This interesting surname of English, French and Catalan origin is a diminutive of Pont, a topographical name for someone who lived near a bridge deriving from the Middle English, Anglo Norman French, Old French, Catalan "pont" meaning "bridge". The surname dates back to the mid 13th Century, (see below). Church recordings include one Henricus Pontin who married Joanna Wheeler on December 24th 1635 in St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, Thomas Ponting married Margaret White on May 30th 1674 in St. Marylebone, St. Mary Street, Marylebone Road, and John Ponting who married Jane Swift on August 18th 1700 in St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster. A Coat of Arms was granted to the family which depicts a silver lion rampant between three gold escallops on a blue shield. Variations in the modern idiom of the spelling include Pontin, Ponton, Ponten, Pontain, etc.. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Amice de Ponte, which was dated 1268, in the "The Assize Court Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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.