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Family History

The earliest record of a Le Plastrier birth is Jehan Le Plastrier born in 1420 in Rouen, France. Earlier mention of the name exist - two are listed in the 1292 census of Paris, but we have not been able to link these to Jehan. I am a direct descendant of Jehan.

The Le Plastrier family lived in Rouen for four hundred years before fleeing to London.

The Le Plastriers were Protestants who in France were known as Huguenots. The Catholics and Huguenots kept fighting each other and eventually many Huguenots had to run away when the law protecting them from Catholic attacks was withdrawn. The french King was a Catholic.

In 1685 another Jehan and his family, including his son Robert, fled to London. By then the family were Merchant Bankers and rich enough to pay for the journey. They had to leave much behind and lost their houses and things.

They were immigrants who were welcomed into England and soon decided to become English.

The Huguenots who escaped from France were skilled craftsmen, many were goldsmiths and the Le Plastrier family soon started making clocks and watches.

Over a hundred years later, after the french revolution, the french royal family had gone and a dictator called Napoleon was in charge of France. He decided to allow those who could prove they had lost their houses to claim them back.

In 1812 Louis and Issac Le Plastrier tried to win back the family homes lost when we ran away and to prove his case he prepared a family tree back to Jehan in 1420.

Unfortunately they tried to claim three houses and lost the court case. Having lost all his money trying to win the houses back Louis took his family to Australia to start a new life. We thought that today the Le Plastrier surname only survived in Australia, but since I started this project I have had e-mails from South Africa (Hi Jade, Mike and Cheryl), and America (thanks Emily and Geoff).

My great grandmother was a Le Plastrier. When she died in 1993 she was possibly the last Le Plastrier to have been born in England. Two years later, when I was born, my mummy and daddy decided to give me Le Plastrier as a middle name.

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