Surname given in French as Faulkon or Faulcon, soon becoming Falck, Falk, or even Valck in German.
The Dictionnaire historique et biographique de la Suisse says of this family:
"Vieille famille encore existante, qui émigra probablement de Payerne à Fribourg; elle prit aussi autrefois le nom français de Faulcon. Armoiries: bandé de sable et d'argent de 6 pièces. — 1. Pierre, bourgeois de Fribourg 1438, notaire 1440, secrétaire de la ville 1450-1469. Il fut aussi chancelier d'Etat et secrétaire du duc Amédée VIII; † 1470. — 2. Bérard ou Bernard, fils du no 1, notaire et secrétaire de ville des 1470; † vers 1478. — Hans, fils du no 2, commerçant, greffier du tribunal, membre des divers Conseils de la ville de Fribourg, bailli de Grandson et d'Echallens; † 1518. — 4. Pierre, fils du no 2, fut l'élève à Colmar de l'humaniste Murr, Notaire à Fribourg 1492, du Conseil des Deux-Cents 1493 et greffier du tribunal des Soixante 1494. Banneret, greffier du tribunal militaire et membre du Conseil de guerre pendant la guerre de Souabe. Il fut aussi juge et bailli en plusieurs endroits; avoyer de Morat 1505-1510. Dès cette époque il représenta à divers reprises Fribourg dans les négociations des Confédérés. Ami intime du cardinal Schiner, il eut la part la plus active au procès contre George de Supersaxo et François Arsent, mais on ne peut lui imputer la responsabilité de l'exécution de ce dernier. Fidèle à la politique du pape, il prit part avec le grade de capitaine à la campagne de l'hiver 1511; dans celle de Pavie en 1512, sa compagnie pénétra la première dans cette ville. A titre de distinction, Maximilien Sforza lui donna un domaire en cet endroit. Falk résida comme ambassadeur en 1512 et 1513 aux cours du pape Jules II et du duc de Milan. Le pape l'envoya en mission à Venise. C'est à lui que revient le grand mérite d'avoir obtenu de la cour pontificale l'érection du chapitre collégial de Saint-Nicolas à Fribourg. Il fit le pèlerinage de Jérusalem en 1515 avec une compagnie choisie et en revint chevalier au printemps 1516; en 1517, il se rendit auprès du roi de France pour sceller le traité de paix. De 1516 à 1519, on le trouve à la tête de toutes les importantes affaires de Fribourg et de la Confédération. Il mourut en mer, de la peste, au retour d'un second pèlerinage en Terre Sainte, le 6 octobre 1519, et fut enterré dans l'église franciscaine de Rhodes. Sa bibliothèque, retrouvée dernièrement, comprenant 270 écrits, est l'une des plus belles bibliothèques d'humaniste que l'on ait conservées. Falk s'occupa aussi beaucoup des écoles de sa ville natale. Son portraite n'existe pas, toutefois il figurerait dans la Danse des Morts de Nikolaus Manuel Deutch. — ADB. — LL. — J. Zimmermann: P. Falk, ein Frieburger Staatsmann und Herrführer. — P. Adallbert Wagner: P. Falck's Bibliothek und humanistische Bildung. — FG 1905 et 1925. — FA 1897, 1911. — AHS 1919, 118. — Dellion: Dict. I, 6. — de Vevey: Ex-Libris. — 5. Gaspar, petit-fils du no 3, du Conseil des Deux-Cents 1551-1565, des Soixante 1565-1571; † 1571. — 6. Pierre, fils du no 5; du Conseil de Fribourg, bailli de Font, chevalier 1620; † 1641. — 7. Pierre, fils du no 6, des Deux-Cents 1633, bailli de Rue 1638-1643; † 1650. — 8. Nicolas, frère du no 7, du Conseil, bourgmestre de Fribourg 1655. [P. Ad. Wagner.]"
In view of the records left by the notaries of Payerne, it seems more likely that Falck originated outside of the present territory of Vaud and that his descendants had dealings with the major families of Payerne by reason of geography, the Abbey at Payerne, and so forth. There does not seem to be a tradition of this family at Payerne other than through their connections by marriage.
The recent summary in the on-line Dictionnaire Historique de la Suisse says this:
Mentionné en 1432/1433 à Fribourg, † 1.3.1470 à Fribourg. F. acquit la bourgeoisie de cette ville en décembre 1438. Clerc, notaire, d'abord chez Berhard Chaucy [known in Latin as Calige, and his French name sometimes listed as Chauce or Chaussy], puis à son compte, il fut secrétaire de la ville (1450-1470), en alternance avec Jacques Cudrefin entre 1452 et 1464. [In 1464, Jacques Cudrefin, having contracted leprosy, and, after a formal examination, forced by the city to live in isolation, took his own life.] Président de la fabrique de la collégiale de Saint-Nicolas (1459-1467), F. fut anobli en 1469 par le duc Amédée IX de Savoie, dont il fut le secrétaire.
-Registres notariaux 402, 50-55, 88 (partiellement), 3348, 5632, AEF
-Livre de bourgeoisie 2, fol. 55v [décembre 1438], AEF
-P. de Zurich, «Cat. des avoyers, bourgmaîtres, bannerets, trésoriers et chanceliers de Fribourg au XVe s.», in Ann. frib., 6, 1918, 107
-P. de Castella, Les Fribourgeois qui ont fait de leur ville le 10e canton suisse, 1996, 180
(— Kathrin Utz Tremp/WW)
From this, we deduce that he named his son Bérard after the notary with whom he first worked, and that in turn suggests strongly that he had married the daughter of Berhard Chaucy.
A hand-written chart and notes on the Gachet family prepared by Charles-Philippe Dumont (ACV P SVG G 1 Gachet), although it contains many errors that suggest reliance on some of the secondary sources at Bern, contains the startling proposal that the wife of Pierre Falck was Anne Gachet (with the date 1448), drawn on the chart as if she is supposed to be the daughter of Claude Gachet (donzel, banneret de Gruyère, châtelain de Rougemont) and Anne de Corpateur. This family is supposed by Dumont to have descended from the "branche de Gruyère" of the same Gachet family of Payerne, both descended from the Crusader Raoul or Rod Gachet. The suggestion of a double connection between the Gachet and the Falck families is extremely interesting, but so far not supported by any documents that have come to our attention. Further, the suggestion that the two Gachet families have a common origin appears to be untestable today, since at least one of them is long extinct, and the two families bore completely different arms. A further complication is that Claude Gachet, banneret and châtelain, seems to have lived a century later than his supposed daughter, Anne Gachet!
Benoit de Diesbach-Belleroche, who has posted many genealogies of the ancient families of Fribourg on the internet, identifies the first Pierre Falck of Fribourg with a family from La Neuveville (just north of Le Landeron, and then under Bernese rule), but without citing any sources for this interesting possibility. We found no mention in the surviving records of the notaries of Payerne of this family having lived in or originated in that city, leaving open the possibility that they came from somewhere else. However, the same assertion is made (though naming different members of the family at La Neuveville) in the von Mülinen collection of genealogies at the Burgerbibliothek of Bern. The von Mülinen account is confusing at best, though it does quote some additional documents relating to the descendants of this family. A more recent version of the same story by Olivier Clottu ("Les familles de La Neuveville, leur origine et leur destinée", Actes de la société jurassienne d'émulation, 1950, 1-19) gives more details, but does not actually produce proof of the identity of the Pierre Faulcon cited at La Neuveville in 1432 and the Pierre Faulcon who acquired citizenship at Fribourg a few years later. It would be necessary to find a citation showing that Pierre Faulcon of Fribourg owned property jointly with the family at La Neuveville, or a record at Fribourg stating his origin at La Neuveville.
The widow of Pierre Falck, whoever she was, survived at least until 1480. The city council paid some of the expenses of "la relaissée de Pierre Faulcon" in that year. De Diesbach-Belleroche says she was Metza Lambert. Since the date of whatever document produced this name was not cited, it is impossible to determine from the information presently available whether Metza was actually the mother of Bérard Falck.
Pierre Faulcon is listed on the 1447 census of Fribourg with his wife, four sons, and one "donczala", which we interpret as an unmarried woman over 20 years of age. In the same year, Berhard Chaucy is listed with his wife, daughters Marguerita and Jaqueta, and Peterman Pavillard husband of the said Marguerita. There is also a listing for Berhard in 1444, with his wife, two daughters, three "donczalles", and the son of the nurse. Perhaps the "donzalles" are his adult daughters before their marriage, but we guess from these listings that Pierre Faulcon must have been married as early as 1440, and possibly much earlier. His son Bérard was certainly named after Bérard Chaucy, but whether Pierre married one of Bérard's daughters is a question that cannot be answered yet. In 1453, Pierre Falck recorded the marriage contract of Jacob d'Englisberg to Jaqueta, daughter of Berhard Chaucy and his wife Margaretha.
Some of the notarial registers of Bérard Chaucy have survived and might be examined for evidence about the Falck family (AEG RN 33I, 33II, and 295, under the name Berhard Chausse, covering the years 1425-1457). Of the registers of Pierre Falck himself, at least 11 have survived (AEF RN 40, 50-55, 80, 3348, 3352, and 5632, covering the years 1437-1465).
The Généalogies des familles fribourgeoises, a series of dossiers compiled by Hubert de Vevey, has recently become available on the internet on the http://doc.rero.ch web site. Though not without its difficulties, the dossier on the Falck family provides the precise citations alluded to in the references cited above. Among other items of interest, there are several citations of Jehannete, widow of the present Pierre Falck, so it is now certain that Metza Lambert had died and Pierre had remarried. Jehannete's family name has not yet been located. Also, while there are several citations concerning the brothers Jehan and Pierre Faulcon owning property at La Neuveville circa 1430, there still does not seem to be any document that directly identifies the Pierre Faulcon at La Neuveville with the one who settled at Fribourg. One of the difficulties with the material gathered by Hubert de Vevey is that he does not seem to have made use of the cantonal and municipal archives in Vaud. A careful comparison of the sources in Fribourg with those in Vaud, Neuchâtel, and Bern should help to clarify the story of this family. While the family at La Neuveville can be traced back several more generations, the evidence to connect them definitively with the family of notaries at Fribourg remains highly circumstantial and, at least to us, not particularly convincing.
_Bérard (Faulcon) FALCK _______+ | (.... - 1482) m 1468 _Hans (Jean Faulcon) FALCK _| | (.... - 1518) | | |_Perronete BONNET (OR BOVET?) _+ | (.... - 1513) m 1468 _Gaspard FALCK ______| | (1531 - 1571) m 1562| | | _______________________________ | | | | |____________________________| | | | |_______________________________ | | |--Pierre FALCK | (1570 - 1641) | _______________________________ | | | ____________________________| | | | | | |_______________________________ | | |_Elizabeth FRUYO ____| m 1562 | | _______________________________ | | |____________________________| | |_______________________________
_Hans (Jean Faulcon) FALCK _+ | (.... - 1518) _Gaspard FALCK _________| | (1531 - 1571) m 1562 | | |____________________________ | _Pierre FALCK _______| | (1570 - 1641) m 1613| | | ____________________________ | | | | |_Elizabeth FRUYO _______| | m 1562 | | |____________________________ | | |--Pierre FALCK | (.... - 1650) | _Petermann DE PRAROMAN _____+ | | (1494 - 1552) m 1514 | _Guillaume DE PRAROMAN _| | | (1522 - 1572) m 1551 | | | |_Ursula FALCK ______________+ | | (1498 - 1571) m 1514 |_Ursule DE PRAROMAN _| m 1613 | | _Claude PYTHON _____________ | | |_Elisabeth PYTHON ______| (.... - 1587) m 1551 | |_Marguerite GOTTRAUX _______
Besides the account in the Dictionnaire historique et biographique de la Suisse, there is a recent sketch in the on-line Dictionnaire Historique de la Suisse:
* vers 1468 , † 6.10.1519 de la peste au retour de son second voyage à Jérusalem, ens. dans l'église des franciscains de Rhodes (épitaphe apposée en 1520 par Heinrich Wölfli, tombeau détruit en 1830). Fils de Bernhard, secrétaire de la ville de Fribourg. m. 8.1497 Anna von Garmiswil († 1518), fille de Hugo, membre du Petit Conseil de Fribourg. Après avoir étudié le droit en Alsace vers 1490, peut-être auprès de Sebastian Murr à Colmar, F. commença une brillante carrière politique et militaire. En 1493, il devint notaire, accéda à la bourgeoisie et fut admis au Conseil des Deux-Cents. Il fut greffier de tribunal (1493-1505) et juge (1502-1503 et 1504). Du Conseil des Soixante (1494-1511), bailli de Villarepos (1503), avoyer de Morat (1505-1510), banneret du quartier du Bourg (1510-1511, fonction durant laquelle F., ami de Matthieu Schiner, joua en 1511 le rôle d'accusateur public dans le procès intenté à François Arsent), du Petit Conseil (1511-1516), puis bourgmestre (1511-1514) et avoyer (1516-1519). F. participa en 1499 à la guerre de Souabe en tant que banneret et secrétaire de camp des troupes fribourgeoises, à l'expédition de Chiasso en 1510 et commanda les Fribourgeois à celle de Pavie en 1512. Il joua à cette époque un rôle influent dans la Confédération, représentant Fribourg à de nombreuses réunions de la Diète dès 1510. Il participa en 1512-1513 à l'ambassade des Confédérés à Rome et Venise, et obtint des papes Jules II et Léon X l'élévation de l'église Saint-Nicolas de Fribourg au rang de collégiale. En 1513-1514, il fut ambassadeur des Confédérés à Milan. Il effectua un premier pèlerinage à Jérusalem en 1515-1516. Envoyé en ambassade à Paris en 1517, il y fut adoubé par François Ier. Le 5 mai 1519, il acquit le château et la seigneurie de Barberêche. Son second voyage à Jérusalem, qu'il entreprit en 1519 avec dix-sept autres Confédérés, nous est connu par quatre récits parallèles.
F. passe pour le fondateur du mouvement humaniste à Fribourg. Protecteur des sciences et des arts, il entretint des contacts avec Erasme, John Watson, Johannes Langenfels, Johannes Dantsicus et Ambrogio del Mayno. En Suisse, il eut notamment pour amis Ludwig Sterner, Zwingli, Oswald Myconius, Vadian, Glaréan, qui lui dédia son Isagoge en musicen, et Nicolas Manuel, qui le représenta en avoyer dans sa "danse des morts" du couvent des dominicains de Berne. Sa bibliothèque personnelle, retrouvée au XXe s. et dont une grande partie est conservée depuis 1982 à la Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire de Fribourg, est riche de 270 oeuvres réunies en 130 volumes qui témoignent de l'immense érudition de F., à la fois encore ancré dans les valeurs médiévales et ouvert à la Renaissance italienne.
-Coll. de lettres et AFam Praroman, AEF
-Fonds Girard, vol. 8, BCUF
-J. Zimmermann, «Peter Falck. Ein Freiburger Staatsmann und Heerführer», in FGB, 12, 1905, 1-151
-A. Wagner, «Peter Falcks Bibliothek und humanistische Bildung», in FGB, 28, 1926, 1-221
-J. Stenzl, «Peter Falck und die Musik in Freiburg», in Revue musicale suisse, 121, 1981, 289-296
-J. Leisibach, «Le premier cercle humaniste fribourgeois: autour de Pierre Falck», in Bonae Litterae, 1996, 16-23
-E. Tremp, «Ein Freiburger "Europäer", begraben in Rhodos: Peter Falck (um 1468-1519) und sein Humanistenkreis», in Fribourg sur les chemins de l'Europe, 2000, 58-65 (avec bibliogr.)
Not all of these assertions can be verified, and some can be disproven. We can add to the above citations a list of the surviving notarial registers of Pierre Falck: AEF RN 84-88, and 96, covering the years 1490-1506. Presumably, these date from the period when he was functioning as an independent notary. What remains of his later output is contained in the correspondence and registers of his various official positions at Fribourg.
Tod und Schultheiss
Der todt spricht zum Schultheÿß:
Herr Schultheÿß nun der tod ist hie
Besinnend üch wol, was unnd wie
Vor Gott ir denn zmal wöllend sagenn
Ob ettwar über üch wurde klagen.
Der Schultheÿß gibt antwort:
Min Regieren ist mit ein gwallt
Ich wach unnd richt in dienstes gstallt
Statt, Lannd, unnd Burger laßt sich daran
Noch mag ich dem tod nit eingan.
From the lost Totentanz of Niklaus Manuel,
copy of Albrecht Kauw.
Among the associates of Peter Falck in Fribourg was Peter Cyro, who relocated to Bern in 1524, and became the city secretary as well as the mentor of Niklaus Gatschet. Another associate must have been Niklaus Manuel. Manuel's "Totentanz" (dating from 1516, and perhaps not completed until 1519) includes the portrait of the "Schultheiss" Peter Falck shown here. The figure of Death in this panel is carrying the arms of the Falck family, so the identification is certain! Falck is but one of about 40 donors who have been identified for the Totentanz (Adolph Fluri, "Niklaus Manuels Totentanz in Bild und Wort", Neues Berner Taschenbuch, 1901, 119-266).
The importance of Peter Falck and Peter Cyro to the story of the Gachet family, and in fact of the entire course of the Reformation in Bern, cannot be sufficiently emphasized. Peter Falck was a humanist of the first order, and attracted around him a circle of similar persuasion. Humanism was the avant garde of its day, the most progressive area of learning. Among that circle was Pierre-Richard Giraud, who appears under an amazing variety of spellings: Giro, Girod, Gironus, Cyro, and Zyro — the Peter Cyro with whom Niklaus Gatschet worked for ten years after his arrival in Bern. (He appears as "Pierre Giron" in Charles Gilliard's Conquête du Pays de Vaud par les Bernois.)
As the idea of the Reformation became more clearly defined, the town council of Fribourg acted against anyone who seemed too sympathetic with the reforms of Luther. Cyro was certainly among the sympathizers, though he escaped prosecution. He had studied in Paris with Farel, and thus certainly knew Viret and the other reformers from an early date. In 1524, he left Fribourg voluntarily, and soon found a position in Bern as chancellor or clerk of the city council (Stadtschreiber), a position that he held from 1525 to 1561. In this position, he became one of the most important actors in the progress of the Reformation. It was Cyro who gave permission to Farel to preach at Aigle and elsewhere. It was Cyro who helped Farel frame his requests to the government of Bern, and who, apparently, paved the way for Farel to preach at Lausanne. Cyro was also present at the Dispute of Lausanne in 1536, according to some reports, and assisted with the inventory of the treasures of the cathedral of Lausanne that were sent back to Bern. He exercised enormous influence in ameliorating the treatment of protestants in other jurisdictions on behalf of Bern. While not a theologian or priest himself, he was very much a part of the Reformation.
It is therefore highly significant that Peter Falck's nephew Niklaus Gatschet came to work with Cyro. The association with the important families of Fribourg, central to the estalishment of the Reforms in Bern, and his credentials as a protegé of Cyro, explain the prominence of Gatschet and his relatives in Payerne under the new order, the Bernese occupation. The Gachet were not simply another ancient family from the Pays de Vaud, that would become simple subjects of Their Excellencies of Bern, perhaps retaining a role in local affairs. Rather, they were connected to the families that gave Bern its credentials of moral superiority over the House of Savoy, namely, the Reformation. It is Peter Cyro who defines the role of the Gachet family: administrators, government functionaries, and advocates of the Reformation as it unfolded at Bern. By virtue of these connections, the Gachet were destined to play an important role. Further, because of the arranged marriages of the upper classes of the entire region, the Gachet became part of a web of relationships of blood and of marriage that determined the important players in the history of the region for generations to come.
Among the party who traveled to the Holy Land with Pierre Falck in 1519 was Nicolas Gachet, noted as curé d'Yvonand 1515-1536. The on-line Dictionnaire Historique de la Suisse makes him a descendant of the family of this name at Grandcour, while other sources say Payerne. (Louis Vulliemin, Le chroniqueur, recueil historique et journal de l'Helvétie Romande, en l'an 1535, Lausanne: Marc DuCloux, 1856.) How he might be connected with the Gachet of Payerne, and thus with Pierre Falck himself, is difficult to prove. There appears to be a dossier or summary of citations concerning him at the Archives d'Etat de Fribourg (AEF Fichier Waeber 1188). Recently, a citation in a terrier leads us to assign him as an uncle of Niklaus Gatschet of Bern.
Some of the information, or possibly misinformation, can be traced to the publication of Joseph Zimmermann, cited above (Freiburger Geschichtsblätter 12:1-151, 1905). Zimmermann includes transcriptions of twelve letters from the Falk family, notably from "das Manuskript des Wilhelm von Praroman" in the Freiburger Staatsarchiv. This collection is a copy of various family papers made about 1545 by Guillaume de Praroman, a grandson of Peter Falck. The first letter (Anhang No 1) is captioned (by Zimmermann) from Peter Falk to his step-father "Aymon de Treytorrens," 04 feb 1497, even though the address is transcribed as "Provido et honesto viro Aymoni Detorculari, consuli Paterniaci, patri meo ex corde dilectissimo." The transciption of this letter, written in Latin, mentions "avo Petro Ramü," and it is on this basis that Zimmermann says that Peter's father, "Bernhard" Falk, had married a daughter of Pierre Ramu. It is not clear how Zimmermann reached this conclusion, although he does thank the archivist of the Canton of Fribourg, Joseph Schneuwly, for information about the Falk family.
The full text of the letter is as follows:
Sincere sese recommendat, carissime pater! Nescio quo spiritu is Hugo de Garmiswilr [Hugo von Garmiswil], ductus, feria tertia proxime praeterita me mutuis verbis allocutus est, dicens si forem eiusdem voluntatis scilicet filiae suae mihi matrimonio copulare, cuius in proximo exstiteram, cui (quasi illius collocutionis semivivus) respondi, non minoris, sed pristinae et maioris voluntatis me esse. Ipse vero super hoc dixit, labores maximos pro assecutione huius rei, maxime causante amicitia, qua erga me frueretur, cum genitore suo Domino Uolmanno [Holmann or Ulmann von Garmiswil] habuisse, sed finaliter benignum reponsum ab eo concepisse. Ita quod adhuc precibus ipsam voluntatem meam consequi possem, quia vobis tanquam specialiori refero amicitiam vestram ex corde orantem, qua tenus gressus vestros hucusque dirigere dignemini pro communicatione habenda cum avo Petro Ramü qui iam satis promptus est. Non tamen cuiquam de verbis dicti Hugonis manifestare curatis, quia ipse me precibus multis deprecatus est, id secretum tenere, prout etiam vobis confido. Et bene valete pre cuncta, salutes plurimos genitori meae referens, et me in his recommendatum teneatis, ita quod tam cito ut poteritis istud conducatis ad effectum, ne prolongatione temporis ut prius defortunium incombat raptum.
Friburgi, sabato post Purificationis anno 97.
Totus vester, Petrus Faulcon.
[Address:] Provido et honesto viro Aymoni Detorculari, consuli Paterniaci, patri meo ex corde dilectissimo.
Now, we have collected many citations regarding Peronette Bovet, daughter of Pierre Bovet, widow of Bérard Falk, and wife of Aymon de Torculari, clearly stating that she was the mother of the children of Aymon and of the children of Bérard. From the letters published by Zimmermann, it is also clear that Peter's mother did in fact marry as her second husband Aymon de Torculari, although we found it completely inexplicable that Zimmermann transformed Aymon into a de Treytorrens! Quite probably, the intentional misreading by Zimmermann is the result of a suggestion by the historian Alexandre Daguet, who, while discussing a letter to Aymon de Torculari, "Commissayre" de Payerne, from Jean Aimé de Bonivard (10 oct 1514), says that he would be tempted to translate de Torculari as de Treytorrens, because of the existence of a letter from Guillaume de Treytorrens to his "cousin" Peter Falck (Alexander Daguet, "Lettre de l'Abbé de Pignerol (Jean Aimé de Bonivard) au Commissaire de Payerne, beau père du bourgmaitre Faulcon de Fribourg", Anzeiger für Schweizerische Geschichte, 3:358-260, 1881). Although Daguet discovered many relationships of the Falck family, some still to be explained, this is one of the suggestions that was not well founded. His friend and colleague Father Jean Gremaud offered the correction "du Treuil" in the next issue of the Anzeiger (3:397, 1881), but perhaps Zimmermann did not notice this addendum.
Given the quantity of documentary evidence, how can we explain the designation "avo" bestowed by Peter Falk on "Petrus Ramü"? The Pierre Ramuz who is usually identified with this person died in 1507, after serving in various offices at Fribourg from at least 1462. Even if he died at an advanced age, it is difficult to see how he could be the grandfather of Peter Falk. There are several possibilities:
1. The name Ramü might have been misread. The copy is clear, but the legibility of the originals used by Guillaume de Praroman is unknown. Without access to the original, we cannot evaluate this possibility, nor the second:
2. The relationship "avo" might have been misread in the original (perhaps an unrecognized abbreviation for "avunculo" / uncle?).
3. "Avo" might have been used in some inexact, informal sense (as "patri" is, in the address of the same letter) to indicate a different relationship. There are many examples of this convention even in the small selection of correspondence published by Zimmermann and by Daguet (see below).
4. Perhaps Ramuz was an alias of Bovet, though we found no evidence for this is the records of the notaries of Payerne.
5. Perhaps Peter was referring to his wife's grandfather. His letter seems intended to convey to his step-father the progress of his marriage arrangements. Could Pierre Ramuz have been the father of Anna von Garmiswil's mother, whose name does not seem to be listed in any of the genealogies? (Incidentally, Daguet thought the von Garmiswil family had lived in Payerne, but we have found no evidence of this.)
This question now seems to be solved. The Archives d'Etat de Fribourg has a summary inventory of the records of the early notaries of the city of Fribourg, in which we find a list of the contents of a volume of records by Guillelmi Gruyere, including, for the year 1475, a mention of Anna daughter of Petri Ramuz, "uxor Hugoninis de Garmisvil". Solution number 5, above, was correct.
Zimmermann seems not to have consulted the vast collection of the records of the notaries of Payerne, as he completely missed the first marriage of Antonia, sister of Peter Falk. However, Zimmermann was able to document other facets of Falk's relationships that are not mentioned at Payerne.
Zimmermann recounts that Peter, overtaken by the plague while returning from his last pilgrimage, dictated a codicil to his will to the priest Nicolas Gachet (now believed to the the brother of the notary Pierre Gachet). The original will does not survive, but it was probably dictated prior to the pilgrimage. What happened next is given by Zimmermann, based on the the Ratskenntnisbuch 4, fol. 69b ff, at the archives of Fribourg. Peter had made his two nephews Nikolas and Franz Meyer, sons of his sister Antonia, coheirs along with his daughter Ursula, even giving permission for Nikolas and Franz to assume the name Falk. Ursula and her husband Petermann von Praroman successfully challenged this provision as being beyond the scope of the laws of Fribourg, and a settlement was made with Nikolas and Franz. This was an odd designation in any case, since Antonia had been married previously to Jean de Rive of Payerne, and apparently had two children from that marriage. At least one of them, Jacob de Rive, was still alive as late as 1538. However, it is remotely possible from the wording of the documents concerning Antonia and Jacob de Rive that she was actually Jacob's step-mother. If that is the case, the last wishes of Peter Falk, as well as the arguments among the coheirs, would make somewhat better sense.
It is perhaps worth noting that Ramuz and similar surnames are also known in this period in Vully, especially at St. Aubin. Are they they same family? Pierre-Arnold Borel, perhaps following this same tradition, gives the wife of Bérard Falck as Peronnette Ramel, again without a source.
Alexandre Daguet ("Essai sur Georges de Rive seigneur de Prangina, second gouverneur de Neuchâtel (1529-1552) et ses relations avec l'avoyer Faulcon (Falk) de Fribourg (1516-1519)", Musée Neuchâtelois 19:57-64, 100-104, 124-128, 1882), apparently the first in modern times to discover the parentage of George de Rive, also pointed out some additional connections involving Peter Falck, still to be explained. Thus, he says that Jean (Hans) son of Guillaume Merveilleux, who would later marry Falck's daughter Ursula after the death of her first husband Peterman de Praroman, was a "cousin" of Peter Falck, and in fact owed his appointment as Châtelain de Thielle to his connections with Falck. Daguet also says that the Falck family was connected in some way to the Pontareuse (Pontherose) family (one of them resident in Payerne in 1420), and that Benoit de Pontherose was sent on a diplomatic mission to the court of François I and another to Rome because of his family connections. Another apparent relative, Jean Bremond, Châtelain du Landeron, addressed Peter Falck as "my brother":
Monsyeur le secrétayre de Justice Pyerre Faulcon mon frère résydant à Fribourg. Mon très chyer frère je m'y recommande à vous de bon coeur. J'ay maryez une fillie, pourquoi sy vostre plaisir est, je vous sommoys aux noces quy se feront le dimanche devant careme en tant nommez le grand dimanche, et sy vous plaict m'en feray cestui honneur, je le veux recognaystre envers vous ce Dyeu plaict a cyeulx, cas ou ce plust grand aidant Dyeu, mon frère quy vous doinct [subjunctive, from devoir] l'entyer de votre bons desyrs à Neufchastel le Jeudy VIII de febvurryer. Les noupces se feront au Landerong. Ainsy j'ay rescript à votre frère Monsieur le chastellayn de Granson. Votre frere Jehan Bremont chastellayn dou Landerong.
(With apologies to Daguet, I have revised some details of the above transcript which seem to me to have resulted from errors in understanding the handwriting of the period. The copy from which Daguet prepared his transcript is said to be among the correspondence in the de Praroman colletion at the archives of Fribourg.)
Another letter, from Cardinal Schinner to Peter Falck (1514), calls the Prior of Nantua, of St. Bernard, and Prieur Commendataire or Abbé de Payerne, Jean de la Forêt (Johannes de Foresta in Latin), a "brother" of Falck. Foresta was from a family of Valais with origins in Savoie. In what sense were they "brothers"? If there was any real relationship with Peter Falck, it has so far escaped notice!
However, applying the same logic that led to the understanding of the term "brother" in the correspondence of George de Rive and Peter Falck, it seems likely that Jean Bremond was a brother-in-law of Peter Falck. Since Peter's siblings are known, the connection is probably through Peter's wife, Anna von Garmiswyl. Might the same explanation apply to the Pontareuse connection? So far, we have been unable to locate any details of the family of Hugo von Garmiswyl, Anna's father, apart from the fact that he had a long and significant career in Fribourg—here again, although Daguet suggests that Anna von Garmiswyl had lived in Payerne, we find nothing to place any member of this family there.
Another avenue of inquiry follows from our speculation that Bérard Falck, father of Peter, was named after Bérard Chaucy, who was the master notary under whom Pierre Faulcon learned his trade. Did Pierre Faulcon marry the daughter of Bérard Chaucy? If so, would that explain an apparent relationship between the Pontherose family and the Falck family? The younger Peter Falck was instrumental in helping the brothers Louis and Benoit de Pontherose obtain important appointments. Louis and Benoit were sons of Noble Humbert de Graz (or de Grez, hence the Latinized version "de Gradibus") dit Pontherose and his wife Claudine Cerjat, and grandsons of Pierre de Graz dit Pontherose, whose second wife was Jaquette, daughter of Girard Chaucy of Montagny (probably not the mother of Humbert Pontherose, however). Unfortunately, the name of the wife of Louis de Pontherose is still undiscovered, and we know of no connection between the Cerjat family and any of the other actors in this story, other than the obvious fact that the Cerjat family was connected to many other important families in the region. In this connection, however, there may be a connection between the Gachet family of Villars-en-Vully and the Pontherose (de Gradibus) family of Estavayer. It now appears that the wife (or one of the wives) of Bartholomeus Gachet was Marie Maczon, who had previously been the wife of Alexandre des Graz.
Another thread concerns the education of Pierre Falck. Why and how did he come to study at Colmar about 1490-1492? His father had died when Pierre was quite young, and his mother had remarried about 1480. From what little we know of his family life, it seems certain that his education must have been directed by his step-father, Aymo de Torculari, himself a schoolteacher at Fribourg in 1481. Is it possible that he followed in his step-father's footsteps? Might we find Aymo de Torculari listed among the students at Colmar, perhaps with some indication of his origin?
A document at the Archivio di Stato di Torino ("Materie politiche per rapporto all'estero,Trattati,Trattati cogli Svizzeri; Obblighi e quietanze, Mazzo 1, Fascicolo 19") bears the seal of Peter Falck. This document, dated 27 nov 1517, is summarized as follows: "Pietro Faulcon consigliere della città di Friburgo rilascia quietanza a favore del duca Carlo II di Savoia per una somma consegnatagli dal segretario ducale Lambert a titolo di reddito annuo dovutogli dal duca". Since several documents of similar import under the seal of Antoni Noll of Bern, including one mentioning the "araldo Faulcon", are in the same collection, we might speculate that Falck, like Noll, was involved in the lucrative trade of extracting money from the Duke of Savoie for damages alleged from contravention of old treaties, later deemed fraudulent (the DuFour affair—the same archive contains a document dated 09 jun 1508, AST Materie politiche per rapporto all'estero,Trattati,Trattati cogli Svizzeri; False Donazioni, Mazzo 1, Fascicolo 7, in which the two cities of Bern and Fribourg reach an agreement with Charles II Duke of Savoie regarding the "false donations" produced by the ducal secretary Jean DuFour ).
______________________________ | _Pierre FALCK ______________| | (.... - 1470) | | |______________________________ | _Bérard (Faulcon) FALCK _______| | (.... - 1482) m 1468 | | | ______________________________ | | | | |_Metza LAMBERT _____________| | | | |______________________________ | | |--Pierre (Faulcon) FALCK | (1468 - 1519) | _Jaquetus BONNET (OR BOVET?) _+ | | (1410 - 1471) | _Pierre BONNET (OR BOVET?) _| | | (1430 - 1480) | | | |_Alexia _____ ________________ | | (.... - 1443) |_Perronete BONNET (OR BOVET?) _| (.... - 1513) m 1468 | | ______________________________ | | |_Amphilisia _____ __________| | |______________________________
Probably mother of Isabeau Merveilleux, wife of Burkhardt Nägeli, and of Josué Merveilleux, according to Pierre-Arnold Borel. There is some confusion about her dates. Borel says she married Merveilleux in 1553, but Alexandre Daguet seems to have a different order for the marriages of Merveilleux.
Two testaments are known (most likely from the de Praroman collection at the archives of Fribourg). The first, from 1562, names her sons Guillaume and Nicolas. It also makes bequests to her cousin Jean Garmiswil (probably a descendant of her grandfather, Hugo von Garmiswyl), François Meyer of Fribourg (son of her aunt Antonia, who married Daniel Meyer), her cousin Nicolas Gatchet of Bern (son of her aunt Jaquaz, who married Pierre Gachet), and her cousin Catherine, daughter of her uncle Jean Faulcon and now wife of Ulman Garmiswil. By the time of her second testament of 1571, her son Nicolas had died and his children had married. De Diesbach-Belleroche adds a son Guillaume Merveilleux, an observation that suggests to us that the two testaments of Ursula Falck need to be studied more closely.
 According to the family book of Niklaus Gatschet.
_Pierre FALCK ______________ | (.... - 1470) _Bérard (Faulcon) FALCK _______| | (.... - 1482) m 1468 | | |_Metza LAMBERT _____________ | _Pierre (Faulcon) FALCK _| | (1468 - 1519) m 1497 | | | _Pierre BONNET (OR BOVET?) _+ | | | (1430 - 1480) | |_Perronete BONNET (OR BOVET?) _| | (.... - 1513) m 1468 | | |_Amphilisia _____ __________ | | |--Ursula FALCK | (1498 - 1571) | ____________________________ | | | _Hugo VON GARMISWYL ___________| | | | | | |____________________________ | | |_Anna VON GARMISWYL _____| m 1497 | | _Pierre RAMUZ ______________ | | (.... - 1507) |_Anna RAMUZ ___________________| | |____________________________
Wilhelm or Guillaume studied with Antoine Barbarati at Fribourg, and seems to have been a priest. He is known to have helped his younger brother study German. He is known in Latin as Guilelmus a Falconibus.
__ | __| | | | |__ | _Pierre FALCK _______| | (.... - 1470) | | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Wilhelm FALCK | | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Metza LAMBERT ______| | | __ | | |__| | |__
_____________________ | _Jean de Palézieux dit FALCONNET _| | | | |_____________________ | _Jean Benoit de Palézieux dit FALCONNET _| | m 1614 | | | _____________________ | | | | |__________________________________| | | | |_____________________ | | |--Balthazard de Palézieux dit FALCONNET | | _Christian ESPAZ ____ | | m 1569 | _Philippe ESPAZ __________________| | | m 1595 | | | |_Catherine DUTRUICT _+ | | m 1569 |_Benoite ESPAZ __________________________| m 1614 | | _Pierre ESTOPPEY ____ | | |_Magdelaine ESTOPPEY _____________| m 1595 | |_Benoite MORATEL ____
The marriage record at Villette is difficult to read, but seems to say "Paleissiez dit Falconnet", suggesting confusion with Pelissier. However, the Falconnet name in this context makes it clear we are dealing with the family from Vevey that has been the subject of so much genealogical controversy, regarding its true origins.
__ | __| | | | |__ | _Jaques de Palézieux dit FALCONNET _| | | | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Claudine de Palézieux dit FALCONNET | | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |____________________________________| | | __ | | |__| | |__
_____________________ | _Jean de Palézieux dit FALCONNET _| | | | |_____________________ | _Jean Benoit de Palézieux dit FALCONNET _| | m 1614 | | | _____________________ | | | | |__________________________________| | | | |_____________________ | | |--Elizabeth de Palézieux dit FALCONNET | | _Christian ESPAZ ____ | | m 1569 | _Philippe ESPAZ __________________| | | m 1595 | | | |_Catherine DUTRUICT _+ | | m 1569 |_Benoite ESPAZ __________________________| m 1614 | | _Pierre ESTOPPEY ____ | | |_Magdelaine ESTOPPEY _____________| m 1595 | |_Benoite MORATEL ____
__ | _____________________| | | | |__ | _Jaques de Palézieux dit FALCONNET _| | (.... - 1635) m 1614 | | | __ | | | | |_____________________| | | | |__ | | |--Gasparde de Palézieux dit FALCONNET | (1614 - 1673) | __ | | | _François MOURON ____| | | (.... - 1613) | | | |__ | | |_Françoise MOURON __________________| m 1614 | | __ | | |_____________________| | |__
Apparently the same Jaques Falconnet who married Françoise Mouron, widow of the late Sébastien Dutoit, on 10 mar 1614. Was he the same Jaques who died about 1662 (testament recorded by notary Girod) and whose son was André the notary? Unfortunately, the testament, cited in the dispute between David Martignier and Eugène de Mellet over the origins and proper name of the de Palézieux dit Falconnet family, is not quoted in sufficient detail to give the names of the heirs.
__ | __| | | | |__ | _Jean de Palézieux dit FALCONNET _| | | | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Jean Benoit de Palézieux dit FALCONNET | | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |__________________________________| | | __ | | |__| | |__
_____________________ | _Jean de Palézieux dit FALCONNET _| | | | |_____________________ | _Jean Benoit de Palézieux dit FALCONNET _| | m 1614 | | | _____________________ | | | | |__________________________________| | | | |_____________________ | | |--Jeanne de Palézieux dit FALCONNET | | _Christian ESPAZ ____ | | m 1569 | _Philippe ESPAZ __________________| | | m 1595 | | | |_Catherine DUTRUICT _+ | | m 1569 |_Benoite ESPAZ __________________________| m 1614 | | _Pierre ESTOPPEY ____ | | |_Magdelaine ESTOPPEY _____________| m 1595 | |_Benoite MORATEL ____
__ | _____________________| | | | |__ | _Jaques de Palézieux dit FALCONNET _| | (.... - 1635) m 1614 | | | __ | | | | |_____________________| | | | |__ | | |--Jeanne Louise de Palézieux dit FALCONNET | (1627 - ....) | __ | | | _François MOURON ____| | | (.... - 1613) | | | |__ | | |_Françoise MOURON __________________| m 1614 | | __ | | |_____________________| | |__
_____________________ | _Jean de Palézieux dit FALCONNET _| | | | |_____________________ | _Jean Benoit de Palézieux dit FALCONNET _| | m 1614 | | | _____________________ | | | | |__________________________________| | | | |_____________________ | | |--Magdelaine de Palézieux dit FALCONNET | | _Christian ESPAZ ____ | | m 1569 | _Philippe ESPAZ __________________| | | m 1595 | | | |_Catherine DUTRUICT _+ | | m 1569 |_Benoite ESPAZ __________________________| m 1614 | | _Pierre ESTOPPEY ____ | | |_Magdelaine ESTOPPEY _____________| m 1595 | |_Benoite MORATEL ____
_____________________ | _Jean de Palézieux dit FALCONNET _| | | | |_____________________ | _Jean Benoit de Palézieux dit FALCONNET _| | m 1614 | | | _____________________ | | | | |__________________________________| | | | |_____________________ | | |--Pierre de Palézieux dit FALCONNET | | _Christian ESPAZ ____ | | m 1569 | _Philippe ESPAZ __________________| | | m 1595 | | | |_Catherine DUTRUICT _+ | | m 1569 |_Benoite ESPAZ __________________________| m 1614 | | _Pierre ESTOPPEY ____ | | |_Magdelaine ESTOPPEY _____________| m 1595 | |_Benoite MORATEL ____
Very likely she is the same Susanne "Falconnier" who married Abraham Decrevel, who died in 1641.
_____________________ | _Jean de Palézieux dit FALCONNET _| | | | |_____________________ | _Jean Benoit de Palézieux dit FALCONNET _| | m 1614 | | | _____________________ | | | | |__________________________________| | | | |_____________________ | | |--Susanne de Palézieux dit FALCONNET | (1617 - ....) | _Christian ESPAZ ____ | | m 1569 | _Philippe ESPAZ __________________| | | m 1595 | | | |_Catherine DUTRUICT _+ | | m 1569 |_Benoite ESPAZ __________________________| m 1614 | | _Pierre ESTOPPEY ____ | | |_Magdelaine ESTOPPEY _____________| m 1595 | |_Benoite MORATEL ____
__ | __| | | | |__ | _Jean FALCONNIER ____| | | | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Anne Marguerite FALCONNIER | | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Esther FROSSARD ____| | | __ | | |__| | |__
__ | __| | | | |__ | _Jaques FALCONNIER __| | m 1671 | | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Antoine FALCONNIER | | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Agathe COTTIER _____| m 1671 | | __ | | |__| | |__
__ | __| | | | |__ | _Jean FALCONNIER ____| | | | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Balthazard FALCONNIER | | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Esther FROSSARD ____| | | __ | | |__| | |__
__ | __| | | | |__ | _Jaques FALCONNIER __| | m 1671 | | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Françoise FALCONNIER | | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Agathe COTTIER _____| m 1671 | | __ | | |__| | |__
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