This surname DEMONT was a French topographic name for someone who lived on or near a hill, originally derived from the French word MONT, and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form MONTIS. An English family named Moens, are said to be derived from the town of Mons in Hainault, trace their descent from Godefridus de Monte. He is recorded in a charter in 1200, and there is evidence that he was related to the Dukes of Brabant. The family were later established in Brussels, where members held high office from 1287, and later still moved to Rotterdam. Jacob Moens (born in 1796) was a West Indies merchant who left Holland to settle in England during the rule of Napoleon I. The earliest French hereditary surnames are found in the 12th century, at more or less the same time as they arose in England, but they are by no means common before the 13th century, and it was not until the 15th century that they stabilized to any great extent; before then a surname might be handed down for two or three generations, but then abandoned in favour of another. In the south, many French surnames have come in from Italy over the centuries, and in Northern France, Germanic influence can often be detected. The surname has spread widely throughout Europe in many forms which include Munt, Monte, Delmonte, Dal Monte and Montesino. Early records of the name in England include William de Monte Acuto, who was recorded in Southampton in 1273, and Symon de Monte, was documented in Devon in the same year. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name. Later instances of the name include William Ediall and Elizabeth Munt who were married in Canterbury in the year 1677, and Mary, daughter of John Munt, was baptised at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in 1692. The associated coat of arms for the name DEMONT is recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General. Registered in France.
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