The familial History
The Origins (II)
The roots of all the Baldou families are probably in Languedoc and Provence. In fact, at the beginning of the 19th century, the first well known member of the family, Antoine Maurice Baldou, born in 1773, was a medicine doctor in Sauve, little town of the Gard, renowned for its speciality of forks in nettle-tree wood and its mills of silk stockings. But he was not a native of this part of the Cevennes mountains and, after his death in 1815, his wife, Marie Rosalie Baude, and his two sons, Marie Louis Anne and Marie Louis Eudore, born respectively in 1810 and 1813, left Sauve for an unknown destination, probably the family of Marie Rosalie in the region of Montpellier. The doctor Baldou was graduated from the Medicine School of Montpellier where he had upheld his Thesis in 1798 on the subject "Some ideas on the convalescence of the acute diseases".
However that may be, the name of Baldou is one of the rarest in France, borne in our days only by 17 persons , so giving it the rank of 4789th french name on a total of 4793 ranks. It seems to exist only five families in France bearing that name, one in Aquitania, two or three in the Vaucluse and Herault. It is probably here, in the little town of Clermont-l'Herault, near Montpellier, that the origins of the Baldou could be located. In this town, at the end of the 17th century, lived Pierre Baldou with his wife Anne Couderc and their descendance gave rise to the Baldou family which, after this period, emigrates to other regions of France. The name is certainly from a languedocian origin as shown by a suburb of Cavaillon (Vaucluse) whose name is Saint-Baldou, coming from an old Templars fortified farm called Castle Saint-Baldou (or Saint Bal in 1255 and Saint Bardoux in 1276 and 1322). This name of Baldou comes probably from the germanic roots "bald" (which means bold or audacious), or "bard" with the meaning of giant. The name exists also with the same spelling in some Prussian families and, in Silesia, it is possible to find, during the 13rd, 14th and 15th centuries, the names of Baldewin (1245,1366), Balduwinus (1405) and Baldekinus (1310). The english spelling of Baldwin is also probably of the same origin.
After the death of Antoine Maurice Baldou, in 1815, his family has left Sauve and we do not know exactly where they have lived during the following fifteen years. However, we know that the 23 of June 1838, the second son, Marie Louis Eudore Baldou, has upheld a Thesis of Medicine Doctor in the Medicine Faculty of Montpellier. After that date, the brothers Baldou settled them in Paris where, in 1850, Marie Louis Eudore married Caroline Marie Eugénie Denis de Lagarde. The elder son, Marie Louis Anne, is dead in Paris the 20th of march 1858 without any known descendance.
By this marriage of Marie Louis Eudore Baldou with Caroline Marie Eugénis Denis de Lagarde, the family united to the descendance of an old family of the Breton nobility, the Denis de Keredern de Trobriand, famous by the numerous seamen and soldiers who, with the time, had served the French Kingdom and, often, died for it. But the familial history can be sometimes surprising
The French Revolution had brought important confusions in a number of noble families. But after 1794 and the end of the Terror, a giddy round of pleasures and fiests had carried away a lot of these survivors of the jails of "La Conciergerie" and "Les Carmes", during the time of the Directoire and of the Consulate. Among these young ladies and gentlemen, "Fanny", alias Louise Jeanne Nicole Arnalde Denis de Keredern de Trobriand, was the wife of the Captain Barthelemy Regis Dervieu du Villars, Mayor of the town of Lyon during the Terror and himself survivor of a death sentence. Following the Court of Josephine de Beauharnais, wife of the General Napoleon Bonaparte, Fanny was introduced to the young Eugene de Beauharnais, son of Josephine and Colonel of the Light Cavalry of the Consulate Guard. She fell in love with him and, in 1803, gave birth to a boy. But Fanny was married and had already a son, Auguste, born in 1797. Therefore, by order of the First Consul Bonaparte, the child was adopted and acknowledged by Pierre Marie François Denis-Lagarde, as his son, Louis Pierre Marie Auguste, born in Paris from a so-called Louise Denis on the 2nd of February 1803. Indeed, this direct line with the Beauharnais could be challenged as it is not confirmed by direct evidence but this tradition is long-lived as well as in the Denis de Keredern de Trobriand family than in the Denis de Lagarde descendants.
The Denis family take his origin from a mercenary irish soldier, Gilbertus Denys Miles, who, during the 14th century, had been placed at the disposal of the Count Jean de Montfort to fight during the War of Succession of Britany. After the battle of Auray, the treaty of Guerande, the 12nd of April 1365, has confirmed the victory of Jean de Montfort who became Duke of Britany. Then Gilbertus Denys settled in the region of Morlaix (Britany) where he died in 1385.
His son, Jean Denis, was, in 1415, equerry of Robert de Tremedern in Paris then attached to the Court of Arthur de Bretagne, Count of Richemont. The count Arthur was also Lord of Goelo (a little part of Britany near Paimpol) and has been a fighting companion of Jeanne d'Arc. In 1425 he was High Constable of France after Bertrand du Guesclin and Olivier de Clisson. During the years 1457-1458, he has been also Duke of Britany under the name of Arthur the 3rd.
Jean Denis has been dubbed a knight in 1420 and ennobled in 1426 as a Free Knight. During the year 1437, he was, with other noblemen from the Goelo, at the taking of the oath of fealty to the Duke of Britany.
Among his descendants, we can find two brothers, Bizien DENIS (1460-1530) and Alain DENIS, respective roots of the branches DENIS and KERRANOS-COETLOSQUER of the family. The son of Bizien DENIS, named Alain (1520-?), has been confirmed in his nobility by the King of France Charles the 9th, for his part in the defense of the port of La Rochelle besieged by the english armies in 1573 during the 4th Religion War.
Alain DENIS must be considered as the true origin of the DENIS family. From his marriage with Catherine Coroller , he had two sons : Francois DENIS, the younger, equerry, lord of Du Bois and of de Prathamon. The elder son, Julien DENIS (dead in 1660) married in 1596 Anne de Morvan. His son Guillaume DENIS (1598-1674) was Lord of Gorecquer-en-Ploujean and married Claude de Gratz in 1656. He is the ancestor of the different Trobriand branches of the family. These branches come all from his son Jean Elie the 1st DENIS (1664-1725), Lord of Trobriand-en-Plougaznou, acknowledged as a nobleman of ancient origin by judgment of the King Council the 9th of May 1715. From his first marriage, in 1693, with Fiacrette Le Lonze, were born, among other children, Jean Etienne DENIS de TROBRIAND (1696-1731), Lord of Cosquerou-de-Talargas, origin of the branch DENIS de TROBRIAND, and Jean Elie the 2nd DENIS, Lord of Keredern-de-Trobriand, and ancestor of the branch DENIS de KEREDERN de TROBRIAND.
The Beauharnais were of briton origin and, at the end of the 14th century, settled up in the region of Orleans on the land of La Ferte-Avrain, later called La Ferte-Beauharnais, which is always its name. One of their ancestors, Jean de Beauharnais, Lord of Miramon and La Chaussee, was a fight companion of the Count of Dunois and testified, in 1456, at the rehabilitation trial of Jeanne d'Arc. His wife, Petronille, was the sister of Jean de Goutes, one of the honour equerries given to Jeanne by the Dauphin Charles the 7th before her struggle to liberate the city of Orleans.
Francois the 5th de Beauharnais, grand grand-father of Alexandre de Beauharnais, on the 14th of September 1664, married Marguerite Francoise Pyvart du Chastulle (daughter of Jacques Pyvart du Chastulle and Catherine Thierry). Her family owned extensive estates in Saint-Domingue and La Martinique. From this marriage, seven sons and three daughters survived.
The grand-father of Josephine de Beauharnais, wife of Alexandre and mother of Eugene, was Gaspard Joseph de Tascher de la Pagerie, born in 1705 and dead in 1767. He was of a sword nobility and came from an ancient and honourable family of the Blois and Orleans region. The origins of the family are traced back to Nicolas de Tascher, Crusader in Holly Land in 1157. They were also allied to the family of the french medieval poet Ronsard. Gaspard settled in La Martinique in 1726, coming from the manor of La Pagerie in Vievy le Rage (in the region of Blois) and the 16th of 1734 he married, in La Martinique, Marie Francoise Bourdeau de la Chevalerie, a descendant of Belain d'Esnambouc, conqueror of La Martinique in 1635.
The family Denis de Lagarde comes from an ancient Denis family, native of the county of Goelo in Britany. This family is mentionned in several official acts of the County and Kerviler (in Breton Biobibiography, Rennes, 1899) attributes them the foundation, in 1656, of the Community of Notre-Dame de Toutes Aides in La Prenessaye. In that time, the family was maintained by Pierre Denis, born near 1650 in Pontrieux, and then would be illustrated by two of his decendants, Pierre Denis du Porzou, who was Seneschal of the town of Pontrieux, and his brother Florentin Jacques Denis de Lagarde who lived in Paimpol where he was Fiscal Attorney and barrister in the Britanny Parliament. He has played, during the french Revolution, a rather important local political part, and two of his sons have been well-known but for different reasons.
The manor of the Denis de Lagarde family in Paimpol during the year 1792
(at present occupied by the hotel and restaurant "Le Repaire de Kerroch")
The elder son of Florentin, named Pierre Marie François Denis de Lagarde, born in Paimpol the 11th of April 1768, is dead in Paris the 24th of march 1848. After a career of journalist and high civil officer during the 1st Empire, he married, near 1808, Angelique Josephine Orcelle, born in 1784. Then, during the July Monarchy, he was a member of the State Council. He had two children, a daughter, Angelique Denise, born in 1909, and a son, Louis Pierre Marie Auguste, born the 2nd of February 1803 from a so-called Louise Denis. In fact, this child was an adulterous son of Louise Jeanne Nicole Arnalde "Fanny" Dervieu du Villars, born Denis de Keredern de Trobriand. The presumed biological father was Eugene de Beauharnais, son of Josephine de Beauharnais the Empress of France. Louis Pierre Marie Auguste has been adopted by order of Napoleon Bonaparte and reared by Pierre Marie Francois as his son. It is a daughter of Louis Pierre Marie Auguste and his wife Marie Victoire Desiree d'Haussy who, in the year 1850, married the doctor Eudore Baldou.
The second son of Florentin Jacques, René Joseph Marie Denis-Lagarde, born in Paimpol the 9th of August 1769 and dead in Binic the 24th of April 1849, married the 25th of November 1816 Marie Le Pommelec (born in 1795 in Binic), the daughter of a coastwise trade captain, eventually a privateer. Rene Joseph had embarked as a seaman at the age of twelve and, in 1792, he was 2nd class midshipman in the war navy. He made all his career in the navy and in 1812, as a vessel captain, he was in command of the frigate "La Clorinde" whose last sea-fight drove him to the celebrity. After the Cents-Jours he was put in half-pay and he retired in 1820.
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids