THE MOLLOT ROOTS
Going back 400 years, our MOLLOT roots can be traced to a little village called GRAND TROUAN, later called TROUAN LE GRAND and now called TROUANS, in the Department of AUBE, in the region of CHAMPAGNE. Trouans is located approximately 150 kms. east of Paris on a small river called ‘rivière Lhuitrelle’ or 40 kms southwest of Châlons en Champagne. Prior to consolidation in the year 1973, Trouan le Grand was on the north side of the river Lhuitrelle and Trouan le Petit was on the other side. Historically, during the 14th and 15th centuries, the river Lhuitrelle acted as a boundary between the territories of the powerful Dukes of Burgundy and the Kingdoms of France. Credit goes to Joan of Arc who in the year 1477 rallied the French to unite these two areas and establish France, including the former Kingdom of Burgundy, as we know it today.
Going back a few centuries, the Trouans area was quite forested but today it is a very rich agricultural area providing crops such as potatoes, sunflower and cereal grains. Agriculture has become the dominant industry. The population of the village of Trouans today is approximately 200. The area greatly resembles the Canadian prairies or the American Midwest.
The majority of the Mollot families of the 16th
centuries were farmers. In our archival studies, we have observed that, at one time, there were also many Mollot families in the surrounding small villages or ‘communes’. Other than in TROUAN LE GRAND, Mollot families lived in DOSNON, POIVRES, GRANDVILLE, LHUITRE and TROUAN LE PETIT, all of which are within a radius of 10 kilometers of each other. Today, however, the actual Mollot name is virtually non-existent in the area but some existing families such as Noblet, Gombault and Milliat, who have roots on the maternal side of the Mollot family many generations back, still live in the area. A very extensive and detailed family chart has been developed outlining these family connections to the Mollot family from 1613 to the present.
As previously mentioned, Champagne is the region to which we can accurately trace our furthest ancestry. It is a very rich, picturesque and diversified province in northeastern France. The department of Aube is within this region. The strategic location of Champagne has made it a battleground for centuries whenever France was invaded. Our Mollot ancestors lived in the heartland of conflict and wars throughout the centuries: the Hundred Years’ War of 1337-1453, the Thirty Years’ War of 1618 to 1648, the Franco Prussian War of 1870 to 1871 and the two World Wars of the Twentieth century.
Also of interest, the first king of France, Clovis, a Frank and considered the founder of France was crowned in the year 507 A.D. in the magnificent cathedral of Reims, which is one of the main cities of the region. Throughout the history of France, the Kings were crowned in Reims. The meaning of the name, France, is literally the “country of the Franks” in Latin.
As far back as the times of Emperor Charlemagne in the 9th century, Champagne was one of the great regions of Europe, a rich agricultural area that was also famous for its fairs.
As you read through this document, you will come to understand a strong link between the economy of the region and the way our ancestors earned their living throughout the centuries; farming, clothing related businesses, vineyard growers and producers of the sparkling wine called champagne.
The terrain varies considerably throughout the region; some parts are quite flat, some quite hilly, some forested, some open plains. Some parts are very fertile where they grow various cereal crops as well as potatoes, corn and sugar beets. However, the region is world renown for its beautiful “Cote des Blancs”, a range of limestone hills lush with vineyards for the production of its famous sparkling wine, Champagne, which originated here! The “route touristique du Champagne” which includes “La Côte des Blancs” is one of the most picturesque areas in the region of Champagne and of France. One can understand why this “sparkling wine” took the name of the region we call Champagne! In French, the region is called “la Champagne” and the sparkling wine is “le Champagne”.
Important commercial cities in this region are Reims, Epernay, Châlons en Champagne and its capital, the medieval city of Troyes.