2013-08-09 11:16:42 UTC
The earliest Pontifex in the direct line was John Pontifex of West Wycombe, Bucks, whose will is dated February 1588/89. His wife was Alice and he named two sons, William and Edward. Alice and William were the executors. No grandchildren were mentioned. I estimate that John Pontifex was born about 1535-1540.
A few earlier people named Pontifex have been found:
William Pontifex, a priest, of St Christopher's church, London, and chaplain of St Mary Magdalen, East Ham, Essex. Inducted the vicar of West Ham in 1511. Will proved July 1518. Consistory Court of London.
1523 William Pontifex, accidentally killed in Leighton Buzzard, Beds, 15 May 1523, while armed with a dagger, intervening between two burghers of that town who were quarreling. Patent Roll: grant of pardon given to Thomas Germyn.
I have found some other people with this surname in the plea rolls of the Court of Common Pleas, (more details at the end):
1505. John Pontifex, of Est Claydon, Bucks, carter
1505. John Ponfex, of Claydon, Bucks, husbandman
1505. John Pontifex, of Botyll Claydon, Bucks, husbandman
1551. John Pontifex of Huchendon, Bucks, cook
1552. John Pontifex, of Huchenden, cook
1553. John Pontyfex and Joan his wife of Hydgyndon (Hughenden)
I think it is likely that John Pontifex, of Hughenden, and Joan are the parents of John Pontifex of West Wycombe. These two parishes are adjacent. It is probable that there were two different John Pontifexes in 1505, one a carter in East Claydon and the other a husbandman in Botyll Claydon, Bucks. Possibly one of them is the father of John Pontifex, cook of Hughenden, which is about 12 miles away.
I wonder if anyone is interested in this family and if they have any information about them from before about 1560?
1505 Hilary/fronts 198
Bucks. John Johnson versus John Pontifex, of Est Claydon, carter; John Sumyter, of Est Claydon, carter; John Corser, of Est Clayton, carter. Plea of debt, 100 shillings from each.
1505 Hilary/fronts 895
Bucks. Thomas Parker versus William Stevyns, of Est Claydon, husbandman; John Ponfex, of Claydon, husbandman; Henry Cheyny, of Bot Claydon, husbandman; WilliamGorge, of Wynslowe, husbandman; and Richard Buckyngham, of Wolverton, husbandman. Plea of debt.
1505 Hilary/dorses 199
Bucks. John Barbour versus William Suthcote, of Hertwell, husbandman; Robert Glover, of Botyll Cleydon, husbandman; John Ball, of Botyll Cleydon, husbandman; John Pontifex, of Botyll Claydon, husbandman, plea of debt.
1551 Michaelmas/fronts a 944
Bucks. Thomas Tirry and Isabel his wife versus John Hawke, of Huchendon, smith; Christopher West, of Magna Marlow, husbandman; and John Pontifex of Huchendon, cook, on a plea of defamation. "Thomas Tirry and Isabel his wife have beaten, dispatched and killed one William Asshewell, their boy."
1552 Easter/fronts 363
Bucks. Thomas Wydmer, senior, versus John Pontifex, of Huchenden, cook; Richard Hawes, of Huchenden, husbandman; and Geoffrey Trye, of Huchenden, carpenter, on a plea of trespass: close at Hunchenden.
1553 Easter/dorses a 1481
Bucks. John Pontyfex and Joan his wife versus Geoffrey Trye, of Hydgyndon, carpenter, on a plea of trespass: close at Hydgyndon (Hughenden).