Gent History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Anglo-Saxon name Gent come from its first bearer, who was a noble or wellborn individual. The surname Gent originally derived from the Old English word Gente. Nicknames often described the time or season of the birth, baptism or conversion of the original bearer. In addition, numerous nicknames referred to various religious festivals, medieval name days, or the particular day of the week when feudal services were fulfilled.

Early Origins of the Gent family

The surname Gent was first found in Hampshire where Robert le Gent was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1195. A few years later, John Gent was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Worcestershire in 1200. [1]

Simon de Ghent (d. 1315), was Bishop of Salisbury, "born at Westminster. In 1284 he was Archdeacon of Oxford, and was present in this year when Devorguila assigned lands to her newly founded college of Balliol." [2]

Early History of the Gent family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gent research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1200, 1593, 1693, 1778, 1693 and 1771 are included under the topic Early Gent History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gent Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Gent has been spelled many different ways, including Gent, Ghent and others.

Early Notables of the Gent family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir Thomas Gent (d. 1593), English judge, the eldest or only son of William Gent, Lord of the Manor of Moyns, Steeple Bumpstead, Essex, of ancient family. Thomas Gent (1693-1778), was a printer, "born in Ireland on 4 May 1693, 'of meek and gentle parents ... rich in grace, though not...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gent Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gent migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Gents to arrive in North America:

Gent Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Gent, who landed in Virginia in 1633 [3]
  • Thomas Gent purchased land in Virginia in 1634
  • Thomas Gent, who settled in Virginia in 1638
  • William Gent, who arrived in Maryland in 1663 [3]
  • Gilbird Goring Gent, aged 30, who arrived in Barbados in 1682 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Gent Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • George Gent who arrived in Maryland in 1739
Gent Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Abraham Gent who settled in New York City in 1820
  • Henry Gent, aged 25, who landed in Missouri in 1839 [3]
  • Theodore Gent, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854 [3]
  • Francis Gent, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854 [3]
  • Alfred Gent who arrived in Texas in 1882

Canada Gent migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gent Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Gent, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • John Gent, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
Gent Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Augustus Gent, who settled in Trinity, Newfoundland in 1810 [4]
  • Charles Gent was a cooper of St. John's, Newfoundland in 1871 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gent (post 1700) +

  • Dr. Robert Nicolas Gent C.B.E. (b. 1960), British Consultant for Health Protection and Deputy Head for Emergency Response Department for Public Health England, was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to Health Protection [5]


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  5. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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