Recorded in the spellings of Gonthier, Gontier, Gontard and possibly other forms, this is a French medieval surname of pre 7th century Germanic origins. It derives from the ancient word "Gund" meaning combat, and as such was originally a popular "name", there were no surnames, in its own right. To "Gund" was often added a suffix to create a compound name such as "Gundhilda" or "Gundwald", and these forms in turn became surnames from the 12th century onwards. In this case the name is also probably Huguenot, as both Gontier and later Gonthier were recorded in London, England, from the 18th century. Huguenot's were (usually) French Protestants who were greatly persecuted in their own countries, and who fled in large numbers to both the Netherlands and Britain from 1685 to 1760. These people were from the skilled classes, and their knowledge enabled Britain to be the dominent industrial force for two centuries. Early examples of the surname recording taken from authentic charters and registers of the period include Bernard Gontier, the son of Jean Gontier, christened at St Severn de Paris, France, on July 1st 1643, and Andrew Gontier, who married Ann Fransseson at St James church, Westminster, England, on July 15th 1762. The first recording in the church registers is believed to be that of Claude Gonthier, the son of Demenge Gonthier, at Roxieres aux Saline, Meurthe et Moselle, France, on October 10th 1615. This was during the reign of King Louis X111, 1610 - 1643.
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