The de Vismes family in Britain: the invention of a princely title


This page details the origin of the British de Vismes family, and how they came to claim the title of princes in the 19th century.

The origin of the family is in northern France, stemming from Jean de Vismes, who lived in the 1560s and was a Protestant.  There seems to be no connection to the family of Monchy, who held the title of barons de Vismes as late as 1665.  Several members of the family emigrated to England, of which Philippe de Vismes (1687-1763).  Although he was a younger brother (his older brother Pierre also emigrated to England and had descendants throughout the 18th c.), by the 1830s the grandson of Philippe de Vismes tried to have a title of count recognized for himself by the French authorities, claiming descent from the Blocquel de Croix de Wismes family.  His efforts only succeeded in obtaining a very ambiguous letter in 1838, not so ambiguous that it could fool the College of Arms in England.  His petition for a Royal Licence was denied in 1838, and several other attempts (in 1844 and in 1896) were also unsuccessful.  By the 1840s, the British de Vismes thought themselves to be descended from the "sovereign" counts of Ponthieu, and they began to use the titles of prince and count. 

The case is interesting because it highlights the role of the genealogist John Burke, founder of Burke's Peerage and other publications, in the invention of this fanciful claim.  Burke served as de Vismes's agent in France, and later inserted a rather fanciful account of the de Vismes ancestry in his publications.

Ruvigny's Titled Nobility of Europe (1914, p. 1528) states "recognition of count de Vismes [F. mpr.] for Elisee William by French govt 1 Sep 1838". As the documents below make clear, nothing of the sort occurred.

Sovereign count de Vismes?

The Daily Telegraph on Nov. 4, 2006 carried a death notice as follows:

"James Arnold Godfray Martin St Valery, Sovereign Count de Vismes, Ponthieu et St Valery" who died on 26 October 2006, aged 90.

This notice prompted my curiosity.  What British family could claim such exalted French titles?

Ponthieu, Saint-Valery, Vismes

First, a note on the titles.

The county of Ponthieu originates in a march created in the 8th century by the Frankish monarhy.  Roughly speaking the county passed by inheritance to the kings of England from whom it was confiscated in 1336, 1360, and lastly in 1380.  Thereafter it was given as apanage to various people, lastly the Angoulêmes, a legitimated line of  Charles IX.  The county was briefly (June-Sept 1710) part of the apanage of the duc de Berry.  The last owner of the county was Charles, comte d'Artois, younger brother of Louis XVI, who received it as part of his apanage in 1773.  He later became king of France in 1824, and after his overthrow in 1830 used the style of  "comte de Ponthieu" as incognito.

The barony of Vismes (Somme, zip code 80140) was a fief within the county of Ponthieu.  It passed from the family of Cayeux to the family of Monchy in the 14th century, and as late as Sept. 1665 it was still owned by the Monchy family (François de Monchy, son and heir of Charles de Monchy, baron of Vismes, gave homage).

The barony of Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme (Somme, zip code 80230), a fief in the county of Amiens, passed from the Melun family with Isabelle to the Artois comtes d'Eu, then to the house of  Bourgogne-Nevers along with Eu and followed the county of Nevers through the houses of La Marck and Gonzaga until the mid-17th c., when it passed by sale to the house of Rouault de Gamaches which still owned it in 1737.

It's not a little puzzling to see someone claiming all three titles at the same time, given their very disparate histories.

The French family of de Vismes

The earliest traced ancestor of the de Vismes family is one Jean de Vismes, a Protestant, who lived in the mid-16th century in Airaines, in Picardy (northern France), and married Annette Courchel.  He had several children, of which three sons left issue:

  • François who emigrated to Canterbury, England
  • Marin, who was Catholic: two sons Jean and Nicolas also moved to England, while another son Antoine left  issue, the de Vismes of Paris and those of Abbeville
  • Jean, who was a "laboureur" in Gouy-l'Hôpital and founded the Protestant branch of the French de Vismes.
The descendants of Marin have been traced by Philippe and Nicole Baudard de Fontaine (La Famille de Vismes, 2005).  The Paris branch was represented in the 18th century by Pierre Martin de Vismes (1711-77), who became secretaire du Roi in 1757 and thus acquired hereditary nobility. He had made a fortune in the tax collection business, and two of his sons worked in the tax farms.  His daughter, made "dame du lit" of Queen Marie Antoinette,  married the court banker Laborde and later a member of the Rohan-Chabot family.  His eldest son Joseph-Jacques-Martin (1741-95) was a military officer, his younger son Anne-Pierre-Jacques de Vismes de Valgay (1745-1819) was director of the Paris opera in the 1770s at the time of the composer Gluck's arrival; and the third son Alphonse-Denis-Marie de Vimes de St Alphonse (1746-1792) was a farmer general.  The line became extinct in 1861.  The Abbeville branch, also descended from Marin, is still extant.

The descendants of Jean de Visme, laboureur in Gouy-l'Hôpital, remained mostly Protestant, and as such were increasingly the victims of persecution in the 17th and 18th centuries.  A number of them emigrated to England, where their distant cousins were already established.  From Jean the descent can be traced to Marin (b. 1604), Jean (1638-85), who left Pierre (1657-87) and Jean (c1662-after 1702).  The latter Jean's great-great grandson Léon de Visme was sous-prefet under Napoleon I in 1814 and ex officio received the title of baron.  Pierre left three sons: André (1679-1726) whose descent still exists in France, Pierre (ca 1685-1768) and Philippe (15 Sep 1687-26 Oct 1763), both emigrating to England in the early 18th century.

The British family of de Vismes

The British family of de Vismes can be traced to Philippe de Vismes, a French Huguenot who settled in London after the edict of toleration of Protestants was rescinded in 1685.  According to the documents presented by the family, he would have been styled "comte" as early as 1716 in the registers of the French protestant church of St Martin Orgars, and his son Guillaume or William (d. 1781) so styled on his tombstone in Beckenham, Kent. There is good reason to doubt the accuracy of these documents, however: one transcription (the entry for the burial of Philippe in 1756) is demonstrably false, and published descriptions of the church of Beckenham describe the monument as inscribed to "William Devisme, esq".

A genealogical sketch of the family follows.

His son Guillaume or William (1729-81) married in 1756 Elizabeth Auriol, of a Genevan Protestant family.  Their eldest son Élisée William (1758-1840) was an officer in the Coldstream Guards; in 1838 he petitioned both in France and in England to have a title of count recognized to him.

The 1838 petition in France

In February 1838, John Burke and Antoine Perpigna (a Parisian lawyer specialized in patent law) filed with the "Conseil du Sceau" at the French ministry of Justice a request for the recognition of the title of "comte de Visme de Cayeu" on behalf of Elisha (Elysée) William de Vismes, colonel of the Coldstream Guards and grandson of Philippe de Vismes.  The contents of the file are reproduced here

It was explained that the petitioner was desirous to formally use his title of count in Britain, particularly during the upcoming coronation festivities, and he had been advised that, in order to obtain formal recognition in Britain, he needed a formal recognition from the country of origin, in this instance France.  John Burke, who was already gaining notoriety for his genealogical writings and would soon publish the first edition of his Peerage, acted as de Vismes' attorney in France. 

The initial papers filed included a petition to the French minister of justice signed "de Visme" in Southampton, Feb 13, 1838; a letter from Burke, and two genealogical notices by Saint-Alais and by Somerset Herald (James Cathrow Disney).  Burke wrote again on Feb. 27 and March 7, asking for a swift answer.  Then, on March 16, he asked to withdraw the supporting documentation to update and improve it.    Finally, in March, he was told that his petition was incomplete and in any case needed to be filed by one of the accredited solicitors (référendaires du sceau).   Burke chose a solicitor named Grossot Devercy, who signed the subsequent petition.

The petition from Grossot Devercy had five supporting documents:

  1. a notice copied from d'Hozier's Armorial général de France on the Blocquel de Croix de Wismes family, through which the petitioner claimed connection to the "comtes de Vismes". 
  2. a pedigree drawn by Somerset Herald, in a certified translation; the pedigree merely asserted that Philippe de Vismes, the petitioner's grandfather, was "in direct descent of the comtes de Vismes" without any proof.
  3. a comparison of the coat of arms of the petitioner with that of the Blocquel de Croix de Wismes,
  4. a note from Lord Brougham (Henry Peter Brougham, 1778-1868), Lord Chancellor of Great Britain from 1830 to 1834, to the effect that the status of British subject was acquired by birth in the British dominions without any other procedure.
The petition is undated but was probably filed in April.  At the same time, Lord Brougham who was in Paris, wrote a letter of introduction for Burke to the French minister of justice and stated that "many people" in Britain took an interest in the matter at hand.  The file was still incomplete, though and in mid-May additional documents were produced:
  1. a copy of the death registration of the petitioner's father (in 1781)
  2. a copy of the inscription on the same's tomb
  3. a copy of a tax bill for 1823 in the name of "comte de Vismes"
  4. another tax bill dated 1831
  5. the envelope of a letter sent by a British MP to the petitioner addressed to him as comte de Vismes.
On May 28 a letter was sent to Lord Brougham to assure him that the petition would soon be addressed. 

The file in the French national archives contains the report on the petition, presented to the commission of the Seal on May 22.  The reporter concluded that the petition should be rejected, for a variety of reasons.  The pedigree of Somerset Herald was rejected as insufficient because it was not certified by six to eight gentlemen of the county of residence of the family (a procedure which was deemed necessary to make the document authentic).  The documents provided did not fully prove the descent, nor did it prove that the petitioner was an eldest son and his father an eldest son. 

The key point, however, was that it made no sense to ask the French authorities to establish the claim to a title on the basis of British documents.  It was possible to establish a claim to a title by documenting that the title was lawfully used for three generations. But only British authorities could make that judgment.  And it was illogical to ask the French authorities to recognize the title when the only purpose was to convince the British authorities to recognize the title.

The reporter then added a note: considering the recommendation from Lord Brougham, the minister might consider writing a careful letter to the petitioner, and proposed a draft of such a letter, stating that "I think one could not dispute him the right to continue to use a title that he would have thus received from his forebears".  The chair of the commission approved the idea, and the minister endorsed it.  A letter was written in those terms on June 5 to colonel de Vismes.

The colonel immediately applied for recognition of the title in Britain with the Home Office, and his solicitor withdrew the documents in English that had been submitted (certified translations remained in the file).  On August 7, the French minister of justice received a letter from his colleague at Foreign Affairs.  The British authorities thought that the letter of June 5 was not official, and asked for an explicit statement as to the recognition of the title in France.   This request must have created some embarrassment, as the several drafts of a response suggest.   In the end, the minister replied that the letter of June 5 contained the exact expression of his opinion on the matter, and reiterated the deliciously ambiguous phrasing that "one could not, in [the minister's] opinion, dispute a title that he held in such manner from his ancestors".  Fearing perhaps that the phrasing was too subtle, a sentence was added to the letter: "furthermore the documents presented to me must be the same as those presented to the English government in support of his request, and that government can therefore assess them and form an opinion".  This letter was sent to the French minister of Foreign Affairs on September 1, 1838 and forwarded to the British ambassador.

This letter clearly achieved its effect: in October Burke was again in Paris and transmitted a letter from Lord Brougham explaining how this last sentence had created additional difficulties for de Vismes with the Home Office, who now claimed that the French authorities were suggesting that the British authorities investigate the whole matter themselves.  Surely this was not the French minister's intention, and a word to say so would dispel doubts raised only by the greed of British bureaucrats.  A reply was sent to Burke on November 25, curtly referring him to the letters of June 5 and September 1 (an explicit sentence in a first draft: "the explanations you request would be more damaging than useful to your client" was removed from the final version).

The 1838 petition in England

At about the same time, Elisee William de Vismes petitioned for a Royal Licence to bear the French title of count de Vismes.  The the College of Arms stated that "there was no precedent for such a grant without the previous production of the original patent" and the Home Office declined to submit the application for consideration to the Queen. 

In July 1840 his younger son Henry (1808-75) wrote again on behalf of his ill father to the Home Secretary (HO 44/52, fol. 585-587) pressing for recognition.   The Home Secretary declined to reconsider the case, and the correspondence dragged on, the vicomte writing in vain several rambling (if not incoherent) letters in 1844 and 1846, without receiving replies.  He finally asked for his correspondence to be returned to him, which was denied. His correspondence makes it clear that, as of 1844, the British de Vismes now considered themselves to be a collateral branch of the sovereign comtes de Ponthieu, though they only claimed the title of count.

In 1865 and 1867 his son Henry Auriol Douglas asked again about the petition, asking for copies of the correspondence and for an explanation why the petition had been denied.  He was told that a copy of the correspondence could not be provided.

The de Vismes become princes

This failure did not deter Burke.  He included the de Vismes in his Peerage, but now abandoned the connection to the Blocquel de Croix de Wismes.  Perhaps he had noticed that the Wismes in their case was located in Artois, not in Ponthieu, and spelled with a W rather than a V.  Perhaps, more to the point, he learned that the family was not extinct at all (it is still extant).  It seemed safer to postulate a connection to the house that first owned the barony of Vismes, before it passed by marriage to the Cayeux.  This meant, of course, abandoning the title of "Vismes de Cayeux", but claiming that this family was a junior branch of the counts of Ponthieu allowed to adopt the title of "Vismes de Ponthieu".  Better yet, the title could be upgraded from "count" to "prince", and become available German-style to all members of the family, not just the first-born.  This is what happened with the two sons of Elisha William: one became prince, the other became count.

And so we see in the Times that the wife of of Theobald is called "Princess Theobald de Vismes et de Ponthieu" in 1859 (as he was styled "Prince" at his marriage in St Helier, Jersey); that "HRH the Prince de Vismes et de Ponthieu &c" is on the committee of the Corinthian Club in 1870, and "HRH Prince de Vismes" on the committee of the Regent Club in 1872, etc.  The children of Theobald Raoul William use the name "de Vismes de Ponthieu," although the Army lists never give them any title.

It seems that further efforts were made to secure a royal license for the title in Britain.   In 1896, the College of Arms asked the French authorities for a copy of the decree confering the title of count on Elisha William de Vismes, a decree they thought dated to 1832.  Being told that there was none, they asked to look under "Vismes de Ponthieu", then to look under 1838.  Finally, they were told that there was no such decree at any date, the only title conferred on anyone with the name of Vismes between 1808 and 1848 was that of baron in January 1814 to Valéry de Vismes, sous-préfet of Vervins.  In 1899 the College of Arms, having obtained a copy of the September 1, 1838 letter, asked for a copy of the minute in the file where the opinion of the minister of justice on the title and status of de Vismes was expressed, and the French authorities simply sent back a copy of the letter of June 5 (which the letter of September 1 merely repeated!). 

British de Vismes family: a genealogy

The following is based on Burke's Peerage (1874, 1938: the last edition with a section on foreign titles), Annuaire de la Noblesse de France 1865 (p. 223-228, largely based on various editions of Burke's Peerage), Burke's Commoners (IV:321), Ruvigny's Titled Nobility (1914, p. 1528), various death and birth notices in the Times, supplemented by a few birth entries from the IGI.

The two brothers Pierre and Philippe were both born in Gouy-l'Hôpital, France, sons of Pierre de Vismes and Marie Leroy.  The children of Pierre, who was naturalised by act of Parliament (3 Geo I n. 54) can be traced through IGI entries:

Pierre de Visme (probate 16 Feb 1768)
~ (27 Jun 1717 London) Madelaine Beaufils

  • Pierre (10 Jun 1718-probate 9 Apr 1771)
  • Philippe (21 Oct 1719-c1760)
    ~ (8 Dec 1751, Trinity Church, New York City) Anne Stilwell
    widow of Theodosius Bartow of Shewsbury, NJ
    • Elisabeth Beaufils (1752-)
      (31 Dec 1772, Mortlake, Surrey) Jean Duval, diamond merchant of Genevese origin
      • Lewis Duval (1774-1844), lawyer (see Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)
    • Pierre Anthony (1754-c1780) unm.
    • Samuel (1756-) unm. in Barbados (will proved 16 Nov 1793)
    • Catherine (1758-)
      ~ (2 Jul 1782, Paramus, NJ) Joseph Browne
    • Philip (b. 1760, NY) unm.
  • Elisabeth (b. 17 Oct 1720)
  • Marie Anne (b. 28 Sep 1721)
    ~ (24 Jul 1746, Lee, Kent) James Dalbiac
  • Anne (b. 28 Feb 1723)
  • Elisabeth (b. 2 Jun 1724)
  • Elisabeth (27 oct 1725)
  • Jean (13 Feb 1727-) unm. will proved 2 Jan 1760
  • Isaac (2 Jan 1728-)
  • Marie (23 Nov 1728-)
    ~ (2 Feb 1759, Spitalfields Christ Church, Stepney, London) Daniel Mesman
  • George (24 Nov 1729-)
  • Susanne (28 Oct 1730-)
  • Guillaume (25 Jul 1732-)
    ~ Charles Dalbiac
  • David (13 Feb 1735-)
    merchant at Silesia and London
    ~ (Nov 1782) Philippa Sheriff
    • Elizabeth Sophia de Visme (bap 30 Jan 1775, Holy Trinity, Clapham)
      ~ (11 Feb 1801 St Marylebone, London) John Baillie
  • Elisabeth (24 Mar 1736-before Nov 1763)
    ~ (1 Sep 1757, Holy Trinity, Clapham) William Sampson

Philippe (15 Sep 1687-buried 25 Oct 1756, Clapham, Surrey)
~ (26 Jul 1716, Spring Gardens Chapel, Charing Cross) Marianne Picquet de la Méjanelle

  • Philippe (4 May 1717, London)
  • André (b. 19 May 1718)
    ~ Ann Webb
    • Philip Nathaniel (b 5 Jan 1744) will proved 1817
      ~ (10 Jun 1771, Chislehurst, Kent) Jane Rush
      • Philip (b. 23 Nov 1776) s.p. will proved 1828
      • Gerard (b. 20 Sep 1778 + Brighton will proved 1835)
        ~ (2 May 1818 Kensington) Eliza Ella Torriano
      • Jane (b 18 Feb 1780)
      • Louisa Boscawen (bap 14 Oct 1782 - 1862 Brighton)
        ~ (15 May 1809 Kensington) John Louis Goldsmid
        • Louisa (10 Feb 1810, Dorking - 1911, Hollingbourn, Kent)
          ~ Richard Thomas
          • Ella de Visme
            ~ (15 Apr 1860 Hollingbourn, Kent) Robert John Shaw
            • issue
          • Bertha Jardine (1845 Hollingbourn, Kent -1932)
            ~ 1873 Edward Delmar Morgan
            • Edward Lewis Delmar (bap 27 May 1875)
            • Bertha Woodline Delmar (bap 15 Dec 1876)
            • John Godfrey Yate Delmar (bap 17 May 1878)
            • Ella Mary Delmar (bap 11 Nov 1879)
            • Vera Caroline Delmar (bap 8 Dec 1880)
          • Mary Julia (c1847 Hollingbourn, Kent -)
          • Richard Gerard de Visme (c1849 Hollingbourn, Kent - 1900 Hollingbourn, Kent)
            ~ Augusta Emma Cartwright (d. 2 Feb 1949 Hollingbourn, Kent)
            • Richard Gerard de Visme (20 Mar 1888 Hollingbourn - 19 Mar 1958 Pembury, Kent)
            • Edward Stephen de Visme (12 Aug 1891 - )
            • Louisa Fanny de Visme
      • Harriet (b. 8 Apr 1785)
  • Louis (25 Sep 1720-4 Sep 1776) unm.; diplomat
    see entry in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  • Etienne (18 May 1723-2 Nov 1770)
  • Gérard (6 Feb 1726- bur. 29 Oct 1797 Wimbledon) will proved 1798
    • Emilie (d. 23 Nov 1873)
      ~ (28 Jun 1810 St Marylebone, London) Sir Henry Murray
  • Léon (14 Sep 1727-17 Aug 1766) s.p.
  • Guillaume (William) (6 Feb 1729, London-24 Jun 1781, Beckenham, Kent)
    one of the directors of the Royal Exchange Assurance
    ~ 1756 Elisabeth Auriol, d. of Elisée Auriol, chr, et Marguerite de Bonnal de Fesquet
    • Elisha (Élisée) William, comte de Vismes (28 Jun 1758-31 Oct 1840)
      colonel Coldstream Guards
      ~ (20 Oct 1802 Lyme Regis) Jeanne Salt (d. Jan 25, 1856 Exmouth aged 85), widow of Dr Hall, sister of M. Salt
      • William (19 Jul 1805-1877)
        ~ (18 Jul 1832 Broadway, Somerset) Eliza Carter Palmer (d. 27 Jan 1885 Cesson, France), d. of Rev. W. Palmer
        note: styled "vicompte de Visme" in the marriage register
        • Theobald Raoul William (26 Dec 1833-7 Aug 1878)
          ~(29 Jan 1859 St Helier, Jersey) Caroline Annie Musgrave (d. 1903)
          • Valery Theobald Guillaume (23d Nov 1859 Brussels (bap. St. George's, 12 Jan 1861)-5 Feb 1895 Tangier)
            ~(12 Sep 1885 Constantinople) Angele, d. of late Skender Bey Fritsch, Constantinople
            • Alexander William Theobald (10 Sep 1888-14 Feb 1945, Granada Spain)
              ~ (13 Nov. 1917; div. 1927) Eileen Bede
              • William Valery (b. 10 Feb 1919)
                ~ (Dec 1945 Marylebone, London) Renee Soloman
            • Louis Auriol Robert Musgrave (30 Jan 1894 Tangier-)
            • Bertha Caroline Amelia (d. 25 Jan 1937, Bucharest, aged 51)
              ~(2 Jun 1904 Constantinople) baron Jean de Styrcea, master of ceremonies at the Romanian court
            • Valerie Alice Julia Gladys
              ~ 1912 Edward F. de Arnolds
          • Raoul Guy Richard (6 Jan 1864 Louvain (bap. 19 Apr 1864 St. george's Brussels) -Jul 24, 1901, Pondichery)
            ~ 1896 Beatrice Evelyn d. of William Hope Hall
            • Gerard Richard Musgrave (b. 22 Feb 1897, Aden Arabia-2 Oct 1934)
          • Elise Caroline Julia Bertha ((bap. 24 Jan 1862 St. George's Brussels) - d. Feb 17, 1941 Torquay)
          • Bertha Marianne Adelaide Jeanne ((bap. 20 Nov 1862 Louvain)
        • Angilbert Valery (28 Jan 1835-31 Dec 1909 Nice) d.s.p.
          ~ (29 Jan 1859 St Helier Jersey) Augusta Adelaide Musgrave (d. 17 Nov 1893 Nice), d. of Rev Richard Adolphus Musgrave
      • Henry (9 Dec 1808 Hatch Beauchamp, Somerset-2 Sep 1874, Bedford)
        ~ (15 May 1834) Caroline Sarah Sophia Jones, d. of vice-admiral Alexander Jones (Apr 6, 1811-Aug 5, 1877)
        • Henry Auriol Douglas (b. 17 Apr 1835-21 Nov 1893) s.p.
        • Alexander Montgomery (b. 17 Jul 1837-15 Apr 1902) unm.
        • William Edward Robert St. Vallery (3 Jun 1839-23 Oct 1851)
        • Philippe Charles Montreuil (12 May 1841 Le Havre - 9 Sep 1860)
        • Henry John Hugh (24 Feb 1843-13 Jul 1921, London)
        • Charles Theobald (14 Apr 1854-20 Feb 1919) unm.
        • Sophia Jane Mary (d. 1 Jul 1919, Southampton)
        • Bertha Caroline (Jan 1846, Bideford, Devon - 12 Feb 1930 Marylebone, London)
        • Eleonor Alice Lydia (d. Dec 20, 1926) unm.
      • Eliza Jane (d. 1853)
        ~ Joseph Kane (d. 1841)
        • William Francis de Vismes Kane (1840-1918)
    • James (1759-Oct 1826 Milbrook, Hamps)
      ~ (14 Jul 1788) Elisabeth Bearcroft, d. of Edward Bearcroft (d. 13 Mar 1818, Newent)
      • James Edward (b. 4 Nov 1791, Newent, Glouc - 12 Nov 1859 Bath)
        ~ Sophia Staines, d. of Sir William Staines
      • Francis (23 Dec 1793-18 Dec 1869 Jersey)
        ~ (6 May 1824) Harriet Sullivan, d. of Sir Benjamin Sullivan
        • Francis Sulivan (18 Feb 1825-27 May 1828)
        • Julius Sulivan (11 Aug 1826-8 Jan 1876)
          ~(10 Aug 1848 Trinity Ch., Marylebone) Jane Scott Douglas Grimmond (+8 Dec 1855)
          • Philip Douglas (b. 13 Jun 1849)
          • Jane
          ~ (28 May 1857 St Saviour Jersey) Eliza Labey, widow of Isaac Banbury
          • Julius Philip (b 1858 Quimper)
          • Nithard Raoul (1859-1859)
          • Robert Sullivan (31 Aug 1861 Grouville, Jersey - 11 Jun 1897)
          • Nithard Valery (1862-1862)
          • Lilian Jane (25 Jun 1863)
            ~ (17 Jan 1883 St. Helier, Jersey) Edwin Godfray (22 Sep 1852 Jersey - 27 Apr 1910)
            son of Alfred Godfray, surgeon, and Henrietta A.
            • Beatrice Lilian (5 Nov 1883 Jersey - )
              ~(Jan 1910 Paddington) N. De Patterson
            • Geraldine Irene (21 Dec 1884 Jersey - )
              ~ (10 Oct 1908 Bombay) John Martin (b 1865 - )
              • John Leal de Vismes (Jul 1909 Lewisham, Kent - 29 Jul 1966)
              • Geraldine Mary Rose (1912 Lewisham, Kent - )
              • James Arnold Godfray [Martin St. Valery] (18 Sep 1916 - 2006)
            • Edwin de Vismes (4 May 1886 Jersey - 4 Jun 1917 Lancaster)
              ~ (5 Dec 1904 Greenwich) Margaret Frances Sprague
              • Lilian Madeleine de Vismes (16 Sep 1905 Lee, London - Apr 1994, Honiton, Devon)
                ~(Jun 1932 Paddington) Arthur Rickards Theweneti (1907 Godstone, Surrey - Jun 1938 Winchester, Hamp)
                • John E. (1933- Mar 1937 Surrey)
                • Ian Patrick G. (17 Mar 1938 Southampton - May 1999, Leeds)
                  ~(Sep 1960, Ealing) Kathleen Davis
                  • issue
              • Maureen Irene de Vismes (12 Feb 1907 Lee, London - 29 Sep 1957, Ealing)
              • Brenda Poppy (26 Oct 1908 Montmorency, France - Jun 1970, Chelsea)
            • Reginald Valery de Vismes [R. de V.] (26 Jun 1887 Jersey - 3 Feb 1939 Ceylon)
              departs for Ceylan 25 Sep 1915, works as a tea planter
              ~ Muriel N.
              • Patricia (c1928 - )
          • Nithard Harlowen Valery (29 Aug 1868-13 Jul 1873)
        • George Robert Sullivan (bap 19 Oct 1830, Weybridge - 29 Oct 1878)
          ~ (12 Jun 1872, St Clement, Jersey) Anna Augusta Pond (+6 Dec 1914)
          • Robert Francis James (b. 3 May 1873 St. Brelade, Jersey -1950)
            ~ (11 Feb 1914 St Brelade, Jersey) Marguerite Jenkinson (d. 1940)
            • Robert Raoul St Valery (26 Sep 1916-1956)
        • Elizabeth Margaret (1827-1890)
          ~(29 Nov 1871 St Saviour, Jersey) James Bayly Pond (d. 1880)
        • Julia
      • Andrew Joseph (b. 10 Aug 1797, Newent, Glouc - 1851)
        ~ Martha Drummond Hay
        • Andrew Joseph (8 Nov 1847 Worcester - )
        • Andrew Arthur (b. 1849-5 May 1899 Ixelles, Belgium)
          ~ (31 Jan 1880 St Mary Lambeth) Henrietta Schallehn
          • Arthur Henry (12 Feb 1880 Chiswick - Mar 1951 Battersea)
            ~ (13 Mar 1903 Lambeth) Jane Catherine Trimlett ~
      • Edward (b. 9 Jan 1806, Newent, Glouc)
        ~ (28 Aug 1842, St Helier, Jersey) Elisabeth Halford, d. of John Halford
        • Gerard Auriol (1848 - 29 Jun 1880 Murree, Bengal, India)
          ~ (9 Jul 1878 Cheltenham) Geraldine Mary Kyrle Money (d. 20 Oct 1908 Hampshire)
          • Gerard Auriol (1 Jul 1880, Murree, Bengal, India - )
        • Mary Isabella
          ~ (7 Jan 1874 Cheltenham) Robert William King (d. s.p.)
      • Marianne Clare (b 31 May 1789, b. 1 Jul 1789, St George Martyr, Queen Sq)
      • Philippa (b. c1792)
        ~ (27 May 1813 Newent) John Holder
        • Katherine (b c1820)
          ~ N. Martin
          ~ (27 Jun 1872 Weston, Somerset) Vesey Thomas Bunbury
      • Laetitia (b. 8 Jul 1795, Newent, Glouc)
      • Anne (b. 4 Sep 1798, Newent, Glouc)
        ~ (26 Jul 1824) Robert Stephenson Forth Cumberbatch Amiel
      • Julia (still living c1885, last of her cohort)
      • Sarah (b. 31 May 1803, Newent, Glouc)

      ~ (2 Mar 1819) Charlotte Chatfield, d. of Francis Chatfield
      • Charlotte (+31 Dec 1844)
      • Sophia (b. 1 Sep 1825, Milbrook, Hampshire)
      • Marguerite (7 Feb 1834)
    • Louis (19 Jan 1761, London-)
    • Jean Pierre (b. 22 Dec 1765, London-)
    • Etienne (25 Apr 1768, London-)
    • Pierre (1 Jul 1771, London-)
    • Andrew John (14 Nov 1778, Beckenham, Kent-10 Oct 1796, Newent)
    • Amelie (b. 25 Jun 1764-)
    • Sophie Jeanne (b 29 Nov 1769-)
    • Meriah (3 Sep 1775, Beckenham, Kent-1805 Newent)
    • Elisabeth (29 Oct 1762, London - d. 14 Feb 1790)
      ~ (12 Dec 1782) Rev. Edward Auriol Hay-Drummond
      • Henrietta Auriol Hay-Drummond (d. 1832)
      • Edward William Auriol Drummond-Hay (4 Apr 1785-Feb 1845)
  • Benjamin (b. 5 Mar 1730) unm.
  • Judith (b. 20 Sep 1719)
  • Marianne (b. 31 May 1722)
  • Marianne (b. 31 Jul 1733)
  • Susanne  Louise (25 Jun 1738)
  • Amelie
    ~ (7 Sep 1765, Holy Trinity, Clapham) Jean-Emmanuel Castellard, baron de Bondeli

French de Vismes genealogy: a sketch

This sketch is based on the pages of Philippe Roelly's pages on Protestant genealogy in Picardy.   I can't vouch for the accuracy of the lineage.  It seems plausible enough, up to the point where he identifies Jean de Vismes with Jean de Monchy, of the Monchy family: at that point, references to sources evaporate. In any event, it is clear that Jean de Vismes and his descendants were not considered noble.

Jean de Vismes
~ Annette Courchel

  • Robert (1560-1648)
    ~ Bernarde de Bérold
  • François (+ bef 1619), emigrates to England with nephews Jean and Nicolas (Canterbury)
    ~ Madeleine Leclercq
    • Samuel (bap 23 Oct 1597 Canterbury)
    • Samuel (bap 28 Oct 1608Canterbury)
    • Marie (1601 Canterbury)
      ~ 26 Dec 1619 Jacques Le Becque
      ~ 27 Sep 1627 Antoine Rollé
    • Madeleine (bap 5 Sep 1605 Canterbury)
  • Marin
    sergent royal au bailliage d'Amiens, maître-priseur de biens (prov. 27 fév 1582)
    ~ ?
    • Jean
      emigrates to Canterbury, England
    • Antoine
      clerc au greffe civil du bailliage d'Amiens
      ~ 1598 Jeanne Legrand

      • Marin (1604-)
        ~ 1631 Françoise Le Clerc
        • Antoine (1633-)
          bourgeois d'Amiens
          ~ Jeanne Pillaguet
          • posterity, unknown
      • Jean (+ <1670)
        bourgeois d'Amiens
        ~ Catherine Le Bas (+1670)
        • Jean (1629-94)
          honorable homme, échevin d'Abbeville
          ~ Anne-Françoise Le Marchand
          • Edouard (1677-)
            maître marchand de toiles
            • Edouard-Nicolas (1701-40)
            • Charles-Jean-Baptiste (1702-77)
              vérificateur des comptes des aides

          • Louis-Vulfran (1682-1767)
            notaire, échevin d'Abbeville
            ~ Marie-Anne de Ribeaucourt
            • François-Louis (1720-82)
              échevin d'Abbeville
              ~ 1744 Marie-Marguerite Cocu
              • François-Bernard (1746-)
                1774 Marguerite-Victoire de Quevaulliers (+1784)
                • Bernard-Alexandre (1779-1840)
                  apothicaire à Versailles
                  ~ 1810 Marie-Joséphine Auze
                  • Jules-Alexandre (1811-93)
                    ~ Sophie-Ernestine de Vismes
                    • Ernest-Auguste (1850-78)
              • Charles-Henry (1751-1808)
                mercier, consul des marchands d'Abbeville
                ... posterity
              • Louis-François (1756-1832)
                ... posterity
        • Robert (1638-1711)
          bourgeois d'Amiens, échevin
          ~ Jeanne Timbergue (+1683)
          ~ Marguerite Fanet (+1694)
          • Alexandre-Joseph (1670--1721)
            trésorier de l'extraordinaire des guerees à Montmédy
            • Claude-Philippe (+1765
              directeur des Etapes
          • Pierre (1671-<1757)
            lieutenant de cavalerie, procureur du Roi à Amiens
            ~ 1711 Marie-Marguerite Masse
            • Pierre-Martin (1711-)
              fermier général 1761-77, secrétaire du Roi (charge annoblissante) 1757
              ~ Marie-Louise Legendre
              • Alphonse-Denis-Marie de Vismes de Saint-Alphone (1746-92)
                fermier général 1787-90
              • Anne-Pierre-Jacques de Vismes de Valgay (1745-1819)
                sous-directeut des fermes, directeur de l'Opéra 1778-79
                ~ Jeanne-Hyppolye Moiroud
              • Adélaïde Suzanne (1759-1835)
                ~ Jean Benjamin de Laborde (1734-94)
                ~ duc de Rohan-Chabot
          • Louis-Jean-Baptiste
          • Gabriel-Louis-Marion
          • Louis-Armand
    • Nicolas -> Canterbury
      ~1600 Anne Pignon
    • Adrien
      ~ 1600 Claudine Lamoury
      • Adrien, bap. 1603, living in 1628 in Paris
      • ...
  • Jehan (v1570), laboureur
    ~ Jeanne Thiery
    • Jean (ca1600-1659)
      ~ Anne Lucas
      • Marc
      • Marin
      • Isaac
      • Jehan
    • Samuel
    • David (1 Jul 1607-)
    • Marin (ca1604-)
      ~ Jacqueline de Haye (ca 1607-)
      • Abraham (1627-98 Canterbury)
        ~ Suzanne Leclerq
        • Anne (1649-)
        • André (1650-)
          ~ Judith Leroux
          • Judith (1701-)
          • André (1704-)
        • Jacques (1657-)
        • David (1652-)
        • Madeleine (1668-)
      • Isaac (1629-apr 1687)
        ~ Suzanne du Hamel
        • Madeleine (1655-)
        • Jean (1656-)
        • Pierre (1658-)
        • Isaac (Canterbury -)
          ~ Marie Frémaux
          • Marie (13 Oct 1689 Canterbury-)
          • Isaac (1692-)
          • Pierre (1698-)
          • Samuel (1702-)
          • Marie (1703-)
          • Judith (1709-)
        • Suzanne (Canterbury 1663)
        • Samuel (Canterbury 1665-)
      • Jean (1638-85)
        ~Judith Faquier
          Madeleine (Oct 1655-)
          ~ André Leroy
        • Pierre (Dec 1657-1687)
          ~ 3 Nov 1676 Marie Leroy
          • André (1679-1726)
            ~ 1713 Marie Herondart
            • André (1725-92)
              ~ 1751 Marie Anne Malivoire
              • Jean (1760-1819)
                ~1790 Marie Thérèse Davaine (1767-1820)
                • Jonathan
                  ~1826 Louise de Félice
                  • postérité
              • André (1753-1829)
              • Philippe (1762-)
              • Jean-Louis (1766-1836)
                ~ 1793 Marie Cécile Elisabeth Bettembos
                • Philippe-Auguste (1801-69)
                  • postérité
            • 5 filles
          • Pierre (ca 1685-1768)
            ~ 1717 (London) Madeleine Beaufils
          • Philippe (15 Sep 1687-26 Oct 1763)
            ~ 26 Jul 1716 Marianne Picquet de la Méjanelle
            • British de Vismes
        • Louis
          ~ 1700 (Canterbury) Suzanne de Fecques
        • Jeanne
          ~ 1686 Samuel Hérondart
        • Jean (c1662-ap1702)
          ~ 1684 Suzanne Bihet
          • Jean (1686-)
            ~ Anne Petit
            • Jean (1714-62)
              ~ Marie Marguerite Huillot
              • Valéry (1760-1844)
                ~ Marie Thérèse Pollet
                • Léon de Visme, baron d’Empire 1814
          • Anne (1690-)
          • Isabelle Elisabeth (1692-)
          • Louis (1695-)
          • Marie (1697-)
      • Pierre
        ~ Madeleine Gambier

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François Velde

Last modified: Aug 22, 2017