Henri Fournel (1688-1753) and Anne Launois (1692-1758)

This is the 7th 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.

1766 Baptismal Record of “Henry Fournier.” Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 55 de 529.

Henri FOURNEL (1688-1753), the fourth child and third son of Jean and Catherine, was born 2 June 1688 in Saulnes (Meurthe-et-Moselle, France). His godparents were Henry LOUIS and Barbe DROUET. His father’s name was written as Jean FOURNIER and his mother’s name was blank followed by sa mère, or his mother.1 At home were his oldest sister Françoise (10 yo) and his brothers, Nicolas (5 yo) and Jean (2 yo).

Following Henri’s birth, four more children were born to Jean and Catherine: Jeanne (bef. 1691), Sébastienne (abt. 1692), Marie (1696), and Jacques (abt. 1699). As mentioned in previous posts, Marie may have gone by Marie Catherine or there was another sister (born before 21 September 1702) whose birth/baptismal record has not been found. No marriage or record of death has been found for Marie or Marie Catherine.

Henri was fourteen years old when his mother Catherine SETON died on 21 September 1702.2

Henri’s older siblings married in 1708, 1710, and 1713. A marriage record for Henri has not been found. He was not married when he served as the godfather of Barbe COURTOIS, daughter of his sister Françoise FOURNEL and Jean COURTOIS, on 20 June 1715. He was described as un jeune garçon or young boy indicating he was not married.3 Interesting is that the godmother of the child was a young girl named Barbe DROUET, the same name but not the same person as Henri’s godmother in 1688.

Henri Fournel marries Anne Launois

It is known that Henri FOURNEL and Anne LAUNOIS were a married couple. They had three known sons who married after Henri’s death. These marriage records confirm the parents to be Henri FOURNEL and Anne LAUNOIS. Birth records for the sons have not been found and their years of birth have had to be estimated from their age at death.

  • Henri was born about 1716 and died 27 Aug 1782 at the age of 66 years.
  • Mathias was born about 1733 and died 22 Feb 1793 at the age of 66 years.
  • Dominique was born about 1735 and died 25 Jun 1785 at the age of 50.

The estimated years of birth for the sons would suggest Henri and Anne were married about 1716. They may have had more children between 1716-1733. One more son has been found as will be discussed at the end of this post.

Henri’s father Jean FOURNEL died 3 September 1721 in Saulnes.4

The next three decades are unaccounted for – no birth, marriage, or death records.

Marriages of the sons of Henri and Anne

1753 Death Record of “Henry Fournelle.” Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 455 de 529.

Henri died at the age of 65 (the record notes 60 years) on 6 August 1753. He is identified as the husband of Anne LAUNOIS. His son Henri and his brother Jacques were the informants on the record.5

1756 Marriage Record. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 3 vue 123 de 328.

Three years after the death of Henri, the first of his sons was seen marrying in Herserange. Henri FOURNEL married Marie Claire BOULANGER (1737-1810) on 26 February 1756.6 The groom signed his name in block letters. They were the parents of 12 children born between 1757 and 1781. Five did not survive to adulthood. Five of the daughters are known to have married. No further records were found for a son and a daughter.

Henri and Marie Claire’s first-born Marie Joseph was the only grandchild Anne LAUNOIS would know. The elder Henri’s widow Anne died at the age of 66 on 14 February 1758. Philippe BAILLIEU, a priest, and Dominique FOURNEL, her son, were the informants on her death record.7

Five years after the death of his mother, Dominique FOURNEL married Marie COMES (1734-1764) on 8 February 1763 in Herserange.8 Marie died on 13 January 1764 following the birth of their son Mathias.9

1765 Marriage Record. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 3 vue 60 de 328.

Dominique married again on 28 December 1765 in Herserange to Barbe SCHMIT (1744-1812).10 She gave him six children, two of whom are known to have married and continued the line.

1766 Marriage Record. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 3 vue 49 de 328.

About 4 months after Dominique’s second marriage, his wife’s sister Magdelaine SCHMIT (1736-1786) married his brother Mathias FOURNEL on 1 May 1766 in Herserange.11 Magdelaine was Barbe’s older sister. Mathias and Magdelaine had five children, only two reached adulthood and married.

The deaths of the sons of Henri and Anne

Henri, the son of Henri and Anne, died on 27 August 1782 at the age of 66 in Saulnes.12 His widow, Marie Claire BOULANGER outlived him dying on 9 December 1810 in Messancy (Belgium) at the age of 73 years.13

Dominique died on 25 June 1785 at the age of 50.14 His widow Barbe SCHMIT died 7 April 1812 at the age of 68.15 Both died in Saulnes.

Mathias’ wife Magdelaine SCHMIT predeceased him on 24 August 1786 at the age of 50.16 Mathias died on 22 February 1793 at the age of 66 years.17 Both died in Saulnes.

The discovery of a fourth son

An examination of the relationships of persons mentioned in the baptismal records of all of Henri FOURNEL and Anne LAUNOIS’ grandchildren brought to light another son of the FOURNEL-LAUNOIS couple.

Pierre FOURNEL was the godfather of Marie Catherine, the daughter of Mathias FOURNEL and Magdalaine SCHMIT, baptized on 16 April 1767.18 His relationship to the child and/or parents was not given.

On 18 August 1771, Pierre was the godfather of Pierre, a son of Henri FOURNEL and Marie Claire BOULANGER. The godfather’s relationship was noted as the uncle of the child.19

Pierre was also the godfather of Marie Joseph, daughter of Dominique FOURNEL and Barbe SCHMIT. She was baptized on 18 June 1774 and her godfather was her uncle.20

As Pierre FOURNEL was identified as an uncle of two of the three children, does this mean he was a brother of the children’s fathers?

Aimé Tarnus, compiled Histoires des Familles, Hussigny-Godbrange de 1550 à 1900, a family book for the town of Hussigny that is lacking church records for the years between 1716-1765 with only 1753-1756 and 1758 being available. To get around the lack of records for the town, Mr. Tarnus consulted records of the Archives Départementales de Moselle, the Archives Départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle, the National Library in Paris, and the Luxembourg National Archives. A good part of the work in the departmental archives, other than the church and civil records, was done using the judicial archives and the notary deeds.

In Mr. Tarnus’ family book of Hussigny, I found the following abstract of a  notarial record he attributed to Henry FOURNELLE, a laborer from Hussigny, born about 1713, married to Anne ADAM. Henry died 6 January 179321 and his wife Anne died 17 August 1783.22 This individual has not been researched other than locating the death records. It is, at this time, unknown if he is related and how.

M. et M. 23 E 114 : le 18/12/1765, CM. entre Dominique FOURNEL, man. à Sosne la basse, assisté de Henry et Pierre FOURNEL ses frères, Jacques FOURNELLE de H., leur oncle, et Barbe FELMIN(?) fa. de Mathieu, marchal ferrant à Tiffer., et de Cath. GODFRIN etc…23

The abstract mentions Dominique FOURNEL, a laborer from Saulnes, assisted by Henry and Pierre FOURNEL, his brothers, and Jacques FOURNELLE of Hussigny, their uncle. STOP. I suspect a transcription error in the second half. The transcriber was not sure about the surname of the lady Barbe FELMIN(?) and included the question mark.

This abstract is referring to a marriage contract (see the abbreviation: CM.) drawn up by a notary between Dominique FOURNEL and Barbe SCHMIT before their marriage. The record is dated 18 December 1765 while the marriage took place on 28 December 1765.  Barbe SCHMIT was the daughter of Mathias SCHMIT and Catherine GODFRIN of Differdange (seen as Tifferdange in early records).

The places of residence of Henry, Pierre, and Jacques are not noted. However, Dominique was the only person of this name in Saulnes around 1765. He has been proven to be the son of Henri FOURNEL and Anne LAUNOIS as were his brothers Henri and Mathias through their marriage records. In turn, the elder Henri FOURNEL and Jacques FOURNELLE were both sons of Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON. Jacques witnessed his brother Henri’s death record in 1753 and is referred to as his brother.

The Henry FOURNEL mentioned in the abstract is not the Henry FOURNELLE (b. abt. 1713 and died 1793) that Mr. Tarnus attached this abstract to in his book. Although the compiler attributed the record to the incorrect person, his inclusion of this information in his book helped to prove Pierre FOURNEL was the son of Henri FOURNEL and his wife Anne LAUNOIS. Pierre’s life has been documented for the years 1765 when he assisted his brother when a marriage contract was drawn up and in 1767, 1771, and 1774 when he was the godfather of his nieces and nephew. It is, however, not known when he was born, if he married, or when he died.

In the next two posts, I will be writing about Jeanne and Sébastienne, daughters of Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON, before I get to their youngest son Jacques who was mentioned several times in connection to his brother Henri of this 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 55 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. 1688 Baptismal Record (right page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538076c2be : accessed 2 July 2020). 
  2. 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). 
  3. 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). 
  4. 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). 
  5. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 455 of 529 . 1753 Death Record (right page, 1st entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53808948e4 : accessed 8 July 2020). 
  6. Ibid., Herserange > 1743-1791 > 5 Mi 259/R 3> image 123 of 328. 1756 Marriage Record (right page, top entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f040929 : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  7. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 438 of 529. 1758 Death Record (age at death 66 years) (left page bottom and right page top). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538088633f : accessed 8 July 2020). 
  8. Ibid., Herserange > 1743-1791 > 5 Mi 259/R 3 > image 69 of 328. 1763 Marriage Record (right page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f0253fe : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  9. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 417 and 418 of 529. 1764 Death Record, part 1 (right page, bottom entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538087212c : accessed 14 September 2020) and 1764 Death Record, part 2 (left page, top entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380872e64 : accessed 14 September 2020). 
  10. Ibid., Herserange > 1743-1791 > 5 Mi 259/R 3 > image 60 of 328. 1765 Marriage Record (left page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f021335 : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  11. Ibid., Herserange > 1743-1791 > 5 Mi 259/R 3 > image 49 of 328. 1766 Marriage Record (left, first entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f01bd40 : accessed 10 September 2020). 
  12. Ibid., Saulnes > 1782-1822 > 5 Mi 492/R 1 > image 9 of 376. 782 Death Record (age at death 66 years) (left page, first entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ed0f349/54ae6cf63e59f : accessed 10 September 2020). 
  13. Belgique, Luxembourg, registres d’état civil, 1580-1920, (images), FamilySearch (België Nationaal Archief, Brussels / Belgium National Archives, Brussels), Messancy > Actes 1810-1817 > image 63 of 368. 1810 Death Record No. 34 (age at death 77). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GRXG-NM7?cc=2138510&wc=S51W-N3F%3A367348201%2C367562201 : accessed 10 September 2020). 
  14. Archives Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Saulnes > 1782-1822 > 5 Mi 492/R 1 > image 22 of 376. 1785 Death Record (age at death 50) (right page, 2nd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ed0f349/54ae6cf642ad3 : accessed 14 September 2020). 
  15. Ibid., Saulnes > 1782-1822 > 5 Mi 492/R 1 > image 262 of 376. 1812 Death Record (age at death 68) (right page, 1st entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ed0f349/54ae6cf6c4d95 : accessed 14 September 2020). 
  16. Ibid., Saulnes > 1782-1822 > 5 Mi 492/R 1 > image 29 of 376. 1786 Death Record (left page, 2nd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ed0f349/54ae6cf645095 : accessed 10 September 2020). 
  17. Ibid., Saulnes > 1782-1822 > 5 Mi 492/R 1 > image 152 of 376. 1793 Death Record (age at death about 60) (left page, first full entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ed0f349/54ae6cf67ece0 : accessed 10 September 2020). 
  18. Ibid., Herserange > 1743-1791 > 5 Mi 259/R 3 > image 42 of 328. 1767 Baptismal Record (left page, bottom and right page, top). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f018da6 : accessed 16 September 2020). 
  19. Ibid., Herserange > 1743-1791 > 5 Mi 259/R 3 > image 18 of 328. 1771 Baptismal Record (left page, bottom entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f00ab31 : accessed 16 September 2020). 
  20. Ibid., Herserange > 1743-1791 > 5 Mi 259/R 3 > image 221 of 328. 1774 Baptismal Record (left page, 1st entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f07d615 : accessed 14 September 2020). 
  21. Ibid., Hussigny-Godbrange > 1714-1809 > 5 Mi 268/R 1 > image 559 of 677. 1793 Death Record of Henry Fournel
    (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea53d8a/54b01054a7deb : accessed 23 September 2020) 
  22. Ibid., Hussigny-Godbrange > 1714-1809 > 5 Mi 268/R 1 > image 167 of 677. 1783 Death Record of Anne Adam. (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea53d8a/54b010535bdd6 : accessed 23 September 2020) 
  23. Aimé Tarnus, Histoires des Familles, Hussigny-Godbrange de 1550 à 1900, Tome 2 (2002-Fortier à 4096-Mohy), page 529, family 2015 Fournelle Henry husband of Anne Adam. “M. et M. 23 E 114 : le 18/12/1765, CM. entre Dominique FOURNEL, man. à Sosne la basse, assisté de Henry et Pierre FOURNEL ses frères, Jacques FOURNELLE de H., leur oncle, et Barbe FELMIN(?) fa. de Mathieu, marchal ferrant à Tiffer., et de Cath. GODFRIN etc…”

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

This is the 4th in a series of posts on my earliest FOURNELLE ancestors. After setting up the stageintroducing 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.

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)

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 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). 

Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 3)

This is the third post in a series on my earliest FOURNELLE ancestors. In Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 1), I set up the stage for the series with a discussion of surname variations for FOURNELLE, a short history of the village of Saulnes (France), and an explanation of the availability of the records. In Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 2), I added the main characters as I proved the children of my 7th great-grandparents Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON of Saulnes in the parish of Herserange, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France.

Now it’s time to introduce some of the supporting cast.

In my last post, I brought the reader’s attention to the mark Jean FOURNEL used to sign his wife’s 1702 death/burial record1, the 1708 marriage record of his daughter Françoise to Jean COURTOIS2, and the 1713 marriage record of his son Jean to Jeanne BERKIN.3

In all of these records, he used what looks like a capital A for his mark. In 1696, Jean HAIS used the same mark to sign the baptismal record of Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON’s daughter Marie.4:

Who was Jean HAIS? Was the mark used by him and Jean FOURNEL a family symbol or a symbol of an occupation? If it was a mark used by the family, how was Jean HAIS related to Jean FOURNEL?

During the years 1678-1700 when Jean and Catherine were having children, there were no other records in Saulnes for persons with the surnames FOURNELLE (or other variations) and SETON.

The surname SETON was only found for one person in Saulnes – for my 7th great-grandmother, Catherine SETON (1657-1702). In records of some of her children, the name was spelled SATON. Other possible spellings, i.e. CYTON, SATIN, SETIN, and SAITEONE, were found in the index of the FamilySearch collection, France, Births and Baptisms, 1546-1896 in the department of the Meurthe-et-Moselle in the towns of Ansauville, Lunéville, Pont-à-Mousson, and Toule for the period 1600-1700. Although Catherine didn’t appear to have relatives in Saulnes with the surname, she could have had maternal relatives in the area. Another possibility is that Jean FOURNEL brought his bride to Saulnes from who knows where.

The records of Herserange, the parish Saulnes was part of, began ten years before Jean and Catherine’s first child was born in 1678. In these ten years, I found several records for persons using the FOURNELLE, FOURNEL, FOURNY spelling of the surname of interest.

Nicolas FOURNELLE…

…named as a godfather in a baptismal record
1672 Baptismal Record of Nicolas HENRION with godfather Nicolas FOURNELLE. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 13 de 529

As can be seen in the image above, the earliest records of Herserange are not in the best condition. In the entry above, on 16 April 1672, a Nicolas FOURNELLE is named as the godfather (parrain, spelled parin in these early records) of a child named Nicolas, son of Arnould HENRION. The godmother’s name was likely in the missing section on the left. She was either the wife or daughter of Grégoire DIEUDONNÉ.5

…named in a death/burial record
A page from the church register. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 21 de 529

A large part in the middle area of the left side of the page of the church register is missing including where the entry of interest was made. Here is a transcription of the record with the missing parts in brackets.

Sosne
[date] est mort Nicolas FOURNELLE muni
[de foi des sacrements et] inhumé au cimetière de Herserange.

1675/6 Death/Burial Record of Nicolas FOURNELLE. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 21 de 529 (cropped)

About 1675/6 Nicolas FOURNELLE died in Saulnes provided with the sacraments and buried in the cemetery of Herserange.6 The estimated year of death has been assumed from the entries that include dates. No age at the time of death is seen in the incomplete death/burial entry.

There were no further entries for a Nicolas FOURNELLE. It’s a good possibility that the records are for one person.

Anne FOURNELLE, wife of Jean HAIS

Four baptismal records were found for children whose father was named Jean HAIS (with alternate spellings being HEIS, HAYS, and HAISSE).

1668 Baptismal Record of Margueritte HAIS. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 9 de 529 (cropped)

On 30 December 1668, Margueritte, daughter of Jean HAIS, was baptized in Saulnes. The godfather was François BOURMON and the godmother was Margueritte DOLHAY, both of Hussigny.7 The mother’s name was not given.

The first letter of the godfather’s name is missing on the record. In the Familles de Saulnes de 1668 à 1920, the compiler read the name as BOURMON.8 I originally thought the name was FOURNIER and was a bit disappointed when I checked the family book for Saulnes.

1672 Baptismal Record of Margueritte HAIS. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 13 de 529 (cropped)

On 8 February 1672 in Saulnes, Margueritte, daughter of Jean HAIS, was baptized. The godfather was Nicolas BILLON and the godmother was Margueritte LOUIS.9 As in the previous record, the mother was not named.

1672 Baptismal Record of Anne MARTIN with godmother Anne FOURNELLE. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 15 de 529 (cropped)

Eight months later, on 18 October 1672, Anne, daughter of Anthoine MARTIN, was baptized in Saulnes. The godfather was a man with the first name Jean; the godmother was Anne FOURNELLE. The record indicates she was the wife of Jean FOURNELLE.10

The priest made an error when he entered the name of the husband or, as has been seen in other records, the husband was also known by his wife’s surname. The compiler of Familles de Saulnes de 1668 à 1920 made the connection and listed the godmother Anne FOURNELLE as the wife of Jean HAIS.11

Anne FOURNELLE was the wife of Jean HAIS as we will see in the next entry.

1680 Baptismal Record of Catherine HAIS. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 25 de 529 (cropped)

On 28 December 1680 Catherine, daughter of Jean HAIS and Anne FOURNELLE, was baptized in Saulnes. Her godfather was Pierre DASSIS and her godmother was a lady by the first name of Catherine.12

Could the missing the surname of the godmother be SETON? Baby Catherine was the first child of Jean HAIS and Anne FOURNELLE to be baptized after Jean FOURNELLE married Catherine SETON. Jean and Anne had no sons who would have had Jean FOURNELLE as a godfather.

A fourth child born in 1673 will be discussed in the next section.

No further children were born to the HAIS-FOURNELLE couple in the parish of Herserange.

There is a good possibility that they moved to the neighboring Hussigny as in 1696 one Jean HAIS was the godfather of Marie, daughter of Jean FOURNELLE and Catherine SETON.

1696 Baptismal Record of Marie FOURNEL with godfather Jean HAIS. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 365 de 529 (cropped)

On 9 June 1696 in Saulnes, a child Marie was baptized in the presence of her godfather Jean HAIS (HEINS) of Hussigny and her godmother Marie LEJEUNE of Aix. Her parents’ names were listed as Jean FOURNY and Catherine SETON.13

Pierre FOURNY

1673 Baptismal Record of Maria HAIS with godfather Pierre FOURNY. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 16 de 529 (cropped)

On 5 June 1673, a baby girl was baptized with the name Maria. Her godfather was Pierre FOURNY and her godmother was Maria HENRION. The child’s surname was HAIS but neither the name of her father nor her mother survived as part of the page is missing. 14

Analysis of the records

Was Nicolas FOURNELLE the father of these three persons living in the same town with the same, if differently spelled, surname?

  • Anne FOURNELLE, wife of Jean HAIS
  • Pierre FOURNY
  • Jean FOURNEL, husband of Catherine SETON

From the records found, I estimated their years of birth. Anne was born before 1646 if she married about 1667 at the age of 21 and was the mother of all daughters of Jean HAIS (Heis, Hays, Haisse). Pierre was born before 1652 assuming he was a young man in 1673 when he became a godfather. Pierre was likely older than Jean who was first seen in records in 1678. Jean was born about 1655 per his death record.15

The estimates for the birth years of Anne (bef. 1646), Pierre (bef. 1652), and Jean (abt. 1655) place them in the same generation. As Saulnes was a very small village in the years from 1646 to 1655, it is likely that they were siblings and possibly the children of the Nicolas FOURNELLE who died there in 1675/6.

Another event may point to Nicolas being the father. Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON became parents only after the death of Nicolas. Their firstborn son was named Nicolas. Did they choose a godfather with the first name Nicolas to follow a tradition of naming the firstborn children after the paternal and maternal grandparents, the first male child being named after the paternal grandfather?

At this point, I believe Nicolas FOURNELLE who died in Saulnes in 1675/6 was most likely the earliest FOURNELLE ancestor.

It would appear that I am now at an impasse with the supporting cast I’ve found. The descent of Anne FOURNELLE and Jean HAIS through their daughters born 1668 to 1680 is made more difficult due to the variants seen for the HAIS surname. No leads have been found for Pierre FOURNY.

This leaves Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON’s children and their descendants. Of their children, seven married and will each be discussed in separate posts in the coming weeks.

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 > Herserange B. (1668-1688, 1694-1742, 1745-1746), M. (1684-1686, 1688-1692, 1694-1742, 1745-1746), S. (1676-1679, 1681-1689, 1694-1742, 1745-1773) 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 Catherine Seton death record, age at death about 45 yrs (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 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). 
  3. 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). 
  4. Ibid., Herserange > 1668- 1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 365 of 529. 1696 Marie Fournel baptismal record (right page, 2nd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380847004 : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  5. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 13 of 529. 1672 Baptismal Record (right page, 2nd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380759111 : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  6. Ibid., Herserange > 1668- 1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 21 of 529. 1675/6 Death Record (left page, 6th entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538075bfd4 : accessed 2 July 2020). 
  7. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 9 of 529. 1668 Baptismal Record (right page, 2nd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380757038 : accessed 15 July 2020). 
  8. Catherine Goncalves, Bernard Batrthélémy, René Bréden, Aimé Tarnus, Familles de Saulnes de 1668 à 1920, three volumes published by the Cercle Généalogique du Pays de Longwy, p. 1305-1306 family 3362. 
  9. Archives Meurthe-et-Moselle, Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 13 of 529. 1672 Baptismal Record (left page, first entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380758a4c : accessed 14 July 2020). 
  10. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 15 of 529. 1672 Baptismal Record (left page, 2nd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807597ad : accessed 8 July 2020). 
  11. Familles de Saulnes de 1668 à 1920, p. 1937-1938, family 4969, Anthoine Martin and his wife Françoise. 
  12. Archives Meurthe-et-Moselle, Herserange > 1668- 1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 25 of 529. 1680 Baptismal Record (left page, 5th entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538075dfa2 : accessed 29 July 2020). 
  13. Ibid., Herserange > 1668- 1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 365 of 529. 1696 Marie Fournel baptismal record (right page, 2nd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380847004 : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  14. Ibid., Herserange > 1668- 1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 16 of 529. 1673 Baptismal Record (right page, 2nd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380759dd3 : accessed 4 July 2020). 
  15. 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). 

Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 2)

Last week, in part 1 of this series, I discussed the surname variations for FOURNELLE, gave a short history of the village of Saulnes (France), and explained where the records for the family of interest were found.

Jean FOURNEL (1655-1721) and Catherine SETON (1657-1702) of Saulnes in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department of France were my 7th great-grandparents. They are presently the most distant ancestral couple for the FOURNEL/FOURNELLE branch of my family tree.

As noted in the short history of Saulnes, the village was uninhabited in 1646. In 1698, fifty years after the end of The Thirty Years’ War, 8 farmers, 13 skilled workers, and 4 widows lived in Saulnes’ 25 houses and 11 hovels.1 The information came from a report of the general condition of the provost of Longwy made in the year 1698 for Saulnes (état générale de la prévôté de Longwy fait en 1698). This list includes the names of the farmers: Drouet, Arnoult, Thomas, Magnier, Istase, André, and La Fontaine (2). Jean Henrion was the only skilled worker named.2 It would appear that the FOURNEL family was not farming in the late 1600s and Jean FOURNEL may have been a skilled worker.

The population of Saulnes during the period Jean and Catherine lived there plays an important part in the research concerning their children. They were the only couple having children with the FOURNEL surname in Saulnes during the years from 1678 to 1702.

Proving the children of Jean FOURNEL (1655-1721) and Catherine SETON (1657-1702)

To be recognized as a legally married couple on their children’s baptismal records, Jean and Catherine had to have been married before the birth of their first known child. This would place their marriage at about 1677 when Jean was 22 and Catherine 20. Their ages have been estimated from the age given at the time of their deaths. Marriage records for this period are lacking in Herserange. The records of the children, mentioning their parents as a couple will have to suffice as evidence that they were married.

The Herserange collection of records used to document this family group covered the years from 1668 to 1773. The circa 10 years before the marriage of Jean and Catherine were reviewed several times in hopes of finding other records mentioning them separately and/or as a couple. Miscellaneous records for other persons with the FOURNELLE surname or associated with the surname were found and will be discussed in Part 3. No records were found for any other person with the surname SETON.

When the pages of church register for Hesperange were digitized they were fragile and not in very good condition. Many of the old pages were missing parts along the edges. This resulted in incomplete records.

These are the children I found for Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON:

          1. Françoise baptized 18 March 1678
          2. Nicolas baptized 30 September  1683
          3. Jean baptized 9 May 1686
          4. Henri baptized 2 June 1688
          5. Jeanne born before 1691
          6. Sébastienne born about 1692
          7. Marie baptized 9 June 1696
          8. Jacques born about 1699

Five of the eight children’s baptismal records were found in the church records of Herserange from 1678 to 1688. Baptismal records are missing for the years from 1689 to 1693, a period when two of the children were born. Although records are available from 1694 to the time the youngest child is believed to have been born, no baptismal record was found.

The Eight FOURNEL Children

Françoise baptized 18 March 1678
Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 19 de 529

Jean FOURNELLE and Catherine SETON’s first known child was Françoise baptized on 18 March 1678 in Saulnes, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France. They are clearly named as her parents in this record. Her godfather was Guillaume DASSIS. Her godmother was a lady named Françoise – her surname was cut off on the right side as the edges of the page have deteriorated.3

Françoise married Jean COURTOIS (1684-1745) on 23 January 1708 in Saulnes. The marriage record includes the names of her parents.4

Françoise died on 13 October 1729 in Saulnes. Her husband gave her age as 45 years although she was actually six years older.5

Nicolas baptized 30 September 1683
Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 28 de 529

The baptismal record of the second child of Jean and Catherine is missing information.

On the last day of September 1683 in Saulnes, a child [name is missing] was born to [first name missing] FOURNELLE and Catherine SETON and baptized. The verb baptizé is masculine and confirms the child was male. The godfather was [first name missing] BOUILLON and the godmother was Margueritte [illegible maiden name] [one or more missing words] COURTOIS.6

As the husband of Catherine SETON is known to have been Jean FOURNEL it can be assumed that the father’s missing name was Jean. The godmother Margueritte was most likely the wife of Bernard COURTOIS, the only Courtois with a wife named Margueritte at this time. Her maiden name was EVRARD per their 1740 death records.7,8

As the baptismal record is for a male child, he would have the same name as his godfather. Other records have been found that indicate Nicolas FOURNEL was the oldest known son of Jean and Catherine. A Nicolas BOUILLON was in Saulnes at this time. He witnessed the death entry of his wife Jeanne PIERON on 11 January 1694 in Saulnes.9 As no other baptismal record was found for a son named Nicolas, I find it very likely that Nicolas was the name of the child baptized on 30 September 1683.

Nicolas was the godfather Marie, daughter of Jean DROUET and Jeanne REMY, baptized on 3 October 1707 in Saulnes.10 He was described as un jeune garçon or a young boy or man meaning he was not yet married. His surname was spelled FOURNY.

Nicolas married Barbe AGARANT (1680-1758) on 29 June 1710 in Réhon, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France. As in the baptismal record mentioned above, he was described as un jeune garçon de Sosne, paroissien de Herserange or young boy of Saulnes, a parishioner of Herserange. His surname was spelled FOURNIER. Barbe was the widow of Jean BERNARDIN.11 The entry in the Réhon parish record does not name Nicolas’ parents however we can assume they were Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON as they were the only couple in Saulnes of this surname and with children of marrying age.

Nicolas and his family lived in Hussigny, a town whose records are lacking for the period he would have been having children up until the death of his wife in 1758.

Several more records were found that connect Nicolas to the Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON family. They will be discussed later in this post.

Jean baptized 9 May 1686
Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 42 de 529

Jean was baptized on 9 May 1686 in Saulnes. His godparents were Jean QUERIN and Marie Madeleine [illegible]. His parents’ names were Jean FOURNIER and Catherine. Space was left on the record for the maiden name of his mother but never filled in.12

Jean married Jeanne BERKIN (1683-1759) on 22 January 1713 in Rodange, Luxembourg. His father Jean FOURNEL was present at the marriage. His older brother Nicolas was a witness at the marriage.13

Jean FOURNEL and Jeanne BERKIN were my 6th great-grandparents.

Henri baptized 2 June 1688
Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 55 de 529

Henri was baptized on 2 June 1688 in Saulnes. His godparents were Henry LOUIS and Barbe DROUET. His parents were listed as Jean FOURNIER and his wife. As with Jean’s baptismal record, space was left for the mother’s name but not filled in.14

Henri FOURNEL married Anne LAUNOIS. A marriage record has not been located. She was named as his wife in his death record when he died on 6 August 1753 in Saulnes. The record was witnessed by his son Henri and his brother Jacques.15

Several marriage records of sons of Henri and Anne were found. They name them as a couple and parents of the children. They will be cited in the section on Henri’s brother Jacques.

Jeanne born before 1691

A baptismal record was not found for Jeanne who was born before 1691.

Jeanne FOURNEL was the godmother of Jean COURTOIS, son of Françoise FOURNEL and Jean COURTOIS, who was baptized on 14 October 1708.16

Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 234 de 529

She was also the godmother of his brother Jacques baptized on 4 February 1717.17 In this record, Jeanne was clearly named as the aunt of the child proving she was the sister of Françoise, i.e. the oldest daughter of Jean and Catherine.

Jeanne FOURNEL married Jérôme PETRISOT ( -1734) on 28 July 1720 in Obercorn, Luxembourg. She was a young lady from Saulnes and the names of her parents are not mentioned.18 Their first child was born on 20 August 1721. She was named Maria Catharina for her godmother Marie Catherine FOURNEL.19

Jeanne was still living on 6 September 1734 when she and her husband acquired property (a hovel, a garden, etc.) from Jean FOURNIER, Nicolas FOURNIER, Jean COURTOIS (representing the children of the deceased Françoise FOURNIER), and Jacques FOURNIER. The notarial records for this transaction have not been viewed.20

Sébastienne born about 1692

Sébastienne was born about 1692. No baptismal record was found due to missing records.

Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 178 de 529

On 24 November 1720, she married the widower Jean FRANÇOIS (1692-1741) in Saulnes. Witnesses to the marriage were Jean FOURNEL and Jacques FOURNEL, both referred to as her brothers. She is described as a young lady from Saulnes and her parents are not named.21 As she was the sister of Jean and Jacques (younger brother seen below) we can assume she was the daughter of Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON.

Sébastienne FOURNELLE died on 29 December 1752 in Saulnes at the age of about 60 years. This record was used to calculate her year of birth.22

Marie baptized 9 June 1696
Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 365 de 529

On 9 June 1696 in Saulnes, a child Marie was baptized in the presence of her godfather Jean HEINS of Hussigny and her godmother Marie LEJEUNE of Aix. Her parents’ names were Jean FOURNY and Catherine SETON.23

Marie FOURNEL was the godmother of her sister Sébastienne’s illegitimate son Jean CHOLOT who was baptized on 9 December 1713 in Saulnes.24

Jacques born about 1699

Jacques, the youngest known child of Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON, was born about 1699. His estimated year of birth has been calculated from his age at death. This places his birth before the death of Catherine SETON who died in 1702.

Jacques most likely married in Hussigny where he lived his adult life. As mentioned earlier in this post, Hussigny is lacking records for the years between 1716-1765 with only 1753-1756 and 1758 being available. Even without the Hussigny records, the youngest son of Jean and Catherine produced more records than any of his siblings that show his connection to them and therefore to their parents.

Jacques FOURNEL was the godfather of his nephew Jacques COURTOIS, son of Jean COURTOIS and Françoise FOURNEL, baptized on 4 February 1717 in Saulnes. He and his sister Jeanne were the godparents and referred to as the uncle and aunt.[See footnote #17 and image 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 234 de 529]

When Sébastienne married Jean FRANCOIS in 1720, Jacques and Jean FOURNEL were witnesses and referred to as brothers of the bride.[See footnote #21 and image 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 178 de 529]

Jacques married Marie JACOB most likely in Hussigny before 1724. The 1758 death record of Marie JACOB names Jacques as her husband.25

On 18 January 1743 Jacques FOURNEL of Hussigny was a witness to the marriage of his niece Jeanne FOURNEL to Henry DE CHAIVE. Jeanne was the daughter of Jean FOURNEL and Jeanne BERKIN. Jacques was referred to as the uncle of the bride.26

Jacques was a witness at the marriages of two of his nephews, sons of Henri FOURNEL and his wife Anne LAUNOIS. On 26 February 1756 their son Henri married Marie Claire BOULANGER in the presence of Jacques FOURNEL uncle of the groom and others.27

On 8 February 1763 their son Dominique married Marie COMES in the presence of witnesses that included Jacques FOURNEL of Hussigny.28

Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 3 vue 60 de 328

Dominique was widowed and married again on 28 December 1765 to Barbe SCHMIT. Jacques, his uncle from Hussigny, was a witness.29

Jacques died at the age of 75 years on 9 December 1774 in Hussigny and was buried the following day in the presence of parishioners including his nephew Henri FOURNEL (son of Henri and Anne) and his grandson Charles LIBERT (son of his daughter Marguerite).30

A ninth child for Jean and Catherine?

Two baptismal records were found that name Marie Catherine FOURNEL as a godmother in 1721. On 20 August 1721 Maria Catharina PETRISOT, daughter of Jérôme PETRISOT and Jeanne FOURNEL, was baptized in Obercorn. Her godmother was Maria Catharina FURNIER of Saulnes. The child’s mother’s maiden name was also spelled FURNIER.31

Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 184 de 529

Two months later, Marie Catherine FRANÇOIS, daughter of Jean FRANÇOIS and Sébastienne FOURNEL was baptized in Saulnes. Her godmother was Marie Catherine FOURNEL described as her aunt.32

Was Marie Catherine the same person as Marie born in 1696?

No records have been found for the marriage or death of Marie FOURNEL or Marie Catherine FOURNEL. No baptismal record was found for a child named Marie Catherine FOURNEL. As I reviewed the records while writing about the children, I wondered if those found are for two separate persons. Should I enter Marie Catherine as a ninth child of my 7th great-grandparents? Could she have been born after Jacques and before the death of the children’s mother?

The Deaths of Jean FOURNEL and his wife Catherine SETON

Catherine SETON the wife of Jean FOURNEL died on 21 September 1702 in Saulnes of an unknown illness at the age of about 45 years. Was this following childbirth? Her husband Jean arranged the funeral and solemn services for three consecutive days for her soul to rest. He signed her death and burial entry in the parish record with his mark.33

Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 333 de 529

When my 6th great-grandparents Jean FOURNEL and Jeanne BERKIN married in 1713, the elder Jean FOURNEL was present at the marriage and signed the parish register with the same mark as in 1702 when his wife died.[See footnote #13]

Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 266 de 529

Jean also signed with his mark on the 1708 marriage record of his oldest child Françoise.[See footnote #4]

Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 300 de 529

Jean FOURNEL outlived his wife Catherine by a few days less than 19 years. He died on 3 September 1721 in Saulnes. His two oldest sons Nicolas and Jean arranged for the funeral and solemn services for three consecutive days so that his soul would rest in peace.34

Did Jean FOURNEL’s mark have a special significance to him, his family, his occupation? Did anyone else in Saulnes or in the area use the same sign? These questions will be brought up again in part 3 of this series.

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. Histoire de Saulnes, online https://www.saulnes.fr/saulnes-historique/histoire-de-saulnes/ : accessed 10 July 2020. 
  2. Catherine Goncalves, Bernard Batrthélémy, René Bréden, Aimé Tarnus, Familles de Saulnes de 1668 à 1920 (three volumes) published by the Cercle Généalogique du Pays de Longwy, p. 9. 
  3. 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 > Herserange B. (1668-1688, 1694-1742, 1745-1746), M. (1684-1686, 1688-1692, 1694-1742, 1745-1746), S. (1676-1679, 1681-1689, 1694-1742, 1745-1773) 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). 
  4. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 1 image 300 of 529 . 1708 Courtois, Jean and Fournel, Françoise marriage record (right page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380814b5d : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  5. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 1 image 114 of 529 . 1729 Françoise Fournel death record (age about 45 years) (left page, 3rd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380788d8e : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  6. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 1 image 28 of 529. 1683 Baptismal Record (right page, 5th entry). This document is in very bad condition. (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538075f780 : accessed 2 July 2020). 
  7. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 1 image 79 of 529. 1740 Death Record (left page, first entry).(http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538077740c : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  8. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 1 image 79 of 529. 1740 Death Record (right page, first entry).(http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538077740c : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  9. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 1 image 28 of 529. 1683 Baptismal Record (right page, 5th entry). This document is in very bad condition. (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538075f780 : accessed 2 July 2020). 
  10. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 1 image 311 of 529. 1707 Baptismal Record of Marie Drouet, godfather Nicolas Fourny. (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538081d08c : accessed 8 July 2020). 
  11. Ibid., Réhon B., M. (1710, 1714-1715, 1733-1792), S. (1714-1715, 1733-1791) 1710-1792 > 5 Mi 450/R 2 image 373 of 767. 1710 Marriage Record (right page, 2nd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10eca1233/54b0f2e7a367b : accessed 7 Augut 2020). 
  12. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 1 image 42 of 529. 1686 Baptismal Record (right page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380766086 : accessed 10 July 2020). 
  13. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 1 image 266 of 529 . 1713 Jean Fournel and Jeanne Berkin marriage record (right page, top). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807ed8f7 : accessed 2 July 2020). 
  14. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 1 image 55 of 529. 1688 Henri Fournel baptismal record (right page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538076c2be : accessed 2 July 2020). 
  15. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 1 image 455 of 529. 1753 Death Record (right page, 1st entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53808948e4 : accessed 8 July 2020). 
  16. Ibid., Herserange > 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). 
  17. Ibid., Herserange > 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). 
  18. 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). 
  19. Ibid., Obercorn > Baptêmes 1704-1727, 1746, 1794-1797, 1800-1805, mariages 1795-1797, 1800-1807, sépultures 1794-1797, 1802-1807 > image 78 of 296. 1721 Baptismal Record (right page, 2nd entry).(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WS-9SCK?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-N3T%3A1500974001%2C1500974302 : accessed 12 July 2020). 
  20. Aimé Tarnus, Histoires des Familles, Hussigny-Godbrange de 1550 à 1900; Tome 2 (2002-Fortier à 4096-Mohy); page 535, family 2029, notary records Meurthe-et-Moselle 23 E 147 Étude Guyot, transférée à Villerupt (1719-1882). 
  21. Archives Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 1 image 178 of 529. 1720 François, Jean and Fournel, Sébastienne marriage record. (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807b09bb : accessed 8 July 2020). 
  22. Ibid., Herserange > 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). 
  23. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 1 image 365 of 529. 1696 Marie Fournel baptismal record (right page, 2nd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380847004 : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  24.   Ibid., Herserange > 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). 
  25. Ibid., Hussigny-Godbrange > 5 Mi 268/R 1 image 38 of 677. 1758 Death Record (right page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea53d8a/54b010531aec1 : accessed 2 August 2020). 
  26. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 3 images 197 and 198 of 328. 1743 Marriage Record (part 1)(http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f06e6ad : accessed 9 July 2020) and 1743 Marriage Record (part 2) (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f06f031 : accessed 9 July 2020) 
  27. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 3 image 123 of 328. 1756 Marriage Record (right page, top entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f040929 : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  28. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 3 image 69 of 328. 1763 Marriage Record (right page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f0253fe : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  29. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 3 image 60 of 328. 1765 Marriage Record (left page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f021335 : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  30. Ibid., Hussigny > 5 Mi 268/R 1 image 83 of 677. 1774 Death Record (right page). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea53d8a/54b010532f877 : accessed 2 August 2020). 
  31. Luxembourg Parish Records, Obercorn > Baptêmes 1704-1727, 1746, 1794-1797, 1800-1805, mariages 1795-1797, 1800-1807, sépultures 1794-1797, 1802-1807 > image 78 of 296. 1721 Baptismal Record (right page, 2nd entry).(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WS-9SCK?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-N3T%3A1500974001%2C1500974302 : accessed 12 July 2020). 
  32. Archives Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Herserange > 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). 
  33. Ibid., Herserange > 5 Mi 259/R 1 image 333 of 529. 1702 Catherine Seton death record, age at death about 45 yrs (right page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538082e2f7 : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  34. Ibid., Herserange > 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). 

Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 1)

The FOURNELLE family has always been one of my favorites to research.

In 2013 I spent nearly a year working exclusively on finding the records for descendants of my 7th great-grandparents Jean FOURNEL (ca. 1655-1721) and Catherine SETON (ca. 1657-1702) of Saulnes, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France.

The FOURNELLE line is my maternal grandmother’s paternal line. She carried the name as did her father, his father, their grandfathers, all the way back to…

Variations of the Surname

In the earliest records found, Jean FOURNEL was seen as Jean FOURNELLE in 1678 and 1683 (baptismal records of daughter Françoise and son Nicolas), as Jean FOURNIER in 1686 and 1688 (baptismal records of sons Jean and Henri), and as Jean FOURNY in 1696 (baptismal record of daughter Marie) and 1708 (marriage record of daughter Françoise). At the time of his wife Catherine’s death in 1702 and his own death in 1721, the name was spelled FOURNEL. In the next generations, the name FOURNEL was more frequently seen as FOURNELLE.

Several records dated before 1678 were found for persons in Saulnes with the FOURNELLE, FOURNEL, and FOURNY spelling. Persons who appear to have been related to Jean FOURNEL. Will they take the line back another generation?

The Origin of the Surname

Forneri, Forneris, or Fornero are trade names frequently encountered in the Alpes-Maritimes and the Riviera area. They are of Italian origin, not surprising as, historically, the Comté de Nice (County of Nice) was for a long time Italian rather than French. In short, forni-, forno-, forne- and all their variants originate “in the bakery” as they have a relationship with a “forn” or an oven. This is usually a bread oven but the root word is also seen in Fornès or Fornies, names associated with persons who cared for the lime kilns used to melt metals.

In eastern France, we find Forny and Forney or Fornier working on or having brick ovens. In the Vosges and Ardennes, the Fournaises worked with furnaces or larger ovens. It goes without saying that all “For-” are also found in the form “Four-” as in Fournès, Fourny, Fournier, and in Fournel, Fournelles, Fourniol, for the stove or smaller oven.

Fournillier, Fourniaud, or Fourniaux, depending on the region, include one who comes from the site where there are many furnaces. This would mean that the person may not have directly worked on or with an oven but simply lived in the community.1

A Brief History of Saulnes

The earliest records found for Jean FOURNEL and his wife Catherine SETON show they lived in Saulnes, in today’s Meurthe-et-Moselle department in France. Jean and Catherine, per the age given at the time of their deaths, both were born in the decade following the end of the Thirty Years’ War. This fact, as well as the history of Saulnes, had to be considered in my research.

Saulnes had 29 hearths in 1443, 9 in 1473, 4 in 1495 and 1531, and 12 in 1585. During this early period, households, for the most part, had only one hearth and the numbers likely reflect the number of families living in the village. In 1646 the village of Saulnes was not inhabited. The Thirty Years’ War fought primarily in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648 resulted in the deaths of over 8 million people.

In 1687, several decades following the war, Saulnes was once again inhabited by 20 people. In 1698, 8 farmers, 13 skilled workers, and 4 widows lived in Saulnes’ 25 houses and 11 hovels. There were 20 households in the village in 1716 and 26 in 1739.

Saulnes, until the last century, was only a modest village of a few houses with no more than 400 inhabitants; the main resources were provided by cultivation, breeding, a few vineyards, and working iron.2

A forge existed in Saulnes in the second half of the 14th century. No records exist to date its erection. However, the forge was enumerated in a census in 1474 with a small blast furnace. It was abandoned in the middle of the 16th century. Did my ancestors live in the area during this period? Did they work the forge and is this how they came to be named FOURNELLE?

Location of the Records

During the years the family of Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON lived in Saulnes, the village was identified as Sosnes or Sonne in the church records, and, as seen above, grew from having 20 persons to 26 households.

Nearly all records for this family group were found in the 1668-1773 collection for the commune of Herserange in the Archives of the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle in France. This collection of parish records includes the villages of Herserange, Saulnes, Rodange (today a part of Luxembourg), Mexy, and Longlaville.

The priests who kept the records noted the name of the village the record was created above each entry. This was extremely helpful when skimming through the records. However, I found that due to the newness of the records seven years ago, I missed things that turned up while I was reviewing the records in the last few weeks.

Availability of the Records

In 2013 images from the French archives’ sites were not allowed to be used on the internet or for commercial purposes without written permission. At the time this was not a problem for me as I was using them for my personal research only. I did not know that the following year I would begin blogging and wouldn’t be able to use the images in blog posts.

The visionneuse, or image viewer, didn’t have an option to save a permalink of the image seven years ago. I wrote source citations that included the waypoints (path) to easily locate the record if necessary. This must have been foresight.

The French archives sites have evolved since 2013 and many are now including permalinks. I have over 500 citations for records found in the Meurthe-et-Moselle area that will eventually need to be fixed. In the past few weeks, I’ve been accessing the records, copying the permalinks, and downloading images in JPG format for the FOURNEL-SETON family group. It is slow going as I pay special attention to the other records recorded for the little village of Saulnes – searching for connections missed the first time around. [I’ve acquired new genealogy research skills since 2013 and am still learning.]

Another change on the French archives sites is their terms of use. Before you access the records, you are required to confirm the following:

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.

In application of the regulation on the re-use of public data adopted by the departmental council of Meurthe-et-Moselle (deliberation of its permanent commission n ° 17, dated January 16, 2017), I undertake to mention the source of the downloaded document (Arch. Dep. De Meurthe-et-Moselle, [followed by the full path]), in the event of re-use.
[Google Translate]

I can now screenshot a record and use it in a blog post as long as I include the full path to the Archives Départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle. I believe this will be a good learning tool for my readers and a wonderful advertisement for the French archives sites that are more rarely used by non-Europeans.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Jean FOURNEL
Parents: TO BE PROVEN: Nicolas FOURNELLE
Siblings: TO BE PROVEN: Anne and Pierre
Spouse: Catherine SETON
Children: Françoise, Nicolas, Jean, Henri, Jeanne, Sébastienne, Marie Catherine, and Jacques
Whereabouts: Saulnes (Sonne, Sosne), Meurthe-et-Moselle, France
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 7th great-grandfather

1. Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON
2. Jean FOURNEL and Jeanne BERKIN
3. Pierre FOURNELLE and Jeanne NEU
4. Pierre FOURNELLE and Marguerite SCHMIT
5. André FOURNELLE and Marie Catherine PHILIPPART
6. André FOURNELLE and Odile Lucie SCHLOESSER
7. Jean Joseph FOURNELLE and Catharina FRANTZ
8. Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE and Nicolas WILDINGER
9. Living WILDINGER and Fred Roosevelt DEMPSEY
10. Catherine Ann DEMPSEY and Living MEDER

Now that I’ve covered the surname variations, a short history of Saulnes, and where the records were found, I’ll leave you until next week when I’ll begin to share the story of Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON’s family.

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. Étymologique, Le Mot du Jour posted 20 October 2012; online http://www.etymo-logique.com/le-mot-du-jour/personnalites/forneri-pascal/ : accessed 11 Sep 2013. 
  2. Histoire de Saulnes, online https://www.saulnes.fr/saulnes-historique/histoire-de-saulnes/ : accessed 10 July 2020.