Pierre-Nicolas Ganteaume de Monteau

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About Pierre-Nicolas Ganteaume de Monteau

Para que los que no lo hayan leído, y para los que quieran analizar el contenido: THE GANTEAUME FAMILY IN THE WEST INDIES Introduction The following chronicle of the Ganteaume ………… on notes and documents, (chiefly commission in the Militia of Martinique) supplied by H D A Ganteaume Engineer of Boston, Mass. These cover the period from circa 1690 to 1794 when the brothers Nicolas Edouard and Pierre Nicolas emigrated from Martinique. Events after the latter date are based on notes written by my Mother and from personal knowledge of events as told to me by my Aunt Leonie Ganteaume, who lived to the age of 94. It must be noted that dates given in the information supplied by H D A Ganteaume are sometimes at variance with those given in official documents and consequently should be treated with caution or regarded as approximations. Also, many of the documents are in very poor condition and partial illegibility together with the rather archaic language may have given rise to error. The name Ganteaume, usually so spelt, has sometimes been written Gantheaume and de Monteau has also been written de Montault, de Montaut and de Monteaux. Life in the West Indies was an exciting and perilous business in the period under review and it is unfortunate that evidence of the arrival in Martinique of Pierre Ganteaume is not available. Was he in the service of the Crown in a civil capacity, or in the army or navy or was he a buccaneer? We do not know! We do know however, that as early as 1732 his son was appointed “Capitaine en Second” in the Militia and that he had been a Lieutenant in the same unit previously. This would seem to indicate that in one generation, respectability, at least, had been achieved. Several male members of the family held commissions in the Militia and as France and England were continually at war there was fighting in the French islands from time to time. In 1766 a violent hurricane struck the Island causing severe damage to buildings and crops and it is recorded that the house of Tascher de la Pagerie at Trois Islets was completely destroyed. As the Ganteaumes also had a house at Trois Islets at that time, it is quite likely that this was also destroyed. The political situation in France later in the century had its repercussions in Martinique with unrest amongst the slaves and finally open rebellion resulting in republican government and great loss to the Royalist landowners. Conditions in Trinidad were also very difficult with crop failures, trouble with the slaves, poisonings (the death of the wife of Pierre Antoine Marie Alphons is said to have been caused by poisoning but there is no evidence of this and a plaster cast from her death mask reveals a face in complete repose). With the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of the slaves, plantation owners were ruined and had to start afresh with crops which required the smallest labour force possible. The cultivation of coconuts fell into this category. It was not until the middle of the 19th century that conditions in Trinidad attained a degree of stability. The Family in Martinique The first member of the family in the records is Pierre Ganteaume who married Jeanne Martin. They had three sons (2) (3) and (4) below. There is no information as to the place of birth, or circumstances of their arrival in Martinique but one of the sons is reported to have been born in Marseille, circa 1689. Whether the other two were also born in Marseille is not stated. A letter from my cousin Maurice Ganteaume from Johannesburgh, S.A. dated 5 September 1961 states that on board ship he met an elderly lady, Mlle Dartey who related that she had been staying with friends who own “La Ganteaume” a small estate near Aix en Provence (see Appendix 1). It has been family tradition that the family originated in that part of France. Jean Baptiste Ganteaume (son of above (1) ) was born in Marseille in the Parish of St Martin circa 1689. On 22 June 1763 he married Catherine Larcher at Trois Islets (born 25 June 1720 died 31 December 1791). He died 31 January 1786 and there is no record of any issue. These dates are suspect! Simon Sēbastien Ganteaume de Monteau, Chevalier de St Louis, Seigneur de la Rose, (son of above (1) ) was born in 1691 and was the direct antecedent of the Trinidad branch of the family. On 9 September 1720 at Trois Islets he married Marie C Larcher (born 1701 died 20 June 1771) and seven children, five sons and two daughters, were born to the union. He was at all times closely connected with the Militia in the French Caribbean Islands. Prior to 1732 he held the rank of Lieutenant in the Infantry Company of Sieur D’Aubigny in the district of Riviēre Salēe. In 1732 he was commissioned “Capitaine en Second” in the said Company, signed 25 November 1732 by Le Marquis de Champigny, Governor; in 1735 on reorganisation of the Militia he was commissioned Capitaine of an Infantry Company at Riviēre Salēe, signed 6 February 1735 by Le Marquis de Champigny, Governor; in 1751 he was made Commandant of the Militia at Trois Islets, signed Maximim de Bompar, Governor; in 1755 he was made Commandant of the districts of Trois Islets and Anse D’Arlets, signed 11 January 1755 by Maximim de Bompar; in 1756 he was made a Chevalier de “L’Ordre Royal et Militaire de St Louis” signed 19 June 1756 by the King Louis XV at Versailles; in 1763 he was made Lieutenant Commissioner of the Parish of Trou au Chat; in 1774 he was made “Sous Aide Major des Milices” in the quarter of Riviēre Salēe, signed at La Muette by the King Louis XV1; in 1776 he was made “Lieutenant Sous Aide Major des Milices” at Riviēre Salēe, signed at Fontainebleu by the King Louis XV1; in 1780 he was made Commandant of the 1st Company of “Gens de Couleur” at Riviēre Salēe, signed 3 July 1780 by François-Claude Amour Marquis de Bouillē. He is stated to have died on 17 July 1771 but this is patently incorrect as he was alive on 3 July 1780 as mentioned above. The youngest daughter Marthe, born in 1732 married, on 15 February 1768, Jean Henri Clüet du May de Liancourt, and their daughter Françoise married Pierre Nicolas Ganteaume (8) of whom more anon. Pierre Ganteaume Des Roses (son of above (1) ) was born in 1709 and died at Trois Islets on 11 August 1758. On 17 February 1738, at Trou au Chat, he married Marie Catherine Des Vergers De Sanois D’Auroy described also as Marie Catherine Charlotte Des Vergers D’Auroy. It has been family tradition that the Ganteaumes were connected in some way with the family de la Pagerie of which the most illustrious member was the Empress Josephine. My mother in her notes dated 25 July 1923 writes:- “My great-grandfather Ganteaume owned a property at Trois Islets, Martinique, near that of Tascher de la Pagerie. My great-grandmother, Mrs Ganteaume de Monteau by her first marriage and Mrs D’Albaret by her second was a relative of Josephine Beauharnais and had known her as a young girl.” Evidence of such a connection appears in a book entitled “Josephine and Napolēon” written by Margaret Laing. In this book there is a photo-copy of the entry in the Register recording the civil marriage of “Bonaparte et de Tascher” on 9 March 1796 in which Josephine’s mother is stated to be Rose Claire Des Vergers De Sanois (see Appendix 2). They had four daughters and one son. Pierre Isaie Ganteaume de Monteau was the eldest son of Simon Sēbastien (above (3) ). His date of birth is not recorded but he died on 8 June 1777. On 16 September 1751 he married Anne Charlotte Marie Drouin at François and they had eight children as follows:- Isaie Paul married Thērēse Benoit Nicolas Edouard born 1754 – in 1788 married Marie Catherine Clüet Antoine Gabriel born 1755 Rose Anne born 1762 – married François de Pellerin Latouche François D’Yvron born 1765 died 1818 Pierre Nicolas born 1766 – married Françoise Clüet in 1788 Etienne Nicolas Marie Magdelaine born 1770 – married Robert de Pellerin Latouche There is not much known about him, except, that like his father, he was active in the Militia and served as a Lieutenant in his father’s Company at Trois Islets, as evidenced by the Commission of 1 September 1744 signed by the Marquis de Champigny; and on 1 May 1746 was made “Capitaine en Second” in the Cavalry Company at Trois Islets. This brevet is signed by the Marquis de Caylu. Louis Ganteaume was the son of Simon Sēbastien (above (3) ) and brother of Pierre Isaie. He was born in 1722 and died on 26 February 1786. On 30 June 1767 at Riviēre Pilote he married Marie Françoise Montaigne, the widow of M Ozier. She died in St Lucia on 19 November 1794, and there is no record of any children. Like his father and brother he seems to have spent a great deal of time fighting the British and a summary of his service in the Militia is contained in the original copy of his application, dated 4 August 1775, for the “Croix de St Louis” (see Appendix 3). Nicolas Edouard Ganteaume de Monteau, eldest son of Pierre Isaie (above (5) ) was born on 15 September 1754 at Trois Islets and on 29 November 1788 he married Marie Catherine Clüet his cousin and sister of his brother’s wife Françoise (see below (8) and Appendix 4). Like his father and grandfather he served in the Militia. In 1776 he was commissioned “Sous Lieutenant en Second” in the Company of “Gens de Couleurs” at Riviēre Salēe, signed by the King Louis XV1 at Fontainebleu on 6 November 1776; in 1782 he was appointed Lieutenant in the Company of “Gens de Couleurs” at François, signed by the Marquis de Bouillē on 1 December 1782; in 1787 he was granted a temporary commission as Lieutenant in the Company of “Gens de Couleurs” at François signed by Claude-Charles Vicomte de Damas and this was confirmed by brevet signed by the King Louis XV1 at Versailles on 30 September 1788. As a result of the French Revolution, the revolt of the negroes in Haiti and the other Caribbean Colonies and the formation of Republican Governments in the Colonies Nicolas Edouard and his brother Pierre Nicolas left Martinique with the intention of settling in Venezuela but the small vessel in which they were travelling was wrecked on the East Coast of Trinidad. This event is recorded in my Mother’s notes as follows:- “The two brothers left Martinique during the revolt of the negroes at the time of the French Revolution. They embarked with their slaves on a small sailing vessel to go to Venezuela. They were ship-wrecked at Mayaro. They found some Colonists there and acquired land and planted cotton and sugar cane.” My father’s cousin, H D A Ganteaume refers to this event in a letter dated 13 October 1948:- “As far as I know the Ganteaumes were in Martinique as early as 1740, my grandfather P A Ganteaume ran away from there with other aristocrats in 1794 and accidently landed in Mayaro where he found other Frenchmen, the Island then belonged to Spain and he was given a land grant in Mayaro, he had brought slaves with him and immediately started a sugar cane plantation. All of this I got from my father.” There is one error here! It was not H D A’s grandfather who ran away from Martinique but his great-grandfather Pierre Nicolas (see (8) below). Pierre Nicolas Ganteaume Des Roses son of Pierre Isaie above (5) was baptised at François on 4 January 1766. On 29 November 1788 he married Françoise Clüet who was at that time a minor. The contract of marriage (see Appendix 4) was signed in accordance with the “Laws of Paris” on 29 September 1788 at the home of the bride’s mother Marthe (nēe Ganteaume) widow of Jean Henri Clüet Du May. Marthe was the daughter of Simon Sebastien (above (3) ) and Aunt of Pierre Nicolas and consequently this degree of consanguinity had stopped a previous marriage. This impediment had been overcome however, the necessary dispensation having been obtained from Rome, and the marriage was duly solemnised with Canonical rites. At the same time and place was also solemnised the marriage of Nicolas Edouard and Marie Catherine Clüet, the sister of Françoise and it is assumed that this union also had a Papal dispensation. There are several commissions in the Militia made in favour of Nicolas Ganteaume de Monteau and it has been assumed that these relate to Nicolas Edouard and not to Pierre Nicolas who appears, contrary to tradition, to have eschewed a military life and concerned himself with the management of the coffee plantation which he owned jointly with his brother. All was not well however! In the month of March 1793 the Citizeness Françoise Clüet, minor, through her guardian, laid before the Citizen Senechal of the town of Fort de la Rēpublique, a petition which may be summarised to the best of my ability as follows:- “THAT in accordance with her Marriage Contract she had brought as a dowry a sum of 13,197 livres 11 sous 8 derniers; THAT she had been living with her husband on an estate jointly owned by him and his brother and had hoped that her property and that of her husband would be more than sufficient to maintain them in comfort but that her husband had made off, taking with him all the slaves, leaving her stranded without any means of subsistence and with a bleak prospect to look forward to; THAT in order to secure the property which she had brought into the marriage settlement and to prevent her husband’s creditors from levying execution on it she sought the protection of the law “a faire prononcer sa sēparation pour quoi elle vous donne la prēsente requēste” and that she be granted a writ of renunciation of the “Communautē”; THAT in view of her minority a guardian be appointed to assist in the prosecution of her suit; THAT her husband be ordered to make full restitution, and finally; THAT meanwhile, for surety, the applicant be allowed to seize all the furniture and effects of the “communaute”. The petition was successful and a Monsieur Blanc was appointed to act for the Applicant. Attempts were made to serve writs of Pierre Nicloas but these appear to have been unsuccessful and the proceedings became somewhat confused. Bailiffs were appointed to seize the property in the house and in due course they did so. In their report they state:- “On entering the house we found in the large room two beds made of local wood together with their mattresses, straw bolsters and pillows, two wardrobes made of local wood, seven well upholstered chairs, two tables made of local wood, two pairs of bed sheets, one dozen napkins with a half-worn table cloth, “une vieille nēgresse nommēe Jeanne agēe d’environ quarante annēes item une petite fille nēgresse nommēe Honorine agēe de douze annēes” which are all the furniture, possessions and slaves which we have found.” Jeanne and Honorine were the two personal slaves of Françoise (see Appendix 4). François Ganteaume D’Yvron a brother of Pierre Nicolas agreed to take possession of the goods and to be responsible for their safety on behalf of the Court. I am unable to produce any further information as to the outcome of this action brought by Françoise against her husband. There are some documents relating to the matter which I have been unable to decipher due mainly to the illegibility of these old and much damaged manuscripts, but the question of costs was still under consideration in April 1795. What became of the coffee plantation owned jointly by the brothers is not known. What is clear is that there was a reconciliation between the brothers and their wives and as rather briefly recorded by my mother:- “After many difficulties the brothers made their wives, whom they had left in Martinique, come over.” THE FAMILY IN TRINIDAD (7) Nicolas Edouard Ganteaume de Monteau (8) Pierre Nicolas Ganteaume des Roses It seems to be agreed that the brothers arrived in Trinidad in 1794, that they acquired land in Mayaro and that they settled there forming what became the Beausējour Estate. In the year 1783 the Spanish Government had promulgated the “Cedula of Population” by which immigrants, who had to be Roman Catholics, would get a personal grant of thirty-two acres of land and sixteen acres for every negro slave. It seems likely that the brothers took advantage of these generous terms. By the year 1797 we can visualise them busily developing their cultivations and visiting with the other French settlers in the neighbourhood. But Spain and England were again at war! The Spanish Governor at that time, Don Josē Maria Chacon, had at his disposal five battleships with troop reinforcements at anchor in Chaguaramas Bay. On 16 February Admiral Harvey and General Sir Ralph Abercromby with a large fleet of ships-of –war entered the Gulf of Paria. During the night the Spanish ships were scuttled and set on fire at their anchorage and destroyed. The British forces landed next day and the Spanish finding themselves in a hopeless position agreed the terms of the capitulation and Sir Ralph Abercromby took over the government of Trinidad in the name of the King. One of Abercromby’s orders was:- “that anyone who considered himself a citizen of the French Republic should take himself and his property off the Island within ten days. Transport would be provided to any Dutch, French or Spanish Colony. Everyone else was to swear allegiance to George III so long as he wished to live or hold property under the King’s Government.” (The Loss of El Dorado by V S Naipaul) Thus presumably did the former French Royalist Ganteaume brothers become British subjects. It is believed that some time between the years 1797 and 1802 the brothers were able to arrange for their wives to join them in Trinidad. In about the year 1805, due to the depredations of caterpillars and locusts and also to the high prices obtainable for sugar, the cultivation of cotton was abandoned in favour of sugar cane. It is believed that this plantation was reasonably profitable until the time of the emancipation of the slaves when the labourers abandoned the cane fields and many plantations were ruined (see Appendix 5). My mother in her notes says:- “My grandfather was ruined at the time of the emancipation. All his animals were poisoned and it is said that Grandmother was also poisoned.” Nicolas Edouard and his wife had no children. Pierre Nicolas and his wife had three children, François and Françoise who both died young and Pierre Antoine Marie Alphonse (see below (9) ). Pierre Antoine Marie Alphonse Ganteaume son of Pierre Nicolas (above (5) was born in Trinidad in 1802, died on 4 August 1860 and was buried in Laperouse Cemetery, Port of Spain. On 23 April 1823 he married Eliza Monier de la Quarrēe and at the same time and place Eliza’s sister, Clara Isaure, married William Massy (See Appendix 6). Eliza and Clara Isaure were the daughters of Suzanne Monier de la Quarrēe (nēe Peschier). To quote my mother again:- “Grandfather was sent to England for his education. On his return he was employed by the Government in the Militia. There at the home of the Governor Sir Ralph Woodford he met Grandmother Eliza de la Quarrēe who had been brought from France, on the death of her parents, with her sister Isaure (they were twins) by her uncle the Abbē Charles de la Quarrēe to be sent to Gēnēral Peschier who was their guardian.” There is no record of the date of Eliza’s death but she bore her husband one son François Alphonse and seven daughters:- Eliza m Alexis De Verteuil Clemence m Henry J Pantin Alix m John Agostini Henriette m George J Pantin Corinne m Charles Durham Pantin Mathilde m Philip Charles O’Connor Eugēnie m Leon Guiseppi By his second marriage to Adēle Besson, daughter of François Besson, there were twelve children:- Henri m Marie Besson Marie m Adolf Wupperman Albert m Andriette Fanovitch Leon m Tucker George) Harris) m Leonie Debot Anthony Felix m Leonie Debot Edgar m Maria Luisa de Tovar Lucie m Emmanuel Cipriani Victorine m Ehlers Charles Paul On his return to Trinidad, Pierre Antoine Marie Alphonse, to no one’s surprise, was made a Cornet in the St Ann’s Hussars, the commission being signed by the then Governor Sir Ralph Woodford on 24 December 1823. On 16 August 1824 he was nominated Commandant of Mayaro and Guayaguayare. He served as Aide-de-Camps to several Governors and was appointed Captain Unattached in the Militia in 1833. This document is signed by the Governor Sir Lewis Grant. In 1842 he was appointed a member of the Legislative Council of Trinidad, this warrant being signed at Windsor by H M Queen Victoria on 21 January of that year. He was the first Roman Catholic member of the Legislative Council and in the year 1844 had to oppose single-handed the Ecclesiastical Ordinance which was a stepping-stone for the “English Party” to that supremacy which it held until knocked on the head by the energetic policy of Sir Arthur Gordon. He was in 1847 appointed Registrar General and subsequently Receiver General, a position which he held until ill health compelled him to retire from the Public Service in May 1860 (see Appendix 7). He died later that year, at which time he held the office of President of the Society of St Vincent de Paul. François Alphonse Ganteaume son of above (9) by the first marriage was born in Trinidad on 9 January 1826 and he also was twice married. His first wife Eugēnie Lefer bore him nine children, viz:- Alphonse Andrē Sophie m Maurice Rostant Clemence - Holy Orders Leonore m L Rostant Mathilde m John Taylor Eliza m Frederick E Scott Louise m Robert Reid Eugēnie His second wife Lucie Vessiny, was not so fruitful and bore three children, viz:- Henri Dieudonnē Alphonse m Milly Hancock Marie m Louis de Meillac Simone m Jean Quesnel He was responsible for re-establishing the plantations in Mayaro after the emancipation of the slaves and formed the St Joseph Estate, which is now owned by the descendants of his daughter Marie de Meillac. My mother records this event as follows:- “The actual coconut estate was formed by Alphonse Ganteaume who had taken possession of the land on giving a small compensation to his sisters. My mother says that she does not remember ever having received her share.” Alphonse died on 27 July 1904 and was buried on the St Joseph Estate. The tomb-stone, which had been disturbed, was still there as recently as 17 January 1979, but the adjoining one, believed to have been that of one of his wives has disappeared. He also appears to have been a benefactor of the Church having donated to the parish church two handsome bells which now stand in the open on either side of the front entrance to the Presbytery. They are inscribed as follows:- (1) “Laudate Dominum in Cymbalis Jubilationis VINCENTIA Parrain Ganteaume de Montault Marraine Mme Ganteaume de Montault Burdin Ainē Fondeur ā Lyon 1887 Curē L A MAILLIEUX (2) Sit Nomen Domini Benedictum Joachina Parrain John Taylor Marraine Mme J Taylor Burdin Ainē Fondeur ā Lyon 1887 Curē L A MAILLIEUX” Mathilde Ganteaume daughter of above (9) by the first marriage, married Philip Charles O’Connor and had two sons and three daughters. The youngest, Elisa, married her cousin Henry Peter Ignatius Ganteaume below (15). Henri Genteaume son of the above (9) by the second marriage was born in Trinidad. He married his cousin Marie Besson and they had ten children:- Ferdinand H m Ethel Rooks Leonie Marie Dominica died 1958 Eugene died in infancy Henry Peter Ignatius m Elisa O’Connor Patrick Padron m Elizabeth Robertson Hector died age 12 May died in infancy Valentine died in infancy Adolph died in Peru 1915 Arthur died in New York 1912 He was engaged in commerce and at one time tried cattle ranching in Venezuela, unsuccessfully. He died in 1911. Henri Dieudonnē Alphonse Ganteaume son of Alphonse above (10) became on the death of his father the senior member of the family. As a young man he emigrated to the United States of America where he established a civil engineering business in Boston Mass carried on under the name of “Ganteaume & McMullen”. He married Miss Milly Hancock and they had one daughter, Yvonne. He visited Trinidad in 1948 and promised to send me the family documents in his possession, which he did (see Appendix 8). He died several years later. Ferdinand Henry Ganteaume eldest son of Henri, above (12) was born on 5 July 1862. He married Ethel Rooks. They had two sons and three daughters. The eldest son Claude emigrated to the United States of America and changed his surname to Summers. The other son Eric married Alice Taylor. Henry Peter Ignatius Ganteaume second son of Henri above (12) was born in Port of Spain on 31 July 1866. He was educated at St Mary’s College where he gained a scholarship in 1885. He obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree from London University and was called to the Bar, Middle Temple in 1890. On his return to Trinidad he practised as a barrister-at-law and on 1 September 1898 married his cousin Marie Elisa O’Connor, below (16). In 1913 it was discovered that he was suffering from cancer of the throat and went to New York for the then new radium treatment. As a result of his throat condition he gave up his practice and joined the Government service as a stipendiary magistrate in the counties of Naparima and St Patrick and subsequently became Registrar of the Supreme Court and Marshal. He died on 28 February 1926 and was buried in the Lapeyrouse Cemetery, Port of Spain. He had nine children one son Louis Edmond and eight daughters. (16) Marie Elisa Ganteaume born in 1872 was the wife of the above (15). She was the daughter of Philip C O’Connor and his wife Mathilde nēe Ganteaume, above(11). Her father was a son of James Lynch O’Connor, surgeon, who served with the British Army at Waterloo and was afterwards sent to Trinidad as Surgeon to the Garrison. She died on 11 May 1949. Patrick Padron Ganteaume son of Henri above (12) was born in Trinidad and educated at St Mary’s College, Port of Spain, where he gained a scholarship in 1893. He studied medicine at Edinburgh University and after qualifying, emigrated to South Africa. He married Miss Elizabeth Robertson, whom he had known in Edinburgh, and they had four sons, Edgar, Arthur, Patrick and Maurice. Three of the sons married but failed to have male issue, so with the deaths of the two surviving brothers Patrick and Maurice, the name Ganteaume will disappear from the South African scene. Cheltenham, Glos 27 March 1979 L E Ganteaume

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Pierre-Nicolas Ganteaume de Monteau's Timeline

January 4, 1766
Le Francois
Age 30
Age 35
Age 56
Trinidad & Tobago