The day included a coach tour of the surrounding countryside, which appears to have been the principal homeland of the Plants from c1360-1680. There was also a presentation on the medieval Origins of the Plant Name by Dr John S. Plant of nearby Keele University. This is outlined by the Slides of this Presentation which has led on to further developments in such articles as John S Plant (1999-onwards), Roots and Branches, Issue Number 18 onwards [see update below].
Update on slides of the talk
It should be added that evidence for the Plantagenet name, when the Plant surname was forming, is sparse. The term 'Plantagenet child' was used in the talk [and included in the slides] to indicate a child in the context of the Angevin ('Plantagenet') nobility. There is some evidence of proximities of early Plant records to the noble descendants of Geffrey Plante Genest of Anjou. These descendants included the 'Plantagenet' kings of England; but, the nineteenth-century claim that the Plants were royal Plantagenet decendants is debunked elsewhere on this web-site. The talk concluded by suggesting a possible hypothesis whereby the Plants could have been assorted auxiliaries, particularly in the context of 'Plantagenet' campaigns against the Welsh.
Perhaps the biggest development since the talk is that Y-DNA evidence for the Plants started to be obtained in 2002. This was first taken to indicate possibly that they could have been many polygynous children forming mostly a large single family. That placed more emphasis on the Welsh Marches meaning 'children' than a more general 'establisher' sense of to plant. The more general 'establisher' sense, listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, was highlighted in the talk as it might have been appropriate to the 'colonising' of Wales by 'auxiliaries'. Alternatively however, planta means 'to procreate' in Welsh.
Moving on to more recent developments, analyses of further Y-DNA data and access through the internet to further relevant medieval documentation has suggested further ideas. A book from the early twentieth century, should not be ignored including, for example, the meaning from the enclosure. This can be considered as being persuasive enough to supercede the mid-twentieth supposition gardener in as much some enclosures might relate to gardens whilst another can be associated with the main Plant family's earliest known origins in their main homeland, which were in a fourteenth-century Plantagenet context (cf. elsewhere on this website).
Also, some substantial progress has since been made with the likely feudal context of the earliest Plants in England. The Plants' feudal lords might have brought a context of meaning for the Plant name and its heraldry.
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