My mother's name was Elizabeth TANT, hence my interest.
Family legend was that TANT was French in origin.
I have analysed all the IGI entries for the UK as at 1990 approx. Tracing backwards through that data, the name appears to have originated in Warickshire around 1560, about 8 miles east of Coventry.
The IGI data shows over time, later concentrations in Oxfordshire, Essex, London & Edinburgh (my TANTs).
Looking at UK Phone Directories for around 1990, there was an additional concentration in Liverpool.
Looking at international phone directories for the major towns of France, Low Countries and Germany, only one TANT showed up in Paris.
There was scatterings across USA and Canada, the Toronto Tants being known relatives.
The only other concentration that I found was in Sydney Australia, where I contacted one TANT. This lady responded quickly that she that all the Sydney-based TANTs are descended from one emigrant of about 1875 (got the data on file).
Some weeks later, she had been in contact with all of them, compiled the family tree, checked shipping lists etc; and included anecdotal stories about the emigrant TANT and the first two Australian generations particularly.
In Scotland, the TANT concentration is split into two lines, my one I refer to as the Linlithgow TANTs as most of one generation was born there.
The other line to me is the Yellowlee TANTs, which forms the total content of the present Edinburgh TANTs. An early spouse was Amelia Yellowlees.
My mother's generation and earlier acknowledged blood connections between the two lines; but so far I have not been able to establish the link positively. My suspicions are that the two earliest male Tants in Scotland were brothers; but no proof.
By the IGI, some of the early Scottish births, 1825-1850, were baptised in Manchester & London. Similarly for a few marriages.
So at present, my belief is that TANT is an English-sourced surname, arising in Warwickshire.
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