Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Gaston de Launay’


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.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »


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.

—————-

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.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: