Fontan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Fontan is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Fontan family lived near a spring or well which was in turn derived from the Old French word fontane, which means spring or well. Fontan is a topographic surname, which is a type of surname that was given to a person who resided near a landmark such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree.
John Pherd (died 1225), Bishop of Ely, properly called John of Fountains, was a Cistercian monk of Fountains, and was chosen ninth abbot of his house in December 1211. 
Early Origins of the Fontan family
The surname Fontan was first found in Norfolk at Harford, a parish, in the union of Swaffham, hundred of South Greenhoe.
"Narford Hall was built by Sir Andrew Fountaine, vice-chamberlain to Queen Caroline (consort of George II.), and the companion of Pope, Swift, and their literary society; he enriched the mansion with a collection of antiquities, paintings, and curiosities, which has been considerably increased by the present proprietor. In the reign of Edward III. Sir Thomas de Narford obtained for it a market and two fairs, long since fallen into disuse." 
Early History of the Fontan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fontan research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1430, 1676, 1753, 1600, 1671, 1659, 1660, 1554, 1591, 1554, 1572, 1608, 1460, 1471 and 1471 are included under the topic Early Fontan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fontan 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 Fountaine, Fountain, Fountayne, Fontain, Fontibus, Ffountain, Ffounteyn, Ffunteyn and many more.
Early Notables of the Fontan family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Andrew Fountaine (1676-1753), an English antiquarian, art collector and amateur architect. He was the eldest son of Andrew Fountaine, M.P., of Narford, Norfolk. 
John Fountaine (1600-1671), the English jurist, was Commissioner of the great seal of England from (1659 to 1660). He was the son of Arthur Fountaine of Dalling, Norfolk. 
Arthur Faunt, in religion Laurence Arthur (1554-1591), was an English Jesuit, born in...
In France, the name Fontan is the 4,213rd most popular surname with an estimated 1,500 - 2,000 people with that name. 
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 Fontan or a variant listed above:
Fontan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Vix ea nostra voco
Motto Translation: I scarce call these things our own.