This Scottish habitation name of PROVINS from a place near Glasgow, was so called from the Middle English word 'provend', which was land providing revenue for a holder of religious office. It was originally derived from the Latin 'praebenda' meaning things to be supplied. The place was formerly held by the prebendary of Barlanark, one of the canons of Glasgow cathedral. The burghs of Scotland owe much of their prosperity to the large immigration of foreigners which went on during the 12th and 13th centuries. The original founders of the towns, were in many cases wanderers from Flanders, who brought with them their habits of industry and knowledge of trade and manufacturer. Settlers of this description came in great numbers to England in the reign of Henry I (1100-1135) and when Henry II (1154-1189) drove all foreigners out of his dominions they flocked into Scotland, where a more enlightened policy made them welcome.
This surname is also long connected with Strathblane and Killearn. Richard de Prebenda who was clerk to William the Lion, is probably the same Richard de Prebenda who was a charter witness circa. 1190, 1200 and 1231. Robert, surnamed de Prebenda was elected dean of Dunkeld in 1248, and an Adam de Prebenda was clerk to the king in 1263. Robert de Prebenda was the bishop of Dunblane between 1258 and 1282. Later instances of the name mention William Prouant, who was a tenant of Achloch in 1521, and Alexander Provand was a witness in Glasgow in 1552. Sir Robert Provane was the vicar of Strathblane in 1549. The surname has been found there continuously since. John Provan, (barber) was the burgess of Edinburgh in the year 1723.
The name has many variant spellings which include Provan, Provand, Proven and Provan.
The associated coat of arms is recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General. (Provan).
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