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Origin of Barthelemy Dupuy of Manakin Town, Virginia and his Wife

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: dupuy lavallon
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Cameron Allen, "The Origin of Bartholomew Dupuy of Manakin Town, Virginia and His Wife," in ''The American Genealogist,'' 74 (1999):1-14 at [https://www.americanancestors.org/databases/american-genealogist-the/image/?pageName=1&volumeId=13222 NEHGS] (subscription required).

Relevant Wikitree Profiles


This article is perhaps the most definitive about the ancestry of this Huguenot immigrant to the American colonies, and is a must-read for all descendants or researchers of this Dupuy branch.

Of particular impact is the blowing apart of generations-held tradition that Bartholomew's wife was a countess by the name of Susanne Lavillon. The author traces the origins of this tradition and presents contemporaneous documentation that Dupuy's wife was none other than Marie Gardie(r), and that there is actually no evidence that anyone-- countess or otherwise-- name Susanne Lavillon existed.

Key findings include:

  • "The earliest known effort to supply information on the Dupuy family occurred in a letter written back to Virginia by John Dupuy (1738-1831) from Kentucky on 30 Jan 1814 to his much younger, inquiring cousin, Dr. William Jones Dupuy. The letter writer was a grandson of the immigrant, and at its writing he was a man nearing 76 years of age." The letter identifies his grandfather Bartholomew, claims a 1650-1653 birth in France, other details, including reference to Bartholomew's wife, but does not name her.
  • That the creation of a comtesse Susanne Lavillon came from a) copying the name of Bartholomew's daughter-in-law, Susanne LaVillain; b) extracting data from a publication about a completely different family (who also settled in Virginia); and c) giving the wife nobility to enhance the drama of the ancestors' lives in a "long and flowery romance" written by novelist John Esten Cooke and published in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, in 1857.
  • Subsequent authors recycled this story in 1870 (William Henry Foote), 1885 (Charles W. Baird), 1886 (R. A. Brock), 1908 (Rev. Benjamin Hunter Dupuy). The repetition continued on well into the 20th century.
    • The author adds a sidebar denouncing the 16-generation pedigree created by Henry Dudley Teetor (1906).
  • Researchers started to question the lineage in 1963
  • There exists no contemporaneous record linking Bartholomew with a wife name Susanne
  • The actual name of Bartholomew's wife was recorded 16 Jun 1714 on a patent that named "Bartholomew Dupuy, Mary Gardie, Peter [---], John Peter, John James, Martha & Philipe Dupuy."
  • Marie is named in two additional records as wife of Bartholomew (without maiden name)
  • The names of the children above are also reflected in Bartholomew's will. The 1742/3 will does not mention his wife, suggesting she was deceased by this time.
  • Amsterdam records find Bartholomew and Marie baptizing a child in 1689
  • Magdeburg Germany records find Bartholomew and Marie baptizing children one of which matches a known Virginia child.
  • The above baptism records identify the place of origin of both Bartholomew and Marie as St Jean de Maruejlos or Uzes in the Province of Languedoc, both of which had Huguenot populations.

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