Pib's Descent from Petrus Dorpmans and Elizabeth Verhagen


These are my ancestors back to Petrus Dorpmans and Elizabeth Verhagen, who were married in Holland in 1726. Their son Egbertus Dorpmans was born in February, 1730. He married Sophia van Nieuwkerken in Dordrecht, Holland on April 24, 1763. Egbertus and Sophia had at least seven children. I believe all of them remained in Holland except for Léonard. The names are Latinized (except for Léonard) as this is how they appear in the official records.

Egbertus Dorpmans died in 1799. Perhaps this is when his son Léonard left Holland for France.

I have listed what little I know about siblings. If you know anything about these folks -- and especially if you find you are distantly related to me -- please send me email and let me know.

  1. Petrus Dorpmans married Elizabeth Verhagen
  2. Egbertus Dorpmans (born 1730) married Sophie van Nieuwkerken
  3. Léonard Dorp(s)mans (born 1777) married Rosalie Demarest
  4. Jules François Joseph Dorpmans (born 1813) married Louise Aurore Bisson (born 1822)
  5. Julienne Constance Celeste Dorpsmans (born 1857, died 1892)
  6. Élise Marie Dorpsmans (born 1879, died 1961) married Clément-Clotaire Lequien (born 1870, died 1942)
  7. Paulette Henriette Lequien (born 1918, died 1995) married Robert Francis Burns (born 1914, died 1999)
  8. Philip Robert Burns (born 1952)

My grandmother Élise Marie Dorpsmans claimed that her grandfather Jules was Jewish and came from eastern Europe, perhaps Hungary. However, we now know Jules was born in Bolbec, a town located near Le Havre in France, and that he was the son of the Dutch immigrant Léonard Dorpmans -- certainly east of France, but not as far as Hungary. My grandmother also said Jules played the violin. At other times she suggested Jules was a gypsy or had gypsy ancestry. It always seemed very unlikely that he would have been both Jewish and a gypsy. We now know Jules was born in Normandy to a Dutch father and a French mother. He was neither Jewish nor a gypsy. However, Jules was a travelling door-to-door salesman (marchand colporteur), and so might be described as living a gypsy-like existence.

Louise Aurore Bisson was born in Senonches in 1822. She married Jules François Joseph Dorpmans in 1848. Jules and Louise had at least three children:

Interestingly Jules appears to have always signed his name as "Dorpmans" as one would expect, yet the name is nearly always transcribed "Dorpsmans" in the official records. Likewise, while his wife's name always appears as "Bisson" in official records -- and this is how the name was pronounced -- she herself always spelled it "Buisson."

Louise-Aurore Bisson lived most or all of her life in Senonches, where she was buried. We do not know where she died; there is no death record for her in Senonches. In June 2002 we visited Senonches and found that Louise's grave had been replaced by someone else's. Unfortunately it is now typical in France to replace old graves after thirty years if no one renews the cemetery contract. Of course when Louise was originally buried no such contract was necessary.

Sometime after his daughter Julienne was born, Jules left Senonches to serve in the military. Possibly he left in 1870 to fight in the Franco-Prussian war, although he would have been quite old at that time to join the war effort. In any case he was never heard from again. Presumably he died in battle. He was officially declared dead in 1882.

Louise actually reared her granddaughter Élise Marie Dorpsmans (my grandmother) who was born in Paris. Julienne, Élise Marie's mother, was not married at the time Élise Marie was born. The man Julienne eventually married did not want to rear Élise Marie, so she was sent to live with her grandmother in Senonches.

Élise Marie married Clément-Clotaire Lequien in Senonches on Saturday, May 2, 1896. The marriage record offers more information about their backgrounds and the witnesses who attended the wedding. They had three children:

Clément-Clotaire and Élise Marie received a divorce on October 16, 1931. Clément-Clotaire died in 1942 in Montigny-sur-Loing and is buried there.

My father was with the American army of liberation. He stayed on in Paris after the war to study art. He met my mother Paulette and they were married on June 19, 1946 at Sainte Marie-des-Batignoles in Paris. They moved back to Chicago where my father's family lived, bringing Élise Marie with them. She died in Chicago, Illinois, USA in 1961.


My distant cousins Petrus Dorpmans and Gonnie Wieskamp provided the information about the Dorpmans family in Holland.


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Last modified by pib on August 6, 2017.