about Me

Paul Vallance BSc.(Hons.)

Neurobiology & Experimental Pyschology
University of Sussex, School of Biolgical Sciences (BIOLS)

A Curious History

  • The celestial stork’s e.t.a was mid Jan 1965. Curiously, arrival took place on Picasso’s birthday in 1964! 25th October at 3lb 5 oz.
  • The clocks went back an hour for daylight saving early that morning.
  • Learning to write at school – writing on the left page of a notebook with the left hand and the right page of same book with the right seemed a sensible thing to do.
  • Apparently I had a black period of art at age 5 – ‘everything’ was painted in Black… cue the Rolling Stones!
  • My paternal grandfather was born in the sight of Bow Bell and paternal Grandmother in the sound of Bow Bell. So.. that must make me part cockney
  • On the maternal side apparently my great , great.. (insert a bunch of great’s here) was a Baron DeCheney, Court Cobbler to Louis XVI, and being a royalist fled to England during the French Revolution. Apparently, this was the point at which ‘entente cordiale’ and the tricolor entered into this family’s geneology. It all sounds like a load of ‘old cobblers’ to me, though a nice story!

Nearer the truth

VALLANCE – Spelling variations of this family name include: Vallance, Vallancey, Valance, Valancey, Valens, Valomes, Valeignes, Vallant and many more. First found in Kent, where they arrived, according to a Geneology Company whose name escapes me, soon after the Norman Conquestand were descended from a Roger Vallance.

My own line of the VALLANCE’s heads back to Rochester, Kent and most likely The French Hospital, and the protestant Hugenot immigrants fleeing persecution in France, to around 1700 and that’s as far back as I know. Interestingly, the Vallance name became prominant in Scotland, perhaps from French support and influence against the old enemy.

What’s in a name?

There are more recent French influences in both my paternal and maternal geneology. The surname is pronounced Val-lance with two stressed L’s, and therefore far too unEnglish for the English to bother pronouncing correctly at all, which means that in order for my name to be heard correctly I need to travel to another shore (i.e. off these islands). What do the English do? They pronounce the name unstressed so that it becomes ‘valence’ or its equivalent, ‘fringe’. Of course there are some notable town names, Valence on the Rhone, and Valenciennes, both of which could be named because of being fringe or border towns, although the name Valens in Roman (Latin) means valour.

An East End connection?

The East End’s infamous twins lived on Vallance Road…

..And a connection a little further east?

Could this be long lost family? in Samogitia ( ┼Żemaitija ), Lithuania.