from, the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "pont", punt and the Old French "pont", both of which are derived from the Latin "pons", a bridge. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names. The name development since 1214 (see below) includes: Stephen le Punter (1243, Somerset) and John Ponter (1255, Shropshire). The modern surname can be found as Punter and Ponter. Among the sample recordings in London are the marriage of George Punter and Grace Chaundler on August 7th 1643, and the christening of Austin, son of Austin and Elizabeth Punter, on September 28th 1655, both at St. Dunstan, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Punter, which was dated 1214, Curia Regis Rolls, Northamptonshire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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