1        Preface

Not completely surprisingly in this connection, but my name is indeed Fauvel.  And I have invested a lot of time during the last years to get more information about the origins of my family - with admittedly very modest success concerning the male branch.

Essentially, the level of my knowledge still corresponds to that of Dr. Ernst Schärfe, my great-uncle.  Within the framework of investigating his own origins he gathered and documented most facts, he had conversations with relatives still living at that time to learn about their individual recollections or their traditional knowledge, he tried to evaluate a picture of the confused seeming historic situations of that time, and finally, he pulled his ends before this background and has developed his theories. 

Special thanks, however, go to the church archivist of St. Aegidien at Osterode / Harz, Mr. Franz Schimpf, who found the crucial entries with regard to my family and made them available on one hand due to his office, on the other hand as a result of his ability to decipher the writings in the official church registers, particularly however, thanks his indefatigable dedication. 

Now my request is to preserve the current knowledge about the origins of my / of our ancestors 

·     firstly to create a basis for eventually later following searches 

·     secondly to provide for a possibility that someone searching by chance or aimed at the name Fauvel finds these representations and perhaps can give some useful information 

·     to appreciate thirdly the results of the work of Dr. Schärfe and Mr. Schimpf. 

2        Genealogical Basis

2.1               The Fauvels, an Introduction

The surname "Fauvel" is led back on the French word "fauve" what means something like " jaune foncé" or in English dark-blond or perhaps more appropriately reddish.  Interestingly however, there is also an interpretation of the surname of as an acronym.

The surname Fauvel can be found in two different kinds of respect since the early Middle Ages, 

·     on one hand as the name of the hero in the “Roman de Fauvel", a sharp-tongued satire on the establishment of that time which was written in the second decade of the 14th century by different royal employees - anonymously for reasons of safety - in Latin as well as in different French dialects.
In the center of this monumental verse epic, often respected to as the climax of Gothic art of poetry, stands the story of the donkey Fauvel, the story of his ascent from the deepest degradation to the world’s domination. 

A later setting is ascribed to Philippe de Vitry according to a text by Gervais du Bois.In addition, there is a modern setting by Rupert Bawden that was performed on 30.4.1992 in Munich. 

·     otherwise by the real people with this surname.  In the archives of the Family History Center the first entries of Fauvels in France and on the Channel Islands came from the first half of the 16th century, specifically from 1560, namely in 

o    Dieppe / Normandy 

o    Saint Jean/Mortagne/Perche 

o    Caen / Calvados 

o    Saint Come-du-Mont/Carentan/Manche 

o    Le Gouray and Saint-Vran/Côtes-Du-Nord 

o    Grouville, Saint Clement and Saint Marie/Jersey/Channel Islands 

According to the researches of Dr. John Fauvel, an English mathematician, however, the current record is hold by a certain Willielmus Fauvell which appears 1297 on a list of local landowners who were loaded to a parade / examination in Nottingham. 

In the Netherlands, specifically in s'Gravenhage (the hague of the count) or in French La Haye (or in German Den Haag), the name emerges in accordance with the documents of the Walloon Library in the end of the 17th century; today the name is obviously no more represented. 

Since the 18th century the name is also found in Germany, Canada, the USA, even in New Zealand and in Australia.  In my, so-called Fauvel book of 1997 (a book which one can order for practically every surname) names and addresses of about 1900 Fauvels are given, 1735 in France, 26 in England, 38 in the USA, 89 in Canada, 16 in Australia and 4 in New Zealand.  The real number of Fauvels is of course far bigger. 

Remarkably, in the archives, as well as in the telephone directories and in the Internet indications nearly no persons can be found with similar surnames like Fauwel(le), Fouvel(le), Vauwel(le), Vouvel(le) a.s.o. - an indication for the correctness and clarity of the current manner of writing. 

2.2               The Facts

2.2.1       Fauvels in Germany

In Germany two branches are known :

·     The first Fauvel-branch to which also the author belongs, begins as can be proven with the wedding on 1.1.1806 in St. Aegidien at Osterode / Harz between 

Johann Matthias Vauwel and Johanne Sophie Catherine Bernak

In the later documents the surnames usually were written as Bernack and Fauvel - with one exception about which shall still be spoken. 

Now, with this wedding document the provable history of my family starts, on one hand, herewith all further investigations end with regard to our earlier origins; however, this document is also a starting point for an arbitrary number of speculations and theories. 

·     The second Fauvel-branch begins with 

Johann Anton F., Accise inspector in Züllichau (today in Poland) 

leads via 

Ernst Emanuel Benjamin F., company surgeon in Moorburg / Hamburg, born 1773 in Züllichau, died 7.5.1815 in Varel 


Carl Hermann F., printer and publisher in Vechta, particularly founder of the Oldenburg Newspaper, born 7.10.1804 in Moorburg, died 1.8.1876 in Vechta, 

finally on 

Enno Friedrich F., born 10.9.1851 in Vechta, died 1924 in Altona / Hamburg 

and has evidently expired with this one in male line.    Wedding of Johann Matthias Fauvel

The single specific starting point so far was and, unfortunately, is still the official wedding document between Johann Matthias Vauwell (J.M.F.) and Johanne Sophie Catherine Bernack (J.S.B).Two entries are known in the church register of St. Aegidien in Osterode / Harz.  In this context one can suppose that version A was the original and version B a copy, because version A is worse to read and not fluidly i.e. not uniformly (see location) written.  Remember, as a rule, copies were conducted by somebody who disposes of a clear writing.

The text of the entries is to be understood in usual reading manner as follows : 

In the year 1806 after Christ :

·     Johann Matthias Vauwell, labourer even here, master Peter Vauwell’s (already died), mill master at XXX in the Netherlands, posthumous conjugal single son, has staid here after departure of the Frenchmen

·     Virgin Johanne Sophie Bernak, Ludewig Bernak, woodsman even here, oldest daughter

Now, at first sight all facts seem to be clear.  From a genealogical sight, however, we also would like to know the birthday of J.M.F.  In order to clear this question, the knowledge of the supposed hometown would be very helpful; however, the named place was neither unambiguously to decipher, nor could be found to this day.  In this respect this document has turned out so far as a cul-de-sac.  By the way, also with regard to his death we have definitely no information. 

Upon these documents the speculations started, of course.  Thus a lot of so far unsettled questions arose : 

·     Was our ancestor really called "Vauwell" or was it a writing error ? 

·     Was our ancestor really called Johann Matthias, was his father really called Peter, or do these first names represent superficial or false translations, e.g. from Jean Mathieu and Pierre ? 

·     Is J.M.F. himself born at this place XYZ or was only his father there a mill master ? 

·     Was Peter really mill master "in the Netherlands” ? 

·     If so, where the Netherlands were situated at that time ? 

·     From which reason the wedding has taken place just on the 1st of January ? 

If somebody had an idea with regard to the location of the place, if somebody could do a suggestion which would allow further searches, this would be extremely helpful !!!    Personal Traditions

In accordance with the recollections of the oldest sister of my father, J.M.F. originally was a sailor and had been arrested for two years by the Englishmen (probably because of smuggling).  Afterwards he has been pressed into the military service.  With a general "Murreau" he has arrived at the region of Osterode, has deserted there and has hidden (together with a companion) in the forests where his later wife had supplied him.

It must be emphasized in this context that also my aunt did not speak French, therefore did not realize the phonemic consequences of the manner of writing and vice versa the graphemic consequences of the French pronunciation. 

Thus the sure or the manner of writing "Murreau" is hardly to believe.  Otherwise the generals Moreau and Mortier as well as marshal Murat should be taken into consideration as potential candidates.

2.2.2       Fauvels in the Netherlands

The single indications to the existence of Fauvels in the Netherlands can be found in the archives of the Walloon Library where several Fauvels are registered.  And as long as no other indications with respect to Fauvels are found in the Netherlands, we must assume that La Haye is the doubtful place in the wedding certificate which was mutilated as a result of a hearing mistake and / or a writing error.

However, the interpretation of the notes and copies turns out a little bit problematically : 

·     Firstly the entries are written predominantly in Dutch, partly also in French, partly even in German. 

·     To further confusion partially a place “s'Gravenhage”, partly however, also a “La Haye” are delivered.  It is clear that in both cases the current Hague (Den Haag in German) is denominated, but the potential political background for the distinction at that time is unknown. 

·     In addition, entries are found for christenings, but also such for the entry into the respective church.  Consequently, the latter could have been carried out also substantial time after the birth, e.g. on the occasion of a marriage. 

·     Besides, notes about weddings are recorded, but also such which must be understood as an " order of the contingent". 

·     Finally, obviously one also could get the right to be buried there.  It remains doubtful whether such an entry is to be equated with the death of the registered person. 

As a summary several Fauvels are mentioned in the books of the Walloon Library.  One half can be assigned properly, however, the other one seems to be completely isolated.  The reasons may be, 

·     that various Fauvels originally were not members of the Walloon Church, so that births and weddings were not registered in their books, or 

·     that single Fauvels or whole families completely immigrated into the Netherlands, so that the relevant births have taken place elsewhere, or 

·     that Fauvels have married repeatedly and at the second time just with their current, the Dutch first name. 

In any case no convincing indications to our J.M.F. are found in the Netherlands so far.

Regarding all Fauvels registered in the Walloon Library, the single candidate is Johanne Baptiste Fauvel.  However, he appears in 1802 only as father, thus obviously has immigrated (with his parents) or arises from another, not officialized connection of his father.  Anyhow, no information about his origin is available at present. 

According to Mrs Glatiny-Versteegh, a professional genealogist in the Netherlands which I instructed with searches on the spot, the entry must surprisingly be understood in the way that not his child, but he himself was christened (what is not to be followed in view of the general systematic of the notes). 

If Johanne Baptiste, however, should be our J.M.F, an explanation would be at hand why he was not registered between 1814 and 1848 in Osterode and after 1849, neither at Osterode nor at Dresden : he could have returned to his Dutch family, even could have died there. 

·     If one considers especially the supposed frequency of deaths in the year 1813 pointing on an epidemic event that could have killed a part of its relations, especially also for example the care parents of his child out of his first connection, one could imagine that he returned to his family for support reasons. 

·     In this case even a supposition would arise with respect to his staying after the death of his wife.After such a long absence from his German family no one was probably interested, to look after the old man. 

In this period, however, I did not search for indications of J.M.F. in the Netherlands, neither for deaths of further family members about 1813/1814, nor for a possible death of a J.M.F. after 1849. 

Therefore the situation is quite unchanged, we know nothing neither about the origin of our J.M.F., nor about his whereabouts.

2.2.3       Fauvels in France

Due to the writing manner and pronunciation, in view of all the entries in the official birth, marriage and dead indexes it must be supposed, that the origin of the Fauvels lies in France, especially in Normandy.  With some imagination even a descent of the Normans can be constructed.  One of their most important leaders, Erik de Raude (Eric the Red) is probably also named due to his hair colour.

Nevertheless no direct connection can be established with the Dutch or even the German Fauvels.  Especially the sought location cannot be found in France although Lessay in the heart of the Normandy would be an interesting and very promising candidate - if there were not innumerable locations called La Haye. 

In this context it must be mentioned that the identification of the location reveals especially difficult, because the association of the historic landscapes and the modern departments is hardly to perform nowadays. 

2.2.4       Fauvels on the Channel Islands

Similarly many Fauvels were at home on the Channel Islands for which reason an origin there from is also probable, especially as the history of the Channel Islands was substantially determined by the Normans.  From there all Australian and New Zealand, perhaps also the English Fauvels are descending.

Alternatively, the Fauvels could originally also stem from England and/or could have arrived there with the Normans, could later have been immigrated over the Channel Islands into France.  In each case, the Channel Islands were the ideal resort for all seafaring people, who could escape from there to France and/or to England, however also into the remaining world. 

2.2.5       Fauvels in Canada

Interestingly, most Canadian Fauvels that can be found in the archives of the Family History Center are mentioned as "Bigras dit Fauvel" or "Bigras Fauvel dit".  Probably all these Fauvels descend from Pierre Fauvel, who was born about 1609 in Dieppe, who however obviously retreated to La Rochelle, one of the most important and last Huguenot resorts.  He obviously had four sons, namely

·     Mathurine F., born 1630 in La Rochelle, wedding at 19.10.1660 in La Rochelle with Cathérine Parenteau 

·     Pierre F., born about 1649 in Dieppe, wedding at 6.10.1671 in Quebec, died at 14.5.1699 in Quebec 

·     Antoine F., wedding about 5.9.1671 in Quebec with Marie Parenteau 

·     Francois F., born at 8.9.1665 in La Rochelle 

The descendants of these connections between the families Fauvel and Parenteau obviously built up the origin of all Canadian family members. 

The supplement "Bigras", that was already used partially in La Rochelle, usually is translated or interpreted as a "collector of forest honey".  One other interpretation, however, due to the Munich French Institute, means "bigras" to be equated with "disloyal, heretic".  Accordingly these Fauvels simply were outlawed, had lost therefore their rights, especially their right on an own surname.  Consequently, they were "Bigras" and were only called "Fauvel" ("dit" in French = “called” in English !) 

By the way, this treatment of surnames is not restricted to Fauvels.  In contrast, a lot of people, supposed to descend from France, are mentioned in the archives with the attribute “dit”, of course with divergent original surnames. 

2.3               Historic Background

To clarify the historic background is truly difficult, above all for someone historically not especially skilled.  About this subject already innumerable books have been written and certainly will be written in future.  Nevertheless an attempt of a short introduction.

The Fauvels obviously originally appeared in Normandy i.e. were named according to their hair colour.  The first authentic registrations exist in Caen from 1563.In the following years, they spread themselves also into the Picardy, a region with buffer character between France and Flanders and/or later between France and Burgundy, finally also into areas, that were named already at that time or later on "the Netherlands", into areas, that were inhabited by the Dutch. 

The changing history of Burgundy, its connections to and/or partial separation from France are summarized for example in “Der Große Brockhaus”.  Also Dr. Schärfe composed an interesting essay about the history of the Netherlands

Of decisive importance is that Burgundy finally fell at the Catholic Habsburg. 

2.3.1       Emigration of the Huguenots

Now to become more concrete, it is traded that many Frenchmen, the so-called Huguenots, fled because of their religious pursuit in France into the adjoining foreign countries.

·     Merely known is the fact that only the noble (therefore not productive people) were banished out of France, while it was forbidden the common (therefore the productive people) by threatening of death penalty to leave the country.  The wealthy and influential Frenchmen left the country however scarcely without their personnel.  In other words, based on that French politics a large number of Frenchmen, noble and common, left the country, sought personal fortune and economic success, and succeeded. 

·     The adjoining foreign countries, above all the northern provinces of Burgundy (essentially the current state of "Netherlands") in reverse invited the supposed religions-fugitive say foreign workers by promising diverse privileges such as fiscal advantages, loan, plots of land, etc. 

Naturally, these politics were not only the result of pure charity.  The former Flanders was economically extraordinarily successful, influential and financially strong, it had gained a mighty position in competition to the adjoining Englishmen, i.e. installed the colony Batavia.  Of course, the lower countries were not interested to lose their power position, in contrast to further evaluate if possible.  In view of the large personnel losses during the 30-years-war, any access of intelligent, creative and trained people was desired - to the advantage of the pursued French neighbours and their suit. 

As to observe until today, intelligent people as those Dutch had no problems with differently speaking, differently thinking, differently believing people - in the opposite, those were welcome as a discussion partner, as initiators of novel considerations, as potential origin of progress. 

2.3.2       The Netherlands and the Walloon Church

In order to become yet more concrete, Burgundy consisted to the relevant time of 17 provinces and was officially Catholic as a result of the membership of Habsburg.

·     The northern, especially active and successful with trading, correspondingly formed and therefore also liberal, above all religiously free provinces suffered from the restrictive and above all exploiting politics of the ruling House of Habsburg, raised themselves against its power and finally separated from its influence.  From these northern provinces later on the state "the Netherlands" emerged. 

·     The remainder of the original Burgundy remained to the house of Habsburg, was uniquely catholic and was named primarily "Spanish Netherlands", after that "Austrian Netherlands".  Later on the state "Belgium" emerged. 

This was the background in the northern provinces, when the first Walloon Churches established themselves.  About the year 1570, there were already 300 to 400 places in the Netherlands with a protestant kernel of approximately 800 French families. 

The reason why these churches were named in this way, is presently not known for me (nowadays we associate the term "Walloon" with the French speaking part of people in Belgium).I can imagine that at that time the French speaking persons in the northern provinces were simply named Walloons. 

On all cases, the northern provinces of Burgundy, the later Netherlands proved a withdrawal zone, resort and future for innumerable, politically pursued Frenchmen.  The Netherlands took in, worthy of thanks, a great deal of these so-called Huguenots.  Probably they also accommodated my/our ancestors ! 

Especially remarkably in this context the fact appears to be that just in only one of the Walloon Churches Fauvels are registered; thus one can suppose, that it concerns the members of a single family. 

By way, one of these provinces in the southern Picardy is named after the count Vermandois, who co-determined in the 12th century the destiny and history of the Normans in France.  Consequently it is not surprising if familiar relations between France and England had emerged.  So for instance, the father of the already mentioned Dr. John Fauvel was named Geoffrey Charles de Vermadois … 

2.3.3       Osterode between 1803 und 1806

Now some words about the more recent history.  Due to the extensive researches of Dr. Schärfe an army of 16000 men consisting of Englishmen and Hanoverians (the elector of Hanover was in personnel union king of England, both countries stayed in war with France) was engaged between 1781 and 1787 in the Netherlands and also was involved there into battles.  The Hanoverian troops returned 1795.Later on, in the year 1803, French troops came into the region of Osterode, among other things the 95th half-brigade under general Werlé (Mortier), which started in 1805 as 95th brigade under general Bernadotte to Bohemia where it was later on intricated into the battle of Jena/Auerstädt.

In the chronicle of the city Osterode (see summary), these events impressively are described before the background of the local situation. 

3        Family History

3.1               Version of Dr. Schärfe

Based on his detailed investigations, his view of the historic background as well as his years-long employment with this subject Dr. Schärfe established the following presentation of the history of our Fauvel-branch in Germany :

·     Already along with the birth of his first child J.M.F. names and/or writes himself "Fauvel".  From that we can follow that the writing was incorrect on the occasion of his wedding. 

·     The ominous place Dr. Schärfe reads as "Larßive".  In spite of many efforts he was not able until now to definitely detect this place.  Based on his experiences regarding the variations in the writing manner of his own surname, he believes "Lessive" in the current Belgium, at that time in the Spanish and/or Austrian Netherlands, to be the place where J.M.F. probably was born. 

·     Furthermore, Dr. Schärfe is convinced that J.M.F. after his release out of English custody was forced by the Frenchmen to their military service and came with them to Osterode. 

Consequently Dr. Schärfe has investigated all the troops’ movements in and around Osterode in the questionable time period and focused at the result, that J.M.F. must had been member of the 95th half-brigade and must had been deserted from this. 

·     Single troops were also accommodated in Osterode, also on the “Freiheit” (German for liberty), a suburb of Osterode, where the Bernacks lived, so that it is conceivable, that J.M.F. met his later wife under these conditions.  Perhaps he even was quartered in the house of the Bernacks so that it would be quite natural that both became familiar. 

·     It is to emphasize that J.M.F. is not officially mentioned between the birth of his third child in 1814 and the baptism of its grandson Johann Ernst Hermann F. 1848 at Dresden. 

In view of the lack of any life signs between 1814 and 1848 Dr. Schärfe proceeded to the idea, J.M.F. could have been involved again in military services, that could have led him again to France, potentially also into the battle of Waterloo of which he returned “very late”. 

Finally it should be mentioned that J.S.B. died at the 10.01.1849 in Osterode.  In the death certificate no references like the addition "weyland J.M.F. wife" are contained so that it is to suppose, that J.M.F. yet lived at that time - or that his whereabouts at least were not known. 

Until today no hints on his whereabouts could be found.  Especially it is not known when and where J.M.F. died.  If someone could give any information … 

3.1.1       Contradictions

Well, as convincing these explanations may be, as convinced Dr. Schärfe may be of his interpretation, it nevertheless brings up two decisive problems :

·     Inquiries in various archives (v. Stollberg-Roßla, Country Archive of Namur) have not confirmed his supposition : Fauvels are not registered in Lessive and surroundings.
In addition, in this area there did not live any protestants as to expect in front of the historic background, neither in the adjoining places "Lesve" and "Lessines" – eventually apart from some privileged persons such as mill masters. 

·     The Military Archive in Vincennes could not confirm that J.M.F. was at all member of the purported units of the French army. 

Indeed, two Jean Fauvel are registered in about 1775, even in that 94th and 95th half-brigade, the one even deserted - a connection into the Netherlands or to our family remains however absolutely hypothetical. 

3.1.2       Interpretations

Of course, this information do not disprove Dr. Schärfe’s interpretations.  So the following considerations are thoroughly admissible :

·     The circumstance that (presently) no more registration exists, may not hasty be over-interpreted.  A registration took place at best on the occasion of a wedding or a baptism.  Therefore, if no such occasion occurred, there was also no entry into any books. 

·     Perhaps J.M.F. or his father were catholic ?  This possibility, although somehow strange, may not to be excluded. 

·     Moreover the possibility remains that the military accounting in the Napoleonic army was not so correct as generally supposed.  One can imagine that soldiers recruited by force generally were not noted.  Also it is conceivable that he was member of a foreign troops’ part, in which perhaps also no recording took place. 

·     One question however still remains : how is it possible that a girl educated in Hannoverian tradition and a hostile French soldier become so familiar, that they even marry - without "compelling" reasons ?  Of course such constellations often happened, even more often.  But is this a reasonable explanation ? 

3.2               Alternative Versions

Indeed, at first sight one should accept that the statements in the various documents as well as the traditions within the family are correct i.e. correspond to the reality.  In the effort to establish a general picture out of single mosaic stones, one always stands the danger to interpret facts incorrectly, to believe some aspects to be unimportant, to add other aspects unconsciously, in order to support an once developed interpretation.

However, if this treatment is not successful, if some relevant aspects are at least part-wise disproved, one must reconsider all facts, must look after potential errors, after possible misspelling and misunderstanding, after subliminal acceptances; in this case it must be permitted or is absolutely legitimate, also to take into account for other interpretations. 

3.2.1       Doubts and Questions

In the following, some starting points for such erroneous interpretations are given :

·     First the reading manner of the ominous location is doubtful.  In my opinion the place can also be interpreted for example as "Lachines" or "Lessay" or "La Haye"; the first would be in Canada, the second in the kernel zone of the Normandy, the third, the town Den Haag of today, in the Netherlands. 

By chance, in the books of the Walloon Library, a Pieter F. is registered, wedding at the 14.04.1754 in s'Gravenhage with Maria de la Roche, who could be the father of our J.M.F.  Additionally, also a Johanna Baptiste F. is mentioned who even could be identical with our J.M.F. 

Interestingly this Johanna Baptiste F. obviously had a child who was born at the 15.06.1802.In the case that he should be identical with our J.M.F., 

o    he would have had already a Dutch family before he had come to Osterode 

o    he would have had enough reason, to return for some time as well as after the death of his (supposed) second wife into the Netherlands 

o    it would not be surprising at all that we don’t know anything about these circumstances in our family 

In this context an entry in the books of Osterode is worth mentioning, an entry on a Johann Baptist Fouvel, that acquired as a hand worker a house on “the Freiheit”, and habituated there at least until 1834 .Already Dr. Schärfe took into consideration that our J.M.F. could be identical with this Johann Baptist F. 

·     Secondly it is not delivered whether J.M.F. was forced to the service in the French or the English army. 

If J.M.F. really was a smuggler, if he offended against the restrictions of England and was arrested for that reason by the English, in this case he would have supported France.  Thus the question arises, which pressure means the Frenchmen could have been able to use and/or which pressure means they used in order to force J.M.F. - as Dr. Schärfe prefaces - into the French army. 

·     Therefore the alternative explanation comes up that J.M.F was forced by the Englishmen - as a countermove to his release out of English custody - to the service in the English army.  In this manner he could have arrived at first in the Netherlands, could have removed himself there from these troops in order to proceed with the friendly Hannoverian troops to Osterode, therefore into the own hinterland, into a, according to contract, neutral zone where he found a hiding place and livelihood in the house of the Bernacks (the grandfather of J.S.B. had been a highly ranked soldier in Hannoverian services). 

Very important in this context may be that as a co-worker he had much more chance to become familiar with the family, especially with the little Sophie. 

In such a situation it was quite clear that he was not interested to meet the French troops as a former English soldier.  That he therefore hid himself and was furnished by the little Sophie, he had meanwhile developed a certain familiarity to, is no longer astonishing. 

·     Neither from the wedding document, nor from the family traditions can be derived that J.M.F. came with French troops to Osterode, yet that he has deserted there. 

Alternatively one can also assume that he has come already earlier under e.g. generals Moreau or Murat to Germany, has deserted during these campaigns at a totally different place, fled occasionally or intentionally to the “Freiheit” at Osterode, that he first found work and shelter with the Bernacks, secondly his supposed big love, that he hid himself as a precaution on the occasion of the Frenchmen’s marching in end of 1803, as a sequence of which he was furnished by J.S.B, and that he finally married her after the departure of the Frenchmen.  Whether out of love or to save the honour of the girl is irrelevant. 

·     The perhaps most important and decisive question still stands whether our ancestor at all spoke French, whether our female ancestor perhaps spoke French.  Also questionably is the sexton’s degree of culture that queried, received and wrote down the personal statements.  This man, however, we can at least believe to be capable to speak French, to write phonetically correctly French spoken words. 

But which language one does speak if one has a French father, is grown up in the Netherlands, was caught for two years by the Englishmen and now has lived for about 2 years in Germany ?

In other words, the sexton certainly understood J.M.F. only badly and for this reason wrote incorrectly both the surname as well as the place. 

o    From my own, lifelong experience I know how problematic our surname can be.  To pronounce the name German generates inevitable and irrevocably in the opposite’s mind a "V" at the beginning. Subsequently to spell it in order to correct, does not lead to any success because the mind is already blocked by the apparently firstly heard words.  Otherwise to pronounce the name French is often interpreted as a sign of arrogance. 

o    Assuming, J.M.F. had pronounced his place of birth on the occasion of the wedding like this would do everyone, say in the original, therefore probably French form, the sexton would not have understood him (like 99.9% of the current sextons, officers or common fellow men in Germany). 

-        For this reason he would have spelled, of course French, for example "el-a-asch-a-igrek-e".  What the sexton would have written ?  Would he have written in this situation really "La Haye" ?  In any case, he would have stopped in his writing style. 

-        What about if he or his intended wife would have written themselves the surname; also in this case a breach in the letter style should emerge. 

-        Such a breach in the letter style however is evident in the supposed original version of the wedding document.
In this context it is rather remarkable that the writing manner only differs marginally between original and copy.  Can we conclude from this fact that the writer was familiar with this place ?  If this supposition should be true than the location could not be an exotic place as thought until now ! 

o    Which Frenchman or inhabitant of the lower countries was named Johann Matthias or Peter ?  In other words, the sexton has probably "translated" the first name superficially, for example Baptist as Matthias and by analogy Pierre as Peter. 

One even can imagine that he also interpreted the Normandy as Netherlands; for the term Normandy was perhaps strange for him, about the Netherlands he already had heard. 

·     The question remains why J.M.F. did not worry, did not correct the entries or asked for their correction.  This question, however, is trivial to answer if one considers, that the 1st January is extraordinarily unusual as a wedding day.  In rural areas in Bavaria, it also was unorthodox, to marry in the wintertime, especially not in November, the month of death, but also not in December, when dancing was forbidden.  Similar ratios could also have prevailed at that time in Osterode. 

o    If someone married at this day, he must have had an entirely special, compelling reason.  And the only reasonable explanation seems to be that both wanted to marry already for a long time, however could not marry because of the presence of the French troops and selected therefore the earliest possible date after their departure - before they possibly returned.  On the 1st January, however, they certainly would not come back. 

o    And therefore both, especially J.M.F. did not care much about the correctness of the entries.  This was not important at all in their situation ! 

o    By the way it must be asked whether it is generally appropriate in such a situation to make exact statements with respect to his origins.  In this way, one would facilitate any hostile, to reconstruct the way back of the fugitive and/or to set the remained family under pressure. 

·     Furthermore, the interpretation, that Peter F. was already dead at the occasion of the wedding, must not be correct. 

Did J.M.F. generally know, after a years-long absence from his home country, about the situation of his family - or did he want to avoid any conclusion as a precaution ? 

·     Finally it is not clear, whether Peter F. was "only" mill master or owner of a mill. 

o    In the first case he would have been a seasonal worker.  And such activities do not advance persistency, in the opposite force annual travelling.  At all, such an activity is not appropriate to get registered anywhere. 

o    In the second case it would be astonishing if no further children had emerged.  In the wedding document only is written that he was the single legal son.  This statement, however, does not exclude that he had sisters.  Are these sisters perhaps already mentioned in the records of the Walloon Library ?

3.2.2       Dutch Options

Now, we should stop the speculations - or start again.  In principle however, we should believe the traditions and records available.  We cannot identify definitely the place - in this context there are perhaps really reasons for a misunderstanding or wrong writing.  In the statement with respect to the Netherlands, there is however scarcely a starting point for any doubts.  Possibly doubts are not reasonable at least, as we possess unambiguous proofs of the existence of Fauvels in the Netherlands, yet in addition in a very limited area - what seems remarkably in view of the numerous Walloon Churches.  Don’t we perhaps see the forest because of the amount of trees ?

In other words, a more exact analysis of the Dutch Fauvels seems necessary.  Obviously some of the registered Fauvels are related, others seem to be at first sight totally independent of each other.  The following Fauvels can be assigned without doubts : 

·     Pieter (born in France) marries Martha Neveu (also born in France); both have a daughter Anna, who marries a Daniel Johannes Langewegh and has 4 children with him; in one case, with Pieter, the grandparents are baptism godfather and godmother. 

·     Maria marries Antoine Sauveplane; both have 7 children; as a baptism godfather/godmother are registered Jacques F. and woman, Suzanne F., Pierre, Anne and Marie F. as well as Martha Neveu. 

·     Maria marries Hermanus Seuntjes and has one daughter with him. 

·     Jacobus marries Maria Reuys (Ruijs); both have one son Pieter. 

·     Pieter marries Maria de la Roche. 

·     Petronella F. marries Pieter Rosendaal and has three children out of this marriage. 

·     Louis F. marries Mar(r)ia Morrée; out of this marriage emerge three children; two of them however die in the same year, say 1813. 

The following Fauvels seem to have no direct relational relation : 

·     Jacques F., born in France, who together with his wife obviously was baptism godfather of one of the Sauveplane-children in the year 1716 

·     Marianne F., who entered 1698 (just in the year, when Pieter married his Martha) into the Walloon Church, but was born already in the Netherlands, therefore before 1698 

·     Anne Marie F., who acquired 1726 the burial right in La Haye, but did not die necessarily at this time 

·     Gertruij (Elizabeth) F., who died 1726

·     Johanne Baptiste F, whose child was baptized in 1802 

·     Suzanne F., who was twice, 1710 and 1726, baptism godmother of Sauveplane-children 

Based on the repeatedly return of both, first names and godfathers, based on the occurrence at one and only one place, the supposition seems inevitably that they all are members of one and the same family.

Moreover is must be supposed that Jacques and Pieter were those, who emigrated about or before 1682 out of France, concretely out of Lyons, (probably Lyons-la-Forêt) into the Netherlands.

In order to evaluate a concrete relational relation, we however must take into consideration for three aspects : 

·     First-born sons also at that time were usually named after the father. 

·     As baptism godfathers usually were selected near relatives say adult brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, etc. 

·     People often married several times in order to furnish the children out of the first marriage and/or in order to have a first-born male; out of the second wedding resulted then in the case of a widow no or few, in the case of a widower often again several children. 

Now, if one regards the entries in the Walloon Library more exactly under these points of view, the following conclusions and/or hypotheses come up : 

·     Jacques enters 1682 into the Walloon Church.  He was married at least 1716 on the occasion of the baptism of a Sauveplane-child. 

·     Suzanne should have been the wife of Jacques; she would have died consequently after 1726 (baptism of Pierre Sauveplane).The wedding should have taken place before 1682 in order to explain that no corresponding entry exists.  Both had officially no children. 

·     Pieter is the brother of Jacques.  He marries 1698 Martha Ne(p)veu that was also still born in France. 

·     Jacobus is either identical with Jacques, who in the year 1737, after the hypothetical death of Suzanne has married a second time, namely Maria Reuys.  In this case he could have been scarcely the baptism godfather of a Louis-daughter in 1807
It is more probable, however, that he was a son of Jacques and Suzanne born before 1682
Furthermore he also could be a son of Jacques out of a hypothetical first marriage before 1682; this first wife could also have been a Frenchwoman who must have died before 1710 (baptism of Antonie Sauveplane)
Alternatively he also could be a son of Pieter out of an also hypothetical first marriage; he should consequently be born before 1698. 

·     In any case Jacobus marries 1737 Maria Reuys; both have a son Pieter that is baptized first 1744. 

·     It is probable this Pieter, that marries 1754 Maria de la Roche.  Therefore however, he must be born considerably earlier than 1744, probably about 1737 along with the wedding of his parents.  Wilhelmina and Petronella are thought to be the daughters of both. 

·     To establish now a connection to Johanne Baptiste F., one has to postulate that Pieter marries, after a hypothetical death of Maria de la Roche, a second time, from which second marriage Johanne Baptiste F. should originate, that would be identical with our Johann Matthias F. - if the previous considerations should not be incorrect at all.  Anyway, it is easily conceivable that this Pieter did not live anymore in 1806, the wedding year of J.M.F. 

·     Gertruij (or Gertrud Elizabeth) is either a sister of Johanne Baptiste or even the hypothetical second wife of Pieter, therefore the mother of Johanne Baptiste; she dies 1799. 

·     Johann Matthias F. becomes for the first time father in 1802.If he should be identical with our J.M.F., he would have had already family before he arrived at Osterode, would have had therefore sufficient reason to return occasionally into his homeland or even to remain there, especially if in the relations economic need has emerged for instance by deaths. 

·     Louis, born 1787, is probably also a son of Pieter, possibly however out of a further, third relation, that was legalized perhaps first later.
That Johann Matthias on the occasion of his wedding obviously knew about the death of his father, however not about the existence of a marital brother could be explained in this way that he has left his home already before 1787 – perhaps because of the developments in his father’s house.
In this context it is remarkable that the wedding document only says that there were no further marital sons; thus further, not-marital sons are not excluded. 

The remaining family members can be assigned as follows : 

·     Marianne must be identical with Anne Marie F.; she must be a sister of Jacques and Pieter F., who entered 1698 on the occasion of the wedding of her brother Pieter into the Walloon Church.
Alternatively she also could have been the wife of Jacques, that was named later on Suzanne for whatever reasons.One has to remember in this context that Suzanne has a special meaning in the books of the Holy Bible e.g. often is used as a synonym for Maria. 

·     Marianne was probably also identical with Maria F., who married 1707 Antonie Sauveplane; after his hypothetical death, she married a second time, namely Hermanus Seuntjes. 

As a conclusion all these Dutch Fauvels out of La Haye are related in my opinion.  According to my interpretation the following scenario arises : 

·     Jacques, Pieter and Marianne were brother and sister.  Jacques and Pieter are yet born in France, Marianne already in the Netherlands. 

·     Jacques marries (Elsie Lagermann ?) and has a son Jacobus out of this marriage.  Suzanne F. is his second wife; both have no children. 

·     Pieter first marries Martha Neveu who is also born in France; Anna is their only child.  From his second wedding (with Gertruij Elizabeth) follows Johanne Baptiste.  Louis is also a son of Pieter. 

·     Marianne is identical with Anne Marie and furthermore identical with Maria, who marries two times, first Anthonie Sauveplane, then Hermanus Seuntjes. 

Consequently our ancestors would stem from Lyon, probably Lyons-la-Fôret in the department Eure, the earlier historic landscape "Perche".

Admittedly, a lot of rather arbitrary assumptions and hypotheses.  However we should keep in mind the circumstance that in the year 1813 two of the Louis-children died, what points on an epidemic event in La Haye that extinguished probably more persons, also family members. 

If however in the years 1813/1814, due to war or decease, some Fauvels in the Netherlands had come to death, then a return of our J.M.F. could be inevitable in order to support the original family, then a plausible explanation for his apparent absence from Osterode was given, then the supposition would suggest itself, that he returned after the death of his hypothetical second wife J.S.B. more or less voluntarily into the Netherlands and spent there the rest of his life within his original relatives, and that he finally died there.

Clarification would promise an investigation in the Netherlands with respect to the death of a Johanne Baptiste in about 1850 as well as to the death of all the Fauvel-women such as Suzanne, Martha Neveu, Maria de la Roche, etc. 

The knowledge of the occupation of Pieter, the supposed father of Johanne Baptiste would also be helpful.  If he was a mill master, then … 

Well, unfortunately we have to confess that we could construct many hypotheses, that we, however, still possess no proof at all for a descent of this Dutch Fauvel-Clan.  The only indication for this exists in the choice of the first names at that time and later on.  The first names Marie, Anna Marie, Gertrud and Martha point at such a relation. 

4        Conclusions

The writing manner "Fauvel" was and is probably correct, because

·     Johann Matthias already with the birth of his first child writes himself in this manner 

·     in the archives of the Family History Center no other or similar writing manner can be found 

·     also in the current telephone books of Germany, Belgium and France nearly no other variants come up 

If one explains the obvious writing error at that time out of the lacking culture of the sexton, then also misspelling in case of the place "Larsive" seems to be evident.  Therefore one should not be surprised that this place could not be found until now.  Under consideration of phonetic aspects as well as of other information in accordance with the wedding document and/or the family traditions, alternatively also "La Haye" is conceivable or even probable because it is the only place in the Netherlands, where Fauvels are proven by documents to exist at those times.

At La Haye, two persons are registered, that could correspond to our Peter and Johann Matthias. 

·     Johann Matthias would be consequently identical with Johanne Baptiste, whose father only the Pieter F. could have been that was married in a previous, first marriage with Marie De la Roche. 

·     This Pieter F. was, on the other hand, the son of Jacobus F. and Maria Reuys. 

·     Jacobus F. is thought to be the son out of a first marriage of Jacques. 

According to these documents J.M.F. would have already been father before he had come to Osterode.  Therefore his occasional "submerging" as well the lack of any information in Germany on his death could be explained by a return to the original family, by a death in the Netherlands. 

In each case, such apparently somehow confusing circumstances could hardly be understood by the following generations due to their lack of historical background knowledge, and would give enough reason not to keep in mind or even not to transmit these aspects.

If our J.M.F. was a seaman, one can easily imagine that he was on the way in businesses (carrier of war goods or persons) between France and England that the Englishmen were not interested in.  An arrest because of "smuggling" would not be surprising. 

As a result it is nearby that J.M.F. along with his release out of English custody was forced by Englishmen to the military service, that he later on - after his desertion – went by occasion or by plan to Osterode.  where, on the “Freiheit”, in the house of the Bernacks, that probably stem also from the Netherlands, he found first of all work and lodging, later on the affection of the J.S.B. 

When Frenchman garrisoned Osterode, especially when French soldiers were even quartered in the Bernack’s house, he had to hide himself, for a forest worker clearly in the forest, needed to be furnished by the little Sophie – if he was not interested to be detected or even arrested by the Frenchmen, if he did not want to become again soldier now on the other flank.  at both became familiar during these two years is easily conceivable.  at this relation was commonly known in town, that therefore legalization was desired, but was not possible during the French garrison, we also can follow.  at both as soon as possible i.e. promptly after the departure of the Frenchmen married, represents then a logical consequence. 

Only in this way the wedding at a 1st January makes sense !

5        Reputable Fauvels

The currently known, reputed people named Fauvel are the following :

·     Greek consul named Louis Francois Sébastien Fauvel, painted by Jules Dupré (1811 - 1889)

·     Marie Louise Fauvel, since the 3.11.1685/1691 wife of Jean Léger de la Grange, the initiator/founder of the St. Leger, a meanwhile classic horse race 

·     N.N. Fauvel, perhaps archaeologist, who wrote 1787 a comment about the Zeus-temple at Olympia 

·     Carl Hermann Fauvel, born 7.10.1804 in Moorburg / Hamburg, died 1.8.1876 in Vechta, book printer and publisher in Vechta, especially founder of the Oldenburgic Newspaper 

·     Albert Fauvel, French or Belgian biologist, who described a certain species (Erichsonius) of flying insects with short wings 

·     Albert Auguste Fauvel, born 7.9.1851 in Cherbourg, died 3.9.1909, probably biologist, a certain type of Chinese crocodile is named after (alligator Sinensis) 

·     Charles Fauvel, 1904 - 1979, inventor and designer of special aircrafts “consisting only of wings” 

·     Dr. John Fauvel, 1947 - 2001, son of Geoffrey Charles de Vermandois Fauvel, mathematician and specialist for the Mobius-band 


A flow-chart of my complete family can be requested  by email and printed out – preferable on two DIN A0 pages – via Micrographics FLOWCHARTER !!! 

Meanwhile an updated and completed version of the flow-chart as well as a Fauvel-chronicle are available (flow- chart-file, chronicle, both as PDF-file, dated 2008)


December 2002