This is a most interesting surname. It derives from the Old French word "gant" meaning a glove and is ultimately a word of Germanic origin. The form Gantlett incorporates the diminutive "-lett". By extension the word was applied to the maker of gloves. As such it brings us back to the days when the feudal system held away. The type of gloves involved were made of steel for use with suits of armour. The surname Gauntlett was also used as a byname, perhaps for someone who lived at "the sign of the glove". It is occasionally found under the variant forms of Gantelett, Ganter, Gaunter and Gunter. Early occurrences of the name in London church registers include the marriage on October 8th 1607 at St. Leonards Church, East Cheap, of one William Gauntlett and Margaret Bowles. Henry John Gauntlett 1805 - 1876 was Jamous as an organist and composer of hymns. He also patented an "electrical action apparatus". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Gauntelett, which was dated circa 1560, in the "Proceedings in Chancery", during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1556 - 1603. 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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