Racher

Racher - what does Racher surname mean?

Recorded in England as Racher, Raisher, Recher, Rasher, Rasier, Raiser, Rasor, and no doubt others, this is a very interesting surname. It is apparently French and appears in the surviving church registers of the city of London from about the time of Oliver Cromwell (1650 - 1658) and certainly King Charles 11nd (1660 - 1685). There is no doubt that in England it is or rather was, Huguenot, and from that period in history between about 1650 and 1750 when some fifty thousand protestants fled France in the face of death and persecution by the Roman Catholics. However doubts remain as to its original root spelling, and it is possible that there was more than one. If so these are probably either from the Alsace-Lorraine region, where the name as Rech or Recher is to be found, and describes a raker or farm contractor, or perhaps as Reche or Rechou from Gascony. Here the name is topographical, and describes a person who lived by a prominent ash tree. Ash trees both in France and England, were often used as local focal points, for the village meeting place or a boundary marker. English examples of recordings from the city of London include William Rasher who married Ann Butler at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on September 1st 1659, Jean Recher, a witness at Threadneedle Street French church, on Septmber 27th 1702, and Amey Racher who married William Plant at St Pancras Old Church, on April 14th 1856.

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