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

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About the study

Knowing that Punchard is a fairly rare name, I started researching in 1995 to update the Rev. E.G. Punchard's 1892 book 'Punchard of Heanton Punchardon - Records of an unfortunate family' (refering to the fact that having once owned land and armorial titles, all have been lost over the years) This gave a good starting point however there were some trees that were incorrect which was misleading for a while! Nonetheless, I can account for most current day Punchard's ancestors back to at least early 1800's and some even further. The Rev. E G Punchard (1844-1917) and his two sons were the last of the Punchard's officially able to use the Suffolk coat of arms. Tragically, both Alfred and Edmund gave their lives in the First World War.

Variant names

The original Norman name was de Punchardon and this contracted over the centuries to Punchardon, then Punchard. Variations mainly occuring due to dialect pronunciations being recorded in Church Registers and Indexes.


Name origin

Quoted from 'Records of an unfortunate family' : 'The name of Punchard appears first in England on the Roll of Battle Abbey. Holinshed spells it Punchardoun, Duchesne and Stow as Punchardon and on the Dives Roll it is found as Pontchardon. This last form is the nearest to Pontcardon, a village close to Neuffla in Normandy where the family was noted in the 9th and 10th Centuries. Arthur Folkard is inclined to look for the origin in the name beyond that of the Norman town where it is first recorded and to see in it the relic of an office, rather than a locality. If so, its first intention was on of great importance -€“ no less than the Keeper (warden) of the Bridge. And as '€˜pontifex'€™ means '€˜the builder of the bridge'€™, so 'ponte-chardon' means its guardian'

Historical occurrences of the name

William Henry Punchard 1835-1891 Foreign Railway Contractor and Civil Engineer

Name frequency

Between 1837 and 2001 there have been 1444 entries in the GRO Birth Index.

Between 1837 and 200 there have been 850 marriages in the GRO Marriage Index.

Distribution of the name


Devon - distinct branches North and South to other counties, USA, Australia,
Norfolk - branches to other counties
Suffolk - branches to Lancashire, Yorkshire, London, USA, Canada

Puncher: one branch orginating in North Devon spreading to South Wales & Hampshire circa late 1800's

Puncher: another branch originating in Suffolk spreading to Essex & Hertfordshire circa late 1800's

Ponchard: originating in Bristol circa 1700's, this branch exclusively in Australia.


All GRO births, marriages, deaths

Ongoing extractions of 1841 - 1911 Census.

Access to all 1841 - 1911 Census Images. A few 1911 Census page transcriptions.