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Family stories

Jacques Charlois (? – 1688)

30 April 2020

My genealogy research continues and archives still reveal their secrets about the Charlois family and its links to the wooden crafts and the Bertranges forest.


Son of Etienne Charlois and Barnabée Thomas, Jacques Charlois married Perrette Légaré in Chaulgnes on 20 November 1657. In the middle of the 17th century, some time after the coronation of Louis XIV (1654), the marriage certificate of Jacques and Perrette specifies that the ancestor of the Charlois family was wood splitter: “Jacques Charlois fendeur de cette parroisse fils de feu Estienne Charlois et de Barnabée Thomas a espouzé […] Perette Lesgaré fille de Gabriel Lesgaré et de Jehanne Buzelin de la parroisse de Fanet les Chanoines [Frasnay les Chanoines, Saint-Aubin-les-Forges] en présence de Jacques Creuzet escuyer sieur de Plaineval, de Mr Charlois huissier […] son oncle et de Claude Vertoux marguillier le vingtieme de novembre 1657”.


The death certificate of Jacques’s mother, Barnabée Thomas (1669), reveals that Jacques’ father, Etienne Charlois, was owner of a hostellerie in Chaulgnes. Thus, Jacques has presumably not learned his craft from his father. Barnabée Thomas’ family could in contrast have played a role in his apprenticeship. Following Perrette’s death, Jacques remarried Françoise Gounot on 20 August 1669. The certificate indicates that two of his cousins on his maternal side were wood splitters: “en présence de Jean Vien cousin germain du dit Charlois du coste maternel, de Jean Polant cousin remué de germain du dit Charlois du coste maternel, tous deux fendeurs de cette parroisse”. Thus, Jacques could have learned his craft from one of his maternal uncle and could have meet his wife thanks to him. As a matter of fact, Perrette Légaré had two brothers, Pierre and Etienne, wood splitters. In some certificates, Pierre and Etienne are also registered as hoop makers, craftsmen using chestnut strips to make the hoops that enclosed barrels and casks.


« Jacques Charloys fendeur » died on 21 March 1688 in Chaulgnes. He had at least five children with Perrette: Philibert (wood splitter and direct-line ancestor of Sylvain Charlois), Gabrielle, Louis (wood splitter), Pierre (winemaker) and Jeanne married to Mary Morin, also winemaker.


I will tell you soon about their story. A story, as Jacques’ one, which is read in the light of the archives and which testifies the longstanding family know-how linked to the oak, from the forest to the wine.

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