Archive for the ‘Genealogy’ Category


From January 2020, I’m no longer a member of the Guild of One Name Studies and neither do I run the GANT One Name Study. I do however still hold all the data that I’ve collected over the years, I just won’t be adding much to it in the future.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 .

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I finally got around to doing the Ancestry DNA test, as I thought it might help in connecting my very small Gant tree with one or more of the far larger ones – more in a moment. These are my results, more or less as I expected as I’m coming round to the idea that the Gant surname in the eastern part of England (which is where the vast majority of English Gants are) originated with the Flemish weavers who came to Britain in the 14th century onwards. That might account for my 35% Western Europe.

These results are of course from my mother’s side of the family too, so which bits of DNA come from where are open to interpretation. Then of course there’s the mystery of the <1% Africa Southeastern Bantu. I can confidently trace both sides of my mother’s family back to the 1400s in Surrey and Sussex in England, so no Bantu there 🙂 I’m quite sure that I’m misunderstanding all these percentages – the Ancestry help pages explain it all in a great deal of detail, but most of it goes right over my head!

Anyway, back to my hope that it might help me connect my little tree with at least one of the larger ones. I was quite excited when I logged in to my results to see that I had 56 DNA matches of 4th cousins or closer, and one match with a common ancestor who was my father’s maternal great grandparents. Not a Gant unfortunately, but a good result all the same. And for the other 56 matches? Difficult to say as out of those 56 people who had also taken a DNA test, only about 20 of those had linked their test to a family tree. Out of those 20 family trees, I could see that we were related through my mother’s side on 6 of them. For the remaining 14 with a tree, I had no idea as I didn’t recognise any of the surnames. And the 36 people with DNA matches who hadn’t submitted a tree…. I have no idea who they are which is a huge disappointment. They could all be Gants for all I know 😦

So simply put, out of 57 DNA cousin matches there was 1 common ancestor, 6 cousins on my mother’s side, and 50 matches where I don’t have the slightest idea who they are. I’d be interested to know if anyone reading this has also taken the Ancestry DNA test, and if so, what were your results like? (I hope you linked your test to an Ancestry family tree 😀 😀 )

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After rather a long break, my Gant One Name Study website is finally back online, currently showing details of 5,140 individuals and 1,723 Gant families – I will add more people to the site as often as I can.

Huge apologies to anyone who has written to me in the past 18 months or so, and has not received a reply. If you’d like to write again, I will reply as soon as I can.

Edited 18th December 2018:
The One Name Study website is well out of date and cannot be updated. See a fuller explanation here –

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Andrew Edwin GantAt Sittingbourne Council School (Kent, England) between 1904 and 1912, Andrew Gant had 8 years of perfect attendance. To mark this distinction, he had 8 bars added to his School Attendance medal. He was also presented with a splendid brass bound writing box with a commemorative plate (pictured).
Source: Countryman Magazine, March 2006

Andrew Edwin Gant (5th Jan 1899 – Jan 1992) was the son of David Gant and Charlotte Luckhurst, and descends from James Gant and Frances Curson, who married in 1807 in Whiting, Norfolk.

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E Gant, DovercourtThe image on the left is of a milk bottle, with the words “E Gant, Vicarage Farm, Dovercourt”. It’s of the type normally seen in England during the 1950s.

I have yet to positively identify this E Gant, though I’m assuming that it’s Ernest GANT (1896 – 1969). Many of Ernest’s family were farmers in Dovercourt, and apparently an Ernie GANT farmed land opposite Tollgate in Dovercourt in the 1940s. If anyone can confirm the identity of this “E Gant”, I’d be extremely grateful.

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Rodney Kimberley Greenard GANTRodney Kimberley Greenard GANT is a bit of a mystery. He was born in July 1901 in Ipswich, and registered in Sept Qtr 1901 as Rodney Kimberley GREENARD. According to the IGI, he was the son of Edward Marshall GREENARD and Jessie Susan WARNER. Edward and Jessie are on the 1901 census in Ipswich with several children – no Rodney of course, as he would have been born later that year. Jessie Susan GREENARD’s death is registered in June Qtr 1906 in Ipswich, and according to the IGI, Edward Marshall GREENARD died in 1917 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. At least 2 of the older children also died in Canada, so they may have gone with Edward after Jessie’s death.

No problems so far… except that Rodney uses the surname GANT, not GREENARD.

  • Rodney’s Navy Service Record Card (shown above) clearly has his surname as GANT.
  • Rodney Kimberley Greenard GANT married Mary McNiece NISBET in 1924 in Brisbane, Australia.
  • Maxwell Rodney Greenard GANT was born in Brisbane in 1927, presumably the son of Rodney and Mary.
  • Rodney Kimberley GANT and Mary McNiece GANT are listed on the Australian Electoral Rolls between 1930 and 1936 in New South Wales, Australia.
  • Rodney Kimberley G. GANT died in 1961 in Parramatta District, New South Wales. His parents’ names are shown on the index as George and Lucy – not Edward and Jessie as would have been expected.

So the question is – why GANT, and who are George and Lucy? I can find no record of a suitable George GANT marrying a Lucy, otherwise I would have assumed that Rodney was taken in by a George and Lucy GANT after his mother died. More research is definitely needed.

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The convict records have at last arrived, delayed no doubt by Royal Mail’s industrial action. They were worth the wait though as I now know that Caroline was indeed from my family. Caroline Gant was my Great Great Aunt, the younger sister of my Great Grandfather William Gant.  The convict records give her age as 19, but I think she may have been nearer 16 judging by the entries on the 1841 and 1851 censuses.

She was convicted at Ipswich Quarter Sessions in January 1852, sentenced to 10 years hard labour, and transported to Tasmania. Her crime – “Stealing a Petticoat and a Jacket from a Little Boy”. Just under 3 months previously, her younger sister Emma had died at eight years of age of a “continued fever”. Caroline’s father William was probably ill and unable to work at the time (he died in April 1852 of asthma and infirmity, aged 51, a month after Caroline was transported).

Her conduct on the ship was described as “fair”, all the others on the page were “good”. She was sentenced to an additional 4 months hard labour for “insolence”, and she absconded at least once while in Tasmania, earning her another 3 months hard labour and a spell in the House of Correction in Launceston. Unfortunately that wasn’t the end of her life of crime as she was convicted of “Larceny under £5” in 1861, and sentenced to another 9 months hard labour.

While in Tasmania, Caroline married John Smith (alias Samuel or Solomon Crawcour) and gave birth to two sons, Samuel Smith (1854) and William Robert Henry Smith (1856). She also had two known children by William Harris – Mary Ann Margaret (1861) and Anna Maria (1866), and at least three children by John Stanley – John Alexander Stanley (1868), Harriett Isabella Stanley (1870) and Eliza Ann Emily Jane Stanley (1873). 

Caroline died in Tasmania in 1908 as Mrs Coffey, while living with her daughter Mrs William Smedley (Harriet Isabella Stanley). The family were apparently well known in the area.

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Many thanks to Sandra, a member of the Guild of One Name Studies who has completed a Guild Marriage Challenge for Cosford Registration District. I have received through the post 62 (yes, sixty two!) faux marriage certificates for Gant marriages taking place in Cosford between 1837 and 1911. There’s a huge amount of information on these certificates which has all been added to my database.

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Ancestry.co.uk have recently added a database of convicts transported to Australia. There are only a couple of entries for Gants, but one of them is a Caroline Gant tried and convicted in Ipswich, Suffolk and transported to Tasmania in 1852 aboard the Sir Robert Seppings – thanks to Liz for drawing this entry to my attention!

It’s highly likely that this is my Great Great Aunt Caroline Gant, younger sister of my Great Grandfather William Gant. He had five younger sisters, two of whom died in childhood, and the surviving sisters Eliza, Caroline and Matilda seemed to have vanished off the face of the earth after the 1851 census when the family were living in Ipswich. If the convict Caroline is in fact from my family, then maybe her sisters followed her to Tasmania at a later date.

I now have to wait for the convict records to arrive from Tasmania – there’s a 9 week backlog apparently, so that takes us at least to the end of September. Naturally I hope she’s from my family, but if not, I’ll make sure I reunite her with her relatives!

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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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Tetley GantThe 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.

GANT, TETLEY (1853-1928), lawyer and politician, was born on 19 July 1853 at Manningham, Yorkshire, England, son of James Greaves Tetley Gant, solicitor, and his wife Sarah Ann, nee Gaunt. He was educated at Rugby School and St John’s College, Oxford, (B.A., 1877; M.A., 1879), where he rowed and played cricket for the college. At the Inner Temple he formed a close friendship with Tasmanian-born (Sir) Elliott Lewis before being called to the Bar in 1883. Next year he migrated to Hobart where he was admitted to the Supreme Court of Tasmania and in 1888 entered into partnership with Lewis. On 19 July 1882 at St John’s Church of England, New Town, he married Frances Amy Roope, daughter of a well-to-do Hobart merchant, whose fine New Town residence, Wendover, was for a time the Gants’ family home.

In May 1901 Gant was elected to the seat of Buckingham in the Legislative Council, a position he retained until ill health forced his resignation in August 1927. In 1904 he was appointed chairman of committees and from July 1907 was president of the council for a record nineteen years; none of his rulings was ever challenged.

Like Lewis, Gant took a deep interest in the University of Tasmania. Appointed to the university council in 1905, he succeeded Lewis as vice-chancellor in 1909 and was chancellor in succession to Sir John Stokell Dodds in 1914-24. His speeches at the annual commemoration gatherings were invariably marked by a keen desire to encourage the spread of higher education throughout the community. In 1909 he represented the university at the inauguration of the University of Queensland in Brisbane. He was a member of the Tasmanian Club from 1898 and president in 1913, the year he was appointed C.M.G. He was president of the Amateur Horticultural Society of Hobart from 1902 until his death.

Gant died on 7 February 1928 at Lower Sandy Bay. His obituarist in the Mercury described him as ‘an ideal English gentleman … He had a fine personal presence, was debonair, affable and courteous in manner, liberally disposed, [and] was highly respected and esteemed by all classes’. He was survived by his daughter, his wife having died in 1926, and was buried in St John’s cemetery. His estate was valued for probate at £4876.

Print Publication Details: Peter Stops, ‘Gant, Tetley (1853 – 1928)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8, Melbourne University Press, 1981, pp 613-614.

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Paul in Australia has sent me details of a James Gant, born about 1770 in Yorkshire. Paul collects Royal Navy Medals and Militaria and recently purchased a medal which was contemporaneously engraved to one “James Gant of the Bellerophon”. The medal is Alexander Davidson’s Medal for the Nile 1798, gilt-bronze which was awarded to Petty Officers present at the Battle of Aboukir Bay on 1 August 1798.

So far I have been unable to identify this James Gant. There are several Gant families in Yorkshire around the mid 1700s, particularly around the Leeds/Bradford area. My feeling is that he may be from the Gant family who were in Bolton, Bradford, Yorkshire around the mid 1700s. There was a James Walker Gant baptised in Bradford in 1777, the son of Richard Gant of Bradford, and brother of Benjamin Gant, the grandfather of Tetley Gant CMG. I have no further information about James Walker Gant, but another of Benjamin’s grandsons was named Louis Walker Gant in 1870, was this possibly as a mark of respect to an “illustrious” relative born 100 years previously?

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St Peter and St Paul, Weston in Gordano, SomersetI found a burial for John Gant/Gaut at St Peter and St Paul, Weston in Gordano, Somerset. John Gant b. abt 1830 Barnham, Suffolk was a Gamekeeper at Weston Hill, Weston in Gordano from about 1861 onwards. As we live less than 5 miles from Weston in Gordano, we just had to go to take photographs!

I suspect that this John was known as John GAUT as that is what the inscription looks like. There is also a death registration under the name of GAUT in March Quarter 1900, Bristol Registration District. His family were consistently in the earlier censuses as GANT, also most of the birth and marriage registrations for this family were for GANT, but somewhere along the way Gant became Gaut. It’s so easy in a handwritten transcription to confuse the two names, so this must be what happened to change their name.

John Gant or GautHeadstone at St Peter and St Paul, Weston in Gordano, Somerset.
Monumental Inscription:
In memory of John Ga_t
Died __ January 1900
Age 71 years
Also his wife
Mary Jane __nt
Died 31st December 188_
Age 50 years
(Gravestone is of sandstone, has crumbled and is difficult to read)

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James Gant and his wife Frances probably came from Wighton in Norfolk, though for some reason as yet unknown they lived in Hothfield in Kent from around 1822 where their daughter Margaret was born – five previous children had been born in Wighton.

Their son Robert Gant married Phoebe Waters, and emigrated with their family to Australia in 1858, where there are still many Gant descendants. Their daughter Margaret Gant married George Gurr in December Quarter 1840, in West Ashford (Kent) Registration District. After that Margaret and George disappeared. Thanks to Michael and Dot – both from Australia – I now know what happened to Margaret. (Incidentally, Margaret’s sister Anne Gant married George Gurr’s brother Edwin, December Qtr 1841 in West Ashford Registration District.)

“The Moffatt”, brought Margaret and George Gurr, a carpenter, as emigrants to Australia arriving on the 31st May 1841. George Gurr died about 1841/1842 and his widow Margaret Gurr with a young baby named Henry, married Abraham Mills at Morpeth NSW on 6th November 1843.

Margaret and Abraham had 16 children. Margaret Gant was born 1st June 1822 at Hothfield Kent and died 8th September 1879, and is buried at Mt.Vincent cemetery near Newcastle NSW. Abraham Mills died 3rd June 1902 at Mulbring and is buried beside Margaret at Mt Vincent Cemetery

Abraham Mills was born in England about 1817 and came to Australia as a convict on 31st August 1836 on the ship “The Moffatt”, the same ship that brought Margaret and George to Australia some 5 years later.

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Captain Robert James GantAnna has very kindly sent me lots of information and photographs of her family, including Captain Robert James Gant b. 1856 Wiveton, Norfolk. Robert James Gant was Captain of the steamship Homer, which disappeared with the whole of her crew after a collision with the Russian barque Hoppet off Spurn Head, Yorkshire in 1901.

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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

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William Gant – 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.

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

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I’ve downloaded three very interesting Wills from the National Archives, those of William Gant a Stationer of Bristol (dated 1781), Elizabeth Gant a widow of Bristol (dated 1792), and Ann Gant a spinster of Spitalfields (dated 1809). I’d already correctly guessed that William Gant and Elizabeth Gant were husband and wife, but it appears that Ann Gant of Spitalfields was the sister of William. William and Ann were the son and daughter of William Gant, a weaver of Spitalfields.

They seem to have been a very well-to-do family judging by their possessions and apparent wealth. Incidentally, William Gant, the weaver of Spitalfields, was a direct ancestor of the surgeon Frederick James Gant, the author of the book I purchased from eBay.

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Frederick James GantI usually keep a watch on eBay to see if any interesting items crop up relating to the Gant surname. I recently found this little gem, a book by Frederick James Gant entitled “A Guide to the Examinations at the Royal College of Surgeons in England for the diplomas of Member and Fellow”. Of course I had to buy it!

Frederick James Gant was 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

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And yes, these are all from my family. Huge thanks to Bob in Canada! A connection to the Gants from Barking in Suffolk now seems unlikely, but I’m more than happy to have gone back another generation on my hard to find family.

It’s been pointed out to me that I’m lucky to be here…. my GG Grandfather William Gant b 1801 in Little Blakenham was the 14th child of William Gant and Sarah Fairs. All but one of their previous 13 children had died either in infancy or in early childhood. These are the records for 10 out of the total of 15 children born to William and Sarah during the years 1781 to 1803. Out of those 15 children, only 2 survived infancy.

Sarah dau. of William and Sarah Gant was bapt. Sept. 18, 1781.
Sarah Gant was buried Jan. 29, 1782.

William son of William and Sarah Gant was bapt. July 21, 1782.
William Gant, infant was buried Sept. 1782.

Sarah dau. of William and Sarah Gant was bapt. Dec. 7, 1783.

Hannah dau. of William and Sarah Gant was born Mar. 18, 1785, bapt. Mar. 27, 1785.
Hannah dau. of William and Sarah was buried June 9, 1785.

Lucy dau. of William Gant and wife Sarah, born Dec. 16, 1791 bapt. Dec. 18, 1791.
Lucy Gant, infant was buried March 4, 1791.

Mary dau. of William Gant and wife Sarah was born Jan. 9, 1792 bapt. Jan. 13, 1792.
(Mary survived and went on to marry James Ribbans in 1813 in Little Blakenham)

Uney dau. of William Gant his wife Sarah, Late Fairs, born June 8, 1794 bapt. June 15.
Uney Gant buried Sept. 28, 1794.

William son of William Gant, his wife Sarah,Late Fairs was born Feb. 22, 1795 bapt. March 11, 1795.
William son of William Gant and wife Sarah buried March 18, 1795.

Samuel son of William Gant and Sarah, Late Fairs was born August 2, 1799 bapt. August 4, 1799.
Samuel son of William Gant and his wife Sarah was buried Sept. 22, 1799.

William son of William and Sarah was born Feb. 26, 1801 bapt. Mar. 8,1801.
(My great great grandfather, child 14 of 15)

Marriage fiche 3:

William Gant, otp and Sarah Fayers, parish of Combs, banns Oct. 5, Oct. 12. Oct. 19. 1777. fiche 3, entry 16, page 4.

Burial fiche 5: Willam Gant March 16, 1823 age 73. entry# 65, page 9.

Sarah Gant age 66, April 29, 1823. entry# 66, page 9.

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Thanks to Liz who has helped me so much in the past, it seems like I’m finally getting somewhere with my own Gant family. From the Suffolk Burials CD:

Little Blakenham burials
Sarah Gant 27 Jan 1782
William Gant 1 Sep 1782 inf
Hannah Gant 9 Jun 1785 Da of William & Sarah late Fairs
Lucy Gant 11 Mar 1792 inf
Uney Gant 28 Sep 1794
William Gant 18 Mar 1798 so William & Sarah
Samuel Gant 22 Sep 1799 so William & Sarah
James Gant 29 Jan 1804 inf so William & Sarah
William Gant aged 73 buried at Lt Blakenham on 16 Mar 1823 abode Lt Blakenham
Sarah Gant aged 66 buried at Lt Blakenham on 29 April 1823, wid of William abode Lt Blakenham
William Gant aged 52 buried at Barham on 25 April 1852 died Barham UH, “late Blakenham Parva”.
Samuel Gant aged 70 buried on 11 May 1835 at Barham died Barham UH, “late Barking”
Elizabeth Gant aged 67 buried on 5 May 1836 at Barham died Barham UH, “late Barking”

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I’ve been trying for a long time to connect my GG Grandfather William GANT born around 1801 in Blakenham, to other GANT families. Blakenham isn’t far from Barking, and I’d found Sarah born abt 1791 in Barking. On the 1851 census, I had also found a Samuel GANT in Hadleigh, born abt 1790 in Barking, and I thought it possible that Samuel and Sarah were brother and sister.

I have a theory, as yet unproved, that my William GANT b. abt 1801 in Blakenham is another sibling of Samuel and Sarah. William’s son (also William) born around 1830 in Blakenham named his first son William Samuel, and one of his daughters Sarah Ann. Both babies died in infancy, and the names weren’t used again in the family. Possibly coincidence, but it may show a link to the Samuel and Sarah from Barking.

Lots more research is needed for my family!

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Many of the female descendants of Francis Gant of Weeting, Norfolk  worked as furriers in Brandon, probably not the most pleasant of occupations as the job involved skinning the local rabbits!

Lingwood’s Hat and Fur Factory
Lingwood’s Hat and Fur Factory in Brandon

Extract From White’s 1844 Suffolk Directory

BRANDON, a well-built market town, noted for gun-flints, whiting, rabbit-skins, and fur, is pleasantly situated on the south bank of Little Ouse river, which is navigable for barges, and is crossed by a good bridge, at the junction of roads from Lynn and Swaffham, 6 miles W.N.W of Thetford, 9 miles N.N.E. of Mildenhall, 16 miles N. by W. of Bury St. Edmunds, and 78 miles N.N.E. of London. Its parish increased its population from 1148 souls in 1801, to 2002 in 1841, and comprises 6760 acres of land, extending six miles westward, along the south side of the vale, to the fens, and including about 4500 acres of light sandy land, which was inclosed under an Act passed in 1807, previous to which it was in open sheep-walks, and a large rabbit warren. Though now enclosed, there are still many rabbits to be seen in the parish; and on its broders are the extensive warrens of Lakenheath, Santon Downham and Elveden, which supply the Brandon furriers with immense quantities of skins, the dressing of which gives employment to about 200 females. During the late war, and before the invention of percussion caps, great numbers of the inhabitants were employed in preparing gun-flints from the prolific beds of that mineral, which lie at various depths below the chalk stratum; but the trade had become nearly obsolete in 1838, when a company was formed in 138 £25 shares, for its revival. The flint found here in large masses is said to be the best in the world for the use of fire-arms; and Brandon is now the only place in England where gun-flints are made to any considerable extent. Here are three whiting-mills, and a large brewery; and several barges ply hence to and from Lynn with corn, coal, &c.

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