Recorded in several related spellings including Hache, Hachet, Hacquart, Hacquinn, Hacquel, Hacquoil, and possibly others, this is a surname of French origins. According to the 'Dictionnaire Etymologyique des noms de famille de France', it derives from the word 'hache' meaning to cut or strike, to which in some cases has been added various diminutives. If so it appears to have been an occupational name for a forester or perhaps an agricultural contractor, one whose job it was to clear or harvest the land. Occupational surnames only became herditary when a son followed his father into the same line of business. If he didnt, the name died out, or more confusingly, the son could be known by both his fathers occupation, and his own! Most early registers of France were destroyed during the famous Revolution of 1792. At this time to add to the confusion, all religion was banned and the Roman Catholic church exiled by the state. It was eventually revived by Emperor Napoleon ten years later, for political rather than religious reasons. During this time the revolutionaries seized all registers that they could lay their hands on, and set fire to them. In only a few areas were they saved, and in this case we have found some examples in the surviving church registers of the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle. These include Mathieu Hacquart at Gerbevillier, on December 14th 1619, Nicholas Hacquel at Marinviller, on May 31st 1686, and Agnes Hacquinn at Affracourt, on May 8th 1708.
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