Recorded as Trench, Trinch, Trinche, Trenche, and the occupational Trencher, this is an English surname but one of early French origins. Well recorded in Ireland, it was probably introduced into England at or just after the famous Norman Conquest of 1066. It is locational from the village of La Tranche in Poitou. This is from the topographical term "trenchier" meaning "to cut", and hence a place where a major dike or perhaps a road, had been cut through the surrounding land. The Trench family who hold the earldom of Clancarty trace their descent from Frederick de la Tranche (see below), and were established in Ireland in 1631 when Frederick Trench purchased an estate in Galway. Early church recordings from the city of London include Thomas Trenche who married Blanche Howell on October 14th 1611, at St. Botolph's Bishopsgate, George Trencher, who was christened on April 25th 1619, at St. Mary Abchurch, and Alexander Camp married Alice Trench on August 20th 1623, at St. Dunstan's Stepney. George Trench, aged 56, was a famine emigrant who sailed from London aboard the ship Hendrick-Hudson bound for New York on October 5th 1846. Frederic de la Tranche, believed to have been a Huguenot refugee settled in Northumberland from France, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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