Errant Plantagenets and
settled Plants - J.S.Plant (2000) Roots and Branches, Issue
Number 19, pages 18-40, refers rather liberally to Plantagenet as a
`surname' in the manner in which it appears in the CJCLDS Ancestral File and
makes an initial attempt to consider the association of such names as
Plantin, Planteng', Plante, and Plant with the de Warennes (who were
descendants of Geoffrey Plante Genest of Anjou).
Geofrey Plantagenet: surname inspirer -
J.S.Plant (2006) Roots and Branches, Issue Number 32, pages 20-39 -
considers more strictly the historical evidence for the Plante Genest
nickname and its likely influence on the formation of subsequent surnames
Update --- This Issue includes a brief mention
of the Warrens, rather as though they may have been masters of assorted
Plant families; though, initial DNA evidence has
since been obtained indicating that the Plant (also Plantt)
surname seemingly descends largely from a single family dating back to the
14th century, or perhaps the descent is intact back to instances of the
Plant name elsewhere in the 13th century.
Some sample articles on the meaning of Plant:
Plantevelu and the meaning of Plant -
J.S.Plant (2003) Roots and Branches, Issue Number 26, pages 23-41 -
introduces various semantic considerations; Issue 27 considers further that
the type of metonymy for Plant is synechdoche whereby the name
highlights `the plant within man';
Plant meaning and some similar names -
J.S.Plant (2004) Roots and Branches, Issue Number 28, pages 18-31 -
considers the widespread `People are Plants' Great Chain metaphor and its
relationship to the medieval plant powers of generating and
augmenting the offspring of a single ancestor. The `offspring' meaning for
Plant is well based (as is considered further in Issue Numbers 29 and 30).
However, whose offspring the Plants were remains unknown and, indeed, there
are other possible meanings to the name.
Update. It now transpires that the original of the oil painting,
shown here, mentioned in section 12.4 of the above article, is held by
Museums Sheffield entitled, A Visit To the Lawyer by J. Marten.
Their dating, based on the styles of the clothes and furniture, seen better
in the undamaged original, place it probably no earlier than 1830-40. This
discredits the briefly debated possibility that the inherited oil-wash copy
could have been passed down the family from as early as Benjamin Plant
(1742-1806); it now seems more likely that it was acquired instead, purely
for decorative purposes, by James Plant (1829-1904) of Journal 33.
Benjamin, of Journals 10 to 13, nonetheless remains an interesting
character, not least for the prominent family connections of his wife. I am
grateful to Museums Sheffield for both the image and its dating.