The Quilietti Family

The story of a Scots Italian family

COWIE and Cant Connections Aberdeen

COWIE Village, Kincardineshire, East Scotland.

There was a Village called Cowie in Aberdeenshire. Cowie is an historic fishing village in KincardineshireScotland. This village has existed since the Middle Ages, but in current times it is effectively subsumed into the town of Stonehaven


COWIE Residences

There were different types of mills in Aberdeen at this time, the Cotton Mills and also the Mills producing Carpets. Others produced stockings. Others Knitwear. . But the 1851 Scottish Census tells us that the family were residing at No. 2 Porthill, Aberdeen.


By 1871 the family had moved to Perth Barracks after a stint in India. Their daughter Marion had been born at Sea on the way over in 1864. Their son Alexander born in Thansi in the East Indies in 1869.

Perth Barracks were also called the Queens Barracks.

The barracks were established in the north west of the city as a home for cavalry regiments in 1793.[1] It became the home to the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen’s Bays) and it was from this regiment that the barracks derived its name.The barracks were subsequently converted to take infantry regiments.[1]

In 1873 a system of recruiting areas based on counties was instituted under the Cardwell Reforms and the barracks became the depot for the 42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment of Foot and the 79th (Cameron Highlanders) Regiment of Foot. Following the Childers Reforms, the 42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment of Foot amalgamated with the 73rd (Perthshire) Regiment of Foot to form the Black Watch with its depot in the barracks

The CANT connection

The surname Cant is an occupational name for a precentor, the leader of the singing of hymns in a cathedral or monastery. The surname is derived from the Old Norman French word cant, which in turn comes from the Old French word chant, which means singing or song.

The distinguished surname Cant emerged among the industrious people of  Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the  Flemish and English nations, many  Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same  personal name.  Occupational surnames were derived from the common trades of the medieval era. The surname Cant is an occupational name for a precentor, the leader of the singing of hymns in a cathedral or monastery. The surname is derived from the Old Norman French word cant, which in turn comes from the Old French word chant, which means singing or song

Early Origins of the Cant family

The surname Cant was first found in Fife where they held a  family seat from very ancient times, of Flemish origin and arrived in  Scotland about the year 1200 from Flanders.

One of the earliest records of the family was William Cant and Sithow Cant who were tenants under the Douglases in Telny in the barony of Aberdoure, Fife, 1376. 

“A writer in the Scottish antiquary (IV) says that the name occurs in the Exchequer Rolls in the fifteenth century, and that the family, by trade dealers in cloth, supplied the king’s household. They were evidently, he says, Flemings, and are mentioned in connection with  Flanders. They obtained land at Masterton near Dunfermline, which their descendants of the name still possess. A family of the name early attained prominence in Edinburgh, where the name was common in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Adam Cant was bailie there, 1403, and James Cant was chosen dean of guild, 1413.” 


Comments are closed.