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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Gaunt family come from? What is the English Gaunt family crest and coat of arms? When did the Gaunt family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Gaunt family history?

The Gaunt family name dates back to 1066 when the Norman Conquest of England introduced a plethora of new names and words into Britain. It comes from an early member of the family who was a in a Flemish town called Gaunt or Ghent. It was adopted in England only after the Norman invasion of 1066.


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 and others.

First found in Kent where they had been granted lands after the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D. The Gaunt or Gant surname is derived from the town of Gaunt or Ghent in Flanders. The first recording of the surname is in 1086 when Gilbert Gaunt, son of Baldwin, the Earl of Flanders, and nephew of Matilda, King William's Queen, was listed in the Domesday Book in 1086.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gaunt research. Another 217 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1219, 1225, 1340, 1399, 1st , 1st and 1685 are included under the topic Early Gaunt History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 71 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gaunt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


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

  • Peter Gaunt who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1637
  • Robert Gaunt settled in Virginia in 1637
  • Peter Gaunt, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1637
  • Rich Gaunt, who arrived in Virginia in 1637
  • Robt Gaunt, who landed in Virginia in 1637

Gaunt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Richard Gaunt, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1820
  • John and Ann Gaunt, who came to New York State with seven children in 1823
  • William Gaunt, who landed in Mississippi in 1839
  • Leonard Gaunt, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848
  • Joshua Gaunt, who came to America in 1865

Gaunt Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Gaunt, aged 28, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Thetis"

Gaunt Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Jane Gaunt, aged 20, a housemaid, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Douglas" in 1873


  • Sidney Clyde Gaunt (1874-1932), American typographer, and artist, responsible for hundreds of type fonts
  • John L. Gaunt (1924-2007), American Pulitzer Prize-winning (1955) photographer
  • Miss Doris Winifred Gaunt (1896-2014), English First Class Passenger from Birmingham, England, United Kingdom who survived the sinking on the Empress of Ireland on May 29th 1914
  • John Gaunt, English airplane designer and build of the Gaunt biplane no.2 'Baby' which successfully flew in the summer of 1911
  • Genevieve Gaunt, English actress, best known for her role as Pansy Parkinson in the Harry Potter film Prisoner of Azkaban
  • F Iona Gaunt (b. 1951), English actress, and the mother of child actress Genevieve Gaunt
  • Jonathan Charles "Jon" Gaunt (b. 1961), English radio talk show presenter, TV personality, newspaper columnist from Coventry
  • William Charles Anthony "Bill" Gaunt (b. 1973), English actor from Pudsey, West Yorkshire
  • William Gaunt (1900-1980), British artist and art historian
  • Ronald Arthur "Ron" Gaunt (1934-2012), Australian cricketer who played in 3 Tests



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  1. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  2. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  3. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  4. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  5. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  6. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  9. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  10. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  11. ...

The Gaunt Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gaunt Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 13 November 2014 at 16:21.

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