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Immigrants to North America
with the Surname of Punches or of that Ilk,
Prior to the American Revolution

by James E. Punches


Author's Note:  The information given was the best available in 1988, when this article was written. We know now that there is more than one source for the family surnames. 


I. 1500 - 1599


James Pounce - Master of the ship, William and Mary. This ship sailed in the company of five others, under the overall command of Sir John Hawkins, in the year 1567, on a voyage to the Spanish settlements in America. The William and Mary was lost at sea during a hurricane as the English fleet ran from a pursuing Spanish fleet. The actual fate of the William end Mary is un­known. What is known is that she was last seen between Cuba and Mexico on a northerly heading.


II. 1600 – 1699


John (Pontes, Pountes, Pounse, Pounce, Pouncey) - An early settler in Virginia. Originally obtained land in Jamestown Colony under crown grant in 1622.  He sponsored further colonial immigration from Britain until at least 1652 when he is mentioned as sponsoring a group for settlement in King and Queen County.


Michel du Pon - One of a group of French and Flemish Huguenots, who along with his wife and two children, were given per-mission to settle in the Virginia Colony. The date of the permission is 11 August 1621.


William (Pontes, Pontis, Pontus) - An early settler in Plymouth Colony (Massachusetts) from about 1630. Originally from Dover, England. He married Wybra Hansen of Leyden, Holland on 4 December 1610. He had at least two daughters as offspring, Hannah and Mary. He died on 9 February 1653.


Thomas (Ponnt, Pount) - An emigrant to New England on 29 April 1635. Age given as 21 in the certificate of emigration. He traveled in the ship, Elizabeth and Ann; Roger Cooper, Master.


Thomas Pynch - An emigrant to Virginia on 27 July 1635. His age is given as 38. He traveled in the skip, Primrose; Captain Douglas, Master.


Ja.(mes?) Pontian - Listed as a settler in Virginia in 1648. May have been James Poyntz, born in Reigate, Surrey, and baptized 8 September 1601. No record remains in England of his later years.


Anpka Pounsey - Listed as having been imported by John Pontes as an immigrant for King and Queen County, Virginia in 1652. Sex of the person is not known.


Sir Sydenham Poyntz - Colonel General and Major General of the Parliamentary Army, 1643 - 1658. Brother of James Poyntz.  Baptized 3 November 1607. Married Ann Elea­nora de Count Stephanus do Casy of Wurttemberg, Germany. He was Governor of Antigua in 1661 and subsequently retired to Virginia where he spent the remainder of his life.


William Pounsey - Originally from Shadd Town, Southwark, London.  He vas bound in apprentice servitude with the consent of his mother, Alice Pounsey, to one Richard Stephens, for a period of eight (8) years. He imported at Maryland Colony on 22 July 1685. There is no record he ever returned to England.


????? Punch - Listed in an immigration document as being imported in land settlement in Virginia in 1695. May have been a negro slave which would account for the lack of a Christian name. Imported slaves were counted against the importation requirements of colonial land grants until 1699.



III. 1700 - 1776


Mary Punch - Listed as being imported in land settlement in Vir­ginia in 1702.


Niklaas Ponts - Recorded as having immigrated at New York in 1709. It is indicated that he arrived with a wife and three children.


Michael (Poince, Points, Point) - The likely proper spelling of his family name is Poyntz.  He was a Quaker and was a member of the Abington Monthly Meeting during the 1720's and 1730's. He married an Elizabeth Nicholson, who immigrated from Pardshaw Cragg, Cumberland, England ca. 1726, sometime between 24 April 1728 and 27 July 1728. It is not established if Michael was an immigrant himself, or if he was born in America. Quaker records indicate that Michael was buried 13 April 1736. Philadelphia Quaker Records.


John Poyntz - He is listed as being a member of the Irish Club of Boston in 1737. He was baptized on 2 December 1706 in Stoke St. Michael, near Bath, Somerset. He was the second son of William and Mary (Strode) Poyntz. It is not yet known when he immigrated nor whether he was accompanied by either or both of his younger brothers, Francis and Thomas. His elder brother, Strode, remained in England continuing the family in that country.


Hans Michael (Punch, Pointz) - Imported at Philadelphia, 8 October 1737; having arrived aboard the ship, Charming Nancy, of London. Recorded as having sworn allegiance to the British crown on that date.  He is noted as being a Palatine.


Augustus Ponsy - Imported at Philadelphia on 5 September 1738 from the ship, Winter Galley. Recorded as having sworn allegiance to the British crown on that date.  Appears to have emigrated from the Palatine.


Mrs. Peter Pontius and

Johannes (John) (Pontius, Pontius, Pontes) - Palatine Archives in Speyer, Germany show that an emigration license was issued to Mrs. Peter Pontius and her children to emigrate to America. Immigration records show that in the same year, 1738, Johannes Pontius, a 20 year old male, signed the immigration papers and swore allegiance to the British crown on 9 September 1738. Based on the fact that others from the village of Langenbach (the home village of Mrs. Peter Pontius), traveled with Johannes Pontius on the ship, Glasgow, as well as the fact that most others whose licenses to emigrate from the same period and the same region were on the same ship, it seems safe to conclude that Johannes was the eldest son of Peter and Mrs. Pontius (widow).


Adam Pontius - Imported at Philadelphia in 1747, with a wife and two children.


Joseph Poyntz - He is listed in some records in the Pennsylvania Ar­chives as being resident in Pennsylvania in the 1750's. It is not known if he was an immigrant or native born.


Johan Puntzius - Imported at Philadelphia on 13 October 1747 from the ship, Two Brothers. Recorded as having sworn allegiance to the British crown on that date and recorded as being from the Palatine.


Abraham Pons - Imported at Philadelphia on 24 September 1761 from the ship, Neptune. Recorded as having sworn allegiance to the British crown on that date.  Appears to have been from the Palatine as the majority of ships passengers were from the Palatinate.


Johan Gottlieb Ponce and

Johannes Gottlieb Ponce - Both imported at Philadelphia on 28 October 1766 from the ship, Countess of Sussex. Recorded as having sworn allegiance to the British crown on that date.


Johan David Pontius and

Johan Philip Pontius - Two brothers who, according to the Palatine State Archives, were granted a license to emigrate to America. The records indicate they imported at Philadelphia in 1768. Johan David was born 9 March 1738 and Johan Philip was younger. Their parents were Andreas and Anna Marie Pontius of Niederbrombach, Zweibrueken, Duchy of Birkenfeld.


Martin Pontzius and

David Pontzius - Both imported at Philadelphia on 12 November 1768. Both are recorded as having sworn allegiance to the British crown on that date. Their ship was the Penn­sylvania Packet, with a passenger list from the Palatine.


William Ponty - He is known only from Philadelphia vital records and from Benjamin Rush's Ledger. He and Ann Windkimer took out a marriage license on 26 May 1774. Benjamin Rush states that in 1775, William Ponty was living, "next door to the Widow Forrests.”





NOTE: The family names of Pons, Poyntz, Pontius, and Punches, as well as all other derivations in the French, English, Franco-German, and related lines, appear to derive from the offspring of one man in history. That man was Pontius, a lord, prince, baron, or sire (take your pick, all titles are used in the historical documents) who ruled the. Principality of Pons from the castle at Pons, in Saintoigne, on the West coast of France during the middle and late eleventh century, i.e. ca. 1050 - 1085 AD. He is positively identified as a companion of William, Duke of Normandy, during the Norman conquest of England in 1066 AD. He had a number of sons. Three are positively identified, Drogo, Walter, and Richard, with the family names of Poyntz, Pouncey, Poynes, Punches, and Clifford in England and Wales and with the family name of Punch in Ireland, Three others are positively identified, Anselm, Garnier, and Philip-Milo, with the family names of Pons, Ponce, Ponches, Pontis, and Pontes in the family records of France and adjacent regions.