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Lachenal-a Village In South Central France

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Does this help with the origin of Lachenal? This is in the mountains about 1 hour north east of Tulle and about 1/2 hour from where I live. There is a beautiful old Templar church there that the concertina sounds very good in.

 

Maybe an interesting pilgrimage for the concertinist! Never the less, it should help with the origin of the Lachenals.

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Does this help with the origin of Lachenal? ... Maybe an interesting pilgrimage for the concertinist! Never the less, it should help with the origin of the Lachenals.

Now that's very interesting, and certainly the name has always sounded "French" to me, and looks it even more since the English branch of the family changed it to La Chenal at the time of the First World War.

 

But what I've read so far has suggested a German origin! A dictionary of Swiss names said it derived from the name of a river in Germany, whilst there are a whole set of German names that derive from Lach/Lache; meaning a family who lived near a boundary.

 

Hmmm ... :unsure:

 

This is in the mountains about 1 hour north east of Tulle ...

And curiously that town would be famous for the making of accordions, though not until long after Louis Lachenal had died ...

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Any Huguenot persecution going on in Lachenal that might explain an exodus?

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1861 Census gives Louis Lachenal's age as 39, with place of birth as Geneva (NB Subject). Louis' wife was French (Ferney).

 

If I can find a format which the Forum will accept, I'll post the Census entry.

 

Regards,

Peter.

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UK 1861 Census has the Lachenal family living in London.

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1861 Census gives Louis Lachenal's age as 39, with place of birth as Geneva (NB Subject).

To quote from my article Louis Lachenal: "Engineer and Concertina Manufacturer" (Part 1) :

 

[Footnote]
19
His Census Returns contradict themselves regarding his age. In 1851 (30-31 March), he is stated to be thirty, but in 1861 (7-8 April), he is listed as being thirty-nine (but should have been forty if the 1851 Return is correct). Both Returns agree that he was born in Geneva. The documents are: 1851 Census HO 107/1510 480 (p. 27) and 1861 Census RG 9/192 (p. 25). Finally, his Death Certificate (18 December 1861) gives his age as "40 Years."

I have only very recently, and at long last, located Louis on the 1841 Census (which became available with indexing, and online, only a few weeks ago) where his name is wrongly given as Louis Lachanell. It tells us that he still gave his occupation as Watch Maker in early June 1841, though by September of that year he was a Mechanic (that is, an Engineer in modern parlance) on his patent with Antoine Vieyres, and that his correct address at the time was Macclesfield Street, Soho (not the non-existent Fitchfield Street indicated in the Patent). No wonder he was impossible to find before!

 

 

Louis' wife was French (Ferney).

And:

 

He must have journeyed home to Switzerland in 1847, for on 10 November of that year, he returned to England through the Port of Folkestone "with his wife." Her maiden name was Jeanne (or Françoise) Marie Elisabeth Irion, and she came from Ferney Voltaire, just across the French border from Geneva.

The independent territory of Ferney ("in three sovereignties and depending on none of them" - Voltaire) was where the French author and philosopher Voltaire became a landowner and lord of the village, and spent the last twenty years (1758-1778) of his life. During that time he turned it from an impoverished village, with a population of only 150, into a prosperous small town with more than 1000 inhabitants. Hence it became known as Ferney Voltaire.

 

 

(NB Subject)

Meaning "Not British Subject": Neither Louis nor his wife became naturalised, and I know that the birth of at least one of their children (so probably the rest too?) was registered in Geneva, as well as in London, so they seem to have remained staunchly Swiss.

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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The City of Geneva is in a spur of Switzerland almost entirely surrounded by France, so has probably always had a strong French connection. The town of Annemasse for example functions as a suburb of Geneva and I know two people from SW France who have spent all or part of their working lives there.

 

On the other hand it should be noted after the 100 years war large areas of South West France were depopulated by the activities of the English. Subsequentley when the area was repopulated, settlements were named after the family groups that settled there - this can be seen by names such as Chez Coudret, Chez Jamais, Chez Paris etc. there are hundreds. So it is possible that the village of Lachenal was named after the family that settled there rather than the Lachenal family coming from that place. Although of course both are possible. I'll add here that I am not an expert in French Toponymics I just happened to read the above in a book once.

 

Also, from the dictionary; Le Chenal - The channel.

 

I hope the above of some interest and perhaps some use.

 

rouge

Edited by red

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Does this help with the origin of Lachenal? ... Maybe an interesting pilgrimage for the concertinist! Never the less, it should help with the origin of the Lachenals.
Now that's very interesting, and certainly the name has always sounded "French" to me, and looks it even more since the English branch of the family changed it to La Chenal at the time of the First World War.
... from the dictionary; Le Chenal - The channel.

Indeed, and I did some Googling tonight and came across a family history website, The Chenard Families of North America, with a link to some very interesting New Chenard Information that suggests a connection between the names Chenard/Chenal/Chanal and the Darnets region of Corrèze, speculating especially about the hamlet of Lachenal.

 

But what I've read so far has suggested a German origin! A dictionary of Swiss names said it derived from the name of a river in Germany ...

I can't find my notes on this at the moment, but I believe that this was probably the Dictionnaire historique et biographique de la Suisse (Neuchâtel, 1928) which I consulted in the beautiful old Round Reading Room of the British Library many years ago. I recall that it said the river in question was in southern Germany, so maybe it was the River Lech?

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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Stephen, I find your discovery of the “Chenal” family extremely interesting. As you noticed, the dictionary (The Oxford-Hachette Concise French Dictionary) gave “Le Chenal” (masculine noun) it made me wonder whether we can therefore assume “Lachenal” is a contraction of "La Famille Chenal" ? The “ book I once read” – Xavier de Planhol’s “ An historical geography of France” referring to late medieval place names gives on Page 141 “, these are formed with the articles Le-, La- or Les-and they refer to a person or family group. If indeed Louis Lachenal is proved to be of French descent then a further line of enquiry might be towards a Huguenot connection (as suggested, if somewhat erroneously, by an earlier correspondent). It is a fact that French Protestants did represent the most capable of Louis XIV’s subjects, many of them skilled artisans and many fleeing to Switzerland – (did they found the Swiss watch industry?). I am certain there will be a Swiss Huguenot society, which could be approached for information. Of course the “Revocation of the Edict of Nantes” which triggered their departure from France was in 1685 and not contemporary with Louis Lachenal’s emigration to England.

 

NB please don’t assume any expertise from the above, I know as little about linguistics as I do about toponymics, I am not however, claiming to be uninterested in them, but am just throwing a few ideas around - for what they are worth.

 

red

Edited by red

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As you noticed, the dictionary (The Oxford-Hachette Concise French Dictionary) gave “Le Chenal” (masculine noun) it made me wonder whether we can therefore assume “Lachenal” is a contraction of "La Famille Chenal" ?

It would remind me of the way that "un crème" is used as a contraction for "un café crème" (meaning a coffee made with heated milk), whilst otherwise the noun for cream is feminine; "une crème".

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Nice one. And who is now living in this village? Any concertina players?

 

Who's gonna be first to have their picture taken playing a Lachenal at the road sign.

 

Could become as famous as Abbey Road.

 

Chas

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I'll put the photo on my website. Might create some interest.

 

Just noted my membership number is probably the same as the year my Lachenal was made.

 

Now that's nice too.

 

Chas

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Does this help with the origin of Lachenal? This is in the mountains about 1 hour north east of Tulle and about 1/2 hour from where I live. There is a beautiful old Templar church there that the concertina sounds very good in.

 

Maybe an interesting pilgrimage for the concertinist! Never the less, it should help with the origin of the Lachenals.

Before we start organising pilgrimages, It is good to know that there is another Lachenal in France (about 10 km west of Périgueux).

I have attached a map from a route-planner. On this map another place with an interesting name can be found: Abc :o

post-37-1150147500_thumb.jpg

Edited by Henk van Aalten

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I have attached a map from a route-planner. On this map another place can be found with an interesting name: Abc :o

post-37-1150147500_thumb.jpg

The French are systemist! :o

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Does this help with the origin of Lachenal? This is in the mountains about 1 hour north east of Tulle and about 1/2 hour from where I live. There is a beautiful old Templar church there that the concertina sounds very good in.

 

Maybe an interesting pilgrimage for the concertinist! Never the less, it should help with the origin of the Lachenals.

Before we start organising pilgrimages, It is good to know that there is another Lachenal in France (about 10 km west of Périgueux).

I have attached a map from a route-planner. On this map another place with an interesting name can be found: Abc :o

post-37-1150147500_thumb.jpg

 

As Tulle is about 100 k east of Périgueux I am sure they are one and the same

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Red,

 

The Lachenal I described is 10 km west of Périgueux....

 

Sqeezora's Lachenal is 1 hour north east of Tulle...

Does this help with the origin of Lachenal? This is in the mountains about 1 hour north east of Tulle and about 1/2 hour from where I live...

As you say yourself: Tulle is 100km east of Périgueux.

As Tulle is about 100 k east of Périgueux I am sure they are one and the same

So how are you so sure that they are one and the same??

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The Lachenal I described is 10 km west of Périgueux....

Sqeezora's Lachenal is 1 hour north east of Tulle...

...Tulle is 100km east of Périgueux.

Could the town of Lachenal actually be a gypsy encampment, with no fixed location? :unsure: :lol:

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You're right

Red,

 

The Lachenal I described is 10 km west of Périgueux....

 

Sqeezora's Lachenal is 1 hour north east of Tulle...

Does this help with the origin of Lachenal? This is in the mountains about 1 hour north east of Tulle and about 1/2 hour from where I live...

As you say yourself: Tulle is 100km east of Périgueux.

As Tulle is about 100 k east of Périgueux I am sure they are one and the same

So how are you so sure that they are one and the same??

 

As I could only find the one, and my "map of" seems quite thorough, and I obviously can't tell east from west, and it was first thing in the morning, and it's been a hot and sticky night, thats why I was so sure!

You're right, there are probably dozens of them.

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