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Is There A French Connection?

As anyone who searches for "Gometz" on the Internet will quickly discover, there are two places in France with that name:

In the 1962 edition of the Dictionnaire Encyclopédique Quillet both of these were listed as very small places in the province of Seine-et-Oise. Gometz-la-Ville had a population of 337 and Gometz-le-Châtel had 604 inhabitants. The encyclopedia remarked that there was an agricultural school in Gometz-la-Ville and that there were remnants of a "chateau fort" of the 13th century at Gometz-le-Châtel. (Note: These places are now in Essonne.)

Gometz-le-Châtel has even achieved a fleeting literary mention in a poem, "Présentation de la Bauce à Notre-Dame de Chartres", by Charles Péguy who lived there at one time.

"Nous arrivons vers vous du lointain Palaiseau
Et des faubourgs d'Orsay par Gometz-le-Châtel,
Autrement dit Saint-Clair; ce n'est pas un castel;
C'est un village au bord d'une route en biseau."

In recent times the area around the two Gometzes has become a suburb of Paris and a center for research and high tech industry. See the Wikipédia entries for Gometz-le-Châtel and Gometz-la-Ville if you are interested and read French.

A Thousand Years Ago

Anyone who does that Internet search for "Gometz", especially in genealogy sites, will find their browsers loaded with references to Guillaume de Gometz-la-Ferte BURES [William de Gometz] and his daughters Hodierne de Gometz-la-Ferte and Bertrarde du GOMMETS [note the spelling difference]. See, for example, Paul B. McBride's Genealogy. (I have chosen this particular genealogy page because Mr. McBride cites his sources.) These people lived before the era of modern surnames; Guillaume de Gometz means Guillaume "of" or "from" Gometz. Thus, as interesting as this ancient reference is, it carries no genealogical meaning for our modern Gometz family of Swedish ancestry, the family this page is about. (However, it may still be of personal interest if you are one of the thousands of descendants of these people through lines with other surnames.)

There are people with the surname Gometz in France. (I received a very nice email from another Anne Gometz.) These people may or may not be descendants of William, but they are very probably descended from someone who lived in one of the Gometz villages. This type of surname is known as a "locational" or "topographical" name and is one of the most common surname sources.

This page last updated: 8 September 2008

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