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A Web site for the Suffren family of Australia.

This web site has been constructed by John B Suffren in an attempt to inform and connect with other ancestors and family members who may have connections or information on the precise origins of the Suffren family name ( de Suffrens & Sufferns, Sufferins, Suffrins, Suffrons and similar) of Australia, Northern Ireland and Canada (USA and France).

The earliest records that have been located so far regarding the actual origins of the Suffrens of Northern Ireland are from about the mid 1600's (it would appear that many records were lost when churches were destroyed). No records of any surviving Suffrens from Eastern Canada have been found to date.

It appears that the Northern Ireland name of Suffren most likely is from a Southern French family member who travelled to Northern Ireland or England about the end of the 16th century to early 17th century due to his religious beliefs as a Huguenot. A major problem in tracing the ancestry of the Australian Suffren family has been the various different spellings that the name has taken over the centuries. There are at least 4 distinct ways of spelling Suffren today. The most common form appears to be SUFFERN and that would appear to have started between 1600-1700. The other forms are SUFFERIN, SUFFRIN and to a much lesser degree SUFFRAN. Very interestingly enough it can be seen in various documents and letters, from the early 1800’s, that this Suffren family from time to time even spelled their own name SUFFRIN. Even the masonic medal of John Suffren (1st) of 1762 was spelt SUFFRIN (see photo page). Also another common problem was the use of very standard Anglo-saxon christian names such as John, James , George, Matthew and so on. This meant that many families could have the same identical named males for generations at a time. Another common mis-spelling has also been made with Trophime de Suffren’s name. After recent correspondence with Jean-Claude Klein of the Association Des Amis Du Vieux Saint-Cannat, Musee ”Suffren”, Saint-Cannet LE it has been confirmed that it is Trophime with a ”m”.

This site will be revised from time to time when new information becomes available.

Time line for J B Suffren & family:

  • John P Suffren (8th) Born 1990 Oslo, Norway
  • Yannick (John) C Suffren Born 1993 Oslo, Norway
  • John B Suffren (7th)1986 travelled to Norway
  • John B Suffren (7th) Born 1951 Victoria, Australia
  • John E Suffren (6th) Born 1911 Victoria, Australia
  • John B Suffren (5th) Born 1869 Victoria, Australia
  • John F Suffren (4th) Born 1868 Victoria Australia (died 1869)
  • John Suffren (3rd) 1857 travelled to Australia from Canada (St John, New Brunswick)
  • John Suffren (3rd) Born 1824 St John NB
  • John Suffren (2nd) 1823 travelled to Canada from Northern Ireland
  • John Suffren (2nd) Born 1799 Northern Ireland
  • John Suffren (1st) Born 1744 Northern Ireland
  • George Suffren Born 1717 Northern Ireland

SUFFREN FAMILY - Victoria, Australia Branch assumption

The Suffren name can be traced originally to an Italian family of Hugo di Soffredinghi (Hugo de Suffren), who travelled from Lucca in north west of Italy to live in Provence in the 15th century. There the name changed to Suffredi and in time to Suffren by the 16th century. When Antoine de Suffren married in Aix (25th April 1571) the family had become French and Antoine sufficiently established to be a member of the local Parliament. He had seven (7) children (Francois, Claude, Honore, Palamedes, Jean Baptiste, Madeleine & Trophime) four (4) of whom were sons. The third child, Trophime de Suffren, born about 1574 became a Protestant (Huguenot), as his father's sympathies had been with Henry of Navarre and against the League, (Union of the French Court, the Pope and the De Guise family). Trophime left France ( late 1500's to early 1600's, we have to assume!) and came to England or Ireland being now thought to be the founder of the Suffren, Sufferin, Suffrin and Suffern families of England, Ireland, Australia and America. Trophime's brother's son became the Marquis de St Tropez and St Cannat, Lord of Aube, Molle and Richebois. There is very little known about Trophime's ancestors until 1689 when 2 Suffren brothers may have been involved and survived the siege of Londonderry (this is yet to be confirmed!). George Suffren (who was most likely a son of one of the surviving brothers) was born in Antrim in 1717 and had a son John Suffren (1st) born 1744 (who was the first John Suffren in a long line of oldest sons which continues today)*.
* I am John B. Suffren 7th and my sons are John P. Suffren 8th. & Yannick C Suffren.

DNA Research work through Genebase

DNA research has been carried out recently by Genebase in attempt to establish a definite link between John B.Suffren and Noel Sufferin of Northern Ireland. A very positive result was obtained and it established that within the last 24 generations they were related. After this exciting discovery we are hoping more Suffrens from France and Sufferns from the USA and elsewhere will also participate in this DNA research.

Canning Suffern

Canning Suffern of England carried out extensive research of the Suffren/Suffern/Sufferin ancestry in great detail and over many years compiled comprehensive record file cards and hand written flow charts. Sadly the file cards were lost after his death but luckily his charts were saved and copies made. My thanks to Hugh Disney who allowed me the opportunity of coping them.