DESFORGES – According to Mr. A. N. Desforges of Stourbridge all of this surname in England descend from one Peter Desforges, a French Huguenot who came to England in 1681. Although the Huguenots tended to be Calvinists, Peter, it seems, was not, as he was ordained a priest of the Church of England. He was presented to the living of Tothill (near Alford) in Lincolshire and was rector there until his death in 1725. He and his wife Catherine had several children, including Daniel, born 1688, who married Elizabeth Gunnill at Withern, Lincs., in 1709.

The first Desforges to settle in Hull appears to have been Joseph Desforges, born at Withern 1761, the son of John and Mary. He married Mary May at Holy trinity, Hull, in 1788. Among this couple’s ten children were Samuel, Robert Dunkin, and Charles.
(All of the above information is from the research of Mr. A. N Desforges)

A Samuel Desforges, watchmaker, who was living in Hull in 1881, may not have been a descendant of Joseph, as he was born in Spilsby, Lincs. c. 1822. At the census of 1881 he was living with his son, daughter-in-law, and five grandchildren in Vincent Street Hull.

In David Neave’s “South Cave” (1984) mention is made of one “… Edward Des Forges [sic] who practised for fifty years from 1840-90 …” medicine in South Cave.
Another spelling in Hull is Desforge.

The surname Desforges appears to have originated with someone living (or working?) at a smithy with more than one forge. Albert Dauzat, in his dictionary of French surnames, explains the name as ‘maison des forges‘ and locates it mainly in the Massif Central.


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