The surname of PONDS was a locational name 'the dweller at the pond' from residence nearby. Almost every city, town or village extant in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. While a man lived in a town or village he would not be known by its name, as that would be no means of identification - all in the village would be so named. But when a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or by the name of the land which he owned. Some had the name of a manor or village because they were lords of that place and owned it, but the majority descend from vassals of freeman who once had lived there. Early records of the name mention Geoffrey atte Pond, 1273, who was recorded in County Bedford and Henry Ponde of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). William Ponde of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. A later instance of the name mention Thomas Pond and Ann Hathaway who were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1650. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. An eminent member of the name was John Pond (1767-1836) the English astronomer. He was the Astronomer-royal from 1811, and improved the methods and instruments of observation at Greenwich. His work was notable for its extreme accuracy. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Registered in Somerset. (Ponde).
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