Dauaynt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The distinguished surname Dauaynt was first brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name is patronymic in origin, signifying "the son of Durant," an Old French personal name. Looking at records from this time, we found Geoffry, Roger and Henry Durant who claimed descent from Normandy c. 1180-95  while another census in 1198, lists Aceline, Ralph, Richard, and Robert Durant. 
Early Origins of the Dauaynt family
The surname Dauaynt was first found in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Shropshire at Tong, a parish, in the union of Shiffnall, Shiffnall division of the hundred of Brimstree. "Tong Castle, the seat of the family of Durant, a magnificent mansion remodelled in the last century, is crowned with numerous turrets, pinnacles, and eight lofty domes, producing a striking effect: it contains many valuable pictures and cabinets." 
The Domesday Book of 1086 has the first record of the family. Durandus, the Latin form of the name in use at that time was registered in Winton, Hampshire as holding lands there at that time. 
Another branch of the family were found at Wallingswells in the West Riding of Yorkshire. "In excavating near the house [of Sir Thomas Woolaston White], in 1829, several stone coffins were found, and amongst them that of Dame Margery Dourant, second abbess of the convent, who died in the reign of Richard I ([1189-1199)]." 
And yet another branch of the family was found in Cornwall. "The manor of Lanestock, which is partly in the parish [of St. Austell], and partly in Tywardreath, has of late years passed under the same title as Trenance Austell. This was anciently in the family of Durant, from whom it passed into that of the Arundells of Trerice in Newlyn. The manor of Thorlebear [in the parish of Launcells, Cornwall] was formerly the property of the Durants, by whose heiress it was carried in marriage to the Arundells of Trerice." 
Early History of the Dauaynt family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dauaynt research. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1140, 1296, 1578, 1564, 1660 and 1644 are included under the topic Early Dauaynt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dauaynt Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Durand, Durant, Durande, Durrane, Dant, Dante and many more.
Early Notables of the Dauaynt family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Drant (d. 1578?), English divine and poet, born at Hagworthingham in Lincolnshire, son of Thomas Drant. "On the occasion of Queen Elizabeth's visit to the university in August 1564 he composed copies of English, Latin, and Greek verses, which he presented to her majesty. " 
Migration of the Dauaynt family
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Dauaynt or a variant listed above: William Durand, who settled in Virginia in 1635; George Durant, who came to North Carolina in 1661; Thomas Dant, who immigrated to Maryland in 1674; Thomas Durrant, who arrived with his wife and servants in Barbados in 1680.