The surname of PONTEFRACT was a baptismal name 'the son of Humphrey' an ancient personal name. It was also a locational name 'of Pontefract' in County Yorkshire. Pomfret is the usual pronunciation. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention Robert Prumfret who was recorded in the year 1273 in County Norfolk. John Pounfrey, was documented in the year 1297 in the County of Cornwall. Edward ap Pumfrey of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. Later instances of the name mention Garret Florence and Catherine Pomfrett who were married in London in the year 1579. William Pomfrett and Sarah Burton were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1776. The name has numerous variants which include Pomfrett, Pontefract, Pomfritt and Pomphrett. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefields 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. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. (Pomfret).
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