Extract from a letter to Mother
dated December 23 1919, sent from 27 Barry Road.


I have been so busy over the Brissac genealogy. George 2) is bringing that for Father. Will you please tell him that it is a traced facsimile of a very old paper of Aunt Janey’s, which itself is apparently traced from one still older. I only traced the big writing at the top, and the barest outlines of the rest, and filled in the colours and copied the writing straight on. I hope he will notice the queer old French, and the fact that the title de Brissac is mentioned as having been created for one or other of two de Cossés. His 3) dearly beloved Anne Francoise Judith de Cossé is the last on the genealogy and from her to Peter Abraham de Brissac is the weak link in the pedigree. De Brissac is only the title, and the question is – why did P.A. de B. drop his family name of de Cossé and take the title as his surname? Aunt Janie says it is quite possible that he was no relation of the de Cossé de Brissacs, as de Brissac as a surname is not unknown in different parts of France, although it is not common. But family tradition has it that he was in some way descended from them; and I imagine that when, as Huguenots, they fled to England, for some reason they found it more convenient to use the title rather than the name; and so, after a generation or two, the title altogether took the place of the surname. It may have been that other branches of the de Cossé family were against the Huguenots, so that the branch which had the title de Brissac, being Huguenots, preferred to take that as their name, and so cut themselves off as much as possible from their R.C. relations. That is my own theory; but it is quite possibly correct.

I hope you will all study the genealogy very carefully; I thoroughly enjoyed doing it though it took a long time, and I am brimming over with information on our ancestors. I though Father would be so interested in it, as his dear Judith comes in 3) If you notice, there is another Judith some distance back, so that also with Francoise and Anne, is quite a family name. I have copied the writing as nearly as I could, but it was half printing and half old fashioned slopy writing, very difficult to do. It looks sometimes as if I have made a mistake in spelling or left out some words; but it is exactly as in the original; the only mistake is that I have not coloured the white blodge on the blue shield of the white cock on the red back ground (!); but that is easily rectified. The blodge ought to be pale yellow. Aunt Janey says that there is a tradition that the baby in French history who was saved and hidden by his nurse during the persecution of the Huguenots, was one of the ducs de Brissac. It is not absolutely proved, but that is the tradition.


This extract was copied by Frances Ann Hubbard from a letter to her mother. 4)

11 October 1921




1) 27 Barry Road was the address of Aunt Janey’s Orphanage. Her name was Jane de Brissac Fredericka Phelps, 1842 -1926. She wasn’t in fact an aunt to Frances Ann Hubbard but a first cousin twice removed – a first cousin of Emma Hubbard, (F.A.H’s grandmother.) F.A.H. was nineteen at the time and helping out at Aunt Janey’s orphanage. Aunt Janey would have been seventy seven years old in 1919.

2) George Edward Hubbard 1897 – 1977 brother of F.A.H.

3) Why did my grandfather have such affection for Anne Francoise Judith de Cossé? What did he know? He probably hadn’t seen this genealogy table before, because of the way F.A.H. is describing it.

4) Charlotte Marian Hubbard (née Vizard) 1859 -1940.

Click here to go to the copy of the genealogy