Dutoit Family of Moudon, Switzerland

A family from Moudon, Switzerland

Occasional essays and documents.

Some of our essays and transcriptions can be accessed separately:

  1. Document in the hand of Isaac Dutoit, notary at Moudon, part of ACV DO 33/1, approximately 1715-1725. Contains a list of this notary's properties and details about his family, as well as information about property owners at Chavannes-sur-Moudon. He recorded this information in the unused portion of the "protocol" or notarial register of another notary, so this document is not catalogued under his name at the Archives Cantonales Vaudoises.
  2. Revolutionary War pension file of John Baird, Private, from Somerset and Morris Counties, New Jersey.
  3. The McDougalls of Argyle, New York, compiled by Jennie M. Patten, circa 1935. My family received a very messy typescript from a Washington County, New York researcher many years ago, apparently transcribed from Jennie's notes after her death. It has proven remarkably accurate. We put the typescript in a more publishable form for The Sleeper. This is the version presented here.
  4. Régie des biens des Sieurs Gélieu, frères, ministres fugitifs, 1715-1722.
  5. True Grit and Tall Tales: How Mary Ettie Coray (1827-1867) Got Her Man. We have uncovered the story behind the notorious tell-all history, Fifteen Years Among the Mormons (Nelson Winch Green, 1858), purporting to be the true story of Mary Ettie Coray Smith and her husband Reuben Peace Smith. Mary Ettie's account of dark deeds among the Mormon hierarchy, from their arrival at Nauvoo until about 1856, is emphatically not what it seems. It is unfortunate that those who cite Mary Ettie today as an authentic first-hand account of history have not imagined how real events can be manipulated in the hands of a talented story-teller to serve ends other than the truth. Even the motive for the deception is not what it seems: Mary Ettie was simply manipulating Reuben Smith's affections. This will not come as a surprise to any fan of Desperate Housewives! Mary Ettie was a desperate Mormon housewife who turned out to have an unexpected flair for narrative fiction. Were it not for the fact that Reuben P. Smith's brother Hugh Darius Smith inscribed a copy of this book to his McCoy cousins in Brown Co., IL, we would have had no knowledge of this intriguing chapter in Mormon history, nor would we have had the means to determine the actual course of events. It was the way the book came into our family that gave us the imperative to discover the truth.
  6. Notes sur la famille Chavannes (1882) by Ernest Chavannes (1821-1895), kindly transcribed and prepared for this site through the efforts of Arnaud Desmazières, Catherine Minck-Brandt, and Jean-Jacques Eggler.
  7. L'immigration Suiss dans le comté de Hanau-Lichtenberg au dix-septième siècle (Walter Bodmer, 1930), listing known Swiss immigrants extracted from church records and other sources for a large part of the modern Département of Bas-Rhin, France.
  8. August, 1679: Bears in the Maison de Ville of Moudon!. A bizarre story found in the records of the Cour de Justice of Moudon. A traveling entertainer offended the notables of Moudon by beating his dancing bears with sticks. The crowd jumped in to defend the bears. A brawl ensued, spilling out onto the street. The Baillif de Moudon (the appointed overseer from Bern) heard about it at his residence (the Château de Lucens) and requested an inquiry. The entertainer wanted compensation for his injuries, and he wanted his trumpet back!
  9. The wife of the notary François Forestey is accused of eating a cow. The notary heard a rumor to the effect that his wife had eaten a cow that belonged to Gabriel Dumartherey. After claims and counterclaims, the parties made peace and agreed never to speak of the matter again (19 mar 1588).
  10. Power of Attorney for the Marcel Family, 1824. The family of Jean Pierre Samuel Marcel, formerly of Lausanne, needed to appoint a representative in Switzerland to obtain bequests from two different estates that were being probated there. They executed a "power of attorney" before the circuit court in Jessamine County, Kentucky. That document was in turn endorsed by the circuit judge, the district judge, the Governor of Kentucky, the US Secretary of State, the American Ambassador in France, and the Swiss chargé d'affaires in France. Eventually, the whole package was recorded by the Justice of the Peace in Lausanne. The original document remained with the Marcel family in Switzerland, descending in the family from generation to generation, until it was discovered in papers of her father by Irène Wehinger-Marcel of Haguenau, Bas-Rhin, France. Naturally, this discovery has caused a sensation among the American descendants of the Marcel family, since it bears the autograph signatures of several members of the family, and since it reveals the name and place of residence of Louise Marcel's husband, David McCoy. The related documents in Switzerland — the probates of the two estates mentioned in the power of attorney — have not yet been located and will be the subject of our future searches. Was this sort of transaction required every time someone in the United States needed to claim an inheritance in Europe? Certainly some sort of power of attorney would have been required, but we cannot yet conclude that these were regularly transmitted through official diplomatic communications, as this one was. Presumably the document was forwarded by the Department of State with instructions to the Ambassador in Paris, and the instructions and copies of the documents were filed in Washington. The vast papers of the US Department of State are not indexed in a way that would make such transactions easy to find. However, we think it likely that they must contain many thousands of similar examples that would be of great interest to genealogists. The volumes of instructions and despatches are part of Record Group 59 at the US National Archives. They have been microfilmed, but there is no index apart from volume indexes or registers.
  11. Inventory and sale of personal estate of David McCoy deceased, from Will Book 1, Oldham County, Kentucky, October 3-12, 1829.
  12. Wills of Cecil County, Maryland 1777-1810, brief abstracts from the Family History Library microfilms. We found so many discrepancies in the information about wills from this county on the internet that we decided to investigate further. The result is a PDF document that should make these wills easier to find and easier to use. The abstracts were transcribed in haste, so please watch for typographical errors! As time permits, we will add the rest of the Cecil County wills prior to 1850.
  13. Sources for the Jewish community of Pyrzyce, Poland, formerly known as Pyritz when it was part of Prussia: A group of vital records covering the years 1840-1847 was discovered in the microfilms of the Lutheran "churchbook duplicates". There are also two population lists or "Matrikels" from 1853 and 1865 on Family History Library microfilm #1184446. We have transcribed or abstracted the vital records and the Matrikels. Did my Victor family originate in Pyrzyce? New evidence seems to prove it! The surname Victor was adopted by only about half a dozen families in Prussia, according to the "surname adoption lists" that are known today. So far, the family from Pyritz is the only one for which I have found significant data, and, according to court testimony from 1870, my Solomon Victor was born there (see the next item).
  14. My ancestors Solomon Victor and his wife Marion Danson were very difficult to find. Thanks to newly-digitized newspapers, some of the gaps in their story have been filled in. In 1870, Solomon Victor shot Alston Rich in Bloomington, Illinois, after Marion had run away with Mr. Rich. The shooting and the subsequent trial were covered extensively in the Bloomington Pantagraph, and the story was also picked up in other newspapers. See the newspaper articles and court records here. At some point, Solomon and Marion were divorced, and Solomon remarried in 1883 to Louise Feigel of Chicago, where they lived until Solomon's death in April, 1900. In December, 1900, the story of the conversion of Solomon's widow Louise to Judaism was a minor sensation in newspapers from coast to coast. See the newspaper coverage here.
  15. Information on families of Vaud posted here in response to queries from other genealogists.

This page last updated Saturday, 12-Aug-2017 13:32:23 MDT