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Author: Dr John S Plant (bio)
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Some early USA Plants

(including the name spellings Plantt and Plantz)

USA Plants
Plants in the USA have been associated with, for example, the following whose descendants have been DNA tested..
  1. The Plant City, Florida Plants, as described in Issue No 1 of the Journal, are associated with the railway pioneer Henry Bradley Plant who was a descendant of John Plant (c1646-1691) who emigrated from England c1639 (or possibly 1632) with his wife Betty Roundkettle. He settled in the east part of Branford, Connecticut [The Life of Henry Bradley Plant, by George Hutchinson-Smith (G.Putnam & Sons, 1898)]. The adjacent photograph of a map of the Plant transport System has been kindly supplied by John D Plant, a descendant of John Plant of Branford [who is indicated as P7b in the DNA descent diagram here].

  2. A William Plant was in Virginia prior to 1677. His signature is said to have been written Wm Plantt as though an abbreviation of a longer name (e.g. Plantinet or perhaps even Plantagenet). However, though DNA matches occur between the surname spellings Plant and Plantt, no male-line Y-DNA match has been found between any Plant(t) and any longer name (in particular, the Plants do no match with the remains of the Plantagenet king Richard III or any other claimed male-line descendant of the Plantagenets). It appears that shortly after 1829, members of this Virginia Plant family dropped the extra ' t ' though there are still some others in North America using the spelling Plantt [this apparent Virginia branch is indicated by PT1a in the DNA descent branching diagram here though another DNA volunteer with the spelling Plantt belongs to a different branch as indicated by PT3a in the same diagram].

In view of the occurrence of the spelling Plantt in early USA records, it seem appropriate to summarise some backgound to this spelling. Early parish records for Lincolnshire, England for example include the spelling Plantt...

  • 1565, 14 Oct, Thomas Plantt m Jone Pacoke at Wainfleet All Saints
  • 1565, 29 Nov, Margaret Plantt, bap at Wainfleet All Saints
and, more generally, there are 16th and 17th century occurrences of the spelling Plantt ..
  • England: Oxfordshire (1540); Lincolnshire (1565, 1565, 1565); Worcestershire (1577, 1577); Cheshire (1581); Leicestershire (1586, 1637); London (1661); Staffordshire (1682)
  • Germany: Rheinland, Preussen (1651, 1651, 1651, 1651, 1662, 1662, 1662, 1662, 1662, 1662)
Still earlier, in the Main Plant Homeland in England (north Staffordshire and east Cheshire), the name's spelling in the Macclesfield Court Rolls, available from 1360 onwards, changes haphazardly between Plontt, Plonte and Plont [the substitution of ' o ' for ' a ' being normal in this North Western dialect region of Middle English].

Plant System

The following information for early Plant settlers in Virginia is taken from Nugent Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants (denoted C+P below) and from Meyer Adventures of Purse and Person, Virginia 1607-1624 (denoted P+P) and the Gravesend Regisiter: List of Passengers who passed through the Port of London (denoted TNA with reference).

Johann Mattheis Plantz is on the passenger list for the ship Francis and Elizabeth that arrived in Philadelphia from Rotterdam on 21 Sept 1742. There is also a Leonhardt Plantz (descendants also called Plants) who came to America from Bavaria in 1749 aboard the ship Fane. (The following information was supplied by Sandra Griffith). Leonhardt's son Leonhardt Plantz was born 1730 in Rothenstein, Palatine, Bavaria, Germany and died in Pennsylvania, USA. Another son Christian Plants was also born in Rothenstein, on 21 April 1747 and died 5th May 1823 in Washington Co., PA. A Y-DNA result for the name Plants does not Y-DNA match with those for the name Plant(t).

Our DNA Testing Programme is helping to distinguish between various families, and between branches within a family, and can link them across distant geographies including overseas.

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