Were your Breton ancestors from Nobility?

I subscribe to a great blog called The French Genealogy Blog. Today their post is about The Beleaguered Nobility of Brittany. In short, it describes how Louis XIV wanted to establish who in his realm was truly of the nobility and who was not. Apparently, nobility did not pay many forms of taxes, which meant that there was obviously a financial incentive for many to become what were known as “false nobles”. This problem was particularly severe in Bretagne. I was unaware of this until now.

Within the post, other links to very useful websites are provided which may or may not help you with your research into your Breton ancestors, but they are never-the-less all worth a look at.

Tudchentil – which has pages on 18 Breton Knights in a Tournament in 1238 or An Armorial Breton


Ploeuc Genealogy – which is about the history, genealogy and heritage to ploeuc and its surroundings, including Notaries of Ploeuc from 1739 – 1907


I doubt I have any nobility in my Breton ancestors, the Rabet’s. So far their statuses have been:

Laboureur – which has a variety of meanings including ploughman/ peasant or small tenant farmer rich enough to own their own plough (p228 – Soldier and Peasant in French Popular Culture, 1766-1870)

Cowman – herder of cows


Agricultural Labourer – a person who tills the soil for a living.

laboureur image




  1. I have just looked into this for the first time all of which is very interesting as my family also originate in Henon starting with my great grand mother Marie Louise Rabet who came to the island with my grand father when he was about eight years old. Marie Louise later married Yve Le Moal at Trinity Church. I have rejoined the Family History Society and I hope later to find out if my Marie Louise Rabet had any brothers and sisters. On her marriage certificate it was stated her father was Pierre Rabet a farmer.

  2. My father’s family name has fame in some of Brittany. There was a ‘sieur’ in some of the family; but, probably not directly for moi. I suffer , being placed, in duh
    infamous South Bronx, in [wrongly] sanctuary city : N.Y.C.. Just learned @ Jerrais language. The Duchess Anne restaurant, near Zen Mt. Monastery in upstate New York; closed down. Bon appetit.

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