The names Laforce, Delaforce, Delforce and variants are found in France, Belgium, the
Netherlands, Germany and England, and also in Canada and the USA.
- Prévots de La force
Near Bergerac (Dordogne) there is a small village, called LA FORCE. The lords (sherrifs)
of this place are known from 1395 on.
- De Caumont de Laforce
The noble family de Caumont (they participated in the crusades) became
"seigneurs" of Laforce by the marriage of François
de Caumont to the latest daughter of the Prevost line, in 1554.
In 1558 a child was born: Jacques Nompar de Caumont. Educated as a protestant, this
comrade of Henri IV, will be the first Duc de la Force, marechal, pair, vicomte de Bearn.
This nobleman escaped the murderous St Bartholomy's night, and lived to his 94th as a
protestant warrior. He lived under 7 kings. His autobiography was publiced.
One of the grandchildern of Jacques fled to England around 1655, another was gouvernor of
a dutch town and left also for England later on.
The grand-grandson of Jacques Nompar de Caumont de la Force was abducted by the king and
raised in a jesuit school to a fervent catholic. On his return home he tried to convert
his people to catholicisme by force. As a result the La Force family wasn't very popular.
They left Bergerac at the time of the french revolution, the castle was destroyed, only a
protestant chapel remains.
Only a few years ago, the dynasty de Caumont de Laforce still was present in the Academie
Francaise. A Caumont de Laforce was president of the french genealogical society.
- laforces, lefort,del(a)force, leforche, etc
live/lived in the northern provinces of France (Artois, Picardie, Flanders) and the
south-west of Belgium. There could be a connection with people from Laforce, as the noble
Laforce's did fight war against the Spanish in those areas, but on the other hand is the
presence of Laforce's before 1600 a contra-indication for such connection.
- a branch of Laforces was living in the Massif
Central (near Clermont-Ferrant). I did find no connection with other branches.
- France & England (and Portugal & Canada..)
In his book:
Patrick Delaforce, "Family History Research",
Regency Press (London & New York)
125 Highollborn, London
ISBN 07212 06883
the author writes about:
- knights 1427... De La Force, living near Guines (Calais) and fighting for the English
king (battle of Barnet,1471)
- port wine shippers (1807 ...) Porto Delaforce can be bought!
- Silk weavers in london (1785...today)
- canadian family (around 1900)
- fishmongers in London (1802..)
- protestant weavers and jewelers in the north of France (1671...) leaving for England in
1687 (revocation Edict de Nantes)
- In Flanders (Belgium) there are different branches of Laforce's.
- Along the coast, between Dunkerque and Oostende:
( my branch ) fisherman, pilots, captains..traced
back to 1680 in Oostduinkerke (with a possible link to Killem in the north of France
around 1600. It is difficult to trace them back much further in time, because the lack of
surviving archives. This region has been harrassed by religeous wars for more than 300
years (up to the french revolution), and also the first World War took place there). If
they were protestant, they might have used aliasses or they might not be found in catholic
- Bruges: from (16th) 17th century up to today. No trace of a connection with previous
branch. This branch had some side-branches to Ostend and to Ghent.
- Ghent: from 17th century, a branch apart from the Bruges-branch.
- Antwerp: some lafos, fos (1685) are later mentioned in the registers as Laforce(1710);
their origin is unknown, disappeared begin 19th century.
In Holland the name Lafors is found in Zeeland. One member of the Caumont family was
governor at Naarden after the revocation of the edict of Nantes in 1685. A few dutch
Laforce's are relatives.
- I know there are a lot of Laforces in Canada. There is a place called Laforce in
Quebec,at the side of Lac Simard (47.5NB, 78.5WL) near the border with Ontario.
- I recently learned about Laforce's in Germany and Danmark.
Â© Erik Laforce. All
rights reserved. Rev.