Recorded as Fantin, Fanton, Fanty, and Fantou (France), and Fanti, Fantini, Fantone, and Fantonetti (Italian), this was a medieval surname. It is a diminutive derivative or nickname from the word and surname of 'Enfant' meaning child.This name as Child, was in medieval England a status term for a young nobleman, one who was waiting to be entered into knighthood. Given the long association and rivally with France and presumably Italy, it seems likely that Enfant had a similar meaning. As to why surnames developed variant forms such as this one is a mystery with many possible answers. It does seem that in the more leisured past, the creation of 'names' was almost an international past time. Examples of the surname recording taken from early surviving church registers in both France and Italy include Mathurine Fantin who married Rene Le Braire at Angers, France, on August 11th 1649, and Cattarina Fantone, who married Stephanus Fodrino at Beura Cardezza, Italy, on May 14th 1753.
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