Before I start - it isn't "Angiers", as per the headache tablet
- calling one of us by that name is likely to result in mortal injury.
The name "Angier" is an Anglesized form of "Angers",
a French surname. The name derives from a place "Angers", and
would have originally been used in the form "David d'Angers".
It is commonly believed by members of the family that our ancestors
settled in Suffolk around the time of the French Revolution, having
left France to escape the Guillotine - if this is true, then my family
was probably part of the Aristocracy! We've certainly come a long way since
then! This ancient bunch were alledgedly Huguenots too (whatever that means,
all I know is they were French Protestants). Further research has revealed
potential inaccuracies in this tale. One of the results of the French Revolution
was religeous freedom, and most Huguenots had left France before then (about
400,000 in all, most to England and Prussia between 1535 and 1600).
So what was the situation really? Did we leave due to:
Huguenots were being persecuted, and our family were Huguenots and left
France between 1535 and 1600?
We were persecuting Huguenots, and left in the French Revolution to
save our necks?
I take the above couple of paragraphs lightly since there is very little
else known up until around 1910, when the first remembered Angier (Bertie
Joseph) entered the scene - he and his father lived in Brandon, Suffolk.
This early Angier was a member of the Forestry Commission at quite an early
age, then packed it in to join the army at the ripe old age of 14 (a couple
of lies being told, I suppose). Despite this less than auspicious start,
he then served in the army for a total of 15 years including 2 tours of
2 years at the North West front in India, finally achieving the rank of
Regimental Sergeant Major in the Signal Corp. When not in India, he was
based at Recklesham, near Aldershot. Bertie then went on to work for BR
for 15 years, and then Kodak for another 15 years.
My father, Peter William Harold Angier, was born in Recklesham in 1942
- but he doesn't remember any of it because Grandad left the army, and
moved the family to London in 1943. When the new town boom got underway,
they moved to Stevenage in 1958. Peter meets Valerie, they like each other
a bit, and in 1963 they tie the knot - and bang, David Peter Angier arrives
in 1965 (see, I'm not a bastard really).
Around about this time, our family are not aware of any other Angiers
outside the immediate family, so I have a duty - carry on the family name!
Since then I have had four sons; Thomas, Robert, Christopher and James in
1986, 1989, 1993 and 2000. Also, I have noticed Angiers popping up all
over the place - a whole pageful in the New York telephone directory,
about 65 in all of the UK telephone directories (according to BT
Phonedisk), a reporter on Look East BBC, Anglia news, and a
producer in Channel 4.
Now with the onset of the Internet, try typing in Angier at Google, and see
So maybe it isn't such a rare name after all!