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Metta E. Williams



HA 4







Subject Matter:


British Community and Family History



The parents of Mr. Gerard de Visme were both Huguenots. De Vismes seems to have been rather a Huguenot name. It is often found, variously spelt, in the registers of the Huguenot congregations published by the Huguenot Society. The names of Daniel (1685) and of Louis (1707) appear in a list of elders and deacons belonging to the Walloon and Huguenot church in the Crypt at Canterbury; many more are in the registers of the French church in Threadneedle St. London, of persons in various walks of life.


Philip Count de Vismes, a fugitive from Picardy, and Marianne, daughter of Piquet, Marquis de Majanes, last of the Protestant branch of her family, were married July 16th, 1716. They belonged to the Threadneedle St. congregation and their children were christened there.


Burke's «Genealogical History of the Landed Gentry or Commoners of England, Scotland and Ireland», published in 1838, when survivors of the third generation of the family in England were already aged; and the fourth generation, in their heyday were entering the names of their children in parish registers in the last years of William IV and the first of Victoria, makes it possible, from information evidently supplied at first hand, to recognize who was who - cousins, grandchildren, or no relations - among the names in Vols. 13, 16 and 23 of the Threadneedle St. Register, Gerard was the fifth son. His elder brothers, Philip and Andrew seem to have found a footing in the City; Louis went into the Church; Stephen got an appointment in India: and Gerard went, when he was about twenty, to Lisbon, leaving England still in the throes of the «45», and arriving in 1746, for he said himself in 1786 that he had been in Lisbon 40 years. (Walford's «British Factory in Lisbon», p. 79).


He can have seen little of his family during those years. His younger brother Leo, went to the West Indies; William stayed in England; and Benjamin followed Stephen to India. His sister, Amelia, fourteen years old when he left home, married Baron John Emanuel de Rondeli of Berne.


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