Upon my arrival here in Choranche, a couple of decades ago, I heard of a second meaning of the word "terrier": a register of parcels of land whose owners owe allegiance (or taxes) to such-and-such a lord or superior body. That definition isn't meant to be rigorous.
• 14th-century terrier
Established by the Sassenage family in 1351-1356. website• 18th-century terrier
Established by the Order of Malta in 1780. websiteIn the context of French history, it's exceptional that two sets of precious documents of this kind, covering a time span of four centuries, have survived, and are available today for study. The investigation of these two quite different terriers would surely be a fascinating theme for a doctoral scholar, maybe attached to a university in the UK or America. I would be happy to handle requests for further information from interested researchers.