A current map showing (highlighted in pink) Laon, Sissonne, Montcornet and Rumigny.
Un déssin du Chateau de la Cour des Prés en 1630. (vue prise des jardins)

A 1630 drawing of the Chateau de la Cour des Prés. View from gardens.
Vue aérienne du Chateau de la Cour des Prés.

Aerial view of the Chateau de la Cour des Prés.
Chateau de la Cour des Prés. Photo prise lors de ma visite en juin 2010.

Chateau de la Cour des Prés. Photo taken during my visit in June 2010.
L'entrée principale du Chateau de la Cour des Prés.

The main entrance to the Chateau de la Cour des Prés.
La salle des gardes dans le Chateau de la Cour des Prés.

The Guardroom in the Chateau de la Cour des Prés.
Notre cousin, Joel, le fils du proprietère du chateau et descendant de Louis Martin (à la droite) et moi (Michel Daoust)

Our cousin, Joel, the son of the owner of the chateau and a descendant of Louis Martin (on the right) and me (Mike Daoust)..
L'église de St Sulpice à Rumigny.

The church of St Sulpice in Rumignu.
Le choeur et le transept de l'église actuelle ont été reconstruit en 1549 par les habitants de Rumigny et les fondateurs de la Cour des Prés.

In 1659, the people of Rumigny and the founders of the castle of La Cour des Prés rebuilt the Chancel and transept of the present day church.
La tombe de Louis Martin dans l'église de St. Sulpice à Rumigny.

The tomb of Louis Martin in the church of St. Sulpice in Rumigny.
Le vieux font baptismeaux dans l'église de St Sulpice à Rumigny.

The old baptismal fond in the church of St. Sulpice in Rumigny.
Le cimetière derrière l'église de St Sulpice.

The cemetery behind the Church of St Sulpice.

In the spring of 2009, a wonderful article on the origins of Guillaume D’Aoust in France appeared in the quarterly review “Mémoires” published by the “Société généalogique canadienne-française”.  The work was done by Roland-Yves Gagné, Nadine Gilbert and Laurent Kokanosky. The research is ongoing; if you would like to help finacially, click here! The parish register of Sissonne (home of Guillaume’s father, Nicolas D’Aoust) of the period and many of the legal documents from the town’s notaries have disappeared. The researchers were able to find some information on Nicolas but luckily a great deal more on the genealogy of Jeanne Aubert, Guillaume’s mother. This was because Dagneau de Rachecourt (1694-1775), the Canon of Laon at the time worked on the genealogies of several families from Laon and the surrounding region including the Auberts. He used many legal documents that have now disappeared and inventories of notarized acts. These old family genealogies can now be found in the Departmental Archives of Aisne which encompasses Laon, Sissonne, Montcornet.

What I would like to do here is summarize some of the information found in the 30-page article. Thanks to these adept researchers, we now know SO much more on our family’s history in France!

Nicolas D’Aoust a merchant from Sissonne and Jeanne Aubert (our Guillaume’s parents) were both widowed when they married in the 1640s. A document dated June 23, 1640 lets us know that Louis Cordieu (a Sissonne surgeon), Jeanne’s 1st husband was still alive at the time. We do not know the date of Jeanne Aubert’s marriage to Louis but she was married to him on March 16, 1628. A 1639 document informs us that Nicolas and Jeanne were neighbours in Sissonne before they married. In another document dated April 22, 1644, Nicolas is mentioned as the widow of Catherine Aubert who was 1st cousin of his second wife, Jeanne Aubert. A New France document (The first Lachine church register 1676-1707) gives our ancestor, Guillaume D’Aoust’s year of birth as 1645 so his parents could have married in that short time span (between April 1644 and early 1645). The couple had 3 children together. See Figure 1 for Guillaume D’Aoust paternal ancestry.

Figure 1 :Guillaume D’Aoust paternal ancestry

1. Guillaume D’Aoust emigrated to New France and married Madeleine de la Londe in 1686. This means he was around 40 when he married! Since the records are lost from Sissonne, we cannot verify his actual birth date. If the year 1645 is correct, Guillaume arrived in New France c.1674 when he was in his late 20s. Considering the shortage of marriageable women in the colony, it could have been a few years before he found someone suitable. Madeleine was the daughter of his neighbour and quite young (around 12) when they were engaged in 1684. He married her 2 years later on February 18, 1686.

2. Madeleine D’Aoust married on August 6, 1668 in Sissonne, Jacques de Lancy of Montcornet, son of Charles and Simone Ledoulx. Jacques was initially a merchant in Sissonne but documents state they later settled in Reims.

3. Marie D’Aoust married Azor Frussart, a tanner and shoemaker from Sissonne. Six of their children were baptised in Sissonne:
a) Hubert - July 2, 1668. He later went to live in Paris.
b) Louise – November 11, 1671.
c) Marie – December 27, 1673.
d) Nicolas – December 23, 1676.
e) Anthoine – October 5, 1679.
f) Anne – June 26, 1682.

A notarised act dated December 23, 1655 dealt with the children of the deceased Nicolas D’Aoust and the division of a rent originating from Claude Aubert, the father of Nicolas’s 1st wife, Catherine. I presume these are the children from this couple:
a) Magdeleine married to Louis Dennequin living in Montaigu
b) Louise married to Jean Poquet living in Sissonne
c) Jeanne married to Adrien Hanet
d) Pierre

On June 17, 1684, Marie D’Aoust and her husband. Azor Frussart sold 2 properties in Sissonne to Jean Turpin. He was either the brother of her grandmother, Madeleine Turpin (see Figure 1) or more likely the son of Nicolas Turpin the great grandson of Nicolas Turpin, another brother of Madeleine Turpin. Azor died a year later on November 23, 1685 in Sissonne. Marie passed away on August 5, 1691 and was buried in the church cemetery.

On April 8, 1647, Nicolas D’Aoust was witness to a transaction done by his mother, Madeleine Turpin, widow of Claude Aubert, her second husband. The given name of her 1st husband, Nicolas’s father is not known. A document dated September 29 and 30, 1689 dealt with the succession of Nicolas’s wife, Jeanne Aubert. It is revealed here that Madeleine Turpin outlived her son, Nicolas. 

Madeleine Turpin was the daughter of Jean Turpin from Sissonne and Louise Gosset the daughter of Pierre Gosset, a Sissonne merchant. This is revealed in a document dated May 18, 1613. Three of her brothers are known:
a)Nicolas Turpin – Royal notary in Sissonne.
b)Jean Turpin – a merchant from Liesse
c)Antoine Turpin - a bailiff in Lappion.

Madeleine’s will was notarized on September 19, 1650. Not long afterwards on February 11, 1651 a document dealt with her succession. See Figure 1.

Much more is known about the ancestors of Nicolas’s wife, Jeanne Aubert. There are enough notarized records for our researchers to figure much of her ancestry.
Figure 2. Guillaume D’Aoust maternal ancestry.

Jeanne Aubert was the daughter of Guillaume Aubert, a Royal notary working in Sissonne and Marie Bouchier, his 1st wife. Jeanne passed away on August 18, 1689. She was over 80 years old. She was born c.1603. Guillaume and Marie had two children that we know of, Jeanne and Pierre Aubert. Guillaume Aubert’s second marriage was to Marie Cordieu. Louis Aubert, Guillaime’s brother was the procurator of the seigneurie of Sissonne and the husband of Jeanne Cordieu. Were Jeanne and Marie Cordieu sisters? Jeanne was the daughter of Nicolas Cordieu (commissaire des tailles of Sissonne) and Jeanne Vincelet. 

A document dated March 16, 1628 lets us know that one of Guillaume Aubert’s 1st cousins was Catherine Aubert, the daughter of Louis and Marie de la Croix (See Figure 3). Louis in turn was the son of Jean Aubert and Marguerite LHoste (Guillaume Aubert’s grandparents!). Jean, in order to deal with financial difficulties caused by warfare at the time resorted to trafficking with the Flemish for close to 15 years. In 1565, Joachim his oldest son was abducted by them.  Marguerite LHoste (L’Hotte), his wife was the daughter of Jean and Isabelle Brisset and the sister of Pierre LHoste, Captain and Governor of Guise and l’Echelle. Jean Aubert’s grandfather, also named Jean Aubert was married to a Colette ...He was captain and Governor of Chimay in Hainaut, a province of Belgium. After the city was taken by King Louis XI, he swore him allegiance. In 1491, he settled in Sissonne and obtained from King Charles VIII letters of citizenship for his wife and 4 children. One child, Nicolas Aubert dit Fouzille married a Jeanne... Their child, Jean Aubert married the aforementioned Marguerite LHoste. 

A document dated May 24, 1578 dealt with the succession of the deceased Jean Aubert and Marguerite L’Hotte. One of their sons, Claude was married twice. His 1st marriage, was to Michelle de Lamer, the daughter of Claude Lamer, notary and procurator to the King and Jeanne de Boussu. Claude Lamer’s marriage contract is dated March 2, 1546. Claude’s father was Frédéric Lamer who on January 17, 1518 married Marie Chauveau, the daughter of Jacques, Prevot of Laon and Jeanne Marq, the daughter of Étienne, Counsellor of Laon and Marguerite Lefebvre. Frederic Lamer passed away on June 23, 1525 and his widow Marie Chauveau on January 16, 1541. Two of Claude Aubert and Michelle de Lamer’s children are mentioned, Louis and Guillaume Aubert. An act dated September 11, 1648 mentioned a third brother, Claude. On April 22, 1644 a a legal proceeding between the inheritors of Claude Aubert (brother of Guillaume and father of Catherine, Nicolas D’Aoust’s first wife) states that Claude is a farmer from Liesse married to Marie Wattelet. His father Claude’s second marriage was to Marie de Martigny the daughter of Jean from Montcornet and Marie le Cirier. Claude and Nicole are mentioned as their children. See Figure 3 below.
Figure 3. Guillaume Aubert's ancestry.

Pierre Aubert the son of Guillaume and Marie Bouchier and brother of Jeanne was a Royal notary in Sissonne. He first married Jacqueline Lespinois (who passed away before March 23, 1660). They had a son, Nicolas who was the pastor of Saint Preuve. Pierre’s 2nd marriage was to Simone Constant in Laon on June 5, 1666. He died before November 4, 1671 when a notarized act of succession with Nicaise Prud’homme, a Montcornet notary dealt with his inheritors, his son, Nicolas and his sister, Jeanne Aubert, widow of Nicolas D’Aoust.

Guillaume Aubert, Jeanne’s father had two sons from his marriage to Marie Cordieu. Jean Aubert was a public prosecutor at the Tribunal of Laon and Louis Aubert was pastor of Chivres. Guillaume passed away before April 7, 1634.

Since the church records are lost we only know of two children from the marriage of Jeanne Aubert with her 1st husband, Louis Cordieu, the son of Nicolas and Jeanne Vincelet.
1.Jeanne Cordieu who married a widower, Jean de Facq, a Sissonne 
merchant.   He was 1st married to Jeanne Morel the daughter of Pierre Morel.
2.N…Cordieu who was married to a N…LeBrun. Their son, Nicolas LeBrun was 1st
married to Jeanne de la Motte. Widowed at 33 years of age, he remarried on
February 19, 1692 in Laon, Madeleine Cotte the daughter of the deceased Nicolas
and Madeleine Laleu.

Jeanne Aubert’s mother was Marie Bouthier. She was the daughter of N…Bouthier (given name is unknown) and Jeanne Guyart.  According to our researchers, a book could be written just on Jeanne Guyart, Jeanne Aubert’s maternal grandmother.  She was a wealthy woman. Her inheritors divided 25 rents coming from five properties. She was married 4 times; this is evident in the division of her properties which occurred on May 31, 1633. Her 1st marriage was to N...Bouchier with whom she had two children, Marie who married Guillaume Aubert (parents of Jeanne, the wife of Nicolas D’Aoust) and Jean who married Anne Drumigny. Her 2nd marriage was to N...Delenincourt. This marriage also produced two children. Regnault and Elisabeth. The latter wed Pierre Gouge, a Royal notary and the seigneur of Montcornet. They had three children: 
1.Charles Gouge, Royal notary of Montcornet married Nicole Boucher on
December 12, 1627. He died before January 24, 1645 when his will was settled. 
2.Jeanne Gouge married Steph Pourgeous.
3. Jacqueline Gouge was the wife of Mathurin Clément. 

Jeanne Guyart’s 3th marriage was to François Barenton. They had two children:
1.Nicole was married twice, first to Mathieu Clément then to Jacques Le Bailly. 
2.Jacques married Jeanne Bailet; their son, Nicolas was pastor of Sainte-Preuve. 

The contract for her 4th marriage  was dated March 30, 1613. On April 16, 1613, changes were made by notaries, Guillaume Aubert of Sissonne and Pierre Gouge of Montcornet, her son-in-laws. She married Robert Flipot (Phlipot). He was a merchant from Aubenton. Their marriage lasted no longer than 5 years. The legal documents pertaining to Jeanne Guyart and notarized by her grandson, Charle Gouge from 1627 until 1629 contain several transactions dealing with land sales and rents in many villages around Montcornet and Sissonne. 
         Below are three of Jeanne Guyart’s marriages ( the ones that produced offspring). The bold text indicates those who were involved in her succession.

Jeanne Guyart passed away between September 12, 1632 (the last notarized act with her signature and May 31, 1633 (when her succession was dealt with).

N… Bouthier (the husband of Jeanne Guyart) was the son of Antoine Bouchier and Nicole Martin and was born c.1553. Little is known of Antoine Bouchier. He was from Montcornet.  An act dated June 16, 1600 states Nicole was a resident of Montcornet at the time. We know of two of their children, N…Bouchier who married Jeanne Guyart and Timothée Bouchier. Timothée was married to Marguerite Bugnatre with whom he had 3 children, Charlotte, Madeleine and Louis. His second marriage was to Nicole Dantart, the daughter of André Dantart of Sissonne. Nicole Martin’s second husband was Pasquier Constant who was a notary practicing in Vervins. They had a son, Jehan Constant Lesné. Pasquier Constant passed away in Vervins on June 26, 1590. A wedding contract dated June 12, 1601 gives Louis Martin resident of Vervins as a nephew of Nicole Martin. It mentions Françoise Constant, wife of Jacques Ballagny as Pasquier’s sister.

Nicole Martin was born around 1528. She was probably the daughter of Louis Martin, the seigneur of the Cour des Près. There is, however, the possibility that she was the daughter of Rigobert, Louis’s brother. The chateau de la Cour des Près was built by Louis in 1546. The chateau is located in Rumigny 25 kilometers from Montcornet in Picardie and still stands today. The Terrier of Rumigny of 1612 listing the land owners at that time states that on November 15, 1612, Nicole Martin is half owner of the Chateau de la Cour des Près. The other half is shared by Nicolas and the aforementioned nephew, Louis Martin.