Begent Family Genealogy

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Welcome to the Begent family Genealogy pages, and enjoy your stay. If you want to meet other Begents or are researching Begent ancestors or family connections then read on .....


Begent is not a particularly common family name - it occurs most in the South East areas of England along with variants such as Baigent, Bageant, Bagent and Baygent. There are records particularly of Begents in the Hastingleigh, Hythe and Folkestone areas of Kent, Alfriston and Brighton in Sussex, Ockham and Chobham in Surrey, and Hammersmith, Kensington, Soho and Westminster areas of London. There are 123 people with the surname Begent over the age of 18 currently registered on the electoral role in the UK published in March 2000. There are also Begents in France and the name had heraldic connections with the areas around Blois and Auvergne in the centre of France.

Many emigrated and the name is found in Utah, New York and Washington states in America. William Bageant went to America in 1755 with General Braddock's army, and his descendants are found in Virginia and Maryland. There are Begents in Canada, and in South Australia and Tasmania. Not all emigrated voluntarily - Eli Begent was transported to Tasmania in 1812 "at his Majesty's pleasure....". Read his story by clicking on Eli Begent.

The name is probably French in origin: One explanation has it deriving from the Old French "bel" or "beau" = fair or handsome, and "gent" = well born or noble. Another is that it is derived from a religious association of women known as the Beguines who started in Liege around 1170 and established communities known as Beguinages in Flanders and the Netherlands. The male equivalent were the Beghards who first appeared in Louvain in 1220 and were spiritual communities often connected with the city craft guilds of weaving and dying. Their beliefs were condemned by the Catholic Church, and in the 13th and 14th centuries they suffered under the religious wars and accusations of heresy leading to scattering of the members. Their anti-establishment thinking was among the seeds of Lutheranism and Protestantism in Germany and the Low Countries. A few convents of Beguines still exist in Belgium.

It is possible that Begents arrived in England from France or Flanders in the 1500s or 1600s. The main causes of emigration from France around this time were the exodus of the Protestant Huguenots between 1562-1598 culminating in the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. There are records of Begents, Bageants and Bajents in Kent and Surrey in England dating back to early 1600s. Baigents have been researched by Jim Baigent. To contact him and see his notes on Baigent ancestry click on Baigent

Begents in the Census of England 1841 - 1901

Click HERE to see Begent Records collected by Andy Begent from the Census from1841 - 1901.

Begent Contact Forum

Click HERE to enter the Begent Contact Forum. Here you can say hallo, meet others on line, share your family tree information and ask for help in tracing you Begent ancestors. Some of our correspondents have researched an amazing amount of information.

Family Trees

Click on these family trees which contain 1,182 Begent descendants in many parts of the World.

  • Simon's London Begent Family Tree
    6 generations and 223 descendants of Henry Begent born c.1785 married 1812 in Westminster, London
    Places: West London, Middlesex, Berkshire, Sussex, Surrey, Somerset, Scotland
  • Jan & Andy's Kent & US Begent Tree
    8 generations and 150 descendants of John Begent married 1776 in Brabourne, Kent
    Places: Kent, Derbyshire, Sussex, Essex, Utah USA, NSW Australia
  • Descendants of William Begent
    7generations and 74 descendants of William Begent born abt. 1788 in Dover, Kent
    Places: Kent, East London, Essex, Isle of Wight, Devon
  • Descendants of John Bedgant
    3 generations and 22 descendants including James Begent who married Mary Harman in 1820.

    Places: Hythe and Dover, Kent
  • Begents from the Dover area of Kent pre 1700
    Badgent, Begant, Bajent, Begeant and Begents in the Dover area of East Kent 1598-1665
    Places: Dover, Kent

  • Jan Hopgood's Australian Begent Tree
    6 generations and 117 descendants of Stephen Begent. His son Henry born in 1849 emigrated to Australia.
    Places: Kent, Western Australia, South Australia, and Victoria
  • Tracy's Kent & US Begent Tree
    5 generations and 43 descendants of John Begent married 1776 in Brabourne, Kent
    Places: Kent, Sussex, Kansas & Washington State USA
  • Descendants of James Begent
    7 generations and 123 descendants of James Begent born in 1803 in Chancery Lane, London
    Places: London, Bedfordshire, Cheshire, Nottingham, Manchester, NSW Australia, Ontario Canada
  • Family of Charles Waring Begent
    Family and 6 children of Charles Waring Begent born abt 1806 in London.
    Places: London
  • Canadian Descendants of Rachael Begent
    5 generations and 82 descendants of Rachael Begent born in 1840 in London. She married
    Robert Purves and they emigrated to Canada in 1871. Places: Ontario Canada, Ohio USA
  • Tasmanian Descendants of Eli Begent
    7 generations and 198 descendants of Eli Begent (Baigent) born in 1789 in Farnham Surrey.
    Places: Tasmania, NSW and Western Australia
  • Virginian Descendants of Richard Bageant
    7 generations and 159 descendants of Richard Bageant married 1722. His son William
    went to America in 1755 with General Braddock's army.

    Places: Virginia and Maryland, USA

Search these family trees with an Index of Begent descendants. Kustel Family trees

Begent Search

  • Ancestral Begents extracts from the International Genealogical Index showing some births, christenings and marriages for 175 Begents in UK, USA and Australia from 1720-1920.
  • Search the family records of the LDS Family Search and sites.
  • WW1 Begents extracts from the UK Public Records Office of Begent military records


Chambers 20th C. dictionary defines a 'Bejan', from the french Béjaune 'Young Bird' or Bec jaune 'Yellow Beak', as a University Freshman (1st year student). In Scotland a Freshman is known at Aberdeen University as a 'Bajan' and at St Andrew's University as a 'Bejant'. Female first-year students are known as 'Bejantines'. In the Kate Kennedy pageant at St. Andrew's University there appears a 'Beardless Begent' who is a Freshman. Kate Kennedy was the niece of a historically important Bishop James Kennedy. The Scottish student's song book dated 1891 mentions in the St Andrew's section "The Bejant's Song".

French connection

There are stories of a Fouchè Begent, Master of Deputies at the French Court, who escaped from France with his family during the French Revolution, a Rene de Begent - Captain of French Privatus Fleet, Red Rufus Begent, and Black Stephen Begent.

Joe Bageant has an original calfskin document from Lyon, France, which is a commission to a government post for a Leiutenant Joffse Bajeant dated 1566 and signed with wax seals by five French officials.

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