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Liorac sur Louyre Town Hall
A brief history :

Liorac from 1820 to 1845 :


Old civil and tax registers - on which land taxes were based and which also recorded licence-holders - bring back to life a village quite different from the Liorac we know today and hold a number of surprises.
The population was much higher in those days ; the 1845 census recorded 697 inhabitants among whom 81 lucky landowners paid property tax.
The great majority worked the land although those who actually farmed their own land were few and far between and even landowners often only boasted tiny properties which rarely brought in a sufficient income for the family, hence the necessity for many to carry out other trades at the same time.
The others - the share-croppers and ‘bordiers’ (the even smaller share-croppers often working several families together on the same piece of land) were at the mercy of short and fragile tenancy agreements.
Naturally, none of this helped farming to evolve.
Family farms all cultivated the same crops with a large percentage of the land being devoted to maize. Potatoes and traditional vegetables were also grown with grapes, walnuts and chestnuts bringing in seasonal extras. Hemp and linen, as well as sheep’s wool clothed the villagers and provided work for a variety of artisans.
In 1820 the village had a draper, Jacques Breton, a tailor, Etienne Dussous, and a dyer, Jacques Gérard.
During the long winter months Pierre Lambert at La Gareille, Jean Delbard at La Raffigne and Michel Bleyzac and Jean Roussel at La Pigne worked as weavers.
Not forgetting feet...during the same period there was a clog-maker, Pierre Comte, at Lescole and a shoemaker, Henry Maceron, at la Restarie.
People were therefore clothed locally and spinning and weaving provided extra income alongside farming.
The clog-maker also worked in the winter, hollowing out his clogs from walnut wood when possible.

Which leads us to forestry work.
A far smaller area of the Périgord was covered in woodland than today for the simple reason that local forges gobbled up wood-coal at a fast rate. There was a charcoal-burner at La Queyrouse and he was doubtless far from the only one.
In 1820 Liorac had two pit-sawyers, Pierre Jean Chort and Pierre Coupet and two roofers, Henri Cadet and Henri Fougeri. Jean Chassagne set up his carpentry workshop in the village in 1818 and was doubtless helped by members of his large family.
Jean Poumeyret also had his workshop at Liorac, encouraging healthy competition.
There is no surviving evidence of the fabrication of the famous flagstones whose remains are still to be found strewn over many areas of Liorac today but there was a tile-maker, Eloi Loubéat, in the village and a tile-seller, Jean Boussenot at La Restarie.
The stone-mason, Pierre Grégoire, lived in the village.
There were a number of metal-workers at Liorac : the village had an iron-smith, Antoine Mauquat and a blacksmith, Marie Lambert. In the neighbouring village of Montclard there was another iron-smith, Julien Giniat, and the smithy master, Michel Benoît.
Mathieu Teyssier made the sharp, iron edge tools used by the farmers of the neighbourhood and he was not alone as Liorac villager, Gerrand, known as Ferroulex, carried out the same trade at Lamonzie.
This was an era of self-sufficiency and the only artisan to deal with food was the baker, Prat, known as Pradou. There was no butcher as the pigs and chickens eaten by the villagers came from their own farms and there was no grocer as markets existed to fulfil this need. However, there were several mills at Liorac each with their own miller : Jean Chadourne at Moulin Neuf, Jean Bizet at the Moulin de Burette and Campagnac at Moulin Boissière.
Village social life must have been quite hectic at this period as no fewer than five cabarets paid licences to perform here.
There were four of them in the village, Jean Chassagne, Guillaume Lambert, Claude Loublat and Pierre Lavergne and a fifth, Jean Larouze, at Filolie.
As for the village notables, there was the mayor and his country ‘policeman’, Jean Lauzeille.
There was a full-time and, doubtless, extremely influential village priest but the Republican archives make no mention of him.
It is still too early to find any evidence of primary or secondary school teachers in the village - Jules Ferry has yet to pass his education laws !

However, throughout the 19th century Liorac boasted a doctor whose full-time presence was no mean thing in this era when reoccurring fevers due to the stagnant waters of the marshland, respiratory problems, nutritional deficiencies and a lack of proper sanitation lead to a much higher rate of mortality than the national average - statistics which were compounded by the very high rate of infant mortality.
In 1818 Liorac was therefore very lucky to be cared for by Doctor Charles Labigotie who lived at La Roche with his three sisters, Marie, Ursule and Elizabeth Pourquery de la Bigotie. One staunch Republican brother for three considerably less Republican young ladies...
The Gay family who lived at Liorac, some of them at Garaube, others at Genthial, Raffigne or Sorbier, also included a doctor, Régine Simounet, who practised at Lamonzie.
Régine Simonet



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