You are descibing my family. I had a great uncle (Charles??) in Swansea, Wales who has a son (Richard?) who owns a construction company in th UK. One passed away in Perth, Australia in the last 20 years, and relatives still in England and Wales. My lineage came to the US around 1910 to 1915.
I was told their was a family crest registered in the UK for someone in this line but I have not had any luck finding who that was.
I, too, was told by my grandmother that out family fled France, and that some decendants became lighthouse keepers in the UK. Their was also a story of a great family fortune that went unclaimed to the Bank of England because all decendants could not be located.