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Origin of the Dulong Surname

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Meaning of the Dulong Surname

The surname Dulong is of French origins and literally means "of the long."   This could also mean the son of someone named Long, being from a place called Long or a large place, descending from a tall man, or simply imply being grand or large (Dauzat 1951, 221; Dionne 1914, 244; Morlet 1991, 358; Smith 1973, 113, 316).  Another possible interpretation is "of far away up," and it might be similar to the English surname Townsend, meaning living at the end (Long [1883] 1968, 139).  There are many places in France named Long or a variation of Long (Michelin 1987, 297-298).  Also, there are many French surnames that have Long as their root (Dauzat 1951, 395-396). 

Although the surname Dulong is similar to Delong, they are separate and distinct names.  Rarely do I find North American Dulongs under the surname Delong in the records.  However, I occasionally see the surname spelled as Dulon.

One misleading piece of information is from Dionne (1914, 244) who claims that the surname Dulong is derived from Long, an estate (seigneurie) in Normandie, established in 1463 by De Villiers.  There is no evidence that our Dulong ancestors are related to any nobles in Normandie or elsewhere in France.  There are some noble Dulongs, but they are from the south of France and no relationship to most of us here in North America.

Origin of the Surname for North American Dulongs

We know that most Canadian and American Dulongs are descended from the immigrant Richard Dulong.  He was baptized in 1718 at the town of Lieurey, Eure Department, formerly part of the province of Normandie.  This is in the north of France, not to far from the English Channel.  Just south of Lieurey and north of Noards is a long road running from east to west, southwest.  This area is called Village du Long.  On the topographical map below I have highlighted in red Lieurey and the Village du Long.  Since the simplest interpretation of the Dulong surname is "of the long,"  I believe our surname refers to this small hamlet south of Lieurey.  In French "le Long" means "the long" and "du Long" would mean "of the Long."  Our ancestors took the surname Dulong because they were probably from this little village.  Alternatively, not yet knowing the exact year this location was named, it is possible that the hamlet was named after the Dulong family.

lieurey2.jpg (71109 bytes)
Portion of a map showing Lieurey and the Village du Long area with color added for emphasis.  "Lisieux S. O.," map no. 30 (Paris: Institut géographique national, September 1943).  Available at the University of Michigan Map Collection.

Why do I have a capital "L" in DuLong?

Several of my French Canadian cousins have pointed out to me that the surname Dulong is not spelled DuLong with a capital "L" in the middle of it. Moreover, if it did have a capital "L" than it would also have a space in it, as in Du Long. I spell my name DuLong for a very good reason, it is the way my father told me to spell it and his father told him, though neither of them were consistent in their signature. It is a quirky way of spelling the surname that you will most often find among the Dulongs of Michigan and possibly Indiana. There is no pretension to nobility by putting a capital "L" in the name. The Dulongs of Normandie and Québec were not nobles. The Dulongs who were nobles came from the south of France.  By the way, Richard Dulong most often signed his name du Long.

Dulong Family Arms

It seems all family historians, myself included, wish to find the family coat-of-arms.   However, the Dulongs of Lieurey, to my knowledge, were not armigerous.  The closest thing our family ever had to a coat-of-arms was the sign over Richard Dulong's inn in Montréal.  His inn on the rue St-Gabriel was under the "Sign of the Board" as noted on his liquor license.  This would be a sign showing a board, that is, a well laid table with food and drink.

Although I was disappointed to find no Dulong ancestor who used arms, I eventually learned that many of the Dulongs have maternal lineal ancestors with arms.  For instance, among the ancestors of Elise Mercier, the wife of Edward Dulong, are members of the Corday, Desjordy, Legardeur, Le Neuf, and Robineau noble families.  Following French traditions, and the practices of our many noble and bourgeois ancestors who took arms, I assumed my own arms through the American College of Heraldry in 1989. 

Please keep in mind these are my personal arms, not the Dulong surname coat-of-arms.  The only people who may bear these arms are myself and my daughters.

Despite the lack of arms for our Dulongs, there are several Long and Dulong families with arms in France.  Though they are no relation to most North American Dulongs.   Nevertheless, it is interesting to contemplate the design of their arms.  The following information are the blazons, that is, the technical descriptions of these arms, from a standard armorial, and my attempt to draw these arms:

 

Dulong ou Delong--Languedoc.  D'argent à un vol de sable.   (Rietstap [1861] 1884-1887, 1:573).

 

 

 

Dulong (formerly le Long)--Languedoc, originally from Tuscany [Italy].   D'argent au lion de gueules ailé de sable.  (Rietstap [1861] 1884-1887, 1:573).

 

 

 

Dulong de Rosnay (Counts)--Bretagne.  Ecartelé: au 1 d'or un dextrochere d'azur, tenant un guidon du même; au 2 de sinople à un pont rompu d'or; au 3 de pourpre à la croix ancrée d'or (Sagey); au 4 d'argent à un canon de gueules à senestre, braque sur un château du même a dextre.  (Rietstap [1861] 1884-1887, 1:573). [In my opinion these arms have all the ugly characteristics exemplified by Napoleonic heraldry.]

 

 

 

Long--Normandie.  D'or au sautoir dentelé de sable, cantonné de quartre têtes de léopard de gueules.  (Rietstap [1861] 1884-1887, 2: 1274).

 

 

 

Long (du)--Guyenne.  D'azur à deux chevrons appointés d'or, le premier renversé, accompangé de deux croissant d'argent, 1 en chef et 1 en pointe.   (Rietstap [1861] 1884-1887, 2:93).

Lelong--Normandie. D'azur à deux chevrons d'or l'un renversé et entre-lassez accompagnés de deux croissans d'or, l ún en chef et l'autre en pointe, celui du chef renversé. I recently found these arms in the Armorial général de France, Bibliothèque national de France, Cabinet des titres, ms. no. 423, vol. 21, f. 1029. It is interesting to note how similar these arms are to those of du Long of Guyenne. These arms were assigned to Jean-Jacques LeLong, écuyer (squire) as a result of the 1696 initiative to raise money for the kingdom of France by taxing people with arms. In this case, the arms were apparently assigned by the tax collector!

 

 

If any of my Dulong cousins in the United States would like to assume arms, then I encourage them to work with the American College of Heraldry to design their arms and to register them. For those cousins in Canada, you now have the Canadian Heraldic Authority to help you achieve a grant of arms, which, unlike in the United States, will have some legal protection.

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This page, and all contents, are Copyright © 1995 by John P. DuLong, Berkley, MI. Created 2 December 1995. Modified 21 November 2011.

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