The Fleury family were orginally descended from French Huguenots
who settled in Ireland at the end of the 17th century to escape
The first Fleury in Ireland was Louis Fleury, the Protestant
Pastor of Tours, who fled to England in 1679 with his wife,
Esther Dubourdieu, his son, born 1671 and two daughters. He
eventually came to Ireland as one of the private chaplains of
William of Orange and was present at the Battle of the Boyne
along with Esther's cousin Jean Dubourdieu (son of Isaac Dubordieu),
who was a chaplain to the Duke of Schomberg.
Louis Fleury later became pastor at Leydon where his son, Philip
Amuret (or Amaury) was ordained. Philip Fleury was appointed
chaplain to Colonel La Bouchetiere's Regiment of Dragoons, but
as he is also stated to have officiated in the French Church
of La Patente from 1704-1706 he cannot have accompanied the
regiment abroad. From 1716 to his death in 1734 he served in
the French Church of St Patricks, Dublin, however he appears
to have kept his connections with the regiment as in 1719, when
they were quartered in Ardee, he was instrumental in suppressing
a mutiny in their ranks.
Philip was the father of Rev. Antoine Fleury, also educated
at Leyden and ordained there in 1728. In 1730 the latter was
licensed to the French Church of St Patricks, a post which he
resigned on his appointment to Coolbanagher in 1736, He was
appointed Vicar-Choral of Lismore in 1761 and died in 1801,
being buried at the French cemetery in Portarlington. By his
wife Marie Julie, daughter of Colonel Paul Brunet de Rochbrune,
he had a son, George Louis, who was educated in Trinity College.
He was appointed Archdeacon of Waterford in 1773. His daughter
married Richard Ryland, author of the history of Waterford.
Three of his sons entered the ministry and a fourth was Captain
J Franqufort Fleury of the 36th regiment.
Another branch of the Fleury family seems to have settled
in Cork for in Doneraile churchyard a monument existed to the
memory of David Fleury, son of James Fleury and Louise Le Marchand,
who was born in the parish of Torchand in Lower Normandy in
1667 and died in 1720. A certain TC Fleury, who graduated in
medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 1760, may also have
had some connection, with the family. He settled in Dublin,
where he became the first systematic lecturer on Midwifery,
where he died in 1797.
The fact that many Irish records were destroyed in a fire at
the Dublin Records Office in 1922 means that it is extremely
difficult to definitively prove any lineage to the first Fleurys
to enter Ireland. However, the number of Fleurys in the country
at any given time is not particularly large, and, given the
fact that Louis Fleury and his descendents stayed in Ireland
for several generations during which they are able to be tracked,
it seems highly likely that there is indeed a direct connection.
Census return and birth and death records show that most Ireland
born Fleurys were transient people, probably because of their
history as refugees, and were not averse to travelling around
England in search of work. The first Fleury ancestor we can
pin down with any degree of certainty is John Flury (census
returns spell his name without an "e"), born 1816 in Carlow
and his wife Elizabeth Pardue, born in 1821 in Waterford. Both
Carlow and Waterford were prominent Huguenot settlements.
Unfortunately, we are unable to track Elizabeth Pardue's lineage
any further back. However, Pardue is a prominent Huguenot name,
which is still common in the Waterford area. Pardue is a variant
of Perdue, which also remains common, and which orginates from
Normandy. Historically, thhe Perdues were prominent bell founders
in England and Ireland, with bells in many English and Irish
cathedrals being cast by them. Indeed, one member of the family,
William Perdue was buried in Limerick Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland
with this tombstone epitaph; "Here a bell founder, honest and
true, till resurrection lie Perdue."
John and Elizabeth Flury were living in Manchester in 1861
with their 4 children, John (b. 1847), Catherine (b.1852), James
H (b. 1855) and Joseph (b.1860). At that time John Sr was a
cotton grinder and his son was also working in the mill. When
the Fleurys first came to England is unclear and indeed, they
may have gone to and fro from Ireland several times. They are
not recorded on the 1851 census and may have been in Ireland
at that time. However, John Jr was born in 1847 in Manchester
so they were definitely there then.
Interestingly, the 1841 census also shows a family of Fleurys
in Manchester (Poland Place) - John and Mary - born 1796 plus
a number of children. Nearby there is also a Patrick and Elizabeth
Fleury. Patrick is listed as a cotton carder and Patrick and
Elizabeth are exactly the same ages as John Flury and Elizabeth
Pardue. Could it be that Patrick Fleury and John Flury are one
and the same people and that John and Mary Fleury are his parents?
This is certainly possible as calling the oldest son after oneself
was common. Patrick (or John) would have been the eldest.
John Flury would have been great grandfather to my grandmother,
Gladys Fleury. Her father was Joseph Fleury (b. 1868-70), a
nebulous character, who my grandmother didn't really know, as
he spent much time away from home. All we originally knew about
him was that he served in the army and that his father was a
French teacher. Fortunately, Joseph's army records reveal a
great deal about his personality (dealt
with elsewhere) and also refer to a sister, Mary Anne and
a brother, James.
This information has allowed us to track Joseph to Monkwearmouth
near Sunderland in 1871. Here Mary Anne and Joseph both have
the surname Mokone, and are living in the house of their grandparents
- John and Elizabeth Flury, the former at that time being employed
as a coal miner. There is also a James Flury living in the same
house. However, this is James H Flury, the son of John and Elizabeth.
This is interesting because Joseph's marriage certificate says
his father was a teacher called James. However, James is too
young to be Josephs father. Could it be that James is actually
an uncle or cousin but masquerades as a father or brother depending
on the occasion?
The likeliest father is John Flury Jr (1847-88). His wife Margaret
and children were in the 1891 census with the eldest child Margaret
being born in 1873. This makes it possible that Mary Anne and
Joseph were the product of a first marriage or a liaison prior
to his marriage to Margaret.
Why the surname Mokone though? We can only speculate but it
may well be that Mokone is a mispronunciation of a French surname.
A more intriguing possibility as to the identity of Joseph's
father and/or the origin of the Mokone name is thrown up in
the 1871 census, which shows a Charles Fleury living in Addiscombe
Road, Croydon. He was born in Waterford and his eldest daughter
Elenor was born in Manchester, at approximately the time Joseph
was born. Could there be a family connection here? Two doors
away in Croydon was living a French servant called Josephine
Marconnet. The phonetic similarity of her name to Mokone and
her age, which is about right for her to be a candidate for
Joseph's mother, throw up some interesting, if relatively unlikely,
It would appear that the whole Fleury family moved to Sunderland
sometime before 1865 as (Mary Anne was born in Sunderland in
that year. John Flury Jr married in 1867 in Sunderland as did
sister Catherine (in 1868 to Charles Gray). However, at some
point they must have moved temporarily back to Manchester as
Joseph was born there.