Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Variants: de Savignac, 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 the Poitou region of France. They were Huguenots (Calvinist Protestants) who had for many years had 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 However, this was revoked by King Louis XIV in 1685 and the persecution recommenced. It is estimated that up to 900,000 Huguenots left France over the coming two decades, many coming to England and settling in London. Many of the Huguenots were artisans 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 settled in St. Olave's, Southwark and described himself as an "oyle leather dresser".
Savignac - Stedman
The Stedman family married into the Savignac family in 1826 and a few years later the Savignac name died out in the UK. The last recorded BMD entry was the death of Mary Savignac in 1855. 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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