Posts Tagged ‘Launay’

I wrote a Post yesterday, explaining how Gustave Caillebotte and Edgar Degas really knew each other, on the Facebook page of the Degas House, Courtyard & Inn, and Edgar Degas Foundation of New Orleans, and so I thought that I should share it here.  Caillebotte and Degas met because of one man, Paul Valpinçon.  You see, Paul Valpinçon was Degas’ lifelong and dear friend, but he was also the cousin of Gustave Caillebotte, a fact which the families have not shared with the art world until now.  I’ve added a little further explanation along with appropriate photos or documents.


Paul Valpinçon was born 29 Oct 1834 in Paris, though the family was originally from Normandy. The Degas painting “Madame Valpinçon” (1865) is of Paul’s wife Marguerite Claire (born Brinquant) Valpinçon. Edgar’s painting of their daughter, Hortense, is in the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts. Hortense and her younger brother, Henri (also painted by Degas), both died without children.

My 2nd great grand-uncle (Paul Valpinçon’s grandfather) René Valpinçon, bought the Menil-Hubert Chateau in Normandy in 1822.  This chateau was where Degas (formerly “de Gas”, which is how he still spelled his name, as late as 1891) did many of his paintings, including those of some of my Valpinçon cousins.

1891 - Shows Degas registered as "de Gas"

Paul Valpinçon is a third cousin of Gustave Caillebotte, and through whom Degas met Gustave, as well as neo-classical artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Ingres’ 1808 painting, “Valpinçon Bather” was named after Paul’s family, who owned it (a gift from Ingres) prior to it going to the Louvre in 1879, where it now resides.

Gustave Caillebotte  is a 3rd Cousins of my grandfather, Paul de Launay, while Paul Valpinçon. is a 2nd.  Paul de Launay was born 19 Oct 1878 in Paris and nearly adopted in 1892, along with his brother Gaston (1881-1836), by Gustave’s older brother Alfred (1834-1896), a Catholic priest, when the boys’ father, Professor Jules de Launay D.D., died on 24 March 1892 and left his wife and two boys destitute.  In addition to studying under Jean-Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant at Académie Julian, Paul de Launay studied under one Gustave’s teachers, Léon Bonnat, at Musée du Luxembourg.

1899 "Victor Hugo Mort, after Bonnat", by Paul de Launay,

Jules de Launay was a 1st cousin to the father of Paul Valpinçon and a 2nd cousin to the father of Gustave Caillebotte. Those fathers names were Louis Augustin Edouard de Valpinçon (born 1807) and Martial Caillebotte (1799-1874) respectively. Jules de Launay also had become a Catholic priest in 1834 and served at the Vatican under Pope Gregory XVI from 1834 until he left the priesthood in 1839. Jules, rather famous later during his life, immigrated to the U.S. in 1841, but later returned to Paris in December 1877 as the first American Protestant missionary to France.

Since both he and his father were born in Paris, my grandfather, Paul de Launay (1878-1951), came to the U.S. as both a Frenchman and the son of an American.  My great-grandfather Jules de Launay (1813-1892) was in New Orleans in the 1840′s. His first wife was Anna Eliza Goodale (b. about 1826), daughter of Nathan Goodale (1792-1872).

Degas remained a close friend of Paul Valpinçon’s daughter, Hortense, and her husband Jacques Fourchy, until Degas’ death.

In 1900, Degas, with Hortense and her husband, Jacques Fourchy at the Valpinçon chateau at Menil-Hubert, Normandy.

Although Paul Valinçon’s line stopped with his children, and Gustave Caillebotte never had any children, the descendants and cousins of these Valpinçon, Caillebotte, and de Launay families  still get together over 100 years later.

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From page 1, Vol. 1 of “Jules & Paul de Launay” (publish 1983) by Jules Richard de Launay.  The photos which I have added are from my mother, Rosemarie’s collection.

Mes excuses. Je vais imprimer les Français de cet article bientôt.

“On the ninth of December 1813 in Paris, at the church of St. Denis du St. Denis du St. Sacrament, was baptized a two day old baby, Jules.  He was the son of Jacques Launay and his wife Marie Valpinçon, living at No. 8 rue Neuve St. Catherine (now Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris III).  The godmother was Anne Valpinçon, wife of Boissière, residing at no. 30 Rue de la Barillerie (now Bvd. du Palais Paris I & IV).  The godfather was Jules Valpinçon of No. 11 Rue des Deux Boules (Paris I).

I first obtained a copy of the certificate of baptisms of the above Jules in 1933.  I knew something about my grandfather Jules, but I knew nothing of the family except for the little bit of confused information which my father Paul could remember from his conversations with his father Jules.

Paul de Launay (about 1887)

Since Jules died when his son Paul was only 13 & 1/2 years old, the latter’s knowledge was rather vague.  The information which Paul got from his mother Anna was unreliable as she was a social-climber and gave herself and her husband Jules grand (but false) ancestral backgrounds.

Who were these people mentioned in the certificate?  Why was the father named Launay instead of de Launay?  Who were these three Valpinçons?  It was 30 years later in 1963 that knowledge about these people began to unfold.

In January 1962, I arrived in London, England, to spend three years as liaison scientist for the U.S. Office of naval Research, London Branch.  My son Hugh wrote me suggesting that while I was in Europe, perhaps I should investigate our de Launay ancestry.  The idea pleased me, for I had 5 weeks of leave per year and I wished to be doing something active during those times.  But I did not know how to start the research.  Launay, Delaunay, de Launay are very common names in France, so I would need firm clues in order to identify my own de Launays.  Valpinçon, on the other hand, seemed to be a rare name, and form PINSON de VALPINÇON to be contrived (which it proved to be).  Thus, I decided to begin with the Valpinçon Family and leave the de Launay for later.

In the summer of 1962, while in Paris for a week on Navy business [editor's note: the writer, Jules Richard de Launay, a former Rhodes scholar, and a Navy physicist], I spent an hour each evening looking through the set of telephone books in the Metro station for the name Valpinçon.  Before I began the search, I had reasoned that between Mont Pinson in Calvados and the nearby village Aunay-sur-Odon, there could be a dale called Valpinçon.  Thus, the first place I looked at in the phone books was Aunay-sur-Odon, and there it was:  Pierre de Valpinçon, agrie!  After that happy event, I searched the whole set of volumes, but never found another Valpinçon.

Back in London, I wrote a letter to Monsieur Pierre de Valpinçon, giving him the details from the baptismal certificate of 1813.  I asked if he knew anything about the Valpinçons on the certificate, and if so, would be kindly give me what information he could.  Several months passed by without a reply.  I began to assume that he was not interested and had thrown my letter in the waste paper basket.  In time, however, I was delighted to receive a letter from him.  He said that he had passed my letter on to his cousin l’Abbé Yves Champion of Laval, who was the family genealogist.  The Abbé was injured in an automobile accident just after receiving my letter and was incapacitated for some time, hence the long delay.  The Abbé tol Monsieur de Valpinçon that he was certain that I was their cousin and that he knew the connection.  I was then invited to spend a day in April (1963) in the week after Easter at the farm.

This photo from a later reunion, not 1962.

What happened to the family in Paris after the birth in 1813 of Jules, I had no idea.  In 1982, I engaged the Paris genealogist Madame Margaret Audin of 37 Rue Quintinie, Paris-XV, to find out what happened to them.”

So began Volume 1 of “Jules and Paul de Launay” printed for my uncle Jules Richard de Launay in 1983 by Frank Webster, bookbinder in Canterbury, England.

I will be re-publishing my uncle’s work here, as I transcribe it for republication with my own work, and that of my mother’s, for the descendants of their father, my grandfather Paul de Launay.

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Click photo to visit FindaGrave.com

I thought I’d stop what I’m doing right now to talk about an important subject:  getting sidetracked.

Getting sidetracked is easy to do when you’re working on your genealogy. Yesterday, after arriving in Athens for a 3-day layover, I had intended to finish my update of spending two days of genealogy research in Paris with my cousin Monique.  However, I decided to do something I thought, at the time, would just take a few moments, and simply add two new research source subscriptions to look for information about my grandfather Paul de Launay:  Footnote.com, and NewspaperArchive.com. Something caused me to look for something over on a site called FindaGrave.com, a regular “go to” source for me, and once again….I was sidetracked.  This time it pushed me back to doing some research on my father’s side of the family.

Having said all of that, it brings me to the point I wanted to make, and that was that FindAGrave.com has now become a very important site in the genealogy world.  I spent several hours adding photos that I found there, to my own tree, and then spent several more hours adding half of my own maternal great-grandparents to the FindaGrave.com site.  Many photos I found were high enough resolution for printing smaller photos, and many times, there was an obituary or family biography to go along with the person, which would lead me to other cousins, and more distractions.

So if you haven’t checked it out visit FindaGrave.com, I highly recommend it.  You’ll be surprised how many of your own ancestors are there.   If you don’t believe me, then read this article about FindaGrave.com, and then get back to work.


En Français:

Je pensais arrêter ce que je fais en ce moment pour parler d’un sujet important: se laisser distraire.

Se distraire est facile à faire lorsque vous travaillez sur votre généalogie. Hier, après son arrivée à Athènes pour une escale de 3 jours, j’avais l’intention de terminer ma mise à jour de passer deux jours de la recherche généalogique à Paris avec ma cousine Monique. Cependant, j’ai décidé de faire quelque chose que je pensais à l’époque serait quelque chose qui serait simplement de prendre quelques instants et ajouter deux nouveaux abonnements source de recherche pour trouver des informations sur mon grand-père Paul de Launay: Footnote.com, et NewspaperArchive.com. Quelque chose m’a fait chercher quelque chose de plus sur un site appelé FindaGrave.com, un habitué “aller à” la source pour moi, et encore une fois …. j’ai été mis de côté. Cette fois, il me repoussa à faire quelques recherches sur le côté de mon père de la famille.

Ayant dit tout cela, il m’amène au point que je voulais faire, et c’est tout FindAGrave.com est devenu un site très important dans le monde de la généalogie.J’ai passé plusieurs heures à ajouter des photos que j’ai trouvé là, à mon propre arbre, puis a passé plusieurs heures plus ajouter la moitié de mes propres grands-parents maternels sur le site FindaGrave.com. De nombreuses photos que j’ai trouvé étaient à haute résolution permet d’imprimer des photos plus petites, et de nombreuses fois, il y avait une biographie nécrologique ou en famille pour aller avec la personne, qui me conduirait à d’autres cousins, et plus de distractions.

Donc, si vous ne l’avez pas vérifié visite FindaGrave.com, je le recommande fortement. Vous serez surpris de savoir combien de vos propres ancêtres sont là. Sivous ne me croyez pas, puis lisez cet article sur FindaGrave.com, puis se remettre au travail.

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6 Feb 2011 – on my break during my flight to Athens.

Fourchy Cousin.

On Appendix page A64 in Volume 3 of my uncle Julot’s “Jules and Paul de Launay” (pub.  1985), he reprinted page 268 of The Christian Standard dated 18 September 1880 in which Jules Delaunay (born 1813) wrote “Among these, my honored cousin, Monsieur de Fourchy, Advocat General of Paris, who, on the 2nd of July last, and followed by 123 other magistrates, tendered their resignations so that they could not be forced to enforce the decree against their consciences.”

What I find important in this passage entitled “Notes from Paris” is Jules mention of his cousin “Fourchy”.  In 1849, there is also an “Antoine Jules Fourchy” listed as a witness attending the marriage of “Benoit Jacques Polinice Pinçon de Valpinçon” on Appendix A76 in Vol. 1 of the same series.  His occupation was listed as “notary”, and may be the same “cousin” Fourchy whom Jules refers to in September 1880.  The only other Fourchy I have found in our tree thus far is Jacques Fourchy (no dates), the husband of Hortense Valpinçon (died 1946).  She is the same Hortense painted by Edgar Degas in 1869-1870 as a young girl.  I cannot determine who the Fourchy cousin is for certain, or how he might be related.  I suspect he is the husband of a Valpinçon daughter, and hope that my cousin Philippe Valpinçon in Normandy may lead me in the right direction, if I am unable to find a historical record of the names of the Advocats General of Paris.

{footnote: Benoit Jacques Polinice Valpinçon is the son of Jacques Valpinçon, grandson of Ann Julie Féron, and great-grandson of Thomas Féron, and so would have been the 2nd cousin to Jules Delaunay, who would have been in the U.S. by this time.}


En français.

6 février 2011 – sur ma pause lors de mon vol pour Athènes.

Fourchy Cousin.

Sur la page Annexe A64 dans le volume 3 de mon oncle Julot de “Jules et Paul de Launay» (éd. 1985), il reproduit la page 268 du Christian Standard daté du 18 Septembre  1880 dans laquelle Jules Delaunay (né en 1813) écrit: «Parmi ces choses, mon cousin honneur, M. de Fourchy, Advocat général de Paris, qui, le 2 Juillet dernier, et suivie par 123 autres magistrats, ont présenté leur démission afin qu’ils ne pouvaient pas être contraints d’appliquer le décret contre leur conscience.

Ce que je trouve important dans ce passage intitulé «Notes de Paris” est Jules mention de son cousin “Fourchy”. En 1849, il ya aussi une “Antoine Jules Fourchy” répertorié comme un témoin comparaissant le mariage de “Benoit Jacques Polinice Pinçon Valpinçon de” l’Annexe A76 dans le vol. 1 de la même série. Son occupation a été répertorié comme «notaire», et peut être le même “cousin” Fourchy qui se réfère à Jules en Septembre 1880. Le seul autre Fourchy J’ai trouvé dans notre arbre est à ce jour Jacques Fourchy (aucune date), le mari d’Hortense Valpinçon (mort en 1946). Elle est la même Hortense peint par Edgar Degas en 1869-1870 comme une jeune fille. Je ne peux pas déterminer qui est le cousin Fourchy est pour certains, ou comment il pourrait être lié. Je pense qu’il est le mari d’une fille Valpinçon, et j’espère que mon cousin Philippe Valpinçon en Normandie peut me conduire dans la bonne direction, si je suis incapable de trouver un historique des noms de l’Assemblée générale Advocats de Paris.

{Note: Benoit Jacques Polinice Valpinçon est le fils de Jacques Valpinçon, petit-fils de Ann Julie Féron, et petit-fils de Thomas Féron, et aurait donc été le cousin du 2 au Jules Delaunay, qui aurait été aux États-Unis à cette époque .}


Caillebotte Descendants

I have been corresponding with someone named “Mio” from Japan who is apparently a fan of my cousin Gustave Caillebotte and operates the web site:  http://www.Caillebotte.net.  I found an unusually accurate genealogy there.  I say unusually, because from my own research, I have not found anyone other that this to have such information that generally only families are privy too.  After some back-and-forth emails over the past several months, I finally got the source of the information:  Jean Pierre Toussaint.

Mio wrote, “He is not a cousin though he has a passion for Caillebotte.  He lives in Yerres and works for the Caillebotte Park there.”  Mio said that he may have gotten the tree information from someone else who works there or from a French book called “Dessins et Pastels” which Jean Pierre said he had.  I wrote Jean Pierre today and hope to hear back from him soon.


En français.

Descendants Caillebotte

J’ai correspondu avec quelqu’un du nom de «Mio» en provenance du Japon qui est apparemment un fan de Gustave Caillebotte et exploite le site Web: Caillebotte.net. J’ai trouvé une généalogie inhabituellement précises là-bas. Je dis exceptionnellement, parce que de mes propres recherches, je n’ai pas trouvé quelqu’un d’autre que ce à disposer de ces informations que les familles en général seulement sont au courant aussi. Après quelques emails de va-et-vient au cours des derniers mois, j’ai finalement obtenu la source de l’information: Jean Pierre Toussaint.

Mio a écrit, “Il n’est pas un cousin mais il a une passion pour Caillebotte. Il vit et travaille à Yerres pour le parc Caillebotte là-bas. “Mio dit qu’il peut avoir obtenu l’information sur les arbres d’une autre personne qui y travaille ou d’un livre français intitulé « Dessins et Pastels “que Jean Pierre a dit qu’il avait. J’ai écrit Jean Pierre aujourd’hui et j’espère avoir des nouvelles de lui bientôt.

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