1476 - 1657 The Ancestor Jewish Élie (Juiellineau) and Spanish Merchants in Aunis and Saintonge.
(Juiellineau - Jullineau - Gélineau - Gélina - Gélinas)
Research: Jean-Marie Gelinas, June 29, 2002
Adaptation: Yves Gélinas
English translation: Raymond Cantin
It should not be forgotten that the patronyms in Europe were formed from nicknames which were added to the first names of people and who became their surnames thereafter. These names were stabilized around the 16th century with the organization of the civil status registry.
In France, it is the ordinance of Villier-Cotterets, signed by François Ier, in 1539, who made compulsory the maintenance and the organization by the priests of the civil status registry of the catholic population.
It is only in 1808, by decree that Napoleon Ier fixed in theory the orthography of the patronyms in France, thus slowing down the evolution of the form (spelling).
During centuries, the Jewish names underwent many deformations and evolutions according to the pronunciation and the phonetics of the different periods and countries, which they crossed, thus leading to an extreme variety of orthographies. Their form (spelling) strongly borrowed from mentalities and manners of the moment when they appeared, and, as such, they are the reflection of the life, the history and the activity of the Jews.
After the devastation of the One hundred Year Old War (1337-1453) which had ruined and dispersed the Southwest populations particularly in Agenais, Périgord and Saintonge
After the One hundred Year Old War, which jointed the south with the kingdom of France, the peace which has been just acquired did not last long enough to appreciably modify the economic condition of the area: that the newcomers are ridged with the taxes, drudgeries, neighborhood encumber by soldiers, crimes and, rising from all that, poverty. In Agenais, Périgord and Saintonge, the population is destroyed, except in the Medoc and the suburbs of Bordeaux.
Saintes is not more than a small city, center of the county of Saintonge in Guyenne, which lives modestly and without history, safe within its walls. The devastation of the One hundred Year Old War had operated a compression of the agglomeration, so that Louis XI is brought in 1469 and 1476 to modify the composition of the échevinage, Saintes having lost the major part of its inhabitants.
The local historians and scholars who have studied the past of the town of Saintes, estimated that the population " intra muros" during the Middle Age (One hundred Year Old War) oscillated between 4 and 5.000 inhabitants, figures still close to those noted in the 16th century, to painfully reach some 6.000 inhabitants at the time of the Revolution (1789).
As a result of this depopulation, the national and regional authorities did not have any other solution than to call upon the populations.
What was then the picture of the town of Saintes at that time, when the foreigners started to arrive, and among them, "the Spanish merchants"? We do not know when, in Saintes, the first ancestor of our family arrived, "Le Juif Élie " (Juielli).
The years 1480 to 1550 remained for all the Southwest of France, a period of rebuilding and expansion where immigration is intense and is supported by the local and national authorities.
The patent letters of Louis XI in 1474 had given to all foreigners, excluding English people, the authorization to come to Bordeaux with the free disposition of their goods without being obliged to be naturalized. But it is well before the years 1460, that we started to see the Spaniards in the Southwest of France. In Toulouse, after the big fire of 1463, the Spanish merchants were already numerous and were involved in the rebuilding of the city by the economic development they brought due in particular to the trade of the pastel.
Only La Rochelle, this large aunisien port, which was never taken during the One Hundred Year Old War, seems to have been able to preserve its old prosperity. In the second half of the 15th century, the Spanish merchants already established in La Rochelle managed to maintain trade with England, Brittany, the Flanders, and the septentrional coast of Spain, and, in spite of great difficulties of maintaining frequent relations with Aunis and Saintonge in the North of Charente. Traditionally, its trade evolved around wool, cloths, wine, corn and salt. But La Rochelle is also a town of bankers where numerous transactions take place.
In 1468, the Spanish merchants were already active and numerous in Aunis and Saintonge. They supplied corn by paying it in advance. From La Rochelle, the grains were then shipped to Scotland, Ireland and Spain. Thus continuing the economic rebirth of the countries of Aunis and Saintonge under Louis XI (1461-1483) and of Charles VIII (1483-1498).
But, it is only after 1492, that officially Guyenne accepted the Spanish immigrants openly: in accordance with the patent letters granted by Louis XI, the Parliament of Bordeaux is authorized among other privileges to exempt the foreigners from the right of aubaine in virtue of which their goods must return to the State after their death.
Who are these Spanish merchants who arrived, mixed with foreigners, in the Southwest of France? They are the expelled Jews of Spain; they have the same privileges as all the other foreigners, who under the reserve to satisfy various legal obligations, like being reported in the catholic registry, have the right to come to work and to settle there. They become thus "New Christians".
In Bordeaux, two hundred and sixty merchants from the Iberian peninsula, who came especially from the North of Spain and Portugal, are authorized in becoming "middle-class" under the name of "Portuguese" or "New Christians".
From the time of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, we can recall two roads used by the Jews of Catalonia to leave Spain towards France, valleys of Asua and Aran in the Pyrenees.
On the Atlantic coast, they are established in Gibourne, Bidache, Peyrehorade, Saint-Jean-of-Luz, Biarritz and Bayonne; on the other side of the river in Saint-Esprit, where the King and the Queen of Navarre had the right of civil and criminal Justice.
More in North on the Atlantic littoral, they are established in Bordeaux, Saintes, La Rochelle, Nantes, Rouen and Paris. In Southeast, on the littoral of the Mediterranean, they were established in Perpignan, Narbonne, Montpellier Toulouse and Lyon.
In all Southwest, mainly in Saintonge, Agenais and Périgord people of the king support the take over of empty tenures. Almost all the lands of "traitors", many of them, are allotted to free peasants who are indebted only to the King.
Very strict orders have thus been given to the Seneschalsies of Saintonge, Agenais and Périgord in order to facilitate the exploitation of the lands abandoned since the One Hundred Year Old War. At certain places, the land has been abandoned in the majority of the cases for more than 80 years, 60 years, except in the Medoc and the suburbs of Bordeaux.
In Agenais, Périgord and Saintonge, the colonists advance toward unknown land covered with a thick forest where the wolves and the wild boars pullulate. They cleared these forests of more than 80 years. At Blaye and Mortagne, arrive by sea the boats from Normandy with cattle and seeds.
In Saintes, the Spanish merchants who settle are divided like everywhere else, in two groups, catholics and judaïsant. Although they behave in public like good Christians, the difficulties were not long to emerge. We accuse them, amongst other things, to monopolize the trade of the city, to practice an unfair competition, to pile up significant fortunes and, on the first occasion to leave towards countries, which tolerate the Judaism better. Briefly, the occasions did not lack to overpower them.
However, they had made all what was possible to eliminate such suspicions, they had ensured that their children were baptized and behave themselves with much exactitude and regularity as Catholics.
In 1542, in addition to all these worries, the introduction of the unpopular tax of gabelle is added whereas Saintonge had been exonerated until then. Its application causes true riots, and all Saintonge was put in state of insurrection. Resulting, in 1548, Saintes being occupied by bands of armed churls who massacred all those who dealt more or less with the perception of this tax.
In general, we agree to fix in 1546 the appearance in Saintes of the first adepts of the ideas of the Protestant reform. Very quickly many intellectuals, many members of the nobility and the middle-class adopted the disciplines recommended by the reformers. After the rupture with Rome, those engaged in an active proselytism which, facing the persecutions (Enquiry), often bloody of the royal power, degenerated into open fights with the "Power" and soon into armed rebellion. Resulting in bloody fights between factions which tore the Kingdom and which gave place in 1562 to 1588, with non-stop war, which are usually designated under the dreadful term of "wars of religion".
We cannot recall the innumerable plots, battles, massacres and destruction that afflicted Saintonge and Saintes the capital during this long period. Let mention only the first capture of Saintes by the Huguenots armies in June 1562.
Until their expulsion in October 1562, the Huguenots armies inflicted multiple devastation of the churches and especially the Saint-Pierre cathedral. As for the priory of St-Eutrope, it, as its worthy church, had already been plundered and the tomb of the saint martyr violated in May of the same year.
The battles and plundering follow one after another in Saintonge until 1568, year when the Huguenots troops took the town of Saintes again. This time, they inflicted important devastation; in particular they demolished the beautiful St-Pierre cathedral almost completely, except the bell-tower saved in extremis. It is only that in October 1569 that the royal armies regained Saintes to again lose it at the beginning of August 1570. After a painful siege, they recovered it soon after following the edict of pacification of Saint-Germains-en-Laye on August 8, 1570.
The proximity of La Rochelle, fortified town of the Huguenots where the sieges follow one after another make the peace precarious. But, thanks to the royal garrison which stays in the city, Saintes remains off the last convulsions which shake Saintonge, and then, January 26, 1582, was undertaken the rebuilding of the St-Pierre cathedral, in ruins since 1568.
The royal troops lies on Saintes as the fortified town. The hostilities continued, and the Calvinists commanded by the prince of Condé ebb sometimes far inside the land. Such combat known as of Arennes took place in April 1586 at the walls of the town of Saintes, partly in the suburb of Bretonnière. To end up with almost a complete peace, which will become total only with the abjuration of Henry IV on July 25, 1593 and the edict of Nantes on April 13, 1598.
The siege of La Rochelle begins again from 1621 to 1626, with that of St-Jean-d'Angely, ended both only in a precarious peace on February 5, 1626. This peace was quickly broken by the intrigues of the Protestants supported by the English, who resulted finally in the siege of La Rochelle, carried out from Brouage by the Cardinal of Richelieu himself.
It was only on October 28, 1628, that the famous Jean Guiton, Maire of La Rochelle, with 12 of the principal middle-class men, came to make his submission to the King. This one in addition to revoking all the privileges of La Rochelle and to ordering the destruction of its walls and fortifications, decided, at the instigation of Richelieu its terrible Minister, the destruction of the castle and the walls of Saintes and all fortified towns of Saintonge. This destruction was completed in 1629.
While these events occurred, the catholic cult was restored, well committed with the Edict of Nantes in 1598, which had been much slowed down during the disorders that we have just reported. A great development of the Catholicism started again in Saintonge after the fall of La Rochelle, not without regrettable pressures to bring the Huguenots to abjure.
In 1636, the populations of the countries crushed by the taxes and plundering by the armies, let themselves involve in true riots, at the time of the tax on liquor. The agitation, supported by the Spaniards, extended quickly to all the Aquitanian provinces, where the vine growers engaged themselves in so much violence, that Richelieu had to send the royal troops to reduce the rebel bands, which were dispersed and massacred after a desperate resistance.
It is especially in 1638 that these movements burst in Saintes in connection with the perception of the old right of the Shouchet (or short pint) of fifteen pennies per wine barrel distributed in the inns and taverns of the city and the suburbs, which had not been perceived for five years. It was all calmed down, however, in the last years of Louis XIII who died on May 14 1643 a few months after his Minister the Cardinal of Richelieu.
Soon after, la Fronde started in all the kingdom of France, and Saintonge was not excluded from this new agitation. Under the control of Prince de Condé, the armies formed by this one, enlarged with Spanish contingents, crossed the Garonne in 1651 and started battling in Saintonge to go on Paris. Soon Condé enters in Saintes and soon after the Governor, named by him, burned the suburbs to better defend the city in the event of an offensive attack from the royal armies. Condé conducts the siege of La Rochelle, but fails.
At the beginning of 1652, a battle takes place between the troops of the lords de La Fronde of prince de Condé and the royal army in the plain, which extends between Le Jard, Preguillac, Berneuil, Les Breuils (about 5 kilometers from Gonds). Our ancestor Étienne Gélineau could have seen the battle. Gonds could have suffered from it. Approximately 10 000 estimated dead persons were buried there. Their bones exhumed later are piled up in the crypt of the church of Berneuil.
The royal army takes back Saintes. Then all Saintonge falls spontaneously under the obedience of the King except for Brouage, which renders on March 18, 1653, with amnesty for all the accomplices of the rebellion.
After all the events arrived in the 16th and 17th centuries in Saintes and in Southwest, we can not be astonished to see that the catholic registry of Saintes were almost all destroyed, with the exceptions: near Gonds in the Chapelle des Pots, where we can find in the catholic registry, the baptismal certificate of François Juiellineau born on 29 March 1661, legitimate son of Jean Juiellineau and virtuous woman Marguerite Bon having for godfather and godmother... etc.
Initially, the registry of the notaries of the town of Saintes and Saintonge had not shared the same ending as the catholic registry. But was without counting the serious fire which has occurred in 1700, which destroyed the Présidial clerk's office where the notaries of Saintes and Saintonge deposited a copy of their authenticated contracts to be recorded and kept. After this fire, there were nothing left but the minutes preserved in the offices of the notaries, and what could have been given to the families.
It is on the initiative of the French Government, which very recently finished the research and the gathering of the copies of contracts preserved until now a little everywhere in the offices of the notaries in Saintes and Saintonge, that today we can consult the majority of these copies of contracts of notaries concerning our ancestors, with the departmental records of the Charente-Maritime of La Rochelle, where they are accessible to the public.
In Gonds, the catholic registry can be consulted, only for the period between 1774 to 1792 (destroyed registers). This is why, the baptismal certificate of March 29, 1661, of François Juiellineau found close to Gonds in La Chapelle des Pots is so important for our family. To date, it is the only baptismal certificate of the 17th century , which attaches us to our origins that we could find concerning a member of our family. A fragile link which connects us to a distant, disturbed, and painful past.
Until now, the research made in the registry of the notaries of the 16th and 17th centuries preserved at the Archives of La Rochelle, put some light on the existence in Saintes of two ancestors: Jullineau Guillaume born around 1545 and Olivier Jullineau born around 1558.
The notary contract, which concerns these two ancestors, let believe that they are probably two brothers or uncle and nephews. In both cases, they have a common ancestor, who could well be the sought ancestor, the Juif Élie (Juielli).
It is in November 1979, when we found and did the reading of the baptismal certificate of François Juiellineau (March 29, 1661), that we took for the first time conscience of the existence of this ancestor "the Juif Élie" (Juielli). This old form of our patronym had been preserved as such in the catholic registry, while, the registries of the notaries in Saintes, had preserved it and written in the altered form of Jullineau.
It is after 1750, that the descendants of Jullineau still in Gonds and Saintes changed again the form of their patronym, to adopt Gélineau, which is the francized form of Gélida. Who was going to become with the census of 1659, Gélina = Gélinas. Before 1750, Jullineau who had changed the form of their patronym to adopt that of Gélineau, were all Protestants.
The Jullineau families seem to have always been merchants of grains, millers and bakers. Except for our Étienne ancestor, who was a commercial sargier (manufactured and sold serge), others were employed as: Master of farm of seigneur (authorized manager of the lord), collector of the seigniorial and royal taxes, banking, horses and mules commerce, laborers (owner of their own farm, winery), lawyer, notary, judge etc. To our knowledge, non were priest, monk and in the poultry commerce.
Documents d'archives de Madeleine Gélinaud (1880-1985),Gonds,Saintes.
Archives départementales de la Charente-Maritime, La Rochelle
Notice Genealogique sur les Familles Arnauld et Émery et sur quelques autres Familles Notables de Saintonge qui leur sont Alliées. Pierre Daudruy (1974)
Quand les Anglais vendangeaient l'Aquitaine, by Jean-Marc Are, Édition Marabout - 85 La Charente-Maritime, Éditions Bordessoules - 1981
"La Charente-Maritime", Éditions Bordessoules - 1981
Consejo superior de investigaciones cientificas instituto de filologia, Madrid, Spain. Documentos, 11 octubre 1608, Barcelona
Documents, October 11, 1608, Barcelona.
Documents, October 17, 1608, Barcelona
Les Juifs d'Espagne, Edition Liana Levi
Histoire des Juifs de France, Editor Privat
Les Juifs des anciens comtés de Roussillon et de Cerdagne, Pierre Vidal (1848-1929), Editions Mare Nostrum (1992)
Claude Mezrahi, Édition A.J. Presses.