It is remotely possible that I am descended from a man called 'Ralph'. Ralph de la Pomerai, to be exact, a Norman nobleman who travelled from Normandy to England in 1066 with his great mate
, William the Conqueror. After kicking saxon
arse, he settled in Devon and had lots of children. (The name derives from 'pomme roi
', which is French for 'apple king' - Ralph owned several orchards and presumably made lots of cider
Five hundred years later one of Ralph's descendents sold his castle and land to the first Duke of Somerset for - get this - four thousand pounds, after which the Pomeroy name bowed out of history. Idiot.
Currently, 'Pomeroy' can be spelled 'Pomeroy', 'Pomery' or 'Pomroy', although over the years 'Pomeray', 'Pumroy', and 'Pummery' have also been used. Apparently, Franklin D. Roosevelt was descended from a lady called 'Medad Pomeroy'. People aren't called 'Medad' any more.
Pomeroys have spread throughout Devon and Cornwall to Wiltshire, and thenceforth to Canada and America. For whatever reason, it has become quite popular amongst genealogists to trace the name 'Pomeroy', as it has many different branches, it has spread over the world, but at the same time it's more distinctive than Smith or Patel. The study, baiting, hunting and trapping of Pomeroys is called 'Pomerology', and there is an interesting website on this topic run by a man called Chris Pomery (no relation) here: