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Gaston de Launay (ca. 1904-1906), when he was a Canadian Husser

My grandfather, Paul de Launay, who was born in Paris on 19 Oct 1878, married his first wife, Florence Grace Hensley (born 12 Nov 1866), 12 years his elder in Williamsburg, Virginia.  Paul was 24 years old.  His new bride was 36, a “cougar” by modern standards.

One night last year, as I was boarding a flight to Paris, I met a woman with the same uncommon last name as the one I was researching – “Hensley”, that of my step-grandmother, and then sat on a plane next to a Frenchman who gave me info on how to research my grand uncle Gaston de Launay’s French military record, even volunteering to check on the existence of the records himself.

So, as I checked in at the gate that night, I happened to notice that the agent’s last name was “Hensley”, which was coincidental since I was presently researching that same name, so it happened to be very fresh on my mind.

Married to my grandfather, Paul de Launay, on 20 June 1903 at the Bruton Episcopal Church in Williamsburg, Virginia,  Florence Grace Hensley died suddenly on 3 Jan 1907 due to breast cancer.  My grandfather, for some reason, kept this marriage to her a secret as best he could, and would always refer to her, as “My dear Aunt Flo”.

My grandmother, born Mabel Ray Beasley, was Paul’s third wife, and never learn of Paul’s marriage to Flo until after Paul’s death in 1951.  It became her obsession, and later mine, to learn as much about her as possible, and why Paul grieved for Flo for so long.  Though we’ve found many answers, we still have not found a photo of her.  It doesn’t look good, but I will continue to hold out hope that one day we’ll get to see the face that Paul loved so many years ago.

Steam Ship Haverford

SS Haverford

On the 1901 English Census in the Saint Lawrence Parish of Jersey Channel Island, I had found Florence Grace Hensley living with her brother Philip.  On 19 Nov 1902, Florence boarded the SS (for Steam Ship) Haverford, then an American Line in Liverpool, with her 49 year old sister, Emily Marianne Hensley, their 10-year old nephew Charles E. Bishop, and another unknown boy, Lionel W. Roberts.  Emily answered ‘yes’ to having been in the United States before.  Florence’s answer is unreadable regarding this.  All four stated there destination was to their sister and brother-in-law, Alice Mary (Hensley) and husband Charles Edward Bishop in Sandybrook, Williamsburg, Virginia.  The Haverford arrived in Philadelphia on 1 December 1902.

Finding this and other definitive clues, we connected with the descendants of Flo’s sisters, and other English cousins in the U.K., so there’s a slight feeling of connection to her.  Paul de Launay painted a nude, red-haired woman facing away from the artist.  Although there is no proof, as yet, we think this may have been Paul’s Flo.  There are other unnamed female Hensley faces in a photo album that Paul kept until his death.  It’s possible that her’s in among them.

During my conversation with the gate agent, I had asked her if she knew if she had any English relatives several generations back.  She indicated she did, and that they had settled in the Virginia area.  This was the same area I was looking for other Hensley’s.  She told me that the name was rather uncommon here in the States.  So I took her email with a promise to follow up, and I’ll do the same on this story, as new information is discovered.

Until then, I will continue to look for the face of Florence Grace (nee Hensley) de Launay, my Late step-grandmother.

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I can’t find it published online anywhere yet, but I’m told privately that the “Caillebotte Brothers Private World” exhibition is coming to Canada.  I hope I’m not spilling the beans.  I saw it at the Musee Jacquemart Andre in Paris back in March when it had just opened.  To a cousin of Gustave and Martial, I was more really interested in the family photos, which I had not yet seen.

I’m planning to attend the opening of the Montreal exhibition.  I’m hoping some of the de Launay descendants can make the trip to see not just the exhibition, but our Caillebotte descendant cousins, whom our families had lost touch with after the death of my great-grandmother, Annie de Launay in 1919.  My grandfather was just 15 years old, when Gustave died in 1894, but was already a painter and pianist himself by the age of 9, most likely following in his older cousins’ (Martial the pianist, and Gustave the painter) footsteps.

It’s getting close, so the dates should be announced soon.  I’ll repeat the official dates and location here on this blog when they are released, but I think it will open sometime in early October.

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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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http://wp.me/Ph5jD-34

I just added a new sub-page to the Public Downloads Page.  This is a transcript of a 26 page booklet published in 1888 for the 10th-year anniversary of the first American Protestant Mission to Paris in January 1878, opened by my great-grandparents, Professor Jules de Launay, D.D., and his wife Anna Augusta (born Ollerrenshaw) de Launay. Jules was the second cousin of Martial Caillebotte (the elder).

Jules emigrated to the U.S. in 1841, and then returned to Paris with Annie as American missionaries in December 1877.  Their sons, Paul and Gaston were both born in Paris, as dual citizens.  Paul de Launay would later be awarded France’s two highest awards:  the National Order of the Legion of Honour (Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur) in 1950, and the medal of Officier d’Académie de France in 1936.  Additionally, in 1926, Paul de Launay was made a member of Société Académique d’histoire Internationale.

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en français:

http://wp.me/Ph5jD-34

Je viens d’ajouter un nouveau sous-page à la page Téléchargements publics. Ceci est une transcription d’un livret de 26 pages publié en 1888 pour le 10e anniversaire l’année de la première mission protestante américaine à Paris en Janvier 1878, ouvert par mes grands-parents, le professeur Jules de Launay, DD, et son épouse Anna Augusta (né Ollerrenshaw) de Launay. Jules était le cousin au second degré de Martial Caillebotte (l’aîné).

Jules a émigré aux Etats-Unis en 1841, puis revint à Paris avec Annie comme missionnaires américains en Décembre 1877. Leur fils, Paul et Gaston sont tous deux nés à Paris, que la double citoyenneté. Paul de Launay sera plus tard attribué France les deux plus hautes distinctions: l’Ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur en 1950, et la médaille d’Officier d’Académie de France en 1936. En outre, en 1926, Paul de Launay a été fait membre de la Société Académique d’histoire internationale.

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This morning my mother and I were cataloging old family photos from the 1800’s and early 1900’s when we finally found the photo of President & Mrs. James A. Garfield we thought was lost.  The photo was given to my great-grandmother, Annie (Ollerenshaw) de Launay in the 1880’s by Mrs. Garfield.  We have a letter dated 20 November 1883, and publish in “The Christian” on 29 December 1883 on page 486 (Microfilm reel 18, Volume 18), that one photo was given to her, along with a photo (on porcelain) of the Late President, during her personal visit to the former First Lady in Ohio in 1883.  The back of this photo, however, seems to show either 1884 or 1887.  The last digit is difficult to read, but appears to be in the First Lady’s handwriting.  The bottom of the backside has other writing that appears to have either worn off, or been scratched off for whatever reason, but is in different handwriting.

The President and Former First Lady gave financial support to my great-grandfather’s Protestant mission to Paris, which began in January 1878.  The “Christian Standard” (a weekly) was first published in Cleveland, Ohio.  James A. Garfield, the future President of the United States, headed the board of Editors of the “Christian Publishing Association”, founded in 1866.

 

En français:

Ce matin, ma mère et moi étions catalogage vieilles photos de famille des années 1800 et début des années 1900 lorsque nous avons finalement trouvé la photo du président et Mme James Garfield A. l’on croyait perdu. La photo a été donné à mon arrière grand-mère, Annie (Ollerenshaw) de Launay dans les années 1880 par Mme Garfield. Nous avons une lettre datée du 20 Novembre 1883, et publie dans “Le chrétien”, le 29 Décembre 1883 sur la page 486 (Bobine de microfilm 18, tome 18), que d’une photo lui a été donné, avec une photo (sur porcelaine) de la Feu le Président, lors de sa visite personnelle de l’ex-Première Dame dans l’Ohio en 1883. Le dos de cette photo, toutefois, semble montrer, soit 1884 ou 1887. Le dernier chiffre est difficile à lire, mais semble être de la main de la Première Dame. Le fond de l’arrière a écrit d’autres qui semble avoir soit disparu, soit été gratté pour une raison quelconque, mais est en écriture différente.

Le président et ex-First Lady a apporté son soutien financier à la mission protestante de mon grand-père à Paris, qui a débuté en Janvier 1878. Le “Christian Standard” (une semaine) a été publiée à Cleveland, Ohio. James A. Garfield, le futur président des États-Unis, a dirigé le comité de rédaction de l ‘«Association chrétienne de publication”, fondée en 1866.

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I hesitate to use “Newly Found Ancestors” as a title for today’s article, since just about every day it would likely seem appropriate, but since I found a mother lode of information today, it seems especially so.

I started out looking for more info on Paul, Jules, and Gaston de Launay on Ancestry.com.  Then I switched to just looking for anything with the Valpinçon name.  That’s when I found a lot of information in the French National Archives of Paris, online through Ancestry.com.

One of the first things I found was the birth record of August Boissière, who was the son of Anne (Valpinçon) Boissière.  Anne (born 4 Sep 1771) was the daughter of Gabriel Hippolyte Pinson de Valpinçon (died 1830) and his wife Anne Julie Féron (1745-1831).

9 Dec 1813 baptism record of Jules de Launay

Anne (Valpinçon) Boissière was the godmother of Jules de Launay, according to the baptismal record of 9 Dec 1813, at the Saint-Denis du Saint Sacrement Catholic Church located at Number 68, Rue de Turenne, in Paris.  Jules de Launay’s first cousin, Jules Valpinçon, was listed as his godfather, as well as being his namesake.  Pastor Paul Quinson was kind enough to stay open long enough for me to get a photo of the baptism record.  A low resolution photo of it appears to the right.

I also found evidence of the date of birth of Paul Valpinçon and his son, Henri.  Both were born in Paris.  I found the marriage date of Paul Valpinçon and Marguerite – in Paris.  I found the date of marriage of Hortense Valpinçon and Antoine Jacques Fourchy – in Paris.  In this marriage record between Hortense and Jacques, I also found the names of Antoine Jacques Fourchy’s parents:  Paul Fourchy and Marie Mathilde Chapellier married 25 August 1858.  That first led me to the names of Paul’s maternal grandparents, Louis Edmond Chapellier and Marie Trudon, and finally his paternal grandparents, Antoine Jules Fourchy and his wife Anne Céline Pincon de Valpincon.

Wait a minute, Anne Céline Pinçon de Valpinçon?  Yes, more Valpinçon family as we go up the Family Tree.  This makes the tree a bit more vertical.  However, when I got to Anne, I also found the Family Tree of the Marguerite Family on Ancestry.com.  It is an extensive tree, but with very few records attached to it online.  Much of it appears accurate at first look.  It appears that they know about Paul de Launay and Olive, but not Mabel.  They don’t seem know about the Carr Family, but do have three “Living de Launay” under Paul & Olive, and so it’s difficult to tell what they know for sure.  They also do not seem to know about the Caillebotte descendants, but know about the Clouet side.  They do not have the Valpinçon descendants of Jean-Baptist, which leads to cousins Philippe, Michel, Elizabeth, & Monique, but does know about the ones of Augustin Renè de Valpinçon (which leads to Paul and Hortense Valpinçon).

I have sent a message to our “Marguerite” Family cousins in the hopes of a response.  Updates to come when they are available.

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En français:

J’hésite à utiliser “Nouveaux ancêtres ont trouvé” un titre pour l’article d’aujourd’hui, depuis à peu près chaque jour, il serait probablement semblent appropriées, mais depuis que j’ai découvert un filon de l’information aujourd’hui, il semble particulièrement.

J’ai commencé à la recherche de plus d’infos sur Paul, Jules et Gaston de Launay sur Ancestry.com. Puis je suis passé à un peu à la recherche de quelque chose avec le nom de Valpinçon. C’est alors que j’ai trouvé beaucoup d’informations dans les Archives françaises du National de Paris, en ligne grâce à Ancestry.com.

Une des premières choses que j’ai trouvé était l’acte de naissance d’Auguste Boissière, qui était le fils d’Anne (Valpinçon) Boissière. Anne (née le 4 septembre 1771) était la fille de Gabriel Hippolyte Pinson de Valpinçon (mort en 1830) et son épouse Anne Julie Féron (1745-1831).

Anne (Valpinçon) Boissière a été la marraine de Jules de Launay, selon l’acte de baptême du 9 décembre 1813, à la Saint-Denis du Saint Sacrement Église catholique située au numéro 68, rue de Turenne, à Paris. cousin germain de Jules de Launay, Jules Valpinçon, a été répertorié comme son parrain, en plus d’être son homonyme. Pasteur Paul Quinson de Sainte-Denis a eu la gentillesse de rester ouvert assez longtemps pour moi d’obtenir une photo de l’acte de baptême. Une photo en basse résolution de celui-ci apparaît à droite.

J’ai aussi trouvé des preuves de la date de naissance de Paul Valpinçon et son fils, Henri. Tous deux sont nés à Paris. J’ai trouvé la date du mariage de Paul Valpinçon et Marguerite – à Paris. J’ai trouvé la date du mariage d’Hortense Valpinçon et Antoine Jacques Fourchy – à Paris. Dans ce dossier mariage entre Hortense et Jacques, j’ai également trouvé les noms des parents Antoine Jacques Fourchy: Paul et Marie Mathilde Fourchy Chapellier mariés le 25 août 1858. Cela m’a d’abord conduit à les noms des grands-parents maternels de Paul, Louis Edmond Chapellier et Marie Trudon, et enfin ses grands-parents paternels, Jules Antoine Fourchy et son épouse Anne Céline Pincon de Valpinçon.

Attendez une minute, Anne Céline Pinçon de Valpinçon? Oui, plus de famille Valpinçon que l’on monte l’arbre généalogique. Cela rend l’arbre un peu plus vertical.Cependant, quand je suis arrivé à Anne, j’ai aussi trouvé l’arbre généalogique de la famille Marguerite sur Ancestry.com. Il s’agit d’un massif d’arbres, mais avec très peu d’enregistrements qui s’y rattachent en ligne. Une grande partie de celui-ci semble exacte au premier coup d’oeil. Il semble qu’ils savent à propos de Paul de Launay et Olive, mais pas Mabel. Ils ne semblent pas connaître la famille Carr, mais avons trois «Vivre de Launay» en vertu de Paul & Olive, et il est donc difficile de dire ce qu’ils savent à coup sûr. Ils ne semblent pas connaître les descendants Caillebotte, mais savoir sur le côté Clouet. Ils n’ont pas les descendants de Valpinçon Jean-Baptiste, qui conduit à des cousins Philippe, Michel, Elizabeth, et Monique, mais ne savent sur ceux d’Augustin René Valpinçon de (ce qui conduit à Paul et Hortense Valpinçon).

J’ai envoyé un message à nos “Marguerite” cousins de la famille dans l’espoir d’une réponse. Mises à jour à venir, quand elles sont disponibles.

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