Archive for June, 2007

Gants DairyThe photo on the left shows a milk bottle top from Gant’s Dairy in Elmer, NJ. The bottle top was probably made from cardboard and is thought to date from either the 1950s or 1960s.

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The 1840 tithe map valued by William Beck of Mileham and John Beck of Longham shows what are now known as Litchfield Cottages owned by William Gant and rented to William Bell and another. What is now Grenstein Farm is called ‘Beck’s Farm’. Eastview is owned by Richard Gant and rented to William Bird and others. The pightle (parcel of land) is owned by Mary Griggs and used by Richard Gant and Charles Alby. Richard Gant also uses Neatherd land, Holly Field, Graver’s bungalow field as well as owning Baines farm and land at Beeston. William Gant owns fields at Beeston and the last house in the village opposite the chalet.

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Source: Street Index, Boyle’s View of London, and its Environs; 1799

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A working watermill. The mill’s history dates back to the Domesday survey of 1068, which listed two watermills in Pitcombe, next to Bruton. They were worth 20 shillings. One of these was almost certainly the site of Gants Mill. The earliest document tells of a John le Gaunt, after whom the mill is still named. In 1290 the Lord of Castle Cary granted him the right to build a fulling mill here. See http://www.gantsmill.co.uk for the full history.

Medieval Deeds concerning properties in BRUTON belonging mainly to the family of Fitzjames
FILE – Feoffment – ref. DD\SE/4/1 – date: [Undated]
John Fulloner of Lullington (with the consent of Cristina his wife), to John Le Gant of Briwton, of a fulling mill at Cumb’ juxta Briwton, etc., which Andrew onetime lord of la Cumb’ granted to his father Roger Fulloner of Lullington at annual rent of a rose and 10s. Witn: Ralph Hurscarl; Will. de Godmaneston’; Thom. de Cumba; Will de Compo Florido; Henr. de Harvile; Nich. Le Poer; Joh. de Wik’.
Source: Access to Archives

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Gantesgrave appears as early as 1291. The name probably originates from Richard le Gant, who is recorded as living in the area in 1285. In 1321 Ralph le Gant was steward of Barking Abbey, and Richard and Gilbert le Gant were stewards in 1456.

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The historic buildings in the Quakers Friars area of Bristol, now being redeveloped as part of the Broadmead “improvement” scheme at Cabot Circus, will remain as a reminder of the city’s religious past.
The Dominican – or Black Friary as it was known – was founded by Matthew de Gourney and Maurice de Gant, the son of Robert de Berkeley, in about 1227.
Source: Bristol Evening Post, Tues Aug 8th 2006

A deed dated 7th and 8th Feb. 1669, describes a ‘Meeting House, Burial Ground, and Premises at the Friars’ as: “Occupying part of the site of the ancient monastery of the Black Friars (who used the present Burial Ground) situate between Rosemary Street and the Broad Weir, from each side of which there is an entrance.” The former Meeting House was sold in 1956 and became Bristol Register Office, and the burial ground was exhumed and became largely used for car parking.
Source: digitalbristol.org

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Berkeley EstateThe page to the left is an extract from the book “Abstracts and Extracts of Smyth’s Lives of the Berkeley Family” by Thomas Dudley Fosbroke & John Smyth, published 1821.

“Maurice de GANT dying s. p. devised his Manors of Over, Beverston, Kingsweston, Radwicke, and Northwicke, to his nephew Robert de Gournay; and re-conveyed the three Hundreds of Portbury, Bedminster, and Harclive, to Thomas Lord Berkeley, his cousin and his heir”.
Source: Google Book Search

The Berkeley Estate

Bedminster Hundred, Somerset
Robert FitzHarding acquired the adjacent hundreds of Bedminster, Portbury and Hartcliff and granted them to his younger son Robert, but Thomas (I) Lord Berkeley (d. 1243) bought the reversion from Robert’s son and heir Maurice de Gant. Portbury hundred was entailed in tail male, along with the manor, by Thomas (III), but Bedminster and Hartcliff hundreds, possibly because they were settled in jointure and tail general in 1289 with the manor of Bedminster, were not. Consequently, on the death of Thomas (IV) in 1417, Bedminster and Hartcliff hundreds passed to his daughter, the countess of Warwick.

Bedminster, Hartcliff and Portbury Hundreds, Somerset
Date: 1220/1230
Thomas de Berkeley and Maurice de Gant. n.d.
Thomas has inspected the grant by Robert, his grandfather, to Robert his [Robert’s] son of the three hundreds which the earl of Gloucester gave him, viz. those of Portbury, Bedmunistre and Hareclive, to hold of him [Robert] for a rent of 1 mark a year, and confirms it to Maurice de Gant.
Source: Access to Archives

The Berkeley Family
Robert FitzHarding’s son Maurice (de Gant), 2nd Lord Berkeley (d. 1190) known as Make-peace because of his diplomatically astute marriage with the daughter of the former occupier Roger de Berkeley (in order to settle the inheritance) has left his mark on the Castle by adding a tower or forebuilding opposite the Keep, also the curtain walls of the inner and outer courtyards. He evidently made the Castle his home, in the sense that his predecessors had never done. His son Robert temporarily lost possession of his property as a result of siding with the barons at Runnymede when King John was compelled to sign Magna Carta; it was restored to the Berkeleys in 1233.
Source: Official Guide Book, Berkeley Castle. ISBN 0 85101 322 8

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Rufford Abbey was a Cistercian house founded by Gilbert de Gant, Earl of Lincoln, in c.1146 on the eastern edge of Sherwood Forest between Newark and Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. The community built up estates both locally and farther afield and ultimately owned some fourteen granges in the parishes around Rufford as well as in north Lincolnshire and the Derbyshire Peak District.

c 12th century
Confirmation by Countess Alice, daughter of Count Gilbert to Geoffrey de Nevilla of all the tenements which Ralph de Nevilla his father held of Walter de Gant her grandfather in Forduna, Fifle, Sloxtun, Musetuna, Martona and Rictona

c 1155 – 1191
Charter of Robert de Gant reciting that when his brother Earl Gilbert founded the abbey of Rufford he gave it all his domain as is recited in the monks’ charters, not excepting the church of Aicringe which is situated in that domain and attesting that this church belongs to the monks

c 1170 – 1184
Grant by Adeliz de Gant to the monks of Ruff’ of the forinsec service rendered on a bovate of land in Cratella

c 1197 – 1217
Grant by Gainnor de Gant to the monks of Rufford of half a carucate of land etc in Auburne

1156 – 1185
Grant by Countess Adelicia daughter of Count Gilbert de Gant to the monks of Ruford of advouson and patronage of half the church at Eicringe

c 1174 – 1176
Grant by Countess Alice, daughter of Gilbert de Gant, and Simon her Lord of the 2 and a half bovates of land in Hulmam given to the church of Saint Mary of Ruchfort, that is to say the holdings of Hugh and Swavo in return for 10s 0d.

c 1174 – 1176
Grant by Countess Alice, wife of Simon Earl of Huntingdon, daughter of Earl Gilbert de Gant to the monks of Rufford’ of Hugh and Swave, as recited in no.141 above.

c 1200 – 1218
Grant by Gilbert de Gant to the monks of Ruford’ of all the land etc. in Ruford’ and all the land etc. which Gilbert Earl of Lincoln gave them in Eicring’ and 30 acres of meadow besides the Trent in Kelum; and also all the land in Cratela which Earl G. exchanged with Ralph son of Reing for his land in Torp and one acre in Barton; and also 2 bovates of land in Wilgebi and all the land which Earl G. gave them in Barton.

1170 – 1184
Confirmation by the Countess A[lice] to the same of all the gifts of Earl Gilbert [de Gant] her father to them viz. Rufford, Cratley and all the lands in Willoughby and Barton

c 1174
Confirmation by Hugh s. of Ralph s of Reinger, and Ralph his brother, of the gift of Cratley to the same by Gilbert de Gant their lord and quitclaim of their right therein.

Source: Access to Archives.

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Several very generous contributors have sent me a total of 92 photographs relating to seven different Gant trees, and I’m always happy to receive more! It’s great to be able to put faces to names, and it makes the family trees so much more interesting.  Real people, not just a list of names and facts.

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Google Earth placemarksI’m not sure if this will be useful or not, but I’ve made some Google Earth placemarks (as a .kmz file) to each of the Gant trees that I’ve researched so far. Each placemark represents the earliest event found in each tree. They certainly show how the families were clustered around eastern England, though as the dates of these events range from 1647 to the nineteenth century the placemarks probably are really no more than a rough guide.

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