Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is ultimately a Roman clan name. Deriving from the personal name Antonius, and introduced into Europe by returning Cruisaders of the 12th century, it is believed to translate as 'praiseworthy'. It has always been associated with Marcus Antonius circa 83 - 30 b.c, friend to Caesar, and lover of the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra. The surname is much later being medieval, and first recorded in England as shown below. World-wide, the surname has developed into over one hundred individual spellings, and examples of these range from Antony, Anthoine, Anton, Anten and Antona, to Antoinet, Antonelli, Antognoli, and Antuk, and the patronymics such as Antunez, D'Antoni, Antoons, Antonssen, Antonov, and Antonwicz. However the great popularity of the original baptismal name throughout Christendom, is largely due to two saints. The first being St. Anthony of Egypt. A D 251 to 331, and founder of monasticism, and the second, St. Anthony of Padua (1195 - 1231), who became a favoured disciple of St. Francis of Assisi. His learning and eloquence was so great that he is said to have drawn a congregation of fishes to raise their heads out of the sea and listen to him breathlessly! Amongst the earliest examples of the surname recording are those of William Antony, who was recorded in the tax charters of the county of Suffolk, England, in the year 1306, whilst in Germany in 1527 Schultheis Anthonius was recorded as being the Stadtschreiber (Town clerk) for the city of Kassel. The first recorded spelling of the family name in any country is probably that of John Antoyne, which was dated 1275, in the charters of the county of Worcester, England.Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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