How Do You Determine Whether Your Surname Is Huguenot in Origin?


Quick Answer

A number of organizations maintain comprehensive lists of Huguenot names that can be used to determine family origin, including The National Huguenot Society and the Huguenot Society of Australia.. Because of the persecution they faced in France as a result of their Protestant faith, the descendants of Huguenots can now be found in the Netherlands, England, Germany, Switzerland, the United States and many other countries, as noted by the Huguenot Society of America. The Society also maintains a list of surnames on its website under "ancestors."

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How Do You Determine Whether Your Surname Is Huguenot in Origin?
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Full Answer

While these lists can be used to determine if a surname was commonly shared by Huguenots, there is no way to conclusively prove that a name is of Huguenot origin short of tracing the family history. For example, Dubourdieu is a famous Huguenot name, yet the Dubourdieus in Australia are predominantly Catholic. This is because Huguenot names are ultimately just French names, and not every member of a given French family necessarily converted to Protestantism or remained Catholic.

It is also important to keep in mind that many Huguenot names have multiple spellings, such as Delaforce and Delforce. Similarly, many Huguenots adapted their names to other cultures when they emigrated from France. Mandeno and De Klerk, for example, are originally derived from Mandinieu and Le Clercq, respectively.

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