This very rare name has two possible origins, the first of which is English and locational from either of the places called "Poynton" in Cheshire and in Shropshire. Dialectual differences in pronunciation and hence spelling account for the great variety of English surnames, as here, where "Poynton" can become "Painten, Pontin, Pointon and Paynton". The place called "Poynton" in Cheshire derives from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Pun(a)" plus "tun", village, while "Poynton" in Shropshire means "Peofa's village". The first recording of the surname is from this source. One "Joan Paintayn" was married to "John Burton" in November 1562 in Dronfield, Derbyshire. The second possible source is from the French Huguenot name "Pantin", from Aryon and introduced into England at the end of the 17th Century, as in "Freind Paintin", christened in London, 1706. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alice de Poynton, which was dated 1344, in the Calendar of Pleas in the City of London, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.