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2,395 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

This study aims at bringing together genealogical and family history information on all people, world-wide, of the surnames POINTING and POYNTING, or a close variant. A key aim is to assign each person to a specific branch, and to determine whether, and if so, how these branches are interrelated. Whilst concentrating on those with that surname, information is also sought on all direct descendants of POINTING/POYNTINGs.

Variant names

Thus study includes these variants: POINTIN, POINTING, POINTINGE, POYNTIN, POYNTING, POYNTINGE. It also includes surnames such as POINTON, PONTEN, POYNTINGTON & PONTING where other members of those families also used one of the previous variants. Note that there is often confusion between PONTING and POINTING, particular as both are concentrated in the West Country, England.

Name origin

The surnames POINTING & POYNTING are often interchangeable within a family, with POYNTING being used more frequently in the period before 1700. The majority of living POINTINGs can be traced back to Somerset, England, to families that used that surname before 1700. However, in the 1700s other branches appear that may or may not descend from the Somerset family. Large branches were centred in Sussex (Brighton & Lewes), Kent, London and Wycombe (Bucks). A significant centre was also in Norfolk

Historical occurrences of the name

John Henry POYNTING was a well-known physicist.

Distribution of the name

In the 1800s the POINTINGS were centred in Somerset, Sussex, Buckinghamshire, London & Kent. The families are still mainly located in Southern England. There are surprisingly few descendants in the USA, but a larger contingent in Australia, derived from the Sussex and Somerset branches.


Link to Family Trees Additions and corrections are welcome.


POINTING & POYNTING are rare surnames with only a small number of currently unlinked "€œbranches"€. Moreover, most of those "€œbranches"€ have origins in England, and in particular from Somerset.

A key question we have been trying to answer is which branches indeed share a common direct male-line ancestor. This can now be answered through a simple DNA test.

The DNA test also gives indications as to the earlier, i.e. prehistoric, geographical origins of direct male-line ancestors.

Data has been obtained showing that two branches from Somerset (one from Bruton, the other from Midsomer Norton), whose connection cannot yet be traced via paper records, share a recent common male-line ancestor. Volunteer testers from other branches are urgently required.

More details are here: POINTING/POYNTING DNA STUDY

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