Sébastienne Fournel (~1692-1752) and Jean François (~1681-1741)

This is the 9th in a series of posts on my earliest FOURNELLE ancestors. After setting up the stage, introducing the main characters and supporting cast, I am now discussing each of the children of my 7th great-grandparents Jean FOURNEL (1655-1721) and Catherine SETON (1657-1702). All posts written to date are listed at the end of this post.

Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON married about 1677. Sébastienne was their sixth known child and third daughter. Her birth followed that of her siblings:

Baptismal records for Herserange, the parish Saulnes was attached to, are non-existent for the years 1689-1693. When Sébastienne died in 1752 her age at death was 60 therefore she was born about 1692. Due to the paucity of records, no baptismal entry was found.

She was not the last of Jean and Catherine’s children. She had two more (perhaps three) siblings before her mother died on 21 September 1702.1

      • Marie (1696-?)
      • Jacques (1699-1774)
      • Marie Catherine (?-?) (records have not been found to prove or disprove Marie Catherine was the same person as Marie)

Sébastienne was about 10 years old when her mother died. Her oldest sister Françoise was 24 years and probably spent the next six years raising her siblings before she married in 1708 at the age of 29. This marriage was followed by the marriages of Sébastienne’s two oldest brothers in 1710 and 1713.

A month after the 1710 marriage, Sébastienne became the godmother of her sister Françoise’s daughter Sébastienne COURTOIS baptized on 27 July 1710 in Saulnes. The godmother was 18 years old.2

1713 Baptismal Record of an illegitimate child named Jean. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 274 de 529

The 1713 marriage took place in January. A few months later, Sébastienne’s relationship with a man produced a son born and baptized on 9 December 1713 in Saulnes. The mother declared at the time of birth that the father was Jean CHOLOT. She gave her son the name Jean. His godparents were Jean DELVA and Marie FOURNEL.3 Marie was his mother’s younger sister. Bastienne, as she was sometimes referred to, was not married to Jean CHOLOT. It isn’t known if the child was given his father’s surname as no further record has been found.

The children of Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON appear to have married in order of birth. I’ve never heard of this being a pattern families followed. Following the marriages of her brother Henri who married before 1716 and her sister Jeanne in July 1720, it was Bastienne’s turn to marry.

1720 Marriage Record of Jean François and Sébastienne Fournel. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 178 de 529

Sébastienne FOURNEL married Jean FRANÇOIS on 24 November 1720. Sébastienne was 28 years old and her groom was 39. Jean was from Crusnes (Meurthe-et-Moselle, France) and the widower of Marie MARCHAL. Sébastienne’s brothers Jean and Jacques FOURNEL were her witnesses. Witnesses for Jean were his brother (of the same name) Jean FRANÇOIS and his cousin François NICOLAS.4

Ten months after her marriage, Sébastienne and her siblings lost their father Jean FOURNEL when he died on 3 September 1721 in Saulnes.5

Bastienne and her husband Jean had seven children

Marie Catherine FRANÇOIS was born and baptized on 19 October 1721. Her godparents were Jean BOULANGER and Marie Catherine FOURNEL, the child’s aunt.6 It’s possible that the godmother was a younger sister and not Marie FOURNEL born in 1696. Marie Catherine FRANÇOIS never married and died at the age of 37 on 16 February 1759. The witnesses at the time of her death were Philippe BAILLIEU, a priest, and Jean Baptiste THOMAS, a synodal (member of the church council).7

Jean FRANÇOIS was born and baptized on 20 December 1722. His godparents were Jean CLAUDE, a young man, and Margueritte FRANÇOIS, a young girl. Both of the godparents were from Bréhain-la-Cour.8 No further trace of Jean has been found.

Jean Baptiste FRANÇOIS was born on 25 September 1724 and baptized two days later. His godfather was Jean COURTOIS and his godmother was Marguerite LELIEVRE. His name on his baptismal record was Jean.9 He married Marie Françoise THOMAS (1728-1796) on 27 February 1754 in Herserange. Witnesses to the marriage were his cousin Henry FOURNELLE and his uncle Jacques FOURNELLE; Jean and François THOMAS were witnesses for the bride. His name on his marriage record was Jean Baptiste FRANÇOIS.10 The couple were the parents of at least seven children born between 1755-1772 (research is ongoing). Jean Baptiste died on 14 April 1795 in Saulnes.11 His wife died the following year.12

1726 Baptismal Record of Anne Sébastienne François. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 216 de 529

Anne Sébastienne FRANÇOIS was born on 23 September 1726 and baptized the following day. Her godfather was Pierre FOURNIER, a young man, and her godmother was her cousin Anne Sébastienne COURTOIS.13 Note: In this record, the father’s first name Jean was crossed out and replaced by François. No further trace of Anne Sébastienne has been found.

Charles FRANÇOIS was born on 12 October 1728 and baptized the following day. His godparents were Charles PELARDIN and Elisabeth PELARDIN.14 This baptismal record is so light that I could not read the surname of the godfather and had to rely on information found in the family book for Saulnes. No further trace of Charles has been found.

Marguerite FRANÇOIS was born on 10 March 1730 and baptized two days later. Her godparents were Jean SMELER, a young man, and Marguerite DROUET, a young girl.15 Marguerite married François DOMANGE (he signed DEMENGE) on 3 November 1785. Per this marriage record, Marguerite was the widow of Michel BAILLIEU. Her groom was a sergeant in the Régiment Royal de Roussillon and permission was given by his commanding officer, the Marquis de Vauborel, brigadier of the King’s armies, colonel of the royal regiment of Roussillon. Marguerite’s brother Jean Baptiste was a witness at the marriage.16 Marguerite died on 1 March 1799 at the age of 68.17 Her first marriage has not been researched, i.e. it is not known if she had children.

Marie Joseph FRANÇOIS was born on 14 December 1731 and baptized two days later. Her godfather was Jean THOMA, a young man, and Marie LELIEVRE.18 Marie Joseph served as the godmother of her niece Marie Joseph, daughter of Jean Baptiste FRANÇOIS and Marie Françoise THOMAS, on 15 July 1755 when she was 23 years old.19 No further trace of Marie Joseph has been found.

Confusion concerning Jean FRANÇOIS’ name

1741 Death Record of Jean François. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 525 de 529

Sébastienne’s husband Jean FRANÇOIS died on 19 October 1741 at the age of 60. Informants on the death were François COLLIGNON, the schoolmaster, and Pierre THEATE, a laborer, both of Herserange.20 On the death record the first name Jean was marked through and François written above. This correction is also marked out. Was the correction made at the time the record was produced or did someone make the changes later?

This question made me take another closer look at all records mentioning Jean FRANÇOIS. When Bastienne and Jean married his brother who had the same name was one of his witnesses. Both were named Jean. All baptismal records of the children except one has Jean as his first name. When his daughter Anne Sébastienne was baptized in 1726 her father was listed as Jean FRANÇOIS. With another pen and in possibly other handwriting, Jean was marked out and François was written above. In 1754 when his son Jean Baptiste married, he was named as the son of the deceased Jean FRANÇOIS. In 1759 when his oldest daughter died, his name was given as François FRANÇOIS. This was written at the time the record was produced and was not a correction.

One more record was found with the name François FRANÇOIS.

1752 Death Record of Sébastienne Fournelle. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 459 de 529

Sébastienne was a widow for 11 years and died on 29 December 1752, at the age of 60 like her husband. Witnesses to her death record were Philippe BAILLIEU, a priest, and Jean PERLOT, a laborer from Herserange. Sébastienne was described as the widow of François FRANÇOIS.21

Why were records found in 1741, 1752, and 1759 with the husband of Sébastienne named François instead of Jean? Why was the change also made to the birth record of only one of the children, Anne Sébastienne in 1726? Perhaps future research into Jean Baptiste and Marguerite, the only two children who married, will bring more to light to the question.

Three of Sébastienne’s siblings survived her. Henri died the following year, Jeanne died after 1756, and Jacques died in 1774.

Jacques FOURNELLE was the last of the children of Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON to marry. He will be featured in the next post.

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)

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

Nicolas FOURNEL (1683-abt.1748) and Barbe AGARANT (abt.1678-1758)

Jean FOURNEL (1686-1749) and Jeanne BERKIN (1683-1759)

Henri FOURNEL (1688-1753) and Anne LAUNOIS (1692-1758)

Jeanne FOURNEL (~1691-aft. 1756) and Jérôme PÉTRISOT (~1680-1761)

Sébastienne FOURNEL (~1692-1752) and Jean FRANÇOIS (~1681-1741)

Jacques FOURNELLE (~1699-1774) and Marie JACOB (1695-1758)

© 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 333 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. 1702 Death Record (right page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538082e2f7 : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  2. 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). 
  3. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 274 of 529. 1713 Baptismal Record (left page, first entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807f3dc5 : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  4. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 178 of 529. 1720 Marriage Record (left page, 2nd entry).(http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807b09bb : accessed 8 July 2020). 
  5. 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). 
  6. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 184 of 529. 1721 Baptismal Record (left page, 2nd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807b4610 : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  7. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 434 of 529. 1759 Death Record (right page, 2nd to last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380882189 : accessed 27 September 2020). 
  8. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 191 of 529. 1722 Baptismal Record (right page, 1st entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807b8609 : accessed 27 September 2020). 
  9. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 107 of 529. 1724 Baptismal Record (left page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380784d9f : accessed 27 Septembre 2020). 
  10. Ibid., Herserange > 1743-1791 > 5 Mi 259/R 3 > images 135 of 328. 1754 Marriage Record for Jean Baptiste François and Marie Françoise Thomas (part 1) (right page bottom). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f046f98 : accessed 29 September 2020). 
  11. Ibid., Saulnes > 1782-1822 > 5 Mi 492/R 1 > image 160 of 376. 1795 Death Record – part 2 (left page, first entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ed0f349/54ae6cf68310c : accessed 29 September 2020). 
  12. Ibid., Saulnes > 1782-1822 > 5 Mi 492/R 1 > image 163 of 376. 1796 Death Record of Marie Françoise Thomas (left page). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ed0f349/54ae6cf684cd4 : accessed 29 September 2020). 
  13. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 216 of 529. 1726 Baptismal Record (left page, 3rd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807c6ee1 : accessed 29 September 2020). 
  14. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 175 of 529. 1728 Baptismal Record (left page, 2nd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807aa4c8 : accessed 29 September 2020). 
  15. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R > 1 image 132 of 529. 1730 Baptismal Record (left page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807921a9 : accessed 16 September 2020). 
  16. Ibid., Saulnes > 1782-1822 > 5 Mi 492/R 1 > image 24 of 376. 1785 Marriage Record of François Domange and Marguerite François (bottom left page, top right page). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ed0f349/54ae6cf64355e : accessed 29 September 2020). 
  17. Ibid., Saulnes > 1782-1822 > 5 Mi 492/R 1 > image 172+173 of 376. 1799 Death Record – part 1 (right page). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ed0f349/54ae6cf689bb0 : accessed 29 September 2020) and 1799 Death Record – part 2 (left page). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ed0f349/54ae6cf68a40f : accessed 29 September 2020). 
  18. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 140 of 529. 1731 Baptismal Record (left page, third entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380796c05 : accessed 16 September 2020). 
  19. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 140 of 529. 1731 Baptismal Record (left page, third entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380796c05 : accessed 16 September 2020). 
  20. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 525 of 529 . 1741 Death Record (left page, 1st entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53808d4979 : accessed 27 September 2020). 
  21. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 459 of 529. 1752 Death Record (left page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380898021 : accessed 8 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.

15 thoughts on “Sébastienne Fournel (~1692-1752) and Jean François (~1681-1741)”

  1. Two thoughts—do you think that Sebastienne ended up marrying the father of her first child? Perhaps they were waiting for the older sibling to marry (though not waiting to conceive a child!)?

    And I thought my family tree was confusing because of all the people with the same names! I think yours exceeds mine in that area. Two brothers named Jean? Francois Francois? And all the other Jeans, Francois, and Maries. Oy vey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You ask the best questions, Amy. No, I don’t believe Sébastienne married Jean Cholot. Why? In her marriage record to Jean François, she was referred to as “girl from the village of Saulnes.” Her parents who were both deceased at the time were not named. However, Jean and Jacques Fournel were witnesses and identified as her brothers. If she had married the father of her first child, she would have had to be a widow to marry again and this would have been mentioned in the marriage entry.

      It makes for confusion but having them all in one genealogy database helps. BTW, the double names were not uncommon in this area of France. Some of the people with surnames that were also first names would give their child the same first name as their surname. Pierre PIERRE, Louis LOUIS, Nicolas NICOLAS. Oy vey!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. LOL! I love that you used oy vey—I wasn’t sure you’d be familiar with the expression.

        Interesting about Jean Cholot—I assume that wasn’t a pseudonym for the Jean she later married, but the actual name of the father of her out-of-wedlock child.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amy, I wasn’t familiar with the expression oy vey but it sounds like a Luxembourgish expression which means amount the same thing.

        I suspect Jean Cholot was either a married or military man. I believe this was his actual name as they had the declaration of pregnancy procedure to follow.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I guess Luxembourg is like Germany in that records are generally pretty reliable (unlike so many US records). I just found a marriage record for a man who made up a name of his father. So I am always skeptical!

        Oy vey is Yiddish, so Germanic in origin as is most of Yiddish. It’s not surprising then that there is something similar in Luxembourgish.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Cathy, The confusion of the name Jean vs. Francoise really intrigues me. Mysteries are the things I love the most about family genealogy, Playing detective and getting to solve family mysteries. Great posts! Brian

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Brian. The French do like double names like Jean Pierre, Jean François, Jean Paul. In more recent times, they would hyphenate the names. Hyphenation holds the names together and would have been a great help here. Everything cannot be as easy as we would like. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cathy, That is so true…when I was doing research from the beginning, I had always thought that the vast majority of my DNA lineage was Germanic…I was wrong. After DNA testing, northern, middle and western European DNA is the majority, with eastern European, Germanic and Slovak coming up behind a close second. The family lines I can relate to the naming for me is my Ferree (pronounced “FREE”) family and Hensel (originally La Hensal) family, French Huguenots, the Ferrees associated with the New Paltz Huguenots (Lefever, Dubois, & many others). The Hensels relocating to Germany in the middle of the 17th century. Going back through those lines, I see similar trends and patterns with hyphenated naming. Hmmm…could another blog post for me. Brian

        Liked by 1 person

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