The name is most anciently associated with the castle of Berry Pomeroy, a few miles east of Totnes, Devon. An estate — the "beri" or defended place — is first recorded in the Domesday Book as being formerly owned by a Saxon called Alric (Alricius) at which time it was more valuable than the settlement that became Totnes. After the Norman invasion of England in 1066 it was granted to Ralf de la Pomeraye. Ralf probably made the manor at Berry his home with a wooden keep on an area protected by a wooden palisade and a dyke. A survey in 1283 describes the manor house at Berry as situated next to the village church. While a deer park is mentioned in records as early as 1207 the first reference to the castle at Berry does not occur until the mid-fifteenth century. When Sir Thomas Pomeroy fell into debt a century later in 1547, after some complex transactions it passed into the hands of Edward Seymour, the first Duke of Somerset. It was a ruin by the early 1700s.

Our reconstruction project hopes to reveal whether all Pomeroy name-bearers are related within a single family tree, or whether the surname arose independently in different places at different times. There are around 1,800 name-bearers living in the UK today.

Included in the study, on an equal basis, are the following rarer surnames:

 PomroyTraditionally seen as a variant spelling of Pomeroy, our research shows that the majority of Pomroys belong within a single, large family tree that is currently researched to have its origins in Wiltshire in the 1600s. The spelling is also found commonly in trees with links to east Cornwall. There are around 500 name-bearers living in the UK today.
 PomeryWhile Pomeroy and Pomroy account for around 90% of name-bearers in the UK, the surname Pomery is linked almost exclusively to a handful of Cornish trees which the DNA evidence suggests are part of a single family tree. There are around 200 Pomery name-bearers living in the UK today
 PummeryThis rare variant seems to belong within a single tree whose roots we still cannot trace outside of south London.
 PumroyRecorded in England in previous centuries, the only living bearers are today found in the USA within a single tree.
 de PomeraiHeld only by a single family, with links to the Channel Isles, and which adopted this form at some point in the nineteenth century.
 de PomeroyHeld only by a single family, now found only in Australia.
 PummeroyHeld only by a single family, now found only in Australia.
 OthersMany dozens of other variant spellings have been found in the course of our researches in original records, but as far as we know none are held by living persons. The number of 'deviant spellings' defined as variant spellings created as the result of transcription errors runs to several hundreds.