Last name: Conant

This interesting name of some antiquity derives from the ancient Celtic male given name Conan, from the Celtic "kunovals" meaning "high" and "mighty". In the 5th century A.D., one, Conan Meriadec led a group of British emigrants from Wales and Cornwall to settle in Brittany. Four dukes of Brittany bore the name after him, and it was from Brittany that the name was reintroduced into England at the time of the Norman Conquest. One, Conanus dux Britanniae was recorded in "Documents relating to the Dalelaw", Lincolnshire, circa 1155, and a Henricus filius (son of) Conani in the 1196 "Pipe Rolls of Northumberland". Robert Connand and Adam Conand both appear in the 1379 "Poll Tax Returns Records of Yorkshire", the final "d" on the name being an excrescent, as is the final "t". Conan, a place in the former county of Kincardines, Scotland, named from the early Celtic "Conona", "hound stream", may in some instances have given rise to the surname. John Conant (1608 - 1694), was archdeacon of Norwich in 1676. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Conan, which was dated circa 1198, in the "Records of St. Bartholomew's Hospital", London, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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