Hey, Garland - it's always a pleasure to read your postings. By the way, I expect to be living in Nash Co. by July of this year, so I hope you can show me around sometime. Sorry for the long posting, but here's an excerpt from an article called "The Avant-Avent Family of England" by Peter Wilson Coldham, taken from David Avant, Jr.'s "Florida Pioneers and their AL, GA, Carolina, MD & VA Ancestors." It references Avents in Cornwall, so some must have been there.
"It has been established through a detailed study of the sources that the Avants/Avents were mainly established from at least 1541 in Plympton, St. Mary, Devon, on which date John Avent was a witness at the Inquisition Post Mortem of Robert Brett. At later dates the Avents are found in Wembury, Brixton, Modbury, and other Devon parishes and in Cornwall.
The first mention of an Avent in the London area occurs in the Westminster Denization Rolls of 36 Henry VIII where a Raynt Avent, born in Normandy, is listed as living in Westminster with a wife and children in 1544. The Avent name occurs spasmodically in a number of London parish registers after that date but, for the most part, it seems likely that these were emigrants from Devon and not London born. The first such after Raynt Avent (of whose family no further information has been forthcoming) is George Avent, a waterman, against whom a suit was brought by the citizens of Gravesend, Kent (will, p. 51). There is no evidence of any Avent migration from London to the West Country and such a move would seem improbable. It seems more likely that the Devon and Cornwall family took its name from a local village, possibly Advent in Cornwall. There is also no evidence to suggest that any of the Avents settled in England were of Huguenot extraction. That the separate families of Devon and Cornwall were closely related can be demonstrated from the fragmentary remains of an early legal document."