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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

More on Pierre and Bertrand de la Vallade

The search continues! I have yet to find any definitive link between Charles de la Valade of Lisburn and any French Huguenot family in the south of France - nor can I find any noble La Valade family anywhere in the Languedoc other than the Viguier de la Valade family of Moissac as mentioned in an earlier post - I'm ruling out the Viguier de la Valade family completely.
I am still fixated on the Pastor of Fontenoy-le-Comte, Pierre de la Vallade, who was possibly of the same family as Bertrand de la Vallade as was the earlier Jean de la Vallade.  It is mentioned that this family followed the Princes of Navarre to Poitou;  although one text mentions that Pierre de la Vallade was born in the Langudoc, another mentions that he came from a family of Languedoc. (Languedoc being a generic term for the southern area of France.)

Charles de la Valade was supposedly the son of a count, but I've been told that this is merely a generic term for a French noble.  I can find no French nobel family of the name of La Valade and of the Protestant religion.
Bertrand de Lavallade of Nérac, however, was granted noble status by the King of Navarre, and this title could have been handed down.

Anyway, here is more information which I've uncovered about the families of Bertrand and Pierre de la Vallade.
In 'La Revue de l'Agenais', I read through 'La Chronique d'Isaac de Peres' who was the Concierge to the royal household at Nerac. He was the secretary there in the early 1600s but kept a simple journal there from 1586 on, in which he noted births, deaths, marriages. The Lavallade family of Bertrand de Lavallade gets a few mentions: a relation of Isaac - Pierre de Peres  - married Janne de Lavallade who was related to Bertrand, the president of the cour des comptes in Nerac.    Catherine de Lavallade, Bertrand's daughter, married Jan Pinole in April 1596.  She died the following year in the town of Bordeaux; Isaac mentions that Jean Pinole was his own brother-in-law - Isaac was married to Jan's sister, who was the daughter of Guillaume de Pinolle.  The niece of Bertrand de Lavallade died in August 1596.
(In these journals, Isaac de Peres also mentions members of the duBedat family who later fled France and ended up in banking in Ireland.)

Pierre de la Vallade was the Protestant pastor at Fontenoy-le-Comte from 1603 until his death from either scarlet fever or cholera in 1633.  He was married to Loyse (Louise) Billaud.  Louise was the daughter of a lawyer of Fontenoy, Pierre Billaud and of Francoise Delespee.  Pierre Billaud died about 1621 - his principle heir was his son, Joachim Billaud, the lord of Moulin Billaud in Pouzauges, a townland of Fontenoy.  A legal document exists which documents the division of Pierre Billaud's properties amongst his children with the agreement of Joachim Billaud.   Their names were Francois Billaud, the lord of Pigasse who lived at Auzay; Louise, the wife of Pierre de Lavallade; Marie Billaud, the wife of Pierre Delafond, living at La Rochelle; Catherine Billaud, the wife of David Poignand, living at La Rochelle.  
The properties which the siblings divided up amongst themselves were the house and farm of Moulin Billaud, the territories of Pigasse and de Gallerand, the house and farm at La Berthiniere in the parish of La Parate, Gatine.
Louise and Pierre de la Vallade got the house in Fontenoy, a tenanted farm in the village of Suairie le Mouille and several other plots of land. 
Other legal documents exist from Fontenoy.  In November 1606,  Pierre de la Vallade leased a low room with a cellar for three years to the widow, Jeanne Audayer, in the building he had constructed next door to the protestant church.
In January 1617, Pierre Bernard, the lord of Jauroy, an advisor and secretary to the king in his house of Navarre, and who was living at Cognac, accepted the payment of income due to him by Pierre de la Vallade, the minister of the reformed church at Fontenoy, for half of the noble house and tenanted farm at Parois a la Jaudonniere.   (A rural area north of Fontenoy-le-Comte next to Bazoges-en-Pareds which was associated with the Huguenot Hudel family who intermarried with the La Vallades - Saran Udel was the wife of Hanael d'Espee or Hanael Delespee who was a doctor and the brother-in-law of the pastor la Vallade. Later, Jean Hudel of Fontenoy renounced Protestantism in 1686 but engaged in Protestant propaganda at Bazoges-en-Pareds, the area his wife came from, and was subsequently jailed from 1690 till 1717. Not surprisingly he fled the country following his release.)
In June 1622, Louise Billaud, on behalf of her husband, Pierre de la Vallade, took the harvest from their land at Garennes Rondes in La Jaudonnieres to the miller.
In October 1623, Pierre Terras,a judge in the town of Duras in Agen, on behalf of Alain Fillol  (who was an advisor to the king ,who was in charge of wages etc, and who worked in the parliament at Guyenne), gave a receipt for 549 livres which Fillol claimed was due him following a contract for transport (?) to Pierre de Lavallade.  This archaic French has defeated me here, but there was also mention of Fillol's father who worked in the Parliament at Bordeaux and had something to do with this business deal.   The mention of Bordeaux, and La Vallade's connection to it, is of interest - the widow of Jacques Duboudieu who fled France later was the sister of Charles de la Valade. Jacques Dubourdieu, her husband, had been the pastor at Blaye, Bordeaux before his murder in 1685.  The town of Duras mentioned above was just south of the Dubourdieu home town of Bergerac, and about three miles from the town of Le Sauvetat where Isaac Dubourdieu had been the pastor in 1637.
Earlier in April 1621, an apothecary of La Rochelle, Pierre Defforgue, sent a bill to Pierre de la Vallade and to Pierre's brother-in-law, Francois Billaud the lord of Pigasse. The bill was for 250 livres to pay for the four or five months of medical treatment given to Pierre de la Vallade's mother-in-law, Francoise Delespee by the apothecary . The Delespee family appear many times in the legal documents of Fontenoy, which record wills and minor business deals in the area. These documents were published to the web by the Conseil General de la Vendee and appear under the title of 'Notaires de Fontenoy-le-Comte: analyses d'un choix de pieces (1578 - 1632).'

Pierre and Louise de la Vallade had four children although I've only discovered references to two of them. Their son, Elysee/Elisee de la Vallade, the maitre d'hotel du Roi, married Marie Genay in 1647, 14 years after the death of his father.
The next references to this family, show them to be under pressure from the Catholic authorities and hint at the conditions the Huguenot population had to contend with  in the years leading up to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
From an official list of people who were condemned as false nobles in 1668 and 1670, we see Elisee de la Vallade and Jean de la Vallade, both of the area of Xanton (just east of Fontenoy), and both of them declared to be common peasants. (Roturiers.)  Elisee de la Vallade was fined 500 livres, as was Pierre Billaud, the lord of Moulin Billaud.
A later text - incomplete - about the Protestant church of Fontenoy stated  'the revocation of the Edict of Nantes targeted with great cruelty several of  La Vallade's grandchildren, some of whom lived in Fontenoy, some in the outskirts of the town....'

Given that Rev. Charles de la Valade's sister was married to Jacques Dubourdieu in Bordeaux in the 1680s, I've kept an eye out for La Vallade connections to the town. 
Bertrand de la Vallade's daughter, Catherine, moved there following her marriage to Jan Pinole in 1596, and died there the following year.
Much earlier, in Bordeaux in 4th October 1542  '...a certain Monsieur Helie de la Valade for having said that church candles served no purpose and that it would be better to give them to the poor, and that he didn't want a mass said for him after his death, was condemned to pay a fine and to retract his statement...'
The same Helie de la Valade was held prisoner in Bordeaux in 1542.  I found another incomplete reference to Helie de la Valade, which stated that he was a 'licencie es-loi' which I presume refers to the legal profession, and that he was related to Antoine de la Valade.  (An Antoine de la Vallade was a co-seigneur along with John Brun de la Vallade at this time in Brive-la-Gaillard but I have no idea if these people have any link to Pierre and Bertrand de la Vallade.)
I also stumbled across a reference to the baptism of a Jean de la Valade, the son of Alain de la Valade of Bordeaux but no date was given for this.

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