About Gilles Soullier, SV/PROG 2
Sollier, Gillis, brother of Durand, had been a burgher at the Cape since 1697. In 1718 he was permitted to return to Europe with his wife Anna Roulin and son David. In 1731 he returned to the Cape with his wife Anna Roulin, his stepson Hendrik Melet, and his sister's daughter. In the list of enrolled members of the Dutch Church, Cape Town, Gillis and his wife are entered on 15th December, 1731, with attestation from Montfort. Amongst the inhabitants of the Cape district in 1731 is Durand Sollier (probably his son) and wife Elizabeth de Villiers. [Coertzen has this couple as Gilles' brother & his 2nd wife
Sharon Doubell Nov 2016]
The French Refugees at the Cape. Botha , Colin Graham
- Coertzen, Pieter. 1988. Die Hugenote Van Suid Afrika 1688-1988: Cape Town, Tafelberg.
Soulliers in Boucher
Botha, who confuses the families of Gilles Sollier and the settler Durand Soullier, is evidently correct in assuming that the two men were brothers, despite the different spellings of the surname. Appropriately enough, Durand was a shoemaker who, with his wife Marthe Petel, became a member of the Table Valley church at the same time as Gilles. A daughter Susanne was baptized there on June 28, 1699 and her sister Marthe on New Year’s Day, 1702.
After the death of his wife Durand Soullier married Elisabeth, daugher of Pierre de Villiers, who joined the Cape church in April 1716.93 Like Gilles, Durand Soullier was a responsible member of burgher society and an elder of the Table Valley congregation, although he does not seem to have had Gilles’s educational background. Had he already been abroad with the Dutch East India Company? On March 3, 1697 a Durand Soullier was received at the Walloon church in Amsterdam with a membership entry which suggests that he had come from the Indies. If this is so, he must have left very promptly for the Cape of Good Hope. We shall have more to say about Gilles Sollier later in connection with the arrival at the Cape in 1731 of Andre Mellet and Marie Gautier. Mellet was from Nimes, the son of Claude Mellet, baptized on June 4, 1666 and still living in the French city in 1740. The surname Sollier is also of frequent occurrence in the Nimes registers of the reformed church..
. Gilles Sollier, the colonist whose business ability made him a useful intermediary in the Table Valley settlement for the legal and commercial transactions of inland farmers, joined the Cape church on October 4, 1697. The surname is common in Languedoc, but it would seem that he came either from Clermont-l’Herault, then known as Clermont- de-Lodeve, or more probably from Nimes. His parents had died before March 1699. His sons by Anne Roulain - David, baptized at the Cape on October 25, 1699, and Pierre, christened there on November 12, 1702 - provide no definite lead through their names to a Nimes background, but on the other hand the records of the Walloon church at Leyden mention a refugee David Soli (sic) from Clermont in Languedoc who was first given assistance in the Dutch town in October 1687.84 The Gilles Soulier (sic) who died a Catholic at Bernis, of Nimes, in 1701, could be related to the Cape refugee.
- M. Boucher.M (1981). French speakers at the Cape: The European Background. Pretoria, UNISA: Ch 6: Cape settlers II: from the Rhone to the Atlantic p151
Piecing together Graham & Boucher’s snippets of information (below), it seems that Marie Gautier of Marenne Saintonge (daughter of Jacques Gautier & Marie Roulain) must have been the niece of Anne Roulain from Marenne Saintonge (ie Gilles’ wife’s niece) via her sister (?) Marie Roulain.
Gilles’ stepson Hendrik Melet must be the child of Anne Roulain’s first husband – ie NN Melet. We can’t tell what the relationship was between NN Melet and Marie Gautier’s husband, Andre Melet from Nimes Languedoc (son of Claude Menet), but it seems likely they were of the same family, given that they are both connected by marriage to two Roulain women from the same place. [Sharon Doubell Nov 2016]
“Sollier, Gillis, brother of Durand, had been a burgher at the Cape since 1697. In 1718 he was permitted to return to Europe with his wife Anna Roulin and son David. In 1731 he returned to the Cape with his wife Anna Roulin, his stepson Hendrik Melet, and his sister's daughter.” * The French Refugees at the Cape. Botha , Colin Graham
“.. the arrival at the Cape in 1731 of Andre Mellet and Marie Gautier. Mellet was from Nimes, the son of Claude Mellet, baptized on June 4, 1666 and still living in the French city in 1740....Marie Gautier of Marennes in Saintonge was the wife of Andre Mellet and doubtless the niece of Gilles Sollier, .. The daughter of Jacques Gautier and Marie Roulain, she and her husband reached the Cape in 1731, where she died in 1745. Anne Roulain was Sollier’s wife and also from Marennes.” * M. Boucher.M (1981). French speakers at the Cape: The European Background. Pretoria, UNISA: Ch 6: Cape settlers II: from the Rhone to the Atlantic p151; p149