Dawaunt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The distinguished surname Dawaunt 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 Dawaunt family
The surname Dawaunt 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." 
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 Dawaunt family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dawaunt research. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1140, 1296, 1578, 1564, 1660 and 1644 are included under the topic Early Dawaunt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dawaunt Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Durand, Durant, Durande, Durrane, Dant, Dante and many more.
Early Notables of the Dawaunt 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. " 
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dawaunt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dawaunt family
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Dawaunt 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.
Related Stories +
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print