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Surname Pencombe - Meaning and Origin

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Pencombe: What does the surname Pencombe mean?

The surname Pencombe is of Anglo-Saxon origin and geographic in nature. It originates from Pencombe, a village and civil parish in the county of Herefordshire, England. The name Pencombe itself is derived from the Welsh "Pen Cwm", translating as "head of the valley". This portrayed the topographical aspect of the region where the first bearers of the surname resided. In its early forms, the surname appears in ancient tax record documents such as the Domesday Book (1086) as "Penechumbe", illustrating the variant spelling over the centuries. Toponymic surnames like Pencombe gradually came into use as families relocated, taking up the name of their new place of residence. Like many British surnames, it is likely that numerous unrelated families adopted the Pencombe surname as they moved to, or from, the area, making it difficult to trace a single familial line. Today, you are likely to find bearers of the surname Pencombe mostly in England, and, due to the consequence of migration, in various parts of the world.

Pencombe: Where does the name Pencombe come from?

The surname Pencombe is not particularly common today, with the most search results showing up mostly in historical records of England and Wales.

Geographical distribution studies conducted in the United Kingdom between 1881 and 1911 show that Pencombe (as a variant of the Pencombe, Pencomb and Pemcombe spellings) was mainly spread throughout Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, with a few instances also occurring in Worcestershire, Shropshire, Wiltshire and Berkshire.

Further, research into the etymological history of the Pencombe surname notes that it is derived from the Old English ‘penne’, meaning ‘hill’ or ‘summit’, and ‘cumb(e)’, meaning ‘valley’ or ‘river meadow’; indicating that the name refers to someone from a valley or area near a hill or summit.

Given the relative infrequency of the surname today and its historical concentrations in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, the Pencombe surname is more likely to be found in these two counties today. Accordingly, individuals with the surname Pencombe are most likely to be living in the West Midlands and South West regions of England in the modern day.

Variations of the surname Pencombe

The surname Pencombe is an Anglo-Saxon name with many variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin.

The primary form of the surname is Pencombe, although some forms have the "-e" at the end removed leaving Pencomb as a variant. There are also other variants of the surname such as Pennocks, Pennock, Pencoomb, Pennicombe, Penncombe, Pennacombe, Pennicomb, and Pincumbe.

The spelling of the surname can vary greatly, from 'Pencombe', and 'Pencomb' to 'Pencumb' and plenty of variations in between such as 'Pennicombe' and 'Penncombe'.

Surnames of the same origin include Pincombe, Pyncombe, Pincamp, and Pincomb. These surname variations are found across England and Wales but can vary throughout different regions.

Pencombe is found most frequently throughout Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, and Somerset.

Pencombe might also be found in some rarer variations such as Pincombe, Pencamp, Pincomb, and Pyrncombe.

Finally, variations of Pencombe might be found in Scotland, Ireland, the United States, and many other English-speaking countries.

In conclusion, there are many variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin for the surname Pencombe. It is most commonly found in Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, and Somerset but is also widely distributed in other parts of the United Kingdom and across the world.

Famous people with the name Pencombe

  • John Pencombe: actor and producer featured in films like The Theory of Everything and National Theatre Live: Hansard.
  • Peter Pencombe: British diplomat serving in various countries including Syria, India and East Africa.
  • Sebastian Pencombe: landscape painter and illustrator from the 19th century.
  • Emma Pencombe: English actress best known for appearing in television series like Holby City and Doctors
  • Samuel Pencombe: English politician and Member of Parliament from 1859-1895.
  • Arthur Pencombe: British actor who appeared in plays like The Rectory at Tower Lane and The Way We Live Now.
  • Thomas Pencombe: 19th-century poet and writer known for works like A Book of Rhymes & Poems and Reflections on the Seasons.
  • Faye Pencombe: longtime radio presenter on stations like BBC Bristol and BBC Essex.
  • William Pencombe: noted British lawyer from the 18th century.
  • Christopher Pencombe: English journalist in the 18th century who wrote for publications like The Craftsman.

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