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Ancestral Families

ANCESTORS of all of us descended from
Johannes DE LA MONTAGNE and his 1st wife, Rachel DE FOREST

Contrary to what has been said and printed by many descendants, we know nothing definite about the family of Dr. de la Montagne, except for the relative believed to be an older brother, also in Leyden in 1621. The first official record we have is Jean Mousnier de la Montagne’s enrollment at the University of Leyden in 1619, in which he described himself (in Latin) as a Xanto. That has been taken to mean that he was a native of Saintes, in Saintonge, in the area of La Rochelle. Research in the provincial and Huguenot Church records in Saintonge and La Rochelle for both surnames, Mousnier and de la Montagne, has not found any trace of either surname. Moreover, most of the Huguenot refugees from La Rochelle went into exile in England rather than in Holland. Since all of his associations in Leyden were with Walloons, Huguenots from northern France, it has been suggested that he, too, came from northern France, possibly from a small village called Santes, outside Lille. Unfortunately, there are no records earlier than 1619 at Santes. We will continue to look for the ancestors of Dr. Jean Mousnier de la Montagne.

DE FOREST: The De Forest family came from Avesnes, which has had a war-torn history. Avesnes belonged to the House of Bourgogne from 1436 to 1477. Avesnes belonged to the Austrian Empire from 1477 to 1556. From 1556 to 1659 Avesnes was a part of the Spanish Netherlands. Today, Avesnes is called Avesnes-sur-Helpe, in the département of Nord, France. It is very close to the Belgian border.

DU CLOUX: The Du Cloux family came from Chateau Regnaut, which is near Sedan. In the 16th century Sedan was an asylum for Protestant refugees from the Wars of Religion between Catholics and Protestants. Our De Forest family had moved from Avesnes to Sedan before 1600 and it is not surprising that Jesse De Forest married a girl from Sedan in 1601. Sedan is today in the French département of Ardennes, very close to the Belgian border.

AUBERTIN: The Aubertin family came from Omont, a tiny village south of Sedan. In 1591 Omont was the site of a terrible battle between Catholic and Protestant troops. . In the last of the religious wars before Henri IV became king of France, much of the fighting took place in the Ardennes..

MAILLART: The family Maillart came from Beugnies, a village close to Felleries, both in the general area of Avesnes. The family seems to have been rich and during the 16th century its members married into other rich families from Felleries or Avesnes. Maillart can also be written Maillard.

You may view an ahnentafel, beginning with Rachel de Forest, containing elements of all of these families as they pertain to our society and the ancestry of its members.

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