• A short history of the Mouriquand's family in France

    En raison du nombre de lecteurs de ce blog qui sont d'expression anglaise, je publie pour eux cette petite note en m'en excusant auprès des autres.


    The former name of the Mouriquand's family was Barreau. We find an ancestor, Jean Barreau, who gets married in 1505 in Auvergne (a french province in the central part of France, close to Clermont- Ferrand). The name of this man turned to Mouriquand, possibly as a nickname, but franckly me don't know. We can follow these people as little nobles in this region during some generations.

    Then happened the religious reform of Luther and Calvin and our family split. The branch that we are coming from is the protestant branch -evangelical, if you prefer: let's remember that Jean Pierre Diogène became a baptist preacher. We see in a genalogical study of 1932 that our family became poorer or at least more maginalised. But, one is a doctor. We also see that the roman catholic part of the family of course disagreed with that orientation and that one of our ancestor was disinherited.We have no more information about the roman catholic branch which, very probably, lasted. A repression came against the protestants and one, Guillaume de Mouriquand, fled to Geneva.

    His son Jean went back to France, exactly in the Drôme region, in 1697 but, significantly, settled in a very small village which was as far as possible of the largest city Valence, where the troops were. Obviously, he was afraid of possible new religious repressions. This man is JPD's grand-grand-father.

    These people finally settled in Beaufort sur Gervanne (where I live again after a life far away) in the middle of the eighteenth century. The picture that I put here is very probably from 1910, that is 60 years after JPD left.

    A short history of the Mouriquand's family in France

    When the french revolution happened these people, since they were protestant, favoured the republic, considering that the former repressions were ordered by the monarchy. Beaufort sur Gervanne was at the time overwhelmingly protestant (a mayor has written in 1830 that 19 inhabitants on 20 were protestant).

    This led to the fact that when, in 1851, the former president of the Republic, Prince Louis Napoléon Bonaparte, attempted a coup to become emperor (as his uncle Napoleon I) as Napoleon III, JPD's father, Jean-Pierre Mouriquand, was opposed to the coup:He was a republican activist . We know, through JPD's memories, that he received in his farm, during the night, some people that the emperor's troops would look for. His mother was terrified by this activity and would pray him to stop. He was himself arrested but, by chance, with no direct consequences.I think that he left at least a brother in Beaufort who was a member of the municipal council. (Previously, there had been one of our ancestors who was mayor.) and who, possibly, from that position, protected his brother.  So Jean-Pierre considered as better to flee to the US in 1858. At that time, JPD was 12. They arrived in Ellis Island in february 1859.

    A short history of the Mouriquand's family in FranceIt appears that the trip to the USA had been much organised since we know through JPD's autobiography that, from the beginning, they knew that they would stop in Jolliet (Ill). My opinion is that very probably there were some contacts through friends. It is indeed, absolutely senseless to imagine that from such a small village (450 inhabitants) a man was able to organise so well his trip. In Jolliet, Jean-Pierre Mouriquand and his family stopped to make evereything ready for a long trip to Kansas City, then to Coffey County where they first settled. JPD was deeply involved in the northern troops during the Secession War, and very probably lied about his age  to be incorporated in these troops. He seemed to be a fan of Abraham Lincoln and there is a  charming anecdote when he voted for the first time. Very probably his father would not speak english and would not understand how to vote. So JPD first convinced his father to vote for Abraham Lincoln as president and the conservative Albert Lee as representant. And he prepared for them both the ballot papers.

    JPD settled later in several places but with few success and only finaly ended in Homestead. But this you know better than I. (I apologize for my english)


    The picture at the right was very probably taken at the very end of the 19th century.

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