Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Variants: de Savignac, Savignae, Savinac
Category: 1 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is in its early stages.
Contact: Dr Nick Stedman
A branch of the Savignac family came to England about 1700 from Niort in the Poitou region of France. They were Huguenots (Calvinist Protestants) who had for many years been persecuted. In 1598 King Henry IV of France signed the Edict of Nantes which gave the Huguenots substantial rights to follow their own religion. However, this was revoked by King Louis XIV in 1685 and the persecution recommenced. Many Huguenots left France over the coming two decades, about 40 to 50,000 coming to England and settling in London and Surrey. Many of the Huguenots were artisans who specialised in the techniques of bleaching and dyeing, felt and hat making, and of silk weaving, and their departure had a detrimental effect on the French economy with a subsequent boost to the economies of the countries where they settled. Jean Savignac came to England with his family about 1700 and was naturalised by letters patent dated 3 July 1701. He initially settled in St. Olave's, Southwark and described himself as an "oyle leather dresser". The Savignacs later set up a factory on the banks of the Wandle in Mitcham/Carshalton at Beddington Corner and produced leather and parchment.
Savignac - Stedman
The Stedman family married into the Savignac family in 1826 when Dr Robert Stedman married Theodosia Mary Savignac. Not long after the Savignac name died out in the UK with the death of Mary Savignac in 1855, who was Theodosia’s mother. Since then the Stedman family over many generations, including millenials and generation Z, have taken great care to use Savignac as a middle or first name whether male or female.
This family tree includes the Stedman family of Sussex and NW Kent and many of its branches including the Le Mesuriers of Alderney, the Potters of Wandsworth and Pakenham and the Slaneys of Wellington.
The Savignac family worldwide
Another branch of the family settled in Quebec and today this branch is thriving. A much smaller number are to be found in the USA.
Variants are often due to mispellings. For example, BMD has Mary Savignac but the GRO has her as Mary Savignae.
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