The theme for #52 Ancestors this week is Translation so I thought I would tell you about a document I am attempting to translate from French to English at the moment and what is being revealed as I type into the translator. My school girl French is very rusty, I can pick out the odd word but not enough to translate a 4 page document, the remontrance of Reverend Louis Michel.
I mentioned Louis Michel back in September, I had been researching his son, also Louis who was my great x5 grandfather and I had finally found his baptism in 1782 in St Brelade in Jersey, despite several researchers thinking he was from Rouen in France. 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.
So far I have not found Louis snr’s birth but I have his marriage to Elizabeth Tiquet in August 1780 in Holborn, London. She was twice widowed, her first marriage of Abraham Levesque, a Huguenot. I also have found Louis and Elizabeth’s deaths in Bethnal Green, Elizabeth’s in 1799 and Louis’s in 1801, meaning Louis jnr was not very old when he was orphaned.
The document I am translating was delivered to the Royal Court on 25 November 1793. That is the Royal Court of Jersey and I am presuming it reveals why he left Jersey and ended up in Bethnal Green not many years later.
Google is not very good at translation I find, it does not seem to be able to cope with late 18th century words and puts Remontrance as Remonstrance all the way through but I think a better word would be admonition. Correct me if I am wrong please!
He goes on to explain he had lived on Jersey for 15 years, having been invited by the founders of the chapel in St Aubin, to come from England (where he had already been for several years and preached the word of God as minister) to serve the said chapel; that as a result he served it for well eleven years, & part of this same he also served the parish church of St Brelade and had the enjoyment of the income of the benefit of this parish by the cession of the Rector.
It appears in the year 1790 he took on the parish of St Martin too and was given a dwelling that was not fit for habitation for a Minister of the Gospel and his family, (presumably Elizabeth and Louis were living there too).
In 1791 he wanted the dwelling repaired and it was the right of a Minister to make repairs using debris from repairs to the Church and he had taken some old pews removed and replaced from the Church by one of the parishioners to use the wood. It was a custom and he also had the permission of the parishioner. That is as far as I have got at the moment but I assume he had been accused of theft by someone, maybe the Rector who didn’t sound a particularly honest man.
I am looking forward to revealing more of the story as I continue the translation and maybe if I remember I will update you when it is finished and I know the full story. I was led to the document by a contact also descended from Louis and who found it in the catalogue of the Jersey Archives. It always amazes me just what nuggets you can find about your ancestors if you are prepared to look. This one certainly is a gem!