Françoise FOURNEL (1678-1729) and Jean COURTOIS (1684-1745)

During the next few weeks, I will analyze and write about the seven children of Jean FOURNEL (1655-1721) and Catherine SETON (1657-1702) who married and had children.

In this post, I will go into the life of their oldest known child, Françoise FOURNEL (1678-1729).

1678 Baptismal Record of Françoise FOURNELLE. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 19 de 529.

Françoise, my 6th great-grandaunt, was born on 18 March 1678 in Saulnes and baptized the same day. Her godparents were Guillaume DASSIS and a lady by the first name of Françoise.1 Her parents, Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON had likely married the previous year. As mentioned in previous posts on her parents, the spelling of the surname FOURNEL varied and was seen as FOURNELLE in this record.

Françoise was five years old when her brother Nicolas was born on 30 September 1683 in Saulnes.2 Other siblings were born when she was 8, 10, 12, 13, 18, and 20 years old. Her mother Catherine died on 21 September 1702 in Saulnes when Françoise was 24 years old.3

As a young single woman, Françoise became the godmother of two children born in her village. Etienne DELVA and Françoise LOUIS chose her to be their son Jean’s godmother on 26 September 1697 when she was 19 years old.4 Jean DROUET and Jeanne REMY requested her to be the godmother of their son François on 27 September 1705 when she was 26 years old.5

1708 Marriage Record of Jean COURTOIS and Françoise FOURNEL. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 300 de 529.

At the age of 29, Françoise became the wife of Jean COURTOIS. They were married on 23 January 1708 in Saulnes. Jean was 23 years old and the son of Jean COURTOIS and Barbe FRANÇOIS. Witnesses to the marriage were Jean’s step-father Henry STRAUT and his older brother Bernard COURTOIS as well as Françoise’s father Jean FOURNEL and her good friend Laurent BOULANGER.6

The groom, Jean COURTOIS lost his father at the young age of four months. His father died in Verdun while traveling in February of 1685.7 This was mentioned in the Herserange church records. I searched through the church records of Verdun but was unable to find a mention of the death. Verdun was a large city at the time with more than a half dozen parishes. Jean’s mother must have remarried as a step-father is named in her son’s marriage record. Further research is necessary to confirm the spelling of the step-father’s name.

Françoise and Jean’s first child was born ten months after their marriage on 14 October 1708. Their son Jean was baptized two days later on 16 October. His godparents were Jean BOULANGER and his maternal aunt Jeanne FOURNEL (seen as FOURNY on the record).8

When Françoise was eight months pregnant with her second child, her brother Nicolas married in Réhon to Barbe AGARANT on 29 June 1710.9

A daughter, Sébastienne COURTOIS was born on 26 July 1710 and was baptized the following day. The second child of Françoise and Jean had as godparents Jean DROUET and her maternal aunt Sébastienne FOURNEL (seen as FOURNY on the record).10

The third child of the couple was named Jean, born on 20 February 1712 and baptized the following day. His godparents were a young boy named Jean SMELER and a young girl named Catherine DASSIS.11 It is not unusual for more than one living child of a couple to be named the same. No death record nor other record has been found for the first son named Jean born in 1708. It’s possible the first son did not survive.

Françoise was pregnant with her fourth child when the next of her siblings married. Her brother Jean FOURNEL married on 22 January 1713 a young lady named Jeanne BERKIN in Rodange (present-day Luxembourg).12 Jean and Jeanne are my direct ancestors, my 6th great-grandparents.

A little over three months later, a daughter named Françoise was born on 2 May 1713 and baptized on 3 May 1713. Jean CHOLOT and Françoise HUGREL were named as her godparents.13 Per records found, all children of Françoise and Jean COURTOIS were born in Saulnes except for Françoise. Her birth/baptismal record was recorded in Larimont, a farm located northeast of Mexy, a village that was burnt down by the Swedes during the Thirty Years War. Herserange, the parish these villages belonged to, lies between Saulnes and Mexy.

The fifth child of this couple was born on 19 June 1715 and baptized the following day. The baby girl was named Barbe after her godmother Barbe DROUET. Her godfather was her maternal uncle Henri FOURNEL (seen as Henry FOURNY on the record).14

On 3 February 1717 Françoise gave birth to her last child, a son named Jacques. He was baptized the following day in the presence of his maternal aunt and uncle, Jeanne FOURNEL and Jacques FOURNEL.15

When Françoise was 42 years old, two of her sisters married. Jeanne FOURNEL married Jérôme PETRISOT in Obercorn, Luxembourg on 28 July 1720.16 Sébastienne FOURNEL married Jean FRANÇOIS on 24 November 1720 in Saulnes.17

A year after her sisters’ marriages, Françoise and her siblings lost their father, Jean FOURNEL who died 3 September 1721 in Saulnes.18

Françoise’s baby brother Jacques FOURNEL married Anne LAUNOIS before 1724. This was likely the last of her siblings she would see married as she died on 13 October 1729 at the age of 51 years. Her husband, who reported the death, gave her age as 45.19

Jean COURTOIS remarried less than two months later on 2 December 1729.20 He chose as his bride Catherine DASSIS, likely the young girl who served as the godmother of his son Jean in 1712. They would have four children during their first decade of marriage. Jean COURTOIS died 30 May 1745 at the age of 60.21

Of the six children of Françoise FOURNEL and Jean COURTOIS, only one has been found to have married and continued the line.

Sébastienne COURTOIS (1710-1766) married Dominique LUX (1706-1766) about 1735. This is a rough guestimate. They had five known children. Baptismal records for three of the five (born in 1745, 1750, and 1752) and marriages and death records for all five were found. The years of birth for the two children with missing baptismal records have been estimated from their age at death. They were born about 1736 and about 1741, i.e. the estimated marriage in 1735.

The two youngest children, Nicolas LUX and Michel LUX married their second cousins Catherine PETRISOT and Marie Jeanne FOURNELLE, both great-grandchildren of Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON, taking the family full circle.

1766 Death Record of Anne Sébastienne COURTOIS. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 412 de 529.

Sébastienne, in later years, was known as Anne Sébastienne, the name on her death record. She died on 20 February 1766 at the age of 55.22 The record names her as the daughter of the deceased Jean COURTOIS “dit la fleur” and wife of Dominique LUX. The only other record I found that refers to Jean COURTOIS as “La Fleur” was the death record of his second wife, Catherine DASSIS the following year.23

Anne Sébastienne’s husband Dominique died a week later on 27 February 1766 at the age of 60.24

Françoise FOURNEL and her husband Jean COURTOIS raised their family in Saulnes where her parents had raised her and her siblings. In my next post, we will see her brother Nicolas FOURNEL marry in a nearby village and raise his family in yet another village.

Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 1)

Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 2)

Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 3)

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), browsable images of microfilm collection of parish and civil records (online http://www.archives.cg54.fr/), Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 19 of 529. New terms of use: En application du règlement sur la réutilisation des données publiques adopté par le conseil départemental de Meurthe-et-Moselle (délibération de sa commission permanente n°17, en date du 16 janvier 2017), je m’engage à mentionner la source du document téléchargé (Arch. dép. de Meurthe-et-Moselle, [suivi de la cote complète]), en cas de réutilisation. 1678 Fournel, Françoise baptismal record (middle of right page under Sosne).(http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538075b0db : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  2. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 28 of 529. 1683 Baptismal Record (right page, 5th entry). This document is in poor condition. (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538075f780 : accessed 2 July 2020). 
  3. Ibid., Herserange  1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 333 of 529. 1702 Death Record (right page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538082e2f7 : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  4. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 370 of 529. 1697 Baptismal Record of Jean Delva, son of Etienne Delva and Françoise Louis (right page, 3rd entry).(http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538084ad28 : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  5. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > images 347+348 of 529. 1705 Baptismal Record of François Drouet, son of Jean Drouet and Jeanne Remy (right page, bottom and left page, top). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380838767 : accessed 7 August 2020 and http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380839331 : accessed 7 August 2020). 
  6. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 300 of 529. 1708 Marriage Record of Jean Courtois and Françoise Fournel (right page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380814b5d : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  7. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 39 of 529.  1685 Death Record (left page, 6th entry). “Sonne…. février 1685 est mort Jean Courtois … de Verdun étant en voyage, est inhumé dans le cimetière de La Haye du dit Verdun.” (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380764a6b : accessed 21 August 2020). 
  8. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 303 of 529. 1708 Baptismal Record (right page, 2nd to last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380816b4f : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  9. Ibid., Réhon 1710-1792 > 5 Mi 450/R 2 > image 373 of 767. 710 Marriage Record (right page, 2nd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10eca1233/54b0f2e7a367b : accessed 7 August 2020). 
  10. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 284 of 529. 1710 Baptismal Record (left page, bottom entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380807750 : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  11. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 276 of 529. 1712 Baptismal Record (left page, first entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380801422 : accessed 15 August 2020). 
  12. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 >  image 266 of 529. 1713 Marriage Record of Jean Fournel and Jeanne Berkin (right page, top). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807ed8f7 : accessed 2 July 2020). 
  13. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 270 of 529. 1713 Baptismal Record (left page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807f0933 : accessed 16 August 2020). 
  14. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 253 of 529. 1715 Baptismal Record (right page, 1st entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807dfa71 : accessed 16 August 2020). 
  15. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 234 of 529. 1717 Baptismal Record (left page, 1st entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807d29ad : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  16. Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Obercorn > Baptêmes 1704-1727, 1746, 1794-1797, 1800-1805, mariages 1795-1797, 1800-1807, sépultures 1794-1797, 1802-1807 > image 6 of 296. 1720 Marriage Record (left page, 4th entry from bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-9SK3?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-N3T%3A1500974001%2C1500974302 : accessed 12 July 2020). 
  17. Archives Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 178 of 529. 1720 Marriage Record of Jean François and Sébastienne Fournel (left page, 2nd entry).(http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807b09bb : accessed 8 July 2020). 
  18. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 183 of 529. 1721 Death Record (left page, first entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807b3cf3 : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  19. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 114 of 529. 1729 Death Record (left page, 3rd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380788d8e : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  20. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1> image 129 of 529. 1729 Marriage Record of Jean Courtois and Catherine Dassis. (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538079078d : accessed 8 July 2020). 
  21. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 503 of 529. 1745 Death Record (left page, first entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53808bfaf1 : accessed 8 July 2020). 
  22. Ibid., Herserange 1668- 1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 412 of 529. 1766 Death Record (left page, 3rd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538086dcc5 : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  23. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 410 of 529. 1767 Death Record (left page, first entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538086c273 : accessed 21 August 2020). 
  24. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773) > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 412 of 529. 1766 Death Record (bottom left and top right). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538086dcc5 : accessed 18 August 2020). 

Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

13 thoughts on “Françoise FOURNEL (1678-1729) and Jean COURTOIS (1684-1745)”

  1. Great posy Cathy! Interesting family, the Fournels, and I love that you delve into all of their lives, not just direct ancestors. Can’t wait to read the next one! Brian

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was surprised to read that Francoise was baptized on the day she was born—that seems unusual. Is it? And boy, her husband wasted no time—two months! And then had so many more children. People seem to be in a rush in this family. Great post, Cathy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baptisms in the Catholic church during these times were usually performed the same day or the day following the birth. Infant mortality played a big role in having the child baptized as soon as possible. In my next post I’ll touch on another reason the church was so involved in childbirth and baptism.
      Thank you, Amy.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Michael, I somehow deleted your comment and it ended up in the spam folder with a different name (Array instead of Michael).

      I have a family (and may mention them in the next post) who named sons Nicolas the elder and Nicolas the younger. They had a brother Henri who named his sons Nicolas the elder and Nicolas the younger. It was really confusing until I checked all the census records where they were named in this way. Henri’s Nicolas the elder had only daughters (as far as I have followed him) and he named his second daughter “Henri lisez Justine.” I was going to check on more records for her when I deleted your comment. Now I need to go check on that! Thanks for keeping me on my toes, Michael.

      Like

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