François Amiel

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François Amiel

Birthplace: Le Luc, Provence, France
Immediate Family:

Son of Matthieu Amiel and Suzanne Aubanelle
Brother of NN Amiel

Managed by: Sharon Doubell
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About François Amiel

Amiel in Boucher

Another possible emigrant from Provence on the Wapen van Alkmaar is Mathieu Amiel, also listed among the departing members of the Walloon church of Amsterdam on July 18, 1688. His name, however, is not connected there with the wife Jeanne Mille who died at an advanced age at the Cape, but with Susanne Aubanelle. Mathieu Amiel is given as a member of the French congregation of Amsterdam on June 20, 1687 and an Andre Amiel appears in the registers on September 7 of that year. With Amiel we move away from the Luberon Calvinist communities. There is clear evidence that he came from Le Luc between Draguignan and Toulon, and place of origin of the Berlin refugee Etienne Amiel, a cloth-worker in that city in 1699.223 It is significant that the Cape settler named his farm La Terra de (sic) Luc. Henri Deherain has seen a religious connotation here, with reference to the apostle, but it is probable that Amiel, like so many of his compatriots, recalled a cherished corner of his distant homeland. The form of the farm name as recorded at the Cape suggests Mathieu Amiel’s everyday speech. Is it not more correctly La Terra del Luc, and thus the sole surviving indication of the Provencal language with which so many of the early French settlers must have been familiar? The name of the village has no Biblical origin. Lo loc, or luc in Provencal is the place (lieu), or homestead.

The surname Amiel is frequent in the records of Le Luc, both Calvinist and Catholic. There is an entry in the surviving registers of the reformed congregation of the seventeenth century which, when due allowance is made for spelling variations, suggests that Mathieu Amiel married Susanne Aubanelle of Tourrettes, north-east of Draguignan, in 1679 and that he was the son of a wool carder Jean Amiel and his wife Isabeau Gras(se). The father may well have been the son of another Jean Amiel, who died in September 1678 at the age of fifty-six. Mathieu’s wife Susanne was the daughter of Pierre Aubanel (Albanet) and Francoise de l’Ange.The name Aubanel is found among other refugees in the United Provinces who formerly worshipped at Velaux. On March 6, 1687 Marguerite Aubanelle of Marseilles married Jean Rue at Leeuwarden in Friesland. This is perhaps a further link between Amiel and Mathieu Frachas, who was related to a family Ree (Rue. Roux, or possibly Rey) in Amsterdam.

The older Jean Amiel was married to Anne Terreblanque (Terre- blanche), a patronymic which suggests a connection with a settler who arrived rather later than Mathieu Amiel, evidently towards the end of the seventeenth century. ...

Who was Mathieu Amiel’s wife Jeanne Mille? A connection has been noted between the Rey and Mille families in Provence and Jeanne Mille was certainly from that part of France. The surname, however, is a common one in the region. If, as seems probable, she was Amiel’s second wife, the two male children who were with him at the Cape in 1690 could not have been the product of this marriage. Jeanne Mille was born in 1633 and thus past child-bearing age long before she left Europe. One of the children was perhaps Francois Amiel, known to have been at the Cape in 1706.

• M. Boucher.M (1981). French speakers at the Cape: The European Background. Pretoria, UNISA: Ch 7: Cape Settlers III: from South-Eastern France and Adjoining Territories pp195-7

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François Amiel's Timeline

Le Luc, Provence, France