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2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

I have been researching the surname Pocknall since 1996 after discovering that my grandmother Louisa Allen Pocknall was born in 1882 in Dunedin New Zealand. Louisa'a parents were Thomas Pocknall and Eliza Kirkman Allen from Sutton at Hone, Kent, England. Louisa'a parents immigrated to New Zealand aboard the ship "€œAsia"€ leaving Gravesend on 8th Feb 1874 and arriving 27 April 1874 at Otago, with four children. They produced another 7 children in NZ. Thomas died at Caversham (Dunedin) NZ in 1889. Following this Eliza 2 of their sons, William Walter and Leonard Albert, and daughters Hannah, Caroline, Harriet, Louisa and Ada, went to Victoria in May/June 1891 on the "€œWestralia"€. All the New Zealand branches of the family are related back to Thomas and Eliza.

Variant names

Pocknell, Pucknell.

Name origin

It appears that the surname POCKNALL is a derivative of the name 'PUCHEL' which is of old English origins.

Puck, also known as Robin Goodfellow, is a character in William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream that was based on the ancient figure in English mythology, also called Puck.

Historical occurrences of the name

Two pre-seventh century word 'puca', meaning a goblin, and the diminutive 'pucell' meaning a little goblin are thought be have been a nickname or a personal endearment for a person bearing some claimed resemblance to such a being. It is said that the elf and the goblin are much associated with the counties of Sussex and Kent, and that many fields and hollows were known as 'Puc's hollow' or 'Puc's hole'.

The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Puchel. This was dated 1200, in the Pipe Rolls of Bedfordshire, during the reign of King John. Subsidy Tax rolls of Sussex in 1296 contained the name Robert de Pukehole. Other early examples taken from surviving Sussex church registers include Tom Pucknoll, christened on December 28th 1569, at Petworth, whilst John, the son of Roger Pocknell was also christened at Petworth, on August 19th 1573, and Edward Pucknell married Elizabeth Bushope on July 12th 1584, at South Berstead. The spelling POCKNALL first appears in the 1700s.

Name frequency

Occurs 438 times in the 1881 Census
Count: 34
Rank: 59:293

Distribution of the name

In Archers Surname Atlas the surname is concentrated in Norfolk with a strong showing in Devon and some more in Somerset and London.