THE HISTORY OF THE RACINES IN EUROPE
It is virtually impossible to be precise in locating the origins of the
Racine family in Europe, particularly in France. This is due in part
to the absence of civil records prior to the 17th century. Therefore, we
must be satisfied with drawing conclusions from the documents
which are available.
With respect to the meaning of the Racine name, Albert Dauzat, author of
the Etymological Dictionary of names and surnames of France offers
this explanation and provides us with information on the origins of the
Racine name: "It is a surname describing a country peasant with a stubborn
attachment to the land". The other interpretation, not from Dauzat, bears Frankish origins and recalls the Racineburgs, who were known to
be wise and assisted the Counts of Carolingian, the people in charge of
administering justice throughout the land. These affirmations seem to fit our ancestors, who greatly enjoyed working the land and also, in the old days, many Racines were educated and were in the practice of law, in the
midst of the great families of the kingdom of France.
The Racine surname is mentioned for the first time when the Knight Ponce
de Racines, Lord of the Racine manor, married at Pameron de Briel,
located in the Champagne area between the villages of Troyes and Auxerre.
He served the King of France, (Louis the VII) in the 2nd Crusade which ended
in 1149 with the disastrous siege of Damascus.
This illustrious family who had direct descendants in Champagne until the 14th century carries the following Coat of Arms:
Azure three left hands appaumée Or.
From the 15th to the 17th century, the descendants of this family appear to have perpetuated
with the Racine Nobles of Forgirard and Villegomblain , located in Val-de-Loire. Louis Racine,
"Grand Maître des Eaux et Forêts" of Blois city
and his son, Francois Racine (1530-1619), governor of Blois city, carried the same Coat of Arms.
The grand-daughter of Louis Racine, Louise de Racine, married in 1565, at Bouffry, Vincent Tascher de la Pagerie.
Empress Joséphine, Emperor Napoléon III and the kings of Belgium and Sweden are part of their descendance. And in Normandy, during
the 17th century right up to the French Revolution, the Racine who was Lord of Tremblay of Neuville-sur-Authou
carried a very similar coat of arms. Needless to say, the Racines who were identified as the Lords of Tremblay, vallots Beaulieu, and those who were considered "common people"
can be found in great numbers in Neuville-sur-Authou and the surrounding villages such as Morainville, Le Theil-Othon and
Fumichon, the latter being the birth
village of Étienne Racine, ancestor of the majority of the Racine families in North America.
One wonders if there exists a family relationship or a link among them? We believe there is, but there are no records that exist
which would allow us to prove our theory.
We find the Racine origins particularly important in the north of France and
also in other countries. Here is a partial listing:
- Guillaume and Tubold Racine
- became established in the village of
Castillon en Auge during the period (1225-1270) and probably left descendants in the
- Guillaume Racine
- who can be traced as far back as 1255 in Falaise, probably
left descendants in the area. Louise Racine great-great-grand mother of Edith Gassion (Édith Piaf), who is a world
renown celebrated singer, is probably part of his descendance.
- Guillaume Racine,
- surgeon, accompanied the King of France, Good John
the 2nd, during his captivity in London from 1357 to 1359. He also left descendants
who practiced medicine and law in Liseux before becoming Lords of Boscherville (Eure).
- Simon Racine
- de Morainville 1579-1599 married Marthe Cauvin and
Jacques Racine married Marguerite Maingot in 1640. Their descendants
can be traced for two centuries later.
- Nicolas Racine
- of Rouen 1674-1715 left a many
He is most likely related to Jean Racine, the sculptor of the cathedral
in Rouen and Pierre Racine of Saumur, an architect.
- Pierre Racine
Anveville (1620-1698) who married Madeleine Le Prince
around 1660, left many descendants in Anveville, Yvetôt, Belmesnil,
Dieppe, Rouen, and St. Basile de Madawaska, New Brunswick, (Canada) and Montevideo (Uruguay).
- René Racine,
- of Fumichon, married Marie Loysel around 1590 and left
descendants in the neighboring communities. His son, Etienne, born in
Fumichon in 1606 is the common ancestor to the majority of Racines found
in North America .
- The Racines, Guillaume and Nicolas Racine of Rennes, Lords of Galisson,
- probably related, were lawyers, advisors and solicitors of the
Rennes Parliament, Senechal of Fougeres and Crepy en Valois during the
15th century. Several Racine families in Brittany were originally from the
villages of Baguermorvan and Bonnemain.
- It should be noted that the village of Corseul is where you will find the origins of the
Later these Raciné became Racine or Racinet in the region, mostly at Ploubalay and St-Lunaire.
- Nicolas Racine
- bailiff and Lord of Ormoy of Crepy of Valois
(Oire)(1617-1694) was knighted by King Louis XIV
in 1687 and became the Royal counsel secretary.
He left famous descendants right up to the French Revolution, and some family members were also titled
Lord of Jonquay, Baron de Monville,
who held several important functions at Alençon, Orleans and Rouen.
This family was probably related to the famous poet Jean Racine (1639-1699) from Ferte-Milon. His uncles were responsible for the
salt lofts in that area. In 18th century, the districts
of Abbeville, St. Riquier and Brucamps where the origin of several important Racine families.
- Jean-Baptiste Racine
- born in the parish of St-Severin, Paris (1693-1732) was the son of Jean-Baptiste Racine Lord of Reaumont,
officer of the King's office in Paris. He married Marie-Madeleine Gosse in 1720 at Pointe-Noire, Guadeloupe, and left an
many descendants in the island.
- Léogard Racine
- was born in 1580 at Provencheres (Doubs) and left
many descendants who provided France with many valiant soldiers. At least 12 of the 28 Racines were knighted into the order of the Legion of
Honour. Today we find their descendants in Paris, Marseille, Metz, Besancon and Dijon.
- Guillaume Racine
- from Le Barboux, was the manor advisor for the seigneury of Reaumont between 1432 and 1437.
- François Racine procurator, and
- Blaise-Joseph Racine lawyer,
- both were members of Besançon Parliament at the
beginning of the 18th century.
- Guillaume Racine
- Born about 1510 at Lamboing (canton of Bern), left a large number of descendants in the area.
Today, his descendants can be found mostly in the canton of Bern and also in many cities of
the United States (America)
- During the religious wars, several Racines sought refuge in neighboring
countries ie: Switzerland, Britain, Germany, and other European countries.
- This explains the significant presence of the Racines at Chaux de Fonds
(Canton of Neuchatel) at Tramelan and Lamboing (Canton of Bern, Switzerland).
Among these important families there is census data for at least ten Racine names from 1665 to 1825, who practiced the profession of notary and
judiciary in the cantons of Neuchâtel or Bern.
The brothers Aime, Auguste, Frederic and Jacob Racine,
from the Canton of Bern, emigrated to the United
States about 1865
and settled in Fort Wayne (Indiana) where they left many descendants. Also from the same canton, Abram-Gedeon Racine (1795-1844) and
his family settled in Mustapha, Algeria about 1840.
Mount Racine, (elevation: 1439 meters), near Le Locle, Canton of Neuchâtel, will
always be a reminder of their historical presence.
- Today there are more than 1500 Racines residing in France, 600
in Switzerland, and more than 100 in the others European countries.