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Comerford Family History
A Brief Family History
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Comerford d’Aunou family: a brief historical summary

 

 

Overview from early times

 

The family takes its name from Baron Fulco d’Aunou (Fulques d’Aunou) of Aunou le Faucon via Argentan, in Normandy, France. Fulco, born 1004, was the second son of Baldric le Teuton , born 977, of Bacqueville in Normandy, and Clare de Clare, born 981. Baldric was a son of Wigerius (Wiger), born 952, one of a number of Jewish traders brought into Normandy from Germany by Duke Richard 1st in an endeavour to boost trade in Normandy. Clare was a daughter of Richard de Clare, born 948, and Rohesia, born 959, a natural daughter of Duke Richard 1st and a concubine of name unknown. Clare was a full sister of Geoffrey de Brionne. By his descent from Richard the First Fulco was a second cousin of William the Conqueror. Fulco married Hadvisa whose family is unknown to the writer.

 

Baldric had his home in Bacqueville-en-Caux, Normandy. He and his family were for a short time in Apulia, Italy, about 1017. Here they adopted as the family seal the Byzantine symbol of the crescent moon and the pentagonal star. This symbol was later adopted by the Turkish Empire and later again became the symbol of Islam. In Ireland this symbol was subsequently altered to the bugle horn and star and was incorporated into the family coat of arms, for in Ireland the Irish founding father Henry de Quemerford d’Aunou was appointed Great Master of the Game. Fulco or an early descendant also adopted the displayed eagle from the Byzantine flag as the family shield charge but this subsequently came to be shown on the shield as a fess and four eagles. Baldric’s six sons all rose to great prominence and founded families that were to establish themselves among the leading families of Normandy and Great Britain including the families of de Bacqueville/Baskerville, d’Aunou/Dando/Comerford, de Courci and de Neuville/Neville. His two daughters likewise helped to establish and were members of prominent families

 

Fulco is one of 30 or so people known by name to have fought at Hastings. He is also shown on several documents to have been a witness to a number of documents of Duke William before the Conquest including one between William and the Pope. He was succeeded in Aunou le Faucon by his son Fulco. The d’Aunou family name is still to be found today in the area around Argentan. The name Fulco means falcon and the name Fulco d’Aunou means hunter of the forest, that is the forest about the Orne River. Baron Fulco d’Aunou was a warrior and one of the leading Norman lords. His name is on the Battle Abbey Roll (naming those known to have taken part in the Conquest) posted by the French Government in 1931 in the Town Hall of Falaise in Normandy (the birthplace of The Conqueror). Also on the roll are Baldric’s son Richard de Neuville and grandsons Richard and Aubri de Courci and Gilbert de Neuville. (The family names of his other sons, de Bacqueville, de Balgenzais and Apulensis, do not appear but they may well have taken part in the Conquest and indeed their names may be shown in other forms.)

 

A second son of Fulco, probably Nicholas, settled in Quemerford Village near Calne in Wiltshire, England. A branch of this family moved to Somerset and eventually elided the name to Dando and gained considerable prominence. Another branch, founded by Henry, went to Ireland with Prince John in 1185 landing at Crooke (Crucan – the little hill) near Passage East (An Pasaiste) in Waterford at noon on the 25th April of that year. In Ireland he adopted the Gaelic name of O’Comartun (pronounced O’Comartoon). The family name seems to have died out at Quemerford by 1400. In Ireland the family settled in County Kilkenny and took the name de Quemerford after the English Village of that name. After about 1400 most family members simplified the name to Quemerford and from about 1620 it gradually took the form of Comerford although the original form of Quemerford was still in use well into the 1700’s. The Irish branch was to gain great prominence and at one stage was in possession of seven castles including the now restored Ballybur Castle just south of Kilkenny City, built by Richard Quemerford in 1480. In the early 1400’s Richard de Quemerford of Maiowestern (born 1370c) and grandfather of the above Richard of Ballybur, was elevated to the position of Baron of Danganmore, a palatine title bestowed on behalf of the English monarch Henry IV by the Irish lord James Butler, Lord of Ormond. In 1433 his nephew Fulco assumed the office of Mayor of Waterford and his descendants held high rank in that city 1648. The family was dispossessed during the English invasion under Cromwell in 1648, most especially because they offered strong resistance. Interestingly, the name Fulco continued in the Irish family until recent times.

 

[By way of note all of the Kilkenny castles, Danganmore, Ballybur, Ballymacka, Kilbline, Derryleigh and Inchihologhan were in close proximity and are a little to the north of Kilnaspic which is in the area of Mooncoin. Ballybur (fully restored) and Kilbline still stand and remnants of Danganmore are still evident. When the writer visited Kilbline the owners, the Lennon family, were working to maintain it. Also, the name Richard is dominant in the family and extends back as far as Fulco (1004) when one of his brothers was Richard – Richard de Neuville. At Ballybur there were four Richards in succession. The writer’s father was Richard, named after his grandfather.]

 

The d’Aunou seal of the crescent moon and star was used by the family in Quemerford as the family seal for several centuries. At the time of Fulco or soon after the French branch of the family adopted for their shield charge a fess and four eagles displayed. The Byzantine flag showed an eagle displayed. This eagle image is also like the falcon.

 

The writer’s own family was from the Mooncoin district of Kilkenny and are descendent from the lords of Derryleigh who were in turn scions of the lords of Ballybur, Barons of Danganmore. The Australian founding father was Patrick Comerford d’Aunou who migrated to Australia in 1885, arriving on the 24th January of that year, exactly 700 years after the Irish landing, and settled in the Mansfield district where his descendants are to this day.

 

Kilnaspic is at map reference latitude 5021' north and longitude 715' west and is 100 metres above sea level. The complete location description is, in English and Gaelic: Kilnaspic (Coill-na-Easpag), Mooncoin (Moin Choinn), Iverk Barony (Hy-erc Baruntacht or Uibh Eirc Baruntacht), County Kilkenny (Contae Cill Chainnigh), Leinster Province, (Cuige Laighean), Ireland (Eire). Kilnaspic is variously written Killanaspick or Killanaspug, Kilnaspic means "forest of the bishop": Coill - forest, na - of the, and easpug - bishop. Mooncoin means "mossy place".  Kilkenny  means  "church of St Canice". It is in the civil parish of Clonmore. The physical environment has been generally described in the Introduction. It is a very beautiful place, gently undulating country, green, well treed and productive.

 

Family place names

 

A) d’Aunou

 

1) Aunou le Faucon. South east of Argentan, Normandy, France. Village of   

Fulco d’Aunou family ancestor, born 1004.

.

2) Rue Daunou. Street in central Paris close by the Opera House.

 

3) d’Aunou Creek. Barwite via Mansfield, Victoria Australia.

 

 

 

B) Quemerford

 

1) Quemerford Village. Near Calne, Wiltshire, England.

 

2) Quemerford Road. Quemerford Village. ( Other names include

    Quemerford Farm, Quemerford Gate, Quemerford Mill,)

 

3) Quemerford Road. Islington, London. N7.

 

 

 

C) Comerford

 

1) Comerford’s Lot (Lota an Chomartunaigh). A townland near Golden,

    South Tipperary, Ireland. (O’Comartun is the gaelic writing of Comerford.)

 

2) Comerford d’Aunou Picnic Ground. Opposite the Grand Gates of

    Castlemorris, (the former Quemerford/Comerford Castle of Derryleigh)

     via Newmarket, County Kilkenny, Ireland.

 

3) Comerford Lane. Carrick-on –Suir, County Tipperary, Ireland.

 

4) Comerford Road. Brockley. London, England. SE4.

 

5) Comerford Dam. Connecticut River, Vermont/New Hampshire, USA.

 

6) Comerford Dam Road. Barnet, Vermont, USA.

 

7) Frank D. Comerford Airport. Walpole, New Hampshire, USA.

 

8) Comerford Road. Westmorland, New Hampshire, USA.

 

9) Comerford Street. Port Jefferson, Suffolk, New York, USA.

 

10) Comerford Street, Tullahoma, Coffee, Tennessee, USA

 

11) Comerford Street. Victoria, British Colombia, Canada.

 

12) Comerford Crescent. Hollywood, Newfoundland, Canada.

 

13) Comerford Road. Conception Bay South, Newfoundland, Canada.

 

14) Comerford Road. Brudenel, Renfern, Ontario, Canada.

 

15) Comerford Street. Esquimalt, Capital, British Colombia, Canada.

 

16) Tlapa De Comonfort. Guerrero. Mexico. (Town named after the

      great Mexican president Ignacio Comonfort of the Comerford family.)

 

17) Ignacio Comonfort Road (?).  Leon, Mexico.

 

18) Comerford Road. Bajool (West of Gladstone), Queensland, Australia.

 

19) Comerford Street. Finch Hatton (west of Mackay), Queensland Australia.

 

20) Comerford Street. Cowra, New South Wales, Australia.

 

21) Comerford Road. Mukinbudin, Western Australia, Australia. (Mukinbudin

       Is the childhood town of the writer.)

 

22) Comerfords Lane. Barwite, Mansfield, Victoria, Australia. (Ancestral

       home of the writer’s family in Australia.)

 

23) Comerford’s Find. Bridge Creek, Mansfield, Victoria, Australia. (A bush

      picnic ground in the Australian alps where the Blue Range Creek crosses                            

      the Blue Range Road. In 1907 twelve year old Richard J. Comerford on

      his pony “Darkie” found a little boy lost in the bush for three days.)

 

24) Commerford Road. Concord, Massachusetts, 01742. USA.

 

25) Commerford Place. Wonga Park, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

 

26) Cumerford Street. Providence, Rhode island, USA.

Comerford d'Aunou Coat of Arms

coatofarms.jpg

List of Surnames

Here is a list of the families associated with the Comerford d'Aunou family: Quemerford, Baldric le Teuton
 

I may include a map of our family's place of origin in this area.