Brad, I am sorry for not acknowledging and thanking you for the excellent, detailed post you made in May of last year. I do keep it in mind and refer back to it occasionally.
Recently, Brett Ruzek has researched and documented my Fanta immigrant ancestor: Blazej 'August' Fanta and he was born in 1849 in Bukovina, near Kralovice, Plzen-North. Brett also traced back the direct paternal line from Blazej, to Karel Fanta, Sr., married in 1702 in Plana Parish in Plzen-North district. Karel and his son Karel, were potters at Kacerov. So my Fanta line has pretty deep roots in Plzen-North district. Of course, I would still like to know how they got there and it does seem likely that the surname traces back somehow to an assimilitated Jewish migrant in the 1600s (or earlier?).
Your reference to Fantin being an early French variant of the surname caught my eye. Henri Fantin-Latour was a 19th century French painter in whom I have taken a recent interest. Amazing portraits and floral still lifes among his works.
Thank you again,