Show ContentsGent 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.

Gent Ranking

In the United States, the name Gent is the 14,317th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

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 [4]
  • Thomas Gent purchased land in Virginia in 1634
  • Thomas Gent, who settled in Virginia in 1638
  • William Gent, who arrived in Maryland in 1663 [4]
  • Richard Gent aged 28, settled in Maryland in 1683
  • ... (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 [4]
  • Francis Gent, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854 [4]
  • Theodore Gent, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854 [4]
  • 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

Australia Gent migration to Australia +

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

Gent Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Gent, British Convict who was convicted in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 25th June 1838, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Mr. John Gent, English convict who was convicted in Liverpool, Merseyside, England for 15 years transported aboard the "Forfarshire" on 24th June 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [7]

West Indies Gent migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [8]
Gent Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Gilbird Goring Gent, aged 30, who arrived in Barbados in 1682 [4]
  • Samuel Gent, aged 27, who landed in Jamaica in 1683 [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 [9]

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th March 2021). Retrieved from
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2022).
  9. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook