Family of Barrau

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The Barrau family comes from Aveyron. Its proven filiation date back to Firmin Barrau, public notary who made his will in 1557.[1]


In the Middle Ages Barrau or Barau is a nickname coming from the word "barrel".[2]

This name is mentioned in some documents before the 16th century.[3]

In the 17th century some members of the Barrau family claimed that they were noble, but in 1666 Guion de Barrau(1613-1703) was sentenced for "nobility usurpation". In 1699 he was admit as noble with the support of a forged genealogy that linked him to another noble family of the same name.[4]

The genealogist Gustave Chaix d'Est-Ange wrote about this family : The nobility of the first members of this family is dubious : they didn't have any lordship and they didn't wear the title of squire. In 1666, Guyon de Barrau, from the village of Carcenac, was sentenced for "nobility usurpation"..[4]


  • Firmin Barrau, public notary who made his will in 1557, first member of the proven lineage of this family.[1]
  • Firmin Barrau, bourgeois from Salmiech.[5]
  • Pierre de Barrau (1731-1816), musketeer in the second company of the King Louis XV and captain of dragons. In 1789, he was one of the authors of the official Book of Complaints and Remonstrations concerning the nobility of Rodez. In 1792, he migrated to Germany.
  • Jean Antoine de Barrau (1737-1795). In 1765, by lettre de cachet, he secured his wife, Pauline de Solages, in a convent. The brother of Pauline, was imprisoned in the Bastille in a dungeon close to that of the marquis de Sade. On 14 July 1789, the brother was released by the people of Paris.

A writer named Auguste Puis wrote, "The Business of Solages can take row among the most famous stories of lettres de cachet, between Jean Henri Latude and the marquis de Sade. And it impassioned almost on the same basis numbers [of] scholars, researchers and the curious one. It was interesting initially by the mystery which still planes on all this dark machination; this mystery can it light somewhat in the light of the parts of the Files of Haute-Garonne, which we publish, with the continuation, completely? It shows us in all cases, on the sharp one, the moderating and enlightened action of one subdelegated intelligent, Ginesty honest and penetrating lawyer; ineffective action, of the remainder, because it appears to encounter powerful preventions, with this kind of inertia which the administration opposes when it realizes of a heavy fault or a great injustice, and also with a complicated network of intrigues.".[6]

  • Hippolyte de Barrau (1794-1863), he attended the specialist military school of Saint-Cyr. He was a member of the king's Bodyguards Company and officer of cavalry. He was a knight of the Legion of Honour. Historian and genealogist, he was the founder and author of the Gazette of Rouergue, a legitimist newspaper (1831 to 1836). He was a short time secretary-general of the Prefecture of Aveyron. In 1836, he became the founding president of the "Company of the Letters, Sciences and Arts of Aveyron".
  • Eugène de Barrau (1801-1887), historian and vice-president of the Society of "the Letters, Sciences and Arts of Aveyron". He was founder and an author of the legitimist newspaper Echo of Aveyron and was one of the leaders of the Legitimist movement in Aveyron.
  • Adolphe de Barrau (1803-1884), graduated from the school of medicine at the University of Montpellier, He was a surgeon in the Royal Navy. He was a member of the Society of Natural History of Montpellier and of the Botanical Society of France. He was one of the founders and a member of the "Society of the Letters, Sciences and Arts of Aveyron" and a general adviser. In 1839 and 1840, as a naturalist and botanist, he was a member of a scientific commission of exploration of Algeria which was chaired by Colonel Bory de Saint-Vincent.
  • Fernand de Barrau (1851-1938), lawyer, historian, agronomist, and a writer of the Journal of Aveyron newspaper. Catholic and royalist, he was member of the "Society of the Letters, Sciences and Arts of Aveyron" and a member of the "Central Company of Agriculture of Aveyron".


  1. ^ a b Gilbert Bodinier Les gardes du corps de Louis XVI : étude institutionnelle, sociale et politique : dictionnaire biographique, Service historique de l'armée de terre, éditions Mémoire & documents, 2005, page 120.
  2. ^ Albert Dauzat, Dictionnaire étymologique des noms de famille de France, Paris, Larousse.
  3. ^ Hippolyte de Barrau, Documents historiques et généalogiques sur les familles et les hommes remarquables du Rouergue tome 4 (généalogie de la famille de Barrau, pages 95 à 109.
  4. ^ a b Gustave Chaix d'Est-Ange, Dictionnaire des familles françaises anciennes ou notables à la fin du XIX siècle, 1904, tome 2, pages 361 à 362, Barrau de Carcenac (de)
  5. ^ Henri Affre, Inventaire-sommaire des Archives départementales de l'Aveyron antérieures à 1790. Archives civiles, série E, Paris : Imprimerie et librairie administratives de Paul Dupont, 1877. page 282.
  6. ^ Auguste Puis, Letters of cachet in Toulouse at the eighteenth century, according to the documents preserved at the Files of Haute-Garonne


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