Gant History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Gant reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Gant family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Gant 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]

Early Origins of the Gant family

The surname Gant 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. [3]

"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. " [4]

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. [5]

Early History of the Gant family

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

Gant Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Gaunt, Gant, Kaunt and others.

Early Notables of the Gant 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 Gant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gant migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Gant name or one of its variants:

Gant Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Gant, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [6]
  • Francois Gant, aged 13, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719 [6]
  • Jacob Gant, who settled in Philadelphia in 1764
Gant Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • F Gant, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [6]
  • Patrick Gant, who landed in Iowa in 1883 [6]
  • Jacob Gant, who was on record in Pennsylvania in 1890

Australia Gant migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Gant Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Claudius Robarts Gant, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cleveland" in 1839 [7]

New Zealand Gant migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Gant Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Gant, aged 18, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Warwick" in 1879

Contemporary Notables of the name Gant (post 1700) +

  • Horace Gant Jr. (b. 1985), American football wide receiver
  • Lamar Gant (b. 1957), American world record-holding powerlifter
  • Willie "The Tiger" Gant (b. 1900), American jazz bandleader and pianist
  • Kenneth Dwayne Gant (b. 1967), former American football safety in the National Football League
  • Donald W. Gant (1942-1987), American singer, songwriter and record producer
  • Robert Gant (b. 1968), American actor
  • Richard E. Gant (b. 1944), American film and television actor
  • Ronald Edwin "Ron" Gant (b. 1965), former American Major League outfielder and second base man
  • Reuben Charles Gant (b. 1952), former professional American football tight end
  • Cecil Gant (1913-1951), American blues singer and pianist
  • ... (Another 13 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CLEVELAND 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Cleveland.htm


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