Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Stephen sent me a very poignant extract from the WW1 diary of his grandfather James Gant.

James enlisted into the army on 2nd December 1914 at the outbreak of WW1 as an ambulance driver into the RASC (Royal Army Service Corps). He had the rank of private, his number was M2-021182 and his commanding officer was a Colonel Skinner. According to his medal record he went to France on the 6th February 1915 and was gassed at the 2nd Battle of Ypres on May 1st 1915, requiring him to be returned back to England. He never fully recovered from the gassing and was a semi-invalid until his premature death on May 19th 1925.


Extracts from the diary of James Gant : February to March 1915 on travelling to and then serving on the Western Front

Enlisted Dec 2 1914.

Left Grove Park 5 Feb 1915. Stayed night at Marlborough, had to sleep in cars, poured rain all night. Had no rations all day. Left Marlborough for Avonmouth at 6am on Feb 6th. Had no breakfast and feeling very cold and hungry. Arrived at Avonmouth at midday in a drizzle rain. Got our cars on board the HMT Twickenham and left at 9 pm Saturday 6th Feb for Havre.

Sunday 7th at daybreak we were off Lundy Island. Rough sea and most of our men sick, me as well. Sailed down coast of Devon and Cornwall, rather misty and could not see land very well.

Monday 8th Feb 1915. Sailed round by Lands End and reached Lizard about dark.

Tuesday 9th. Arrived at Havre, had to be put all night, no berth for boat, pretty town, several gunboats in harbour. Saw a steamer sunk which had been torpedoed.

Left Havre Wednesday 10th for Rouen, sailed up the River Seine. Scenery was magnificent villages all the way up, everybody waving flags, quite pleased with our reception on French soil. Reached Rouen at 3pm same day. Had to sleep on board as our cars were not unshipped.

Thursday 11th. Cars all taken of ship to a long avenue lined with trees on the banks of the river. Slept in the cars, could do with my own bed but getting used to roughing it. No bread only biscuits . I bought bread off Chinese crew on board, a lot of thieves and rouges. Meet several of the Indian troops in Rouen. Very poor opinion of French army but think a lot of our Tommies. They were just leaving again for the front. Beautiful cathedral at Rouen. France seems very quiet you cannot think you are as near to the war. Very few men anywhere. Had no wash for 2 days.

Friday 12th Feb. Good rations today, first since left Grove Park. Cars inspected by Col Skinner, chief of Ambulance staff. Hospital train arrived loaded up with wounded. Afternoon lovely, got leave today visited cathedral, street very narrow and dirty. A lot of widows going about.

Saturday 13th. Pouring down with rain.

Sunday another wet day, nothing to do, still stuck on the banks of the river.

Feb 19th left Rouen pouring down with rain for Blangy. Camped on Market Square. Over boot tops in mud.

Feb 20th. Left Blagny for Abbeville. Stopped for dinner lined up in Market Square. More mud, stayed the night.

Feb 21st. Left Abbeville for St Omer, stopped at Fronges for lunch, passed Flying Corps base on estuary. St Omer also British soldier’s graves.

Monday left St Omer at 2-30 for Hazebrook, arrived at 5pm. Had to go on guard. Heard the guns for first time, bitter cold night.

Tuesday 23rd Feb . Got letter and box from home. How cheering for me to have some cigs.

Wednesday 24th . Received second letter with 5 shillings which was needed badly. Wrote home and to friends.

Feb 25th . Went on guard , poured all night.

Feb 26th Inspection of cars finished. Received letter from Mother, very cheering.

Feb 27th Just been inoculated. Very painful.

Feb 28th. Nothing doing after inoculation.

March Ist Kitchen fatigues getting the mess food ready. Nothing doing beautiful day.

March 2nd Stand by waiting for cases.

March 3rd Wet day. Nothing doing. One of our men died in hospital through night.

March 4th Received one box and letter from Mary when I was on guard, rotten day.

March 5th Came off guard, asked for transfer , would not give it me. Went for our march

March 6th Getting ready for army up country. Wrote home and Mrs Richardson. Received box from home. Had to go up to the front quick way.

March 7th Ordered to Billiul, 4 miles of tunnels, very heavy firing all day shook all windows in the town. Went up to the firing line with two soldiers.

March 8th Went to Locre for six men, very bad cases. Locre is in Belgium.

March 9th Went to Nieppe and Armentieres for wounded and then to Dixdebusch

March 10th Went to Dixdebusch for wounded

March 12th To Dickebosch for more wounded.

March 14 Heavy shelling day and night. Fetching in the wounded all night. Some awful sights. Working in the region St Eloi and Neuve Chapelle where 17000 German were killed.

March 15th Came back for a rest.

March 16th Nothing doing

March 17th. Went on guard

March 18th. Nothing doing.

March 19th. General Porter came and inspected us. Met young Hocknull the taxi driver.

March 22nd Three English men shot as spy.

March 28th Two generals dismissed from army.

This was the last entry and he was gassed on 1/5/1915 at the 2nd Battle of Ypres and had to return to England.

I haven’t updated the One Name Study website at http://gant-name.org.uk/ since 2010, and there’s a very good reason for that. I can’t access the site to edit it, as the hosting company seems to have lost it!! Yes, the website is still there and online, but the hosting company have no record of it in their database so theoretically it doesn’t exist. I can’t login to the hosting, and I can’t renew the hosting even though it’s long overdue. As far as I know, more or less everything that’s on the website is also on this blog. There’s more here on the blog anyway, and of course anyone can comment here and discuss their research, which couldn’t happen on the website. I’ll go through the website in the next day or two to check, just to make sure everything’s here. I imagine at some stage the website will just disappear!

Edited to add: I’ve added several more posts below, all dated 7th and 8th December. These articles were taken from the website.

Another edit: The Photo Gallery is now here on this blog – look for the link to the page in the bar at the top, or on the right. Albums are arranged by tree; the person named on the title of the album is the earliest known ancestor of that tree. All the links go to my Google photo albums, comments are allowed on each photo and it’s possible to add your own photos directly to the albums.

Ancestry DNA results updated

These results make a little more sense to me compared to the results in my previous post, though I still don’t fully understand the science and the theory behind the DNA.

England, Wales & Northwestern Europe 86%:
– Both my parents
Southern England, East Anglia & Essex:
– My father’s GANT family
Southern England, South East England:
– Both sides of my mother’s family came originally (1300s + 1400s) from
Sussex and Surrey
Ireland and Scotland:
– It’s thought that my mother’s maiden name originated in Scotland
Sweden and Germanic Europe:
– Possibly confirming the theory that the GANTs were Flemish weavers who escaped across the North Sea in the 1500s
Cameroon, Congo, Southern Bantu, Benin/Togo:
– I’m still puzzled by this one!

Also, I’ve discovered I have a DNA match to a couple of people who belong to the largest GANT tree in England, going back to Francis GANT and Johanna COLTMAN who married around 1683 in Stoke by Nayland in Suffolk. This is the largest tree by far, and has many GANTs in Groton (Suffolk) in the 1800s. This is huge progress for me, although I still don’t know exactly how I connect to that tree as I can’t make any connection with my 3 x Great Grandfather William GANT, born around 1750 in Little Blakenham.

I have some DNA matches as well to some GANTs in the United States who can apparently trace back quite a way, presumably we all have a shared GANT ancestor “somewhere”. One day it’ll all become clear. Maybe.

Petty Crimes


Frederick Robert GANT
(born 1871, Westminster, London)
Charged with placing an explosive in a letter-box.
8th October 1883
My grandfather, and nephew of Caroline Gant
Source: The Times Online 

Thomas Gant, born abt 1832 Dovercourt, Essex

Thomas Gant, a tailor of West-street, Golden-square, London, charged with cutting and wounding another tailor.
Source: The Times, Thursday, Feb 23, 1888

Johnson GANT (Born 1839, Hameringham, Lincolnshire, England)
A petty criminal convicted of Larceny


Manning GANT (Born about 1831, Bungay, Suffolk, England)
A petty criminal convicted of Larceny 

Famous and Notable GANTs

James Gant born about 1770, Yorkshire

James Gant was awarded the Alexander Davidson Medal for the Nile 1798, gilt-bronze which was awarded to Petty Officers present at the Battle of Aboukir Bay on 1 August 1798. 

James Gant appears on the appropriate muster roll of the HMS Bellerophon for the Battle of the Nile. Number 865 on the ship’s books, he was born in Yorkshire and entered the ship as a Landsman on 1 April 1796, aged 26. He did not live to 1848 to claim the Naval General Service Medal with bar for The Nile which was issued in 1848. It would appear from his lowly rank of Landsman as at 1796 that he later rose to the rank of Petty Officer and had the medal gilded. 

HMS Bellerophon was a 74 gun 3rd Rate was commanded by the Irish Captain Henry D’Esterre Darby, who was wounded early in the action. (49 killed and 148 wounded – this was about a third of all the British casualties in the engagement. These casualties were suffered when the ship exchanged broadsides with the French 124 gun flagship L’Orient, which eventually caught fire and exploded).

HMS Bellerophon fought at the battle of The Glorious First of June (Commanded by Captain William Johnstone Hope. 4 killed and 27 wounded) at The Battle of the Nile, and at The Battle of Trafalgar, becoming one of the most famous British ships of the Napoleonic Wars. Her crew affectionately called her the Billy Ruffian (or Billy Ruff’n). At Trafalgar she was the fifth in Admiral Collingwood’s Southern division and thus was heavily engaged, battling the French L’Aigle to a bloody standstill at the cost of her captain John Cooke dead, 26 other crew killed and 123 wounded. Command was ably assumed by her first lieutenant William Pryce Cumby, who safely steered the battered ship back to Gibraltar. On board during the battle was future Arctic explorer, John Franklin, serving as a young midshipman.

She achieved further fame on 15 July 1815 when Napoleon Bonaparte surrendered to Captain Maitland of the Bellerophon and was transported to Torbay where the ship anchored off Brixham on July 24

Contributed by Paul Hogan, Sydney, Australia


Tetley Gant CMG
The Hon. Tetley Gant was elected President of the Legislative Council of Tasmania in 1901. He was part of the prominent Gant family from Bradford in Yorkshire, and was also connected to the Tetley family of brewers
Tetley GANT
b 1853 Bradford, Yorkshire, England
d 1928 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Frederick James Gant
A renowned surgeon born in Hackney, Middlesex in 1825, and author of many books on surgical procedures. The Gant Prize was founded at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in 1907 by the Foundation of Frederick James Gant. Awarded jointly from 2004 following the merger of the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine with University College London and Middlesex School of Medicine.

A Guide to the Examinations at the Royal College of Surgeons in England for the diplomas of Member and Fellow, by Frederick James Gant F.R.C.S., Senior Surgeon to the Royal Free Hospital; President of the Medical Society of London.
Bailliere, Tindall & Cox. 1881

Henry Laurence Gantt, A.B., M.E. (1861-23 November 1919) A mechanical engineer and management consultant who is most famous for developing the Gantt chart in the 1910s. These Gantt charts were employed on major infrastructure projects including the Hoover Dam and Interstate highway system and still are an important tool in project management.
Source: wikipedia.org


William Gant of 22 Corn Street, Bristol, Gloucestershire
Bookbinder, Bookseller, Stationer
Trading Dates: 1748 (date of apprenticeship) – 1781
Biographical Dates: 1733 (date of christening) – 1781 (date of death)
William Gant was apprenticed in 1748 to his aunt Mary, widow of George West a bookbinder and bookseller. He was freed in 1756. Assisted in the business by his wife, Elizabeth Gant née House, (from 1760 or before) and was succeeded by her. Master (jointly with his wife) of John Harris 1760, John Thorbran 1774, George Bourne 1777. Sun Fire Insurance policy: 424582 (1779/80).

Transcribed Wills:
William Gant, Stationer of Bristol, Gloucestershire
Elizabeth Gant, Widow of Bristol, Gloucestershire
Ann Gant, Spinster of Duke Street, Old Artillery Ground, Spitalfields, Middlesex (William Gant’s sister)

William Gant : Subscribed to Antiquity of the Wise Instructer. Being a Collection of the most Valuable Admonitions and Sentences, Compendiously put together, from an infinite Variety of the most celebrated Christian and Heathen Writers, Divine, Moral, Historical, Poetical, and Political., 1770, BROOKS, J.. Bristol
Printed for J. Brooks, the Editor, By S. Farley, in Castle-Green, 1770. 


Felix Farley’s Bristol Journal, 12 January, 1782:
Gant’s Circulating Library 1775 [William Gant] 
Succeeded by John Thorbran 
Thorbran’s Circulating Library 1782 [John Thorbran] 
Succeeded William Gant. 

Sources:
Eighteenth Century Short Title Catalogue
Plomer, Henry R. et al, A Dictionary of the Printers and Booksellers who were at work in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1726 to 1775 (London, 1932)
Maxted, Ian, The British Book Trades 1775-1787: an index to insurance policies (Exeter Working Paper No. 8)
Society of Genealogists, Lists of Masters and Apprentices, c.1711-1762
R J Goulden, ‘An Obscure Stationer of Bristol: William Gant’, Factotum, 11, April 1981, pp.8-11.
 

William Gant was also listed in Bailey’s British Directory [for 1784]; Merchant’s and Trader’s Useful Companion for the year 1784 … in 4 Volumes … Volume 1. London; Volume 2 The Western Directory; Volume 3 The Northern Directory; Volume 4 The Eastern Directory. The First Edition, 1784, BAILEY. London
Printed by J. Andrews, Little Eastcheap, and to be had of the Author, No. 53, Basinghall-street; No. 4, Queen-street, Cheapside; Mr. Long, Optician, Royal Exchange, and of every Bookseller in Town and Country

The Early Years

One possible interpretation of the source of the GANT surname. I haven’t personally verified any of these facts, though there is likely to be at least some truth in the descendancy from Arnoul Count De GAND to Gilbert De GANT, Earl of Lincoln. It’s interesting to note that the De GAND family appeared to settle in Lincolnshire some 150 years before Gilbert’s birth, which may account for the fact that the GANT surname is far more common even today in the eastern counties of England than it is anywhere else in the United Kingdom.


First Generation


1. Arnoul Count De GAND was born about 984 in Gand, Flanders, Belgium. (Ghent, Belgium) 

Arnoul married Lietgarde De CLEVES about 1003 in Gand, Flanders, Belgium. Lietgarde was born about 987 in Cleves, Germany. 

Children from this marriage were:

+ 2 M    i. Adalbert De GAND was born about 1004 in Gand, Flanders, Belgium. 

   3 F    ii. Gertrude De GAND was born about 1006 in Gand, Flanders, Belgium. 

Gertrude married Count Liudolf OF BRUNSWICK Margrave in Friesland . Liudolf was born about 1016 in Brunswick, Germany and died on 23 Apr 1038, about age 22. 


  Second Generation


2. Adalbert De GAND was born about 1004 in Gand, Flanders, Belgium. 

Adalbert married Ermengarde De FLANDERS about 1021 in Gand, Flanders, Belgium. Ermengarde was born about 1005 in Flanders, Belgium. 

Children from this marriage were:

   4 M    i. RALPH II D’ALOST (SEIGNEUR) was born about 1009 in Normandy, France and died before 1056. 

RALPH married GISELLE OF FLANDERS about 1047 in Alost, Flanders, Belgium. GISELLE was born about 1009 in Flanders, Belgium and died after 1056.

+ 5 M    ii. Ralph De GAND was born about 1022 in Gand, Flanders, Belgium. 


  Third Generation


5. Ralph De GAND was born about 1022 in Gand, Flanders, Belgium. 

Ralph married Gisele about 1047 in Alost, Flanders, Belgium. Gisele was born about 1028 in Flanders, Belgium. 

Children from this marriage were:

   6 M    i. Son De GANT was born about 1040 in France. 

+ 7 M    ii. Gilbert De GANT was born about 1048 in Alost, Flanders, Belgium, died in 1094, about age 46, and was buried in Bardney, Lincolnshire. 

   8 M    iii. Baudouin De GAND was born about 1050 in Alost, Flanders, Belgium. 


  Fourth Generation


7. Gilbert De GANT was born about 1048 in Alost, Flanders, Belgium, died in 1094, about age 46, and was buried in Bardney, Lincolnshire. 

Gilbert married Alice De MONTFORT about 1071 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire. Alice was born about 1050 in Montfort-Sur-Risle, France. 

Children from this marriage were:

+ 9 F    i. Felia De GANT was born about 1070 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire. 

   10 M    ii. Henry De GANT was born about 1072 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire. 

   11 M    iii. Ralph De GANT was born about 1074 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire. 

   12 M    iv. Seigneur Hugh IV De MONTFORT was born about 1078 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire. 

Hugh married Adeline De MEULLENT .

Hugh next married Adeline (Gundrea) De BEAUMONT in Leicestershire. Adeline was born about 1152 in Cornwall.

   13 M    v. Geoffrey De GANT was born about 1080 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire. 

   14 M    vi. Robert De GANT was born about 1084 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire and died in 1153, about age 69. 

Robert married Alice PAGNEL about 1108 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire.

Robert next married Gunnora De GOUREY about 1112 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire.

   15 M    vii. Gilbert De GANT was born about 1086 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire and died before 1094. 

   16 F    viii. Alice De GANT was born about 1088 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire. 

+ 17 M    ix. Walter De GANT was born about 1092 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire and died in 1139, about age 47. 

   18 F    x. Emma De GANT was born about 1071 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire and was buried before 1135. 

Emma married Algernon De PERCY about 1087 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire.

   19 F    xi. Matilda De GANT was born about 1082 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire. 

Matilda married Robert De LATHAM . 


  Fifth Generation


9. Felia De GANT was born about 1070 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire. 

Felia married Ivo De GRENTEMESNIL about 1090 in Leicestershire. Ivo was born about 1064 in Grentemesnil, Calvados, France and died in 1118, about age 54. 

Children from this marriage were:

   20 M    i. Ivo De GRENTMESNIL was born about 1090 in Hinckley, Leicestershire. 

   21 M    ii. Baron Hugh De GRENTEMESNIL of Hinkley was born about 1092 in Hinckley, Leicestershire . 

Hugh married Alice BEAUMONT in Hinckley, Leicestershire. Alice was born about 1105 in Hinckley, Leicestershire, died in Reims, France, and was buried in St Ebruf, Utica.

Hugh next married Miss. De STUTEVILLE about 1128 in Leicestershire.

17. Walter De GANT was born about 1092 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire and died in 1139, about age 47. 

Walter married Maud De BRITTANY in Folkingham, Lincolnshire. 

Children from this marriage were:

+ 22 M    i. Gilbert De GANT was born in 1126 and died in 1156, at age 30. 

   23 M    ii. Robert De GANT . 


  Sixth Generation


22. Gilbert De GANT was born in 1126 and died in 1156, at age 30. 

Gilbert married Rohese De CLARE , daughter of Richard FITZGILBERT Lord of Clare and Adeliza De MESCHINES .

Gilbert next married Hawyse De ROUMARE . 

Children from this marriage were:

   24 F    i. Alice (Adeliz, Adelicia) De GANT . 

Alice married Simon 7th Earl of Huntingdon and Northampton .

Major John Castle Gant was the great-grandson of William Gant, a weaver born about 1695 in Bristol. John Castle Gant worked as an Attorney and Solicitor, and his brothers’ professions were Civil Engineer, Architect & Surveyor, and Surgeon. All the brothers owned substantial properties in London, Bristol and Hastings.

He lived to the age of 100, marrying his 32 year old second wife at the age of 74.

Major John Castle Gant charged with assaulting daughter in law, Mrs Edith Louisa Gant, concerning the custody of Winifred and Muriel, the children of Arthur John Gant and Edith Louisa Chamberlain

The Times
Thursday, Aug 30, 1888; pg. 8; Issue 32478; col E
The Times
Saturday, Sep 15, 1888; pg. 4; Issue 32492; col C