As we already know, the Blanchard’s of Saint-Barthélemy are all descended from a certain Jacques André BLANCHARD.
The first time Jacques André is mentioned in documents concerning Saint-Barthelemy, is on May 5, 1795, when the royal notary, Jean NORDERLING, draws up his marriage contract with Marianne QUESTEL. Jacques André is said to be a « native of Lille in Flanders, and the legitimate son of the deceased Jacques André BLANCHARD and Anne BOISERPE, of full age and using his rights ». We can estimate that he was born before 1770 at least.
Marianne QUESTEL, is the daughter of Toussaint QUESTEL and Marie Magdelaine GRÉAUX, both farmers at Le Colombier. She was born around 1775 (I couldn’t find the baptism). Her parents were married in Saint-Barthélemy in August 1756, she has eight brothers and sisters.
We can note that Jacques André‘s witnesses are Jean QUERRARD (sailor, arrived since at least 1787) and Joseph François BERNIER, merchant in Gustavia. As for Marianne, in addition to her older brother Toussaint, she has as witnesses, Charles JULIEN, boat captain (I think he is the son of Julien, originally from Corsica who married Marie Anne BRIN in 1777), and Jean Louis CERGE, a trader in Gustavia.
Marianne is not endowed, but « the future husband endowed the said future wife with the sum of six hundred Francs, money from the islands ».
Jacques André can sign (awkwardly) his name, as well as Jean QUERRARD and Jean Louis CERGE. The wife and her family make one cross.
PURCHASE OF A LAND AND A HOUSE
On December 19, 1795, Lucas MAYER sells to André BLANCHARD “a piece of land size at the Colombier, containing forty square French feet, bounded on the N by the seller, on the S, by Thomas QUESTEL, on the E by the same, and on the O by Robert GRÉAUX, with a small frame hut above the said land, of twelve square feet ”. André pays six and a half months in cash, the other half due in three months.
RELIGIOUS MARRIAGE (Ratification of the marriage of Jacobi Andres BLANCHARD and Mariane GRÉAUX QUESTEL)
The marriage was celebrated on May 19, 1796, by Josefus Alvarez who, probably not writing French, wrote his acts in Latin. To add a little spice, he Latinizes, in his sauce, the first names…. So, Jacobum Andream BLANCHARD, originally from “ex-Flandria” marries Marianam QUESTEL, daughter of Omnium Santonum QUESTEL (i love this last one !)…
BIRTH OF A SON
On May 30, 1796, Jacques André BLANCHARD was baptized, born April 1, 1796, son of Jacques André BLANCHARD and Marianne QUESTEL. He is the couple’s only child.
CAPTAIN ANDRÉ BLANCHARD
On July 16, 1796, Charles JULIEN indicates in a notarized declaration that he was embarked on a Swedish schooner heading for Trinidad and commanded by Captain André BLANCHARD (the schooner was attacked by an English frigate and Charles was put on board for three months …)
SALE OF A LAND AND A HOUSE
On November 20, 1798, André BLANCHARD and his wife Marianne QUESTEL, resell the land and the house they had bought from Lucas MAYER in 1795, to Charlemagne QUESTEL (who must be Marianne‘s brother). The sale is made for the sum of six moedes, a net loss of seven moedes compared to the thirteen moedes they had paid for it.
SALE OF A LAND AND A HOUSE
On December 5, 1799, André sold François CARRA “a house with a size site in this town of Gustavia as well as the outbuildings, being lot number 7 of the district I according to the plan of Samuel FAHLBERG. The sale is made « for the sum of fifty-one Portuguese gold and silver coins ».
After this date, we no longer hear about our ancestor of the BLANCHARDs. What did he become? All that can be said with certainty is that he disappeared and that he undoubtedly died before January 3, 1810. Indeed, on that date, Jean Louis L’ORANGE, “as distributor of the food assistance granted to the poor of the colony « sends a letter to the governor ANKARHEIM » Saying that among the number of the said poor, there is a certain widowed Madame JULIEN, who, having taken and fully fixed her abode with the supplicant, should not no longer be assisted by the fund; also, a certain lady named widow Pierre DANET dit Cadet (I think it is Julie Victoire LEBLANC) who, although the mother of three very small daughters, should no longer at least for a while to be assisted by the cashier, given that she has two of her children who do not live with her, and that she does a small retail food business through the intervention and assistance of one of her brothers-in-law, which provides her with a small faculty of existence. But the supplicant presents to you that instead of the two aforementioned, should succeed a certain named Marie Anne QUESTEL, widow André BLANCHARD, living in the Corossol district, where he is given the hospitality of accommodation. This woman is reduced to the most dreadful of miseries and is furthermore afflicted with a pulmonary disease which necessarily keeps her away from houses where she could find food assistance by taking her meals there, while a child boy she has and who, although still young, would be working to eat, but it is compulsory to stay with his mother, and the faculty of the inhabitants of the Corossol district does not allow them to feed two people with nothing make. The supplicant convinced in advance that the kindness of your excellence will be felt in favor of this unfortunate destitute, he will not cease his wishes for your prosperity and the prolongation of your days « . The governor decides to follow Mr. L’ORANGE’s request.
Obviously, the childhood of Jacques André BLANCHARD son does not seem to have been the easiest, but on April 17, 1820 (his mother is already deceased), in Public, he civilly married Jeanne Rose TURBÉ, daughter of Captain Simon Joseph TURBÉ and Jeanne Rose GRÉAUX. They live in the district of Anse des Flamands where they are farmers. The couple will have five children including two boys who will permanently install the name in Saint-Barthélemy.
Jeanne Rose known as « Ciboune », born around 1820 married Jacques LÉDÉE on April 21, 1841, they were farmers in Flamands and had 7 children,
Joseph André, who was born in April 1823, married Elisabeth Marie Bernadine GRÉAUX with whom he had two or three children (I have doubts about one of the children), then, in a second marriage, in 1853, Marie Antoinette MAGRAS, with three children.
Louis André dit Désile who was born around 1825 married Marie Magdelaine QUESTEL on August 7, 1847. They had 5 children.
Suzanne was born around 1830, no information about her (but she is mentioned in her father’s estate).
Rosalie, who was born in February 1833, married François GRÉAUX for the first time in 1855 then Alexis GRÉAUX in 1874.
THE ORIGIN OF THE BLANCHARD FAMILY
But let’s come back to our Jacques André BLANCHARD. According to the two marriage documents, it is said that he is from Lille in Flanders, but is he? How to find a BLANCHARD, a name so common in France. On the Geneanet site, for the period from 1760 to 1775, 156,000 responses were obtained for the name BLANCHARD. If we specify for the Nord department, we get 1983, including 152 Jacques and 8 André. No Jacques André.
So let’s look for his mother who has an unusual surname. Indeed, if we look for BOISERPE over the period 1740-1775, we find 41 for all of France, and if we look for BOISSERPE, we find 434, a very rare surname. We also immediately note that they are almost all located in Loire Atlantique, including many on the island of Noirmoutier (none in the North).
After a few hundred pages, I find what I was looking for in the registers of Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile.
On June 16, 1761, André BLANCHARD, minor-aged twenty-eight, wine merchant, son of the late Nicolas BLANCHARD, boat captain and Jeanne PINEAU his wife, and Hélène Anne BOISCERP (the name changes spelling all the time) minor twenty-three years old, daughter of the late Henry BOISCERP, mastership carpenter, and Hélène BONAMI.
Then, after several lines, on April 3, 1766, Jacques André BLANCHARD was baptized, born the night before at nine o’clock in the evening to André BLANCHARD and Anne BOISERP.
For me there is no shadow of a doubt, it is indeed the baptism of our Jacques André BLANCHARD.
We can remember Antoine GIRAUD, said to be a native of Saint-Martin de Ré when he was from Forges d’Aunis, or his brother Sébastien, who was said to be a native of Saint-Laurent en Aunis when he was born in Talmont-Sur-Gironde. We can also think of Martin BORNICHE who is said to be a native of the parish of Saint-Crépin in Champagne, while he is from Château-Thierry, or even of Pierre DANET, a native of Nantes, while he is from Missillac. Everything is often very approximate in our parish registers, and, as proof, the marriage in Latin.
But then, why is he said to be a native of Lille at his wedding if he is a native of Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile? » Probably due to a confusion between Lille and l’Ile, Noirmoutier being mistakenly considered as a parish of Lille ».
As we have seen, Jacques André was a ship captain in 1796. Perhaps he lived in Flanders and that, as a sailor, he was based there and that is where he came from when he arrived and got married? We will probably never know more, but, as far as I am concerned, the origin of « our » BLANCHARD‘s is in Noirmoutier!