The Journal of Jacques Flournoy and a Quick Family History Update

In a previous post, I quoted from the journal of the French Huguenot, Jacques Flournoy, writing about the flood of refugees pouring into Switzerland from the Dauphiné Province of France. (I didn’t have the journal itself but was quoting from another book which used it as a source.) It’s likely that this is the path that Pierre Chastain took before he made his way into Germany by 1687. I was able to track down a copy of Flournoy’s journal. There was a mention of a Chastain, but he was a Catholic priest in Paris in the years before the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. I had been hoping Flournoy might have crossed paths with Pierre in Switzerland. No luck.

I’m still finding mentions only of random Chastains in France prior to 1687. I can’t connect any of them to Pierre. There may be connections, but I have no proof either way. I haven’t invested as much time in this as I did over the summer, but I’m still poking around when I can. There are two books heading my way that cover some of the history of the Dauphiné Province.

I’ve also found some folks that translate old German handwriting into English. I have copies of two documents written by members of the Chastain family while living in Lousidendorf and Schwabendorf, Germany in the eighteenth century (the actual copies are in the Hessian State Archives in Marburg, Germany). Even if they don’t offer any more clues, it will be fascinating to discover what’s in them.

The Months According to Simon Bening

January by Simon Bening

January by Simon Bening

This work, titled January, was created in 1515 by Simon Bening, a Flemish book illuminator. This image for the month of January, along with eleven others for February through December, is from the Da Costa Hours, one of many books of hours (medieval devotional books) that Bening illuminated. A book of hours from this time period was filled with, among other things, artwork, calendars, lists of feast days, and prayers.

All twelve of the monthly images are equally charming, so much so that I thought it would be neat to display them on the sidebar of my site. I’ve rigged up a widget that automatically displays Bening’s illustration for the current month. These images, floating around in a few places online, seem to have originated from The Morgan Museum in New York City.