Name: Jean Baptiste Laurent
Born: 21 Feb 1820
Place: Hamme-Mille, Brabant Wallon, Belgium
Died: 22 July 1893
Place: Door County, WI
Married: 11 April 1847
Place: Nodebais, Brabant Wallon, Belgium
Is this Jean Baptiste
Laurent? See footnote.1
Fanny Steward's death certificate lists her father as "Babtist Laurance,"
born in Belgium. Several Belgian-born men named Jean Baptiste Laurent were
living in Wisconsin during the middle and late nineteenth century. This man
is not found on any of the census records we'd expect to find him. The
documents below, however, help explain that absence. They also prove that
the man who died in 1893 was the man born in Hamme-Mille in 1820 by virtue
of the mention of his daughter's [Josephine] family. The direct link to Fanny Laurent Steward, however, has not been made, (it has
now been!) but the circumstantial evidence, especially that the family
immigrated to Wisconsin where Fannie started her family, is convincing.
Per Netra Dyle, Jean
Baptiste Laurent and Marie Vandermeluen of Brabant-Wallon had
the following children, all born in the village of Hamme-Mille:
||That she is the same woman who died in California
isn't wholly proven but the circumstantial evidence is very
|Marie Josephine Laurent
||Married first Alexander Degrand, 2nd August Conard.
The proof of relationship is found below. See PenBelGen
for further information about her family.
|Marie Florentine Laurent
||Married Francois Simon, Borwn County, 20 May 1873.
Door County Advocate, 25 June 1885, volume 24, issue 9, page
The Duchy of Brabant, 1477
John Baptist Laurent, an old Belgian, was last week adjudged
insane by a couple of physicians ordered to conduct the examination by the
county judge and application made for his admission to an asylum. The case
is not a dangerous one, however, as the old man is still at large and
plodding along on the even tenor of his way. In his rational moods he says
it appears to him as if a lot of pigeons are constantly buzzing about his
ears, though he is unable to locate the cause of the sensation. Laurent is
a father-in-law of Alex Degrandgagnago and he was up to a few years ago an
inmate of the Brown county poor house. Since his son-in-law's removal back
to the town of Union, the old man has lived alone, occupying a part of the
family domicile of Spruce street.
The Democrat, 27 July 1893, volume 20, issue 43, page
Death of J. B. Laurent
J. B. Laurent, better known as "Old Baptiste," died in this city on
Saturday at the age of 74 years. The old man was a native of Belgium,
having emigrated to this country in 1856. He lived at Green Bay until about
eight years ago when he came here. During the past few years he has been
supported by the city, and in spite of his advanced age he has paid for his
keeping by cleaning the streets and doing other similar work, it being only
within a month or two that he became too feeble to work. His funeral took
place on Monday from the Catholic church.
Marie Josephine Laurent De Grandgagnage Conard
Josephine [and husband?]
The following paragraph about Baptiste's daughter is taken from a
biographical sketch of her husband, Alexandre De Grandgagnage, Sr., also
known as Alexander Degrand. [Source: Holand, Hjalmar R., 1917, History
of Door County Wisconsin, The Country Beautiful, S.J. Clarke Publishing
Company, Chicago, Volume II, p. 109-10, from transcription at PenBelGen]
It was in 1867 that Mr. Degrand was united in marriage to Miss
Josephine Lawrence, a daughter of John and Mamie Vandermill Lawrence [Marie
Vandermeulen Laurent]. She was born in Belgium and in her early girlhood
became a resident of Wisconsin. The family crossed the Atlantic and settled
in Green Bay and her father was employed in sawmill work at different
places, spending his last days, however, in Sturgeon Bay, in the home of his
daughter, Mrs. Degrand.
Holt's Sawmill, 1856.
This is the kind of place Baptiste might have worked at.
Additional Laurent births in Hamme-Mille for the c1840-1860 period
include children for couples Pierre Joseph Laurent and Marie Catherine
Detiege, Emmanuel Francois Laurent and Marie Philippine Helaerts, Jean
Baptiste and Marie Julienne Demaret, Alexandre Joseph Laurent and Marie
Justine Sprutelle, Thomas Joseph Laurent and Jeanne Pauline Robert, Louis
Joseph and Josephine Robert. Here are the parents for four of them. Other
records reveal that Pierre Joseph and Jean Baptiste were brothers.
Pierre Joseph Laurent (1793-)
m 1819 Marie Catherine Detiege --> Jean Baptiste (1820-)
Thomas Joseph (1822-)
Louis Joseph (1828-)
Jean Baptiste Laurent (1786-)
m 1817 Marie Catherine Snaps ----> Alexandre Joseph (1823-)
Hamme-Mille, the home of this Laurent family, is about 50 miles east of
Brussels and 100 miles southeast of Antwerp:
View Larger Map
Here we find the Hamme-Mille area of Brabant-Wallon in relationship to
other villages (Nethen, Nodebais, Beauvechain, Melin) mentioned in Netra
Dyle database for these families. L'Ecluse appears to now be a neighborhood
or district of Wavre, located in the southwest corner of this map.
View Larger Map
(Last modified on Friday, 27-May-2016 00:18:16 CDT)
All original portions ©
Michael Cooley, OrbitInternet.net -