Superstition played a major role in past times, and never more so than in the medieval period where religion, specifically christianity, had to fight for its place amongst the long held beliefs in paganism. In this "disturbed" period, people who were in any way "different" were often singled out for special notice. Women who had medicinal powers were sometimes derided as witches, people with deformities were called "cruckshank", and left handers forming only a small proportion of the population were singled out and given the name of "gauche", the French for "left". French being the official language of England for three hundred years after the Invasion of 1066, it is not surprising perhaps that it is also an early English recording, the first known example being John Gauch of Cambridge in the year 1260. The name is spelt in many ways include Gauch, Gauche, Gaucher, Gauchier, Gauchon, Gauchelet, etc. and is well recorded in France, and less so in England. French records though are much less extensive than in England, the majority of early registers being destroyed during the Revolution of 1789 - 1795. Such examples as we have been able to find include Nicholas Gauche of Cons-la-Granville, Meurthe et Moselle, on January 10th 1669, and Rene Gaucher, who married Gabrielle Berton, at Ambrillo-Chateau, Maine et Loire, on July 2nd 1711.
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