According to our research, this is a rare French surname. It is locational and apparently originates from a place called Houdmont in the east of the country. It is one of a group which possess the word "houd" as part of the surname including Houdan, Houdaille, Houdard, Houdry, Houdin, and Houdoux, some of whom are locational and some patronymic. The origin is Germanic from the pre 7th century word "huld". This has several meanings dependant on the context, but the usual explanation is that it translates as "friendly". This would give "Friendly hill" as the explanation for the place name "Houdmont", although this may be too literal an explanation. Surviving early French church registers are at best erratic. The majority were destroyed during the Revolution of 1789 - 1794, when the church itself was banned until restored by the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1800. The registers of birth, death and marriage, were looked upon by many of the population as instruments of the secret police of the monarchy. This has made later genealogical research very difficult, although in this case we were lucky in that we were able to find two recordings, one of which pre-dates the Revolution. These were the marriages of two sisters. The first Jeanne Houdmont, married Michel Bauchot at Saint Supplet, Meurthe-et-Moselle, on May 8th 1787, whilst the second must have occured during the period of the Revolution itself, being that of Catherine, who married Jean Pierre Cornelis, at the same place, but on February 16th 1790.
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