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Catherine de Baillon's Arms
Catherine de Baillon
Royal Connection Research Association

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Topics

This web site is dedicated to reporting on the Catherine Baillon Royal Connection Research Association. The following information will be found here:

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Who is Catherine de Baillon?

Many people of French-Canadian ancestry can claim descent from Catherine de Baillon. She was the daughter of Alphonse de Baillon, écuyer, and Louise de Marle. She was born around 1645, probably near Montfort-l'Amaury, Île-de-France, outside of Paris. Her parents were members of the minor French nobility. She came to New France around 1669 as a daughter of the King (that is, an immigrant bride royal officials would send over to the colony to marry a settler). She married Jacques Miville dit Deschênes on 12 November 1669 at Québec City. Together they had six children. Catherine died on 27 January 1688 at Rivière-Ouelle.

Catherine's lineage extends back to several other minor French nobility families in the Paris region. However, by pushing these lines further back it is possible to find connections to major French and European noble households. There have been several attempts to trace her ancestry back to royalty and to the Emperor Charlemagne in particular. René Jetté published one such proposed lineage in his scholarly Traité de généalogie in 1991. This lineage was through her mother's family, the de Marles, and the key connection was to the Bournel de Thiembronne family. Jetté published his findings with documentation based on the best information available to him at that time. Soon after his book was published he collaborated with Gail F. Moreau and John P. DuLong in the translation of the crucial de Marle Livre de raison published in the American-Canadian Genealogist in 1993.. Moreau and DuLong also edited and translated "Archange Godbout's Baillon, de Marle, and Le Sueur Families of France" in 1992. These works summarized the known facts and hypotheses regarding Catherine's ancestry.

We viewed proving Catherine's noble and possible royal lineage as an important task because it would allow her many descendants, spread across the United States and Canada, to trace their ancestry back to the Middle Ages.

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Baillon or de Baillon?

In our books and articles we used Baillon rather than de Baillon because Catherine was not from a place called Baillon that was held as a seigneurie by her father. However, other authors, namely Ouimet and Mauger on one hand and Côté and Seni on the other hand, have made it clear that Catherine, her siblings, and her other relatives normally signed their names using de Baillon. While it is too late to go back and change our use of Baillon in our books and articles, it is possible to in general use the preferred de Baillon from now on on this website.

Ultimately, I think we should let Catherine have the final word.   Here is her digitally enhanced (because of the poor quality photocopy I have) signature from her 19 October 1669 marriage contract done before Pierre Duguet, notary (ANQ, reel no. 1710):

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What was the Association?

Jetté, Moreau, and DuLong were very concerned that the available evidence relied too heavily on published works. They wanted to ground Catherine's lineage on original documents. In 1992, they formed the De Marle Royal Connection Research Association, which was subsequently renamed as the Baillon Royal Connection Research Association in 1994. The purpose of this Association was to band their resources together to pay for a professional genealogist in France to verify the lineage through the Bournel de Thiembronne line using original documents. After several years of research, we found that we had to reject the Bournel de Thiembronne connection as being chronologically unlikely.  Consequently, we double our determination and decided to expand our Association to the purpose of tracing any potential royal connection for Catherine. In 1995, Roland-Yves Gagné was added to the associates. He brings his valuable ability to read ancient French and Flemish documents to the research team.  In 1999, Joseph A. Dubé was added to the team because of the help he gave us researching the Lascaris de Vintimlle gateway.

Our Association was never opened to the public.  Membership was by invitation only.  However, we did accept financial contributions.  We would like to thank the following people for financially contributing to our project: Betty (Champoux) Borgman, Harold R. Deschenes, George W. McLaughlin, Ronald R. Niquette, Sue Rood, Elaine Smith, and Rev. Jerome F. Weber.  There support helped us complete our work and we are grateful to them for believing in us.

After many years of difficult reassert, and the expense of thousands of dollars, we have brought our Association to closure with the publication of our findings in an article and in our book.  We have been able to trace Catherine de Baillon's ancestry back, generation-by-generation, with accurate documentation and citations, to Charlemagne, the emperor of the western Holy Roman Empire, through the Le Bouteillier-Gavre gateway, and Theodoros II Dukas Lascaris, the emperor of the eastern Byzantine Empire, though the Chabot-Lascaris de Vintimlle gateway. 

Although we still maintain contact with one another, and keep abreast of our various research projects, the Association is no longer officially in operation. 

This web site will  continue to be maintained to act as a clearinghouse for information about Catherine de Baillon and further research done to trace her ancestry.   It is our hope that our research will inspire others to extend her ancestry back further and to find other possible royal gateways for her.

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Publications of the Association

We are very proud of our publications two publications, our articlewhich was also published in Englishand our book.  All our research can be found in our book.

"De Catherine Baillon à Charlemagne"

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Our article summarizing the Le Bouteillier-Gavre gateway back to Charlemagne and rejecting the previously held Bournel de Thiembronne gateway was published in 1997.  The full citation is:

René Jetté, John P. DuLong, Roland-Yves Gagné, and Gail F. Moreau.  "De Catherine Baillon à Charlemagne."  Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française 48, no. 3 (Autumn 1997): 190-216.

You can still order copies of this article from the Société généalogique canadienne-française (SGCF).   You can visit the SGCF web site or write them at:

Société généalogique canadienne-française
3440, rue Davidson
Montréal, Québec H1W 2Z5
CANADA
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This article was translated into English and published as:

René Jetté, John P. DuLong, Roland-Yves Gagné, and Gail F. Moreau.   "From Catherine Baillon to Charlemagne." American-Canadian Genealogist 25, no. 4 (Fall 1999): 170-200.

This article is now available free to download from the American-Canadian Genealogical Society at their website. Just click on the title of the article or the cover of the issue.

It is important for you to understand that all of the information published in our French article is also found in our book with much more additional information.

Table d'ascendance de Catherine Baillon (12 générations)

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Our book documenting the first twelve generations of Catherine Baillon's ancestry has been published by the Société généalogique canadienne-française. 

Here is the text René Jetté wrote for the back cover of the book:

Catherine Baillon, fille du roi immigrée en Nouvelle-France, épouse de Jacques Miville dit Deschênes en 1669. Sa table d'ascendance, poursuivie ici jusqu'à la douzième génération, présente, preuves à l'appui, un assortiment fascinant de nobles de robe et d'épée. Par le biais de certaines alliances, Catherine Baillon descend même de maisons féodales, royales et impériales du Moyen Âge. 

En ce début du XXIe siècle, Catherine Baillon compte des centaines de milliers de descendants au Québec, au Canada et aux États-Unis, comme en témoignent la variété des lignes ascendantes qui composent les huit premiers tableaux de l'introduction. Grâce à elle, tous ces gens peuvent prétendre avoir quelques gouttes de sang bleu dans les veines.

De plus, les Européens, les Français, en particulier, trouveront dans la l'ascendance de Catherine Baillon plusieurs filiations nobiliaires inédites.  Ils découvriront aussi comment un nombre imposant de Nord-Américains peuvent se dire, notamment, descendants de Charlemagne.

The full citation for the book is:

René Jetté, John Patrick DuLong, Roland-Yves Gagné, Gail F. Moreau, and Joseph A. Dubé.  Table d'ascendance de Catherine Baillon (12 générations).   Montréal: Société généalogique canadienne-française, 2001.

You can visit the SGCF web site or write them at:

Société généalogique canadienne-française
3440, rue Davidson
Montréal, Québec H1W 2Z5
CANADA

To answer the inevitable question, the book is of course in French.  However, there is an introductory chapter in English explaining the layout of the book and this should help you navigate the material.  There are over 200 pages, hundreds of notes, several detailed proofs, illustrations, and three maps, and three appendixes.  You will find enough information about your ancestors to keep you busy for days reading and analyzing the data.  This book is the result of over ten years of work on the part of five genealogists.  We hope you will enjoy reading our research as much as we enjoyed doing the work.

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Other Publications Relating to Catherine de Baillon

It is encouraging to see that other authors and researchers are studying Catherine de Baillon and publishing their results.  As these works are released, I will make note of them here. I have also added some works that pre-date the publication of our book and articles. When an item is available online I have added a link to it, just click on the title or the part link.

Louis Pierre d'Hozier, Armorial général ou Registre de la noblesse de France. 2nd ed., 7 vols. in multiple parts (Paris: Firmin Didot frères, fils, et cie., 1868-1878), see vol. 7, part 2, pp. 65-70.

The Judge of Arms, Louis Pierre D'Hozier, reported on the Baillon family in this work first published around 1738. But when it came to Catherine de Baillon's father, Alphonse, he wrote: "Alphonse de Baillon, mort fans alliance." This of course is wrong and there are other details in the earlier generations that must be evaluated carefully. But this Baillon entry does place Catherine's family among the other great noble families of France.

P. Pacome, "Recherches généalogiques," Montréal, 1944.

This is a one page printed document I saw early on in my research.. It is a proposed lineage for Catherine de Baillon that extends not just to Charlemagne but all the way back to Marcomir and Woden! It goes through the Coucy family. It is of course terribly wrong and it should not be consulted. But it is interesting example of genealogical enthusiasm outpacing evidence in the search for a royal gateway for Catherine.

Archange Godbout, "Baillon, De Marle, [et] Lesueur." Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française 1, no. 1 (January 1944): 37-43.

This is the first solid research published on Catherine de Baillon's immediate ancestry back in France.

René Jetté, Traité de généalogie (Montréal: Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 1991).

Jetté first published a royal gateway for Catherine de Baillon in this work (see pp. 112-114 and 593-598). However, our research would later force us to reject this particular royal gateway through the Bournel de Thiembronne family.

Gail F. Moreau, trans., and John P. DuLong, ed. "Archange Godbout's Baillon, de Marle, and Le Sueur Families of France." Michigan's Habitant Heritage 13, no. 22 (April 1992): 40-51.

This is an English translation of Godbout's 1944 article.

Gail F. Moreau, trans. and ed., and John P. DuLong, ed., in collaboration with René Jetté. "The de Marle Livre de Raison: Gateway Document to a Royal Lineage." The American-Canadian Genealogist, 4 part series:

The Louviers manuscript was a handwritten notebook containing genealogical information about the de Marle family that was compiled by family members in the sixteenth century. When we wrote this series, we believed that the Bournel de Thiembronne gateway was still viable, though we were beginning to question it.

Jean-René Côté and Anita Seni.   "La fortune de Catherine de Baillon."   Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française 52, no.2 (Summer 2001): 123-144.

This is an excellent, well researched, and very well documented article about Catherine Baillon's immediate family.  It explains the context of her decision to immigrate to New France.  Côté and Seni did a wonderful job and are to be congratulated. This article and the one they did in 2002 must be consulted by anyone wanting to learn more about Catherine and her family back in France.

Raymond Ouimet.  "Catherine de Baillon et ses origines."   Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française 52, no. 2 (Summer 2001): 105-106.

In this short article Ouimet corrects a misconception that Catherine Baillon was born at Monfort-l'Amaury.  She was probably born at or near her father's farm at La Mascotterie, in the parish of Lays (Yvelines).

Nicole Mauger and Raymond Ouimet.    Catherine de Baillon: enquête sur une fille du roi.  Sillery, QC: Les éditions du Septentrion, 2001.

Mauger and Ouimet publish there findings on the social origins and family background of Catherine Baillon in this book.  It is available at the Septentrion web site. M. Ouimet has informed me that the version for sale now at Septentrion is actually a revised edition even though the publication year is still recorded as 2001.

Roland-Yves Gagné and Paul Leportier.   "L'ascendance de Michel d'Aigneaux d'Ouville."  Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française 52, no. 2 (Summer 2001): 95-104.

Catherine Baillon's Armenian ancestry is mentioned in this article. 

Nicole Mauger and Raymond Ouimet. "Antoine de Baillon, écuyer du Duc de Verneuil, et sa famille: Antoine et Catherine de Baillon, un océan entre deux destins." Revue trimestrielle de la Société Archéologique, Historique et Géographique des Amis du Vieux Verneuil, 2002, 71 pages.

Jean-René Côté and Anita Seni. "Champlain, les Chartier de Lotbinière et Catherine de Baillon ou l'avenir est en Nouvelle-France." Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française 52, no. 1 (Spring 2002): 11-37.

Raymond Ouimet and Nicole Mauger. "Catherine de Baillon: Une Exclue?" L'Ancêtre 29 (Autumn 2002): 23-30.

This is in part a rebuttal to the work of Côté and Seni. In general, Ouimet and Mauger believe that Catherine immigrated because she was excluded from her family probably for misbehavior. While Côté and Seni emphasize more that she was the daughter of an impoverished noble family with a network of friends associated with New France and her decision to migrate was based on her family situation, the opportunities New France offered, and not her alleged bad behavior.

Yves Drolet, "Les Ancêtres lointains de Catherine Baillon (à partir de la 13e génération)," 2003, available at http://genealogiequebec.info/images/20031005.pdf (27 February 2016).

A handy summary of Catherine's ancestry beyond the 12th generation. However, be aware that M. Drolet has not had a chance to update this file in some time and he acknowledges that it contains some mistakes and omissions. It does not incorporate new additions and corrections published since 2003.

You might also want to explore Catherine's ancestry at Leo van de Pas' genealogics website at http://www.genealogics.org/pedigree.php?personID=I00369606&tree=LEO (8 March 2016).

Raymond Ouimet and Nicole Mauger. "Catherine de Baillon, fille du roi en Amérique," available at http://www.histoire-genealogie.com/article.php3?id_article=350 (17 December 2005).

This is a few pages adapted from Mauger and Ouimet's Catherine de Baillon: enquête sur une fille du roi.

Roland-Yves Gagné. "La Table d'ascendance de Catherine Baillon, cinq ans plus tard." Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française 57, no. 3 (Autumn 2006): 225-229.

Deals with Vaultier, Billebaut, Braque, de Marle, Le Sueur, Culdoe, des Landes, and Le Maistre ancestors of Catherine Baillon.

DuLong, John P. "Correction of Catherine Baillon's Grimaldi Ancestry." Michigan's Habitant Heritage 28, no. 2 (April 2007): 53-63.

DuLong, John P., and Jean Bunot. "Catherine de Baillon's de Roye Ancestry: Another Royal Gateway." Michigan's Habitant Heritage 30, no. 1 (January 2009): 5-18.

Caron, François, "Des châtelains de Saint-Omer à Céline Dion: Ou Catherine de Baillon: Un trait d'union entre Artois et Amérique." L'Oreiller du Roy 3 (June 2009): 42-66, available online at http://www.morinie.com/Oreiller_3.pdf (15 February 2016).

This article follows the possible Bréauté lineage and also shows several ways Catherine de Baillon descends from Guillaume I de St-Omer. This does not really provide any new evidence of the relationship between Roger Bréauté and Guy I Le Bouteillier. For a better discussion of the plausibility of this connection and another royal gateway for Catherine de Baillon back to Louis VI, King of France, please see the posting of Jean Bunot, "Le Bouteiller (Baillon) new royal gateway," soc.genealogy.medieval, 1 Dec. 2004.

DuLong, John P. "The Dudzeele and Straten Ancestry of Catherine de Baillon." Michigan's Habitant Heritage, two part series:

Roland-Yves Gagné. "Notule généalogique: Isabeau de Hutenay, fille de Thomas Whitney, ancêtre de Catherine de Baillon." Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française 62, no. 2 (Summer 2011): 119-120.

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Baillon Arms

De gueules à une tête de léopard d'or, baillonné de trois annelets de même [On a red field the head of a leopard of gold, muzzled by three small rings of the same metal].  Often only one ring is shown in depictions of the Baillon arms, that is, De gueules à tête de léopard d'or, bouclée du même.  A colored illustration of the arms can be found in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Cabinet des Titres, Armorial général, Paris mss. vol. 4, p. 33, ca. 1696.  These were the arms recorded for Marie Rathier, widow of François de Baillon, écuyer, seigneur de la Brentonnière.  She had been married to Catherine's distant cousin.  There is also a black and white example of the arms in Louis-Pierre d'Hozier and Antoine-Marie d'Hozier's Armorial général de la France, 13 vols. (Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1738-1908), vol. 7, part 1, p. 65.   Lastly, there is a fine modern rendering of the Baillon arms, showing three rings, in Dictionnaire national des Canadiens français (1608-1760) (3 vols. Rev. ed. Montréal: Institut généalogique Drouin, [1969] 1975) vol. 3, p. 1370. 

In the course of our research on Catherine's ancestry, we have uncovered hundreds of ancestral arms.  We were careful to record the blazon for each of these family arms in our book. Please view the Baillon Armorial to see drawings of the ancestral arms of Catherine Baillon.

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Should you have any general questions regarding this Association and their work please contact John P. DuLong. Please understand that we can not answer detailed specific questions regarding our project. You will to review our publications for answers.

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This page, and all contents, are Copyright © 1995 by John P. DuLong and associates, Berkley, MI. Created 23 November 1995. Modified 27 February 2016. The heraldry art work on this web page was accomplished using Adobe Illustrator CS and Armorial Gold Heraldry Clip Art.