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!


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.

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.

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

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

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.

Quakers Friars, Bristol

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