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Humphry Poyntz (aft. 1489 - bef. 1515)

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Humphry Poyntz
Born after [location unknown]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died before [location unknown]
Profile last modified | Created 7 Mar 2014
This page has been accessed 273 times.

Disputed Father

This profile quotes the claim of the 16th-century antiquarian Sir William Pole that William Poyntz (1460-1515) had a son Humphry. Douglas Richardson's Magna Carta Ancestry shows that William's two daughters were his heirs, which clearly indicates that William didn't have any surviving male issue. However, Richardson mentions that William was a younger son of Humphrey Poyntz (1430-1487) and that William had a brother Nicholas, about whom nothing further is said. Perhaps this brother Nicholas was the ancestor of Nicholas Poynts (d. 1609) of Buckland Brewer, Devonshire, who named his son Humphrey.


Humphrey Poyntz is first identified in the work of Sir William Pole. Quoted by Maclean, Pole states in a reference to the Manor of East Anstey: “… it descended from Alexander Crewes 27 Henry III {1242} to Robert Crewes, which had issue Humphry, Elizabeth, wife of William Norton, and Thomasine, wife of Richard Pollard by Margaret daughter of and coheir of Walter Pollard of Horwood. Humprey Crewes of Anstey died without issue and this land came unto his two sisters from whom Norton Prous of Chagford and Beare of Hunsham are descended. Thomasine by Richard Pollard had issue Elizabeth, wife of Humphry Poyntz, father of William, father of Humphry.”

The family Poyntz of Buckland Brewer appear to have their origins with Sir Humphrey Poyntz of Langleys in Yarnscombe, Devonshire England. Humphry was the second son of Sir Nicholas Poyntz of Iron Acton in Gloucestershire and Elizabeth Mill. Sir Humphrey married Elizabeth Pollard at Langleys in 1466. They had two sons, Nicholas and William. William had two daughters, Wilmot and Elizabeth who were born at Langleys in 1489 and 1491 respectively. In addition, from Pole’s records it is known that William had a son, Humphry who was born after 1489.

Somewhen between 1503 and 1516, Elizabeth and Wilmot petitioned Archbishop Warham who was the Lord Chancellor in respect of a land dispute with their uncle, Nicholas Poyntz. By this time, Humphry had died. By 1515 William had also died, leaving as his heirs, his daughters, Wilmot and Elizabeth.

Little is known about Humphry. There is no known record of a marriage or of any issue. There is no known record of his death. However, it is possible that Humphry is the ancestor of the Poyntz family of Buckland Brewer, but if that is so, there is a missing Poyntz generation before his possible grandsons, Nicholas and Hugh Poyntz.

Nicholas Poynts who died in 1609 in Buckland Brewer, Devonshire, England, had a son Humphry. As Maclean suggests: “Humphry is not a very familiar name in the Poyntz family.” It suggests a link between this Buckland Brewer family and Humphry back to Sir Humphry Poyntz of Yarnscombe. Further research is necessary.

Nicholas had a brother, Hugh, of Newton St Petrock, Devonshire, England, who did not marry and died in 1593 appointing Nicholas as the executor to his will.

According to his will, Nicholas had six children; Humphry, William, John, James, Grace and Mary. Humphry married Mary Heath in Wells cathedral Somerset, England on 21 May 1610, following the death of his father. His sister, Grace, had earlier married Richard Hogge in Newton St Petrock Devonshire England in 1596.

The details of the wills were summarised by Maclean, but, along with most other Devonshire wills, the original copies were subsequently destroyed during bombing raids of Exeter during WW2.


Sir William Pole {1561 - 1635} was famous as an antiquary who researched the history and descendants of Devonshire families amongst whom he lived. He compiled many manuscripts, some of which sadly were lost during the English Civil war, but those that survived were subsequently used by his descendants to publish “The Description of Devonshire” in 1791, a work that may be seen in the Bodleian library at Oxford university.

The high quality of work by Sir William Pole was such that it was much quoted by not only his contemporaries, but also by those that followed him, including Sir John Maclean who wrote:

“Historical and Genealogical Memoir of the Family Poyntz” Published by William Pollard & Company of Exeter Devonshire England in 1886. A work that is also held in the Bodleian library at Oxford university.

The Devonshire Poyntz are the subject of chapter ten and the Poyntz family of Buckland Brewer are discussed and evidence provided within chapter ten on pages 255 - 257.

Further evidence has been extracted from the parish records of Newton St Petrock which is also quoted by Maclean.

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No known carriers of Humphry's ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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On 4 Aug 2014 at 02:11 GMT J (Schmeeckle) S wrote:

Douglas Richardson is a leading scholar in the field of medieval genealogy, and his books are the standard that WikiTree follows for relevant families like this one.

Richardson never claimed that Humphry Poyntz didn't exist; he simply doesn't acknowledge that William had a son Humphry. Pole's work, by itself, is not sufficient evidence to prove a lineage from the medieval Poyntz family to the Buckland Brewer Poyntz family through William Poyntz (1460-1515). The very clear evidence against such a supposition is already mentioned in the profile: William's two daughters were his HEIRS, which clearly indicates that he did not have a male heir. We will need concrete documentary evidence from primary sources to overcome this elementary contradiction of Pole's alleged Poyntz lineage.

On 19 May 2014 at 15:38 GMT John Ritchings wrote:

Greetings John

I have, on and off, been searching for the connection between Grace Poynts and the main Poyntz family for some 20 years. Last year a US researcher kindly sent me a copy of Maclean’s book which enabled me to construct a line back to the main family. I would thus welcome any further information to achieve this objective.

I am not familiar with the book to which you refer, but it appears to be a work published in 2005 by the Genealogical Publishing Company Inc. ISBN-13: 9780806317595. I would appreciate confirmation that you are quoting this book.

If this is the work, it is a very expensive book to purchase and given it is aimed at the US market, is not that relevant to me. Unfortunately, the nearest public library that I can find to hold a copy of the book is in the state Maine, some 3k miles from me.

May I ask you to clarify why Douglas Richardson has concluded that in his opinion Humphry did not exist.

Many thanks

John Ritchings

On 18 May 2014 at 05:21 GMT J (Schmeeckle) S wrote:

It seems that there is no evidence that this Humphrey Poyntz existed -- everything about him in the profile is either a conjecture or a negative statement. Douglas Richardson's Magna Carta Ancestry doesn't recognize that William had a son Humphrey, but Richardson DOES mention in passing that William had a brother Nicholas. Perhaps this shadowy brother Nicholas was the father of this profile's imaginary Humphrey Poyntz.

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