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Pierre Louis Clerc - Brest, Finistere, Bretagne France

Pierre Louis Clerc - Brest, Finistere, Bretagne France

MehdiFakhar (View posts)
Posted: 16 Apr 2007 8:26PM GMT
Classification: Query
Would someone be kind enough to assist me in locating any family leads for Pierre Louis CLERC(LeCLERC?) b. 1858/1860 in Brest, Finistere, Bretagne France.

He immigrated to America in 1881 or 1887 (the last number is difficult to read). He received his citizenship in Jefferson County, MO in 1892.

I intend to visit this area in a few months, but hope to obtain a few leads before I travel.

It would also be helpful if someone could tell me where the archived records are kept in this area for the family histories.

Thank you very much! -Kay, FL

Re: Pierre Louis Clerc - Brest, Finistere, Bretagne France

mvsemmler (View posts)
Posted: 10 Sep 2009 8:41PM GMT
Classification: Query
Has anybody helped you in the mean time ? I live near Brest and I could try ! M.V

Re: Pierre Louis Clerc - Brest, Finistere, Bretagne France

MehdiFakhar (View posts)
Posted: 10 Sep 2009 10:35PM GMT
Classification: Query
I am so excited to receive your reply.

I did visit the area, and spent an entire day at both the historical archives and the naval historical archives.
Several records were found, but I did not make nearly the progress I hoped to because of the language difficulties.

What I discovered, is that my Pierre Clerc's [my Great grandfather], last name is indeed LeClerc (which was the family story that had been passed down). His father was Joseph Marie LECLERC, who worked as smith in Brest harbour. His mother was Renée Laurence SIMON. They were married January 26, 1850(?) in Brest, and listed their residence as Recouvrance, 41 rue NEUVE.

Pierre Charles LeClerc's American citizen record was recorded as Pierre L. Clerc, rather than Pierre Le Clerc. In later years, the name became known as Pierre Louis Clerc, since this was the name given to his first son.
None of Pierre Clerc Sr's legal documents ever listed his middle name as Louis, however. It was always just the initial L. Interestingly, one American document did list his name as Pierre L. Charles Clerc.

From the records at the Recouvrance-Brest archives, I discovered:
Pierre Charles LeClerc (1858):
- son of Joseph Marie LeCLERC (1822) & Jeanne Marie Laurence SIMON;
- grandson of Michel Marie LeCLERC (1799/Commana) & Jeanne Francoise CHAUVIN;
- great-grandson of Pierre LeCLERC, Sergeant/Corporal of Gendarmerie (police) & Marguerite ABALAIN.

Fortunately, I was able to locate and photograph the birth residence of my Great grandfather (Pierre), but I am still trying to identify additional names of his family.

If you are able to help me, I am especially interested in obtaining the names of Pierre Charles LeClerc's siblings! I would like to have copies of original documents and will gladly reimburse you.

This is the Le Clerc family summary:


SURNAMES: LeCLERC, SIMON, CHAUVIN, CALVES, DONNOU, & ABALAIN -(this last surname may be from Commana)

Parents of Pierre Charles LeCLERC (1858 Recouvrance-Brest) were:
Joseph Marie LeCLERC (1822 Recouvrance-Brest) & Jeanne Marie Laurence SIMON (married Jan 1850 Recouvrance-Brest)

Parents of Joseph Marie LeCLERC (1822 Recouvrance-Brest) were:
Michel Marie LeCLERC (1799/Commana)& Jeanne Francoise CHAUVIN (married Oct 1819 Recouvrance-Brest)

Parents of Jeanne Francois CHAUVIN were:
Francois CHAUVIN & Marie Josephe CALVES

Parents of Michel Marie LeCLERC (1799/Commana)were:
Pierre LeCLERC, Sergeant/Corporal of Gendarmerie (police) & Marguerite ABALAIN.

I also found that Nicolas LeClerc was a sibling to
Joseph Marie LeClerc (1822)based on the parent names:

Parents of Nicolas Alfred Marie LeCLERC (1831 Recouvrance-Brest) were:
Michel Marie LeCLERC (1799/Commana) & Jeanne Francoise CHAUVIN (married Oct 1819 Recouvrance-Brest)

--Nicolas Alfred Marie LeCLERC (1831 Recouvrance-Brest) married Zoe Marie DONNOU (1837-1883) in 1859 Recouvrance-Brest

Question: I do not know yet where Pierre LeCLERC, Sergeant/Corporal of Gendarmerie (police)(1799 Commana) & Marguerite ABALAIN were born – possibly also in Commana.

- Was PIERRE JACQUES LeCLERC (born Sept 1770/Dunkerque; married 1821 Brest-Recouvrance) a sibling to ‘Pierre LeCLERC w/ Gendarmerie (police)’?

- Was Jean Paul LeCLERC b.1751 Roissy - d.1813 Brest, retired Navy, son of Francois LeClerc & Marie Ann SENECHAL, and husband of Marie Claudine LeSAUX also related to this LeClerc family?
"Confirmed, according to the law, by me, Pierre Francois Andre LeFAVERAIS, delegated assistant, acting as Public Officer for civil Records, signing hereunder after having read the record.
On September 28th 1813, at 8 am, Death Record of Jean Paul LeCLERC, died yesterday at 4 p.m., invalid from the Navy, aged 62, born in Roissy, department of Seine et Oise (presently Essonne), husband of Marie Claudine LeSAUX, son of late Francois LeCLERC and Marie Anne SENECHAL, living in this place (village), at La Briquerie at the end of the harbour.
From a declaration made to me by Jean Yves CHAPELLE, working in the civilian buildings department, aged 22, nephew of Jean Paul LeCLERC and by Jean Marie CONAN, master locksmith, aged 44, both living in this place and signing."

- Was Pierre Jacques LeClerc part of the family?:
The first of June 1821, 04h P.M,
Marriage certificate of
PIERRE JACQUES LECLERC, wideover of MARIE-CLAIRE DERCEPER, death in DUNKERQUE, olf 50 years, birth in DUNKERQUE, the 23th of september 1770, boat sails manufacturer,
Living in Brest-Recouvrance,
And MARIE JEANNE PENHOAT, 28 years old, birth in Plonevez-Porzay, Finistère, the 7th of september 1792, living in Brest-Recouvrance,
Major daugter of JEAN PENHOAT (death) and MARIE QUEAU, his widow, presente and willing, who recognized dont know how to sign.
The preliminary act are in the Publication Registry, …..
In presence of PIERRE ALLANT, boat sails manufacturer retired, 60 years old ; JEAN-LOUIS LE GOFF, baker, 25 years old ; GUILLAUME NEDELEC, navy officer of estate management, 44 years old and JEAN LOUIS DANIELOU, baker, 42 years old, all of them living in this town….
The first three witnesses recognized dont know how to sign
Signature : le Goff (officiate of registry office)n, Marie Jeanne Penhoat, Daniélou, Le Goff.

I will be happy to send the attached copies of the original documents if you would like to see them. These are some of the translations:

1864 Birth act translation for Jules Nicolas LeCLERC
Born this day at 3 pm in Recouvrance,
Son of Nicolas Alfred Marie LeCLERC, leading seaman carpenter,
Absent, and Zoé Marie DONNOU his wife, married in Brest
On August 17, 1859, living rue
Neuve, Number 40

August 17, 1859 Marriage Record
Nicolas Alfred Marie LeCLERC and Zoé Marie DONNOU
Parents: Michel LeCLERC and Francois Marie CHAUVIN
Zoé Marie DONNOU birth in Brest April 17, 1837 death:
Nicolas Marie LECLERC birth in Brest May 26 1831.

October 30, 1819; 10 a.m
Marriage certificate of
MICHEL MARIE LECLERC, 21 YEARS OLD, birth in COMMANA, Finistère, the 15th of September 1799, worker in the port, living in this town, minor son of PIERRE LeCLERC, Sergeant(Corporal) of gendarmerie retired and MARGUERITE ABALAIN, his wife who recognized doesn’t know how to sign.
JEANNE FRANCOISE MARIE CHAUVIN , 21 years old, birth in Brest, the 31th October 1799, living in Brest-Recouvrance, minor girl of FRANCOIS CHAUVIN and MARIE JOSEPHE CALVES (death), authorized by the family council the 9th of this month….
In presence of JEAN MARIE CALVES, boat sails manufacturer, 44 years old; uncle and tutor of the Contracting party [here, JEANNE CHAUVIN] ; MATHURIN FRANCOIS LE VOYER, shoemaker, in this town, 64 years old, HENRY TIELIN, tailor in the city, 53 years old and JOSEPH LeCAM, wig manufacturer in this town, who doesn’t know how to sign.…
Signature : Kerros (officiate of registry office), Françoise CHAUVIN, LeCLERC fils, Le CLERC, CALVES, TIELIN, LE VOYER

Thank You VERY Much!
-Kay Clerc, Florida

Re: Pierre Louis Clerc - SOME FRENCH LEGAL NOTES -- FYI

kaythegardener (View posts)
Posted: 11 Sep 2009 10:37AM GMT
Classification: Query
A tuteur (male guardian of the person) took the legal place of the deceased father in giving consent for the bridal parties , even if the mother was still living & present at the ceremony, since legal witnesses could only be male until modern times.
The mother could however be the co-guardian of the property or the estate as the trustee (curatuer, curatuesse?).
The godparents (parrain, marrain) in the baptism might well be relatives which would lead to further clues.
The age of legal adulthood (majority) varied, depending on the time period. Briefly, 1) from the mid 1550s to the Revolution in 1792, it was 30 yrs for men, 25 yrs for women; 2) from 1792 to 30 ventose An XII (21 Mar 1804)-- 21 yrs for both; 3)from 30 ventose An XII(21 Mar 1804) to 1907-- 25 yrs for men, 21 yrs for women; 4) from 1907 to 1974 -- 21 yrs for both; 5) since 1974 -- 18 yrs for both ...

Re: Pierre Louis Clerc - Brest, Finistere, Bretagne France

sophiefrance (View posts)
Posted: 2 Oct 2009 6:51AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Kay

The "archives municipales de Brest" are online for the "état civil" (after the French revolution)

The records (pre and post-revolutionary records) are either in Brest (for the Brest region) or in Quimper for the Finistère departement.

If you need some help in French ....


Re: Pierre Louis Clerc - Brest, Finistere, Bretagne France

KayFakhar (View posts)
Posted: 7 Oct 2009 2:05PM GMT
Classification: Query

Thank you very much for letting me know this is now available. It is going to be VERY useful to me.

I have a big favor to ask of you. Can you try to guide me on using this site? I have spent a few hours playing around with it and am having a little trouble.

First, can you tell me if there is an index?

Since I cannot read the words above the images, I am not certain what the navigation options are within the site [once I pull up an image]. When I try to translate the page, a user id and password is required. Evidently that must mean an 'assigned/authorized' user id, because it does not accept any id I create.

I have been able to select/enlarge portions of text to look for surnames(by the way, the name Chauvin is on the very first page of the first set of Recouvrance records). When I enlarge the text, I am only able to see part of the entire text [at one time] and need to go back and forth to the original to select portions to enlarge.

I do not mind if this is the only way to scan thru these images, but would certainly appreciate any directions on an easier way to review these records.

Any guidance will greatly help me!



~Recouvrance-Brest Records Of Interest: LeClerc Family~

Pierre LeClerc, Sergeant/Corporal of Gendarmerie (police)
Spouse: Marguerite ABALAIN
Child: Michel Marie LeClerc (birth September 15, 1799, Commana)

* Death record for Pierre LeCLERC
* Death record for Marguerite ABALAIN LeClerc

Michel Marie LeClerc (September 15, 1799, Commana [a village in Finistere in the MONTS D'ARREE])
Married: October 30, 1819, Brest
Spouse: Jeanne Francoise CHAUVIN (birth October 31, 1799, Brest)-daughter of Francois CHAUVIN & Marie Josephe CALVES; niece of JEAN MARIE CALVES
Child 1: Joseph Marie LeClerc (birth June 1, 1822, Brest)
Child 2: Nicolas Alfred Marie LeClerc (birth May 26, 1831, Brest)

* Birth Record for Jeanne Francoise CHAUVIN [birth October 1799]
* Death record for Michel Marie LeCLERC
* Death record for Jeanne Francoise CHAUVIN LeClerc
* Death record for Francois CHAUVIN
* Death record for Marie Josephe CALVES Chauvin

Child #1:
Joseph Marie LeClerc
Born: June 1, 1822, Brest
Married: January 1850, Brest
Spouse: Jeanne Marie Laurence SIMON
-Child: Pierre Charles LeClerc (birth May 21, 1858, Brest – immigrated to America – death 1925 Missouri, USA)

* Death record for Joseph Marie LeCLERC
* Birth Record for Jeanne Marie Laurence SIMON LeClerc
* Death record for Jeanne Marie Laurence SIMON LeClerc

Child #2:
Nicolas Alfred Marie LeClerc (birth May 26, 1831, Brest)
Married: August 17, 1859 – Brest; living rue Neuve, Number 40
Spouse: Zoe Marie DONNOU (birth April 17, 1837- death December 9, 1883, Brest)
-Child: Jules Nicolas LeClerc (birth 1864, Brest)

* Birth Record for Nicolas Alfred Marie LeCLERC [birth May 1831]
* Death record for Nicolas Alfred Marie LeCLERC
* Death record for & Zoe Marie DONNOU LeClerc [death December 9, 1883, Brest]
* Death record for Jules Nicolas LeCLERC(birth 1864, Brest; death?)
* Marriage record for Jules Nicolas LeCLERC (birth 1864, Brest)

Re: Pierre Louis Clerc - Brest, Finistere, Bretagne France

sophiefrance (View posts)
Posted: 7 Oct 2009 7:50PM GMT
Classification: Query

I am not at home for the time being
You'll have news next week


Re: Pierre Louis Clerc - Brest, Finistere, Bretagne France

kgrueneichcarey (View posts)
Posted: 8 Oct 2009 3:52PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: LeClerc etc
Hi Kay,
You are lucky! The town of Brest seems to be large enough that they keep each year separate in the actual actes (NMS)!
From the Tables Deccenales (TD) [10 Year Indices], you can find the actual date (day & month) of the surnames you are interested in. Note them for later reference. Then you go to the actual records for the year for images of the narrative acte itself. EG, Recouvance, Brest -- 1808 has 104 images. But each year, at the back, has a surname index, cross-referenced to the # of the acte, eg p 97-104. Since these are typically non-filiative (only the child's name, no parents are given), you have no idea which Le Mitouard family is yours, etc. So that leaves 96 p/12 months = ~ 8 pages per month. If your surname was born 05 Aug, then you start looking about page 64.
The French records are written by formulas, so you will pick up basic genealogical French quite easily, except for the occupations, hence -- Unusual Trades of the Past --
My relatives lived in small communes in Morbihan that have 25 year sets of actual images, & 600-700 images per set, so I make notes for each of the 25 yrs for the actes. eg Ambon 1808 N 1-9, M 10-12, S 12-18, Index 19-21, 1809 N 22-30, etc. I also save the page image to my drive, so I can later study it. I find that going through a couple of years at a time is enough, let alone making a formal translation!
Bonne Chance to you,

Re: Pierre Louis Clerc - Brest, Finistere, Bretagne France

KayClerc12 (View posts)
Posted: 20 Oct 2013 9:15PM GMT
Classification: Query
Just a follow up - after all this research...
Another record was eventually found in Paris: this Pierre LeClerc, who was born in Brest, was still living in France a few years AFTER 'my' Pierre Clerc/LeClerc migrated to America!
Therefore, he cannot be the same man. They have the same name, and are the same age. Perhaps it is possible they were cousins?
It is very puzzling because no other Pierre Clerc/LeClerc was born in Brest.
There was only ONE family group with this name during this time. I suspect he was likely related to them.
I am wondering is 'my' Pierre was actually born in a neighboring town, and lived in Brest after his birth.
I now need to determine the exact town where 'my' Pierre was born, so that I may discover his parents' names!
Do you have any suggestions? Thank you!

Re: Pierre Louis Clerc - Brest, Finistere, Bretagne France

KayClerc12 (View posts)
Posted: 20 Oct 2013 9:51PM GMT
Classification: Query
I wondered if you are still willing to help me?
It is a long distance to travel from Florida!
(And, I do not read French.)

Unfortunately, after all this research (many records have been gathered for a period of time exceeding one hundred years) - An additional record was eventually found proving this Pierre LeClerc, born in Brest, was living in Paris a few years AFTER 'my' Pierre Clerc/LeClerc migrated to America!
Therefore, he cannot be the same man. Perhaps there is a possibility they were cousins? I suspect I might be missing one of the male siblings from an earlier generation of this family.
It is very puzzling because no other Pierre Clerc/LeClerc was born in Brest at all during this time. Actually, there was
only ONE family group with this surname living in Brest then.
However, there were other families living in nearby towns. 'My' Pierre may have been born in a neighboring town, and then moved to Brest after his birth.
I do not think the birth records or citizen records for neighboring towns have been transcribed yet. I have been anxiously waiting for these, but there appears to be a delay. Do you know if it is possible to obtain name indexes for the surrounding areas? Or, do you have any suggestions? I would very much appreciate your advice and assistance!
Thank you!
Kay Clerc-Fakhar, Jacksonville, Florida
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