Show ContentsContant History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The French family name Contant is a patronymic name, derived from the Christian name of the bearer's father. The name is ultimately derived from the Latin name "Constans," which meant "steadfast" or "faithful." As a surname it seems to have developed independently in various regions of France including, Languedoc, Brittany, Anjou, Touraine, and Poitou.

Early Origins of the Contant family

The surname Contant was first found in Languedoc, where the earliest known bearers of this name are thought to have originated. However, the Contant name was found in several regions from quite early times, with several different, perhaps even unrelated families taking on the surname. There was a noble family of feudal lords bearing the name in Poitou in the thirteenth century, and later, in the fifteenth century, there was another prominent family of that name among the nobility who held large fiefs in Brittany.

Walter Coutances (de Constantiis), (d. 1207), was "Bishop of Lincoln and Archbishop of Rouen, and is said to have been of English birth, the son of Rainfred and Gonilla; John de Schalby, in his compilation from the Lincoln records, states that he was a native of Cornwall. He may have been called of Coutances as he was sprung from the house of Corineus, the fabulous Trojan immigrant into Cornwall. He was clerk to Henry II and his eldest son, and is styled chaplain of Blythe. " [1]

Early History of the Contant family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Contant research. Another 214 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1770 and 1800 are included under the topic Early Contant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Contant Spelling Variations

Throughout the course of history most surnames have undergone changes for many reasons. During the early development of the French language, a son and father may not have chosen to spell their name the same way. Many are simple spelling changes by a person who gave his name, phonetically, to a scribe, priest, or recorder. Many names held prefixes or suffixes which became optional as they passed through the centuries, or were adopted by different branches to signify either a political or religious adherence. Hence, we have many spelling variations of this name, Contant some of which are Constans, Constan, Constant, Constanc, Constance, Consten, Constens, Constense, Constence, Constanse, Constane, Constene, Constante, Contans, Contan, Contant, Contance, Conten, Contens, Contense, Contence, Contanse, Contane, Contene and many more.

Early Notables of the Contant family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Contant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Contant Ranking

In France, the name Contant is the 3,269th most popular surname with an estimated 2,000 - 2,500 people with that name. [2]

United States Contant migration to the United States +

In the 1700s, land incentives were finally given out by France to 2,000 migrants. Early marriage was encouraged in New France, and youths of 18 took fourteen-year-old girls for their wives. The fur trade was developed and attracted migrants, both noble and commoner from France. 15,000 explorers left Montreal in the late 17th and 18th centuries, leaving French names scattered across the continent. The search for the Northwest passage continued. Migration from France to New France or Quebec, as it was now more popularly called, continued until 1759. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec. By the same year the Acadian presence in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island had reached 500. In the treaty of Utrecht, Acadia were ceded by France to Britain in 1713. In 1755, 10,000 French Acadians refused to take an oath of allegiance to England and were deported. They found refuge in Louisiana. Meanwhile, in Quebec, the French race flourished, founding in Lower Canada, one of the two great solitudes which became Canada. Many of this distinguished family name Contant were prominent in social, cultural, religious and political affairs in France and New France. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Contant were

Contant Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jacques Contant, aged 16, who landed in Louisiana in 1719 [3]
Contant Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Izaak Contant, aged 29, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847 [3]
  • W H Contant, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]

Canada Contant migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Contant Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Etienne Contant, son of Pierre and Marguerite, who married Anne Laisné, daughter of Emmanuel and Jeanne, in Sainte-Famille, Quebec on 14th October 1669 [4]
Contant Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Etienne Contant, son of Etienne and Anne, who married Marie-Françoise Bazinet, daughter of Antoine and Françoise, in Pointe-aux-Trembles, Quebec on 6th February 1719 [4]
  • Michel Contant, son of Jean and Anne, who married Marie-Jeanne Brousseau, daughter of Nicolas and Marie-Madeleine, in Saint-Augustin, Quebec on 26th January 1732 [4]
  • André Contant, son of Etienne and Anne, who married Ursule Denevers, daughter of François and Marie-Anne, in Champlain, Quebec on 7th January 1734 [4]
  • Jean-Baptiste Contant, son of Etienne and Marie-Françoise, who married Marie Mathieu, daughter of Charles and Catherine, in Lachenaie, Quebec on 17th June 1748 [4]
  • Etienne Contant, son of Etienne and Marie-Françoise, who married Marie Duprat, daughter of Jacques and Catherine, in Lachenaie, Quebec on 20th January 1749 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Contant (post 1700) +

  • George Contant Sontag (b. 1864), born George C. Contant, an American West train robber from the Old West

  1. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  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. Internoscia, Arthur E., and Claire Chevrier. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français 1608-1760. Vol. 1, Institut Drouin, 1958. on Facebook