GRANT Surname Meaning and Origin

The Grant surname was sometimes bestowed to identify between two men of the same given name, similar to identifying the elder as "Senior."
Rosemarie Gearhart / Getty Images

The origins of the Grant surname are uncertain, but the following theories are the most widely accepted:

  1. A nickname from the Anglo-Norman French graund or graunt, meaning "tall, large"—derived, in turn, from the Latin grandis—bestowed due to the individual's size, or to distinguish two bearers of the same personal name, often different generations within the same family (e.g. grant denotes the elder or senior).
  2. Clan Grant says that "tradition suggests that the name comes from Sliabh Grianais - the moor above Aviemore," believed to be the "first land in Scotland occupied by the Grant progenitors."

Grant may also be a spelling variant of the German surname Grandt or Grant

Surname Origin: Scottish, English, French

Alternate Surname Spellings: GRAUNT, GRAWNT, GRANTE

Where in the World is the GRANT Surname Found?

According to Forebears, the Grant surname is most prevalent in the United States (used by over 156,000 people), but most common in Jamaica (where the surname ranks as 10th most common) and Scotland (ranked 29th). Grant is also common in Guyana (46th), New Zealand (49th), Canada (88th), Australia (92nd) and England (105th).

Historical surname distribution data from Scotland identifies the areas where Grant was most common in 1881 as Moray, where it was the most used name, as well as Banffshire (2nd most common), Nairn (6th), Inverness-shire (9th) and West Lothian (10th).

WorldNames PublicProfiler identifies the Grant surname as being especially popular in Donegal, Ireland, as well as Australia, New Zealand and most of northern Scotland.

Famous People with the Last Name GRANT

  • Ulysses S. Grant - U.S. general and commander of the Union armies; 18th U.S. president
  • Cary Grant - British-American film actor
  • Hugh Grant - British actor
  • Amy Grant - American singer-songwriter
  • Anne Grant - Scottish poet
  • Jedediah Morgan Grant - leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Natalie Grant - American singer-songwriter

Genealogy Resources for the Surname GRANT

Clan Grant
Explore a wealth of resources made available by Clan Grant, including history, genealogy, gatherings, membership and more.

Grant DNA Project
Join over 400 individuals with the Grant surname who are interested in combining Y-DNA testing with genealogical research to help identify various "Grant genetic lines and ancestries."

Trace your Scottish roots back to Scotland and beyond with the steps outlined in this Scottish genealogy guide. Learn how to locate your ancestor's county and/or parish in Scotland, plus access vital records, census records and parish records in Scotland.

Grant Family Crest - It's Not What You Think
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Grant family crest or coat of arms for the Grant surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families, and may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted.

FamilySearch - GRANT Genealogy
Explore over 2.9 million historical records and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Grant surname and its variations on the free FamilySearch website, hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

GRANT Surname & Family Mailing Lists
RootsWeb hosts a free mailing lists for researchers of the Grant surname. - GRANT Genealogy & Family History
Explore free databases and genealogy links for the last name Grant.

The Grant Genealogy and Family Tree Page
Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the popular last name Grant from the website of Genealogy Today.

References: Surname Meanings & Origins

Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.

Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.

Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.

Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.

Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.


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