Week 38 of #52 Ancestors and this week’s theme is New to You. I would like to introduce my first French ancestor – Louis Michel. I don’t know much about him at the moment, I’m still researching with the help of some new contacts but this is what has been found so far.
Way back in February this year, I wrote a blog about his sons and how they emigrated around the world but at the time I didn’t have any confirmed information about Louis. Since then I have been contacted by another descendant who had found information confirming that Louis was baptised on 5 November 1782 in the chapel of St Aubin’s Church in St Brelade, Jersey, Channel Islands. It had been suggested he was born in Rouen in France but there was no evidence to confirm this. His father, Louis Michel was a Reverend and was appointed Perpetual Curate at St Brelade on 24 December 1781 and his signature as ‘Ministre Officiant’ appears on various Jersey, Church of England Registers for Baptisms, Marriages and Burials during the period 17 May 1782 to 16 December 1787.
The Reverend Louis Michel is believed to have been born in Rouen but again not confirmed yet. He died in July 1801 in Gibraltar Walk, Bethnal Green, London. I am currently searching for those records that have been mentioned by the contact and need to look at the Reverend more closely. I downloaded from TNA from the UK, Death Duty Registers Index 1796-1811 a copy of an Abstract of Administration for the Reverend Louis Michel, Clerk of Gibraltar Walk in the parish of St Matthew, Bethnal Green which stated he was formerly of the Island of Jersey but late of St Matthew Bethnal Green and now deceased. He mentioned the Administrator as being the Guardian of Louis Michel, son of the deceased and a minor. If born 1782, then Louis was still just a minor and he was born in Jersey.
I also, at last have found the marriage for Louis Michel to Elizabeth Watts in St Helier, Jersey which translated from French and reads:
‘Louis Michel & Elizabeth Watts both of the Parish of St Helier were married together on the twentyth of May in the year one thousand eight hundred and three’. However this needs more research, as a family document quoted by my contact said that Louis Michel snr disapproved of the marriage which is interesting as it is thought he died in 1801, confirmed by the above record! However Louis Jnr and Elizabeth Watts had their first son, Henry in 1802 so there may have been some disapproval of the marriage and possibility might explain why they went to Jersey to marry. Also I have not seen a copy of the so called family document and more inclined to believe an official record.
The burial record for Reverend Louis Michel was found on Ancestry and records that Reverend Louis Michel was buried at St Matthews, Bethnal Green, Middlesex on 5 July 1801. Gibraltar Walk where he was reported as living on the Abstract mentioned above is just round the corner and looking on Google maps it looks like some of the original houses remain although much of the area is now under 20th century blocks of flats.
There are some records to look up and confirm with regard to Louis’s mother Elizabeth Tiquet such as her marriage in 1780 to Reverend Louis Michel in St Giles in the Field, Holborn and her birth is reported as 1737 in Spitalfields and she died in 1799 in Bethnal Green. She was also apparently married previously to Abraham Levesque who was also born in Spitalfields and John Willis who she married in 1771 in Spitalfields.
I’d also like to follow up the Reverend and see if I can find CofE records for him, not an area I am familiar with at all, but I shall search. I also wonder if he was married before he married Elizabeth in 1780.
I have found a remontrance on the Jersey Heritage website which I am currently translating from French, with the help of Google Translate, on behalf of Louis dated 1793. It is making for interesting reading, something about stealing a pew!