Gaunt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The history of the Gaunt family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived person who was "gaunt,"  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." 
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." 
"Few among the Conqueror's companions of arms were so splendidly rewarded as Gilbert de Gand, who held one hundred and seventy-two English manors." 
"Among the soldiers of the Conquest, few were more largely rewarded than Duke William's nephew, Gilbert de Gaunt, son of Baldwin, Earl of Flanders, and it is therefore very unlikely that his name should be altogether omitted in the Roll of Battle Abbey. At the period of the general survey, we find Gilbert de Gant possessed of Manors in the counties of Berks, Oxford, York, Cambridge, Bucks, Huntingdon, Northampton, Rutland, Leicester, Warwick, Notts, and Lincoln, in all a hundred and seventy- three lordships, of which Folkingham was caput baroniae. Like most of the great lords of his time, Gilbert disgorged a part of the spoil, thus acquired, to the Church, and amongst other acts of piety, restored Bardney Abbey, in Lincolnshire, which had been destroyed by the Pagan Danes, Inquar and Hubba. " 
Early Origins of the Gaunt family
The surname Gaunt 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. 
"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. " 
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. 
Early History of the Gaunt family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gaunt research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1219, 1340, 1399, 1685 and 1685 are included under the topic Early Gaunt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gaunt Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Gaunt, Gant, Kaunt and others.
Early Notables of the Gaunt 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...
In the United States, the name Gaunt is the 12,622nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Gaunt or a variant listed above were:
Gaunt Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Gaunt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Gaunt Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
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:
Gaunt Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
Empress of Ireland