Cant History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The distinguished surname Cant emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. Occupational surnames were derived from the common trades of the medieval era. The surname Cant is an occupational name for a precentor, the leader of the singing of hymns in a cathedral or monastery. The surname is derived from the Old Norman French word cant, which in turn comes from the Old French word chant, which means singing or song. [1]

Early Origins of the Cant family

The surname Cant was first found in Fife where they held a family seat from very ancient times, of Flemish origin and arrived in Scotland about the year 1200 from Flanders.

One of the earliest records of the family was William Cant and Sithow Cant who were tenants under the Douglases in Telny in the barony of Aberdoure, Fife, 1376.

"A writer in the Scottish antiquary (IV) says that the name occurs in the Exchequer Rolls in the fifteenth century, and that the family, by trade dealers in cloth, supplied the king's household. They were evidently, he says, Flemings, and are mentioned in connection with Flanders. They obtained land at Masterton near Dunfermline, which their descendants of the name still possess. A family of the name early attained prominence in Edinburgh, where the name was common in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Adam Cant was bailie there, 1403, and James Cant was chosen dean of guild, 1413." [2]

Important Dates for the Cant family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cant research. Another 180 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1430, 1426, 1230, 1433, 1461, 1473, 1493, 1485, 1724, 1804, 1700, 1590, 1663, 1651, 1728, 1675 and 1685 are included under the topic Early Cant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cant Spelling Variations

Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Cant, Kant, Cante and others.

Early Notables of the Cant family (pre 1700)

Prominent in the family at this time was Andrew Cant (1590-1663), Scottish Presbyterian minister and leader of the Scottish Covenanters, Rector of King's College, Aberdeen, (1651...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cant migration to the United States

An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Cant arrived in North America very early:

Cant Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Cant, who settled in Barbados in 1634
  • William Cant, aged 19, who arrived in Barbados in 1634 [3]
  • Jan Cant, aged 29, who landed in New York in 1639 [3]
  • Heindric Cant, aged 29, who arrived in New York in 1639 [3]
  • David Cant, who arrived in Virginia in 1658 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Cant Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Catherine Cant who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1775
Cant Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Christopher Cant, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [3]
  • William Cant, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1820
  • James Cant, who landed in America in 1830 [3]
  • Catherine Cant, who landed in New York in 1832 [3]

Cant migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Cant Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Betsy Cant, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848 [4]
  • Charlotte Cant, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848 [4]
  • George Cant, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848 [4]
  • Griffin Cant, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848 [4]
  • Mary Selina Cant, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848 [4]

Cant migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Cant Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Ambrose Cant, (b. 1825), aged 30, British carpenter travelling from London aboard the ship "Grasmere" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 4th May 1855 [5]
  • Ellen Cant, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "John Masterman" in 1857
  • Miss Elizabeth Cant, (b. 1850), aged 15, English domestic servant from Essex travelling from London aboard the ship "Tudor" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 24th September 1865 [6]
  • Mr. Daniel Cant, (b. 1846), aged 19, English carpenter from England travelling from London aboard the ship "Tudor" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 24th September 1865 [6]
  • Mrs. Sarah Ann Cant, (b. 1827), aged 38, English settler from Essex travelling from London aboard the ship "Tudor" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 24th September 1865 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Cant (post 1700)

  • William Alexander Cant (1863-1933), United States federal judge
  • Gilbert Cant (1909-1982), English-born, American journalist and war correspondent at the New York Post
  • Brian Cant (1933-2017), English actor, television presenter and writer, best known for his work in BBC television programmes for children
  • Hartley Gordon James "Harry" Cant (1907-1977), Australian politician, Senator for Western Australia (1959-1974)
  • Andrew Cant (b. 1899), Scottish professional footballer
  • Robert Bowen Cant (1915-1997), British Labour politician, Member of the UK Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central (1966-1983)
  • Cannon Cant, Chancellor of York
  • Lisa Cant (b. 1984), Canadian super model

You May Also Like

Citations

  1. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BABOO 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Baboo.htm
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
Shipping
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

Support
BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Payment
Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate