OUR MOLLOT FAMILY BEGINNINGS IN NORTH AMERICA
FORTUNÉ LOUIS JOSEPH MOLLOT (1845 – 1924) (8) and his wife, MARIE ANAÏS LÉOPOLDINE BENOIT, (1852 – 1944) (10) immigrated to Canada on August 25, 1892, with four children: Gabrielle, Ernest, Marcel, and Marie Louise (Lili). Thérèse was born in Canada one year later in 1893.
In order to give a clearer perspective of the MOLLOT and BENOIT ancestry which follows, the historical family backgrounds of Fortuné Mollot and Léopoldine Benoit have been described separately at the outset.
For the following ancestors, please refer to the small attached Mollot Family Tree Chart to understand their genealogy. The number following each name gives the position on the chart. It is highly recommended that you follow the family tree chart, for traditionally, given names were passed from generation to generation and this can become very confusing. Example- Georges Mollot (1) and Georges Mollot (4) as per the family tree chart and the following:
1613 – 1693 GEORGES MOLLOT (1) – To date, Georges is the relative we have been able to trace the farthest back from various documents. He was born in the year 1613 and at the age of 27 in 1640, Georges married JEANNE GOMBAULT, all in the village of TROUAN le GRAND. They were both baptized at l’Eglise St. Georges, the local church that was built in the 13th century and which is still standing today. To date, we have not yet been able to identify any of his brothers and sisters. Georges and Jeanne had at least one child, a son named Claude Mollot, our direct ancestor. We also to date have not attempted to determine how many other children Georges and Jeanne had. They lived during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) which has been described by historians as one of the most destructive conflicts in European history. A major impact of this war was the extensive destruction of entire regions, denuded by the foraging armies. Episodes of famine and disease significantly decreased populations while also bankrupting most of the combatant powers such as King Louis XIII of France.
In terms of an occupation, Georges was a wheelwright, ‘le charron’ of the town: one who builds wheels, chariots, wagons, and carriages. As you can imagine, this trade no longer exists in our day. Georges died on Nov. 20, 1693, at the age of 80 in Trouan le Grand.
In those times, births and deaths occurred in their respective homes. Prior to the French Revolution in 1789, the Church was the only official institution that kept records of births, marriages and deaths. The “state” however occasionally took census to determine the total population of the country and most importantly to identify the individuals from whom to collect taxes. However, after the French Revolution, laws were enacted to separate the Church from the State. It then became mandatory that after a birth, marriage or death in the family, a family member had by law to register the details at the Mayor’s office. However, the Church continued as well to keep records of baptisms, marriages and deaths. Consequently in France from 1789 to this present day, it is common to find civil registrations of births, marriages and deaths as well as church records for these occasions. With some of our ancestors born after 1789, we have been able to find records from both the state and the local church as you will note throughout this document.
Throughout Western Europe including France, churches with soaring steeples and airy flying buttresses dot the cities and countryside. The building of churches and grand cathedrals had begun by the 400 AD and flourished in the 12th
century, the era of the crusades. During medieval times, it is said that a religious building or church was built for approximately every 300 inhabitants. The estimate today is that there exist about 90,000 church buildings in France, of which about 17,000 are under government protection for their historic or architectural value, giving France the greatest density of religious buildings of any European country. A fine example of such a church is Eglise St. Georges built in the 13th
century in Trouan le Grand, the cradle of the Mollot family.
1645 – 1727 CLAUDE MOLLOT (2) – According to the local St. Georges Church records, Claude was born in the year 1645 and died at the age of 82 on May 26, 1727, also in the village of TROUAN le GRAND. At the age of 26, Claude married LOUISE GOMBAULT, age 19, on Nov. 4, 1671. His wife, Louise, was born July 4, 1652, and died Feb 12, 1733, at the age of 81. Claude was the “Juge de Garde” for the Justice Department. All of this occurred in TROUAN le GRAND. Both had been baptized in the local church, Église St. Georges, which was built in the 13th century and which is still standing today. Claude and Louise had eleven children that we have been able to identify to date – one of which is LOUIS MOLLOT, our direct ancestor.
1674 – 1747 LOUIS MOLLOT (3) – Louis was born in the year 1674 and died at the age of 73 on Dec. 21, 1747, also in the village of TROUAN le GRAND. According to their marriage certificate, he married JEANNE MILLIAT on Nov. 23, 1701, at the age of 27. This lengthy certificate gives all kinds of interesting information as to who were the witnesses at the wedding ceremony, their relationship and occupation. Jeanne had been born on April 28, 1682, in DOSNON, a neighboring village. We can also account for eight children which they had in twelve years. One of these children is (another) Georges, our direct descendant. The childrens’ names and particulars can be found on our extensive Mollot family tree. Jeanne died on March 22, 1721, at the age of 39. Louis and his children were all baptized in the 13th century Église St. Georges in Trouan le Grand. Louis’s occupation is unknown but likely he was a farmer, given that we know a number of his offspring were farmers. Farming in those times was in sharp contrast to today. Peasant farmers would produce enough for themselves and their families, some of which was used to barter in order to purchase limited goods and some of which would be given as a form of tax to the King and Crown for security and protection from potential invaders. However, this form of taxation was regularly abused and advantage was taken of the peasants. History books tell us that French rural life in those times was harsh and very unforgiving!
1706 – 1769 GEORGES MOLLOT (4) - Georges was the third child of Louis Mollot and Jeanne Milliat. He was born in TROUAN le GRAND and baptized in the Église St Georges on April 18, 1706 according to the church records. It was most customary in those days to baptize newborns the same day they were born since many did not survive due to birth complications, disease, etc. As stated on their church marriage certificate, Georges married SIRE BEAURIEUX of DOSNON, the neighboring village approximately 5 kms. away, on Nov. 26, 1742, at the age of 36 in Trouan le Grand. His new bride was 28 years old. She had been born on June 7, 1714. The date of her death is unknown at this time. Georges and Sire had seven children, all born in Dosnon and baptized in the local Eglise St. Pierre es Liens as their birth registrations indicate. The childrens’ names were Sire born in 1743, George Dominique born in 1745, our direct ancestor Pierre born in 1747, Marie Jeanne born in 1749, Marguerite born in 1750, Marie Tanche born in 1754, and Marie Angélique born in 1758. To date, the only direct relative in France that we have been able to connect to our family tree is the offspring of Marie Angélique. Since 2005, we have established a Mollot family connection between me, Victor Mollot, and the great, great granddaughter of Marie Angélique, Mme Yolande Rosez. Our branch of the Mollot family is descendant of Pierre Mollot. Pierre and Marie Angélique were brother and sister. As previously mentioned, when we first met the Rosez family in 2004, Mme Rosez showed us photos of Château Blandin, postcards and letters from Fortuné and Léopoldine Mollot but, at that time, we could not make the family connection.
Georges and Sire Mollot lived during the time when there was great conflict between France and England primarily because of competitive colonial interests throughout the world. Ultimately this led to the Seven Years War of 1754 and as a result, England under the Treaty of Paris of 1763 gained a colony then called New France. The British would rename it Canada.
Georges Mollot died Oct. 26, 1769, also in Dosnon at the age of 63. Given that Georges died in Dosnon, that his wife was from there, and that all his children were born and baptized in Dosnon, we can assume that he had moved from Trouan le Grand and established himself in Dosnon which is approximately 5 kms. away. According to the birth certificates of his children, Georges was a farmer in the area of the village of Dosnon. At the time, the region was likely quite wooded with small agricultural farms.
1747 – 1810 PIERRE MOLLOT (5) – Pierre was born in DOSNON and baptized in the local Église St. Pierre es Liens on May 23, 1747. Pierre was the third of seven children. Following are his church birth/baptism records as obtained from the Departmental Archives of Aube, microfilm number 5MI 101P and 5MI 102P located in Troyes, France. It was found in the parish register of St Pierre-es-Liens Church of Dosnon, France. This same proof of birth/baptism is also found in microfilm # 1897626 of the Family History Centre of the Church of the Latter Day Saints. This sample illustrates the documentation of births, marriages and deaths of those times and typifies many others found.
Transcription and translation of the above are as follows:
L’an 1747, le vingt trois may est né et a été baptisé Pierre, fils légitime de Georges Mollot, laboureur et de Sire Beaurieux, ses père et mère. Il a eu pour parrain Pierre Masson et pour marraine Barbe Geoffroy, femme de Claude Mollot (Frère de Georges), laboureur de Grandville qui ont déclaré ne savoir signer.
Signature: Liégeois (curé de Dosnon)
The year 1747, the 23 rd of May was born and was baptized Pierre, legitimate son of Georges Mollot, farmer, and of Sire Beaurieux, his father and mother. He had for godfather Pierre Masson and for godmother Barbe Geoffray, wife of Claude Mollot (brother of Georges) farmer from Grandville whom they declared not knowing how to undersign.
Signature: Liégeois (Priest of Dosnon)