Poynter is a surname that originated in Berkshire, England in the 13th Century. It is an occupational name for the maker of cord that fastened doublet with hose (clothing). The name derives from the Middle English "poynte" and originally from the Latin "puncta", meaning to pierce. The first recorded spelling of the name was that of Benedict le Puinter, dated 1206 in the "Pipe Rolls of Berkshire."
- Dougie Poynter, English musician
- Edward Poynter, a British painter
- Jane Poynter, an author, businesswoman and environmentalist
- James I. Poynter, United States Medal of Honor recipient
- Nelson Poynter, an American publisher
- William Poynter, an English Catholic priest
- William A. Poynter, the 14th Governor of Nebraska from 1899 to 1901
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