Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Vousden One-Name Study - First Post

It is almost six months since I registered my grandmother's maiden name VOUSDEN with the Guild of One-Name Studies and more than three months since I launched my dedicated web site to the Vousden name. The site is devoted to Vousdens Worldwide, including the origins of the Vousden surname.

Even in these past few weeks I have added new names to my list of Vousden correspondents, and cousins, and succeeeded in helping some of them discover more about their own immediate family. However, the Vousden One-Name Study is concerned not with my Vousden family but with the name, and for me at least a principal aim is to find out where the Vousdens came from.

Over the past 400 years Vousdens have been strongly centred in and around the village of Goudhurst in Kent, England. They have lived here since at least the second half of the sixteenth century and today more Vousdens seem to trace their ancestry back to Goudhurst than to any other place. I would like to know where they came from to live in Goudhurst, or whether they have "always" been there. And I would like to know the origin and meaning of the name.

At this time I do not have answers to these questions. The 'conventional wisdom' amongst many Vousden researchers is that we descend from Huguenots escaping persecution in France, but I have yet to find any evidence for this. If you have it, or any other thoughts on the matter, please let me know!

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