Caunt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Caunt is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Caunt family lived person who was "gaunt," [1] as in Shakespeare's character John of Gaunt in Richard II "Oh how my name befits my composition! Old Gaunt, indeed, and gaunt in being old." Another more credible origin of the name is having derived "from the town of Gaunt, now Ghent, in Flanders." [2]

This source continues "Gilbert de Gand or Gant, a great Domesday tenant, was son of Baldwin, Earl of Flanders, whose sister William the Conqueror married." [2]

"Few among the Conqueror's companions of arms were so splendidly rewarded as Gilbert de Gand, who held one hundred and seventy-two English manors." [3]

Early Origins of the Caunt family

The surname Caunt was first found in Kent where Richard le Gaunt was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1219. The same year Gilbert de Gaunt was listed in the same rolls in Lincolnshire. A few years later, Maurice le Gant was listed in the Assize Rolls of Somerset in 1225. [4]

"This family is mentioned as early as 1153-1194 in the Durham "Bolden Buke" where it is said the 'Gilbert the Chamberlain held the service of Ralfe Caunt, of Bursebred, in exchange for the Isle of Bradbere.' In Bishop Hatfield's time (1345-1381) Henry de Kaunt held lands in Kyo. " [5]

Maurice le Gant (died 1230) was the founder of Beverston Castle in Gloucestershire in 1225. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had numerous entries for the family: Hugh le Gant and John le Gant in Oxfordshire; Gilbert le Gaunt in Cambridgeshire; Robert le Gaunt in Lincolnshire; and Henry le Gaunt and Maurice de Gaunt in Somerset.

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Willelmus Gaunte; and Petrus de Gaunt. [6]

Early History of the Caunt family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Caunt research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1219, 1340, 1399, 1685 and 1685 are included under the topic Early Caunt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Caunt Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Caunt are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Caunt include Gaunt, Gant, Kaunt and others.

Early Notables of the Caunt family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Elizabeth Gaunt (died 1685), an English woman from London sentenced to death for treason for involvement in the Rye House Plot. She was the wife of William Gaunt, a yeoman of the parish of St. Mary's, Whitechapel. "She was an Anabaptist, and, according to Burnet, spent her life doing good, 'visiting gaols, and looking after the poor of every persuasion.' In the reign of Charles II she had taken pity on one Burton, outlawed for his part in the Rye House plot. Though she was a poor woman, keeping a tallow-chandler's shop, she...
Another 134 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Caunt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Caunt migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Caunt, or a variant listed above:

Caunt Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Caunt, aged 36, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Caunt (post 1700) +


    HMS Prince of Wales
    • Mr. Bernard Caunt, British Stoker 2nd Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [8]
    RMS Titanic
    • Mr. William Ewart Caunt (d. 1912), aged 27, English Grill Cook from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [9]


    1. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
    2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
    3. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
    4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
    5. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
    6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
    7. ^ 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)
    8. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
    9. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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