This name, with variant spelling Plante, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "plante", the Middle English "plant", meaning a young tree or herb, and was originally given as a metonymic occupational name to a gardener, or planter of various shrubs and herbs. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname first appears on record in the mid 13th Century (see below). Interesting earlier cognates appear as Ralph Plantebene (Norfolk, 1199), and Alice Planterose (Warwickshire, 1221). One Robert Plante was recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire, which was dated 1273, and a William Plauntes appears in the 1275 Hundred Rolls of Norfolk. Ricardo Plant, noted in the Records of Ewelowe, Flintshire (1301), was an early bearer of the name in Wales, and Ranulf Plont, recorded circa 1383, is the earliest known ancestor of the Plant family of Macclesfield, Cheshire. Matthew Plant, who embarked for Virginia in July 1635, was one of the first to bring the name to the New World. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Plante, which was dated 1262, in the "Select Pleas of the Forest", Essex, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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