Recorded as Galand, Galland, Gallant (England), Galan, Gallan, Gallen, Galand, Gallandre, Galland, Gallandon, Galant, Gallant (France), Galland (German and Flemish), Galante (Italian), and possibly others, this is a medieval surname which does basically mean what it says. It was originally either a nickname for a man who was considered by his peer group to be courteous or gallant in his behaviour perhaps on the field of battle, or a courtier, whose official occupation was to act as the escort to a noble lady, perhaps a widow or spinster. That the name was held in high repute is shown by the granting of many coats of arms including for Galand the blazon of a gold field charged with a red bend, or as Galland of white ostrich feathers on a black field, or as Gallant a silver chevron between three leopards heads on a red field. It is unclear when the surname was first recorded, but in France we have the recording in 1618 of Cesare Galland at Parye St Cesair, Meurthe-et- Moselle, on July 21st of that year, and of Jean Gallant of Angers, Maine-et-Loise, on September 7th 1659, whilst in England, recordings are earlier with for example that of Agnes Gallant at St James Clerkenwell, in the city of London, on May 1st 1569.
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