This intriguing and unusual surname is of medieval Scottish origin, and derives from the formerly popular Scottish given name Quentin or Quintin. The name is ultimately of Roman (Latin) origin, from "Quintinus", a derivative of "Quintus", fifth (born), which was adopted into Old French as "Quentin" or "Quintin", and introduced into Britain by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. In some cases, the surname Quentin and its variants may be of Norman locational origin, from any of the places in northern France named from St. Quentin of Amiens, a 3rd Century Roman missionary to Gaul, such as St. Quentin in La Manche or St. Quentin en Tourmont in Somme, the site of his martyrdom. The variant forms of the surname, Quintance, Quantance and Quaintance, are found mainly in Scotland, and represent a dialectal pronunciation. Examples of the surname from various Church Registers include: Agnes Quantance, christened in Glasgow, on September 23rd 1610; Jeane Quantance, married to Alexander Boid on May 14th 1611, in South Leith, Midlothian; John Quaintance, a christening witness in Bracebridge, Lincolnshire, on February 10th 1624; and Samuell Quaintance, married to Alce Child at All Hallows, London Wall, London, on December 31st 1664. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Lawrie Quintance, "quarrior", which was dated 1585, admitted burgess freeman of Glasgow, during the reign of King James V1 of Scotland, 1567 - 1625. 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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