Huguenot Names

Robert E. Matheson
1909
Chapter IV | Start of chapter

Representatives of other races have from time to time settled in this country; prominent amongst these may be mentioned the French and Flemish Huguenots. The Irish Parliament in 1674 passed an Act granting letters of naturalization to the refugees. The Duke of Ormonde, then Viceroy, patronized them, and through his instrumentality, colonies of them were founded at Dublin, Kilkenny, Portarlington, Waterford, Cork, and Lisburn.

They started manufactures of silk, gloves, lace, cloth, and linen. The manufacture of “Irish Poplin” in the Liberties of Dublin had its origin with these industrious foreigners, and in the north of Ireland they established the manufacture of linen and cambric.

Many Huguenot names are still amongst us; the following may be given as examples—Barré, Blacquiere, Boileau, Chaigneau, Du Bedat, Champion, Chenevix, Corcellis, Crommelin, Delacherois, Drelincourt, Dubourdieu, Du Cros, Fleury, Gaussen, Logier, Guerin, Hazard (Hassard), La Touche, Le Fevre, Lefroy, Lefanu, Maturin, Perrin, Saurin, Trench, Des Vignolles.

I have been furnished by Dr. Mitchell with the following notes regarding the Huguenot settlement in Portarlington at present:—

“There is at the present time (June, 1893) in the Townland of ‘Deerpark’ near Portarlington, a colony of men of pure Huguenot descent.”

“Mr. Smiles, in his book on ‘The Huguenots’ (1867), states, the Blancs, butchers, transmitted the business from father to son for more than 150 years, and they are still recognisable at Portarlington under the name of ‘Blong.’ Not only is this so, but there are three families of them there now, two of which have retained (or returned to) the original spelling of the surname Blanc—as can be seen in our Register Books, and the trade of butchering is still followed by the family.

“The Medical Officer of Cloneygowan Dispensary District, Dr. Tabuteau, represents another Portarlington Huguenot family, and his father, the late Dr. Tabuteau (now eighteen years dead), remembered the time when Divine service was conducted in French. The surnames Boileau and Des Voeux have disappeared from this locality only a few years ago, General Boileau and Major Des Voeux with their families having left Portarlington. There is an aged carpenter here, ‘La Combre,’ of pure Huguenot descent, so that this name also, as well as another, ‘Champ,’ may be added to the list. The ‘Corcellis’ family now spell it Corsellis, and the full surname ‘Des Vignolles’ still occurs.”