The German Connection and Chinese Whispers, a postscript to the French Connection and Chinese Whispers.


While following up on whether the second husband of Jacquette Marie Schmaltz could be the Captain of the ship in the story of the apple barrels, some interesting things were discovered.

According to the French researcher Henri Philippe Louis Maurel,  the occupation of Jacquette’s second husband, Jacques le Vieux was as a negotiant/interpreter. Unfortunately, it seems, there is no ship’s captain there. Jacquette’s father, Jean Jacques Boniface Schmaltz was also listed as a negotiant. Curiosity led me to decide to see exactly what this occupation of negotiant entailed in 18th century France. Even though I had never encountered such an occupation in my research, I had a general idea but I wanted to know more about it. A negotiant, it turns out, was a merchant who acted as a middleman. He would obtain and sell goods made by others that he imported from other areas around the country and from other foreign countries. He did not belong to the Guild. On the other hand, an artisan sold his own wares and was a highly respected merchant and member of the Guild. The negotiant was not so well respected because he was not an artisan, but he did have connections, and because of his trade with other countries he was often fluent in other languages – hence his ability to also work as an interpreter. One could imagine he also travelled by ship to purchase his wares … still some room for the apple barrel story.

I used Google to find what I could about these occupations and I also searched on the name Jean Jacques Boniface Schmaltz, mostly finding others researching the name as I was, but there was one book that I had initially ignored as it was written in French. Unfortunately, my French does not go beyond one or two phrases but something made me go back and look at it anyway. The book was titled:

La vie diverse et volontaire du colonel Julien, Désiré Schmaltz, Officier des Forces Indo-Néerlandaises, puis de l’Armée Française, Commandant pour le Roi et Administrateur du Sénégal et Dépendances, Consul Général de France à Smyrne (Turquie), (1771-1827) .

Google translate to the rescue and I had found a nice little gold mine on page 266 about Jean Jacques. The gist of which is:

…The considerable movement of affairs which had been dealt with on the spot had attracted to Lorient not only the French but also many foreigners.

In the middle of the eighteenth century, the German Colony included among its members, a young negotiator named Jean Boniface Schmaltz, son of Pierre Schmaltz, Prevot and Agent of the Grand Chapter of the city of Speyer, capital of Rhineland Palatinate and Catherine Schlukin, of the parish of Saint-Leon de Schaidt, located in the diocese of Speyer.

Was Pierre Schmaltz a native of Speyer or of Alsace, as his grandson asserted? We cannot say. Whatever may have been the case, Jean Boniface Schmaltz undoubtedly manifested his intention of incorporating himself into France by marrying Louise Teissieres-Desclos, born in Lorient, daughter of Charles Francois Teissieres, on August 1, 1761, and by Anne Jacquette of Byrne, in front of the Abbott Charles Allio, and in presence of the parents of the marriage, Francois Rhot (Roth) Director and Commandant of the Port, Germain Guillois, JB Jussares, of Plesix de Jores, and finally of Denise of Byrne, who all signed the register of marriages.

The name of Byrne suggests that the maternal grandfather of Louise Teissieres-Desclos was of Irish origin; that of his father suggests, on the contrary, a Gascon ancestry.

When his fourth son, Desire cut his elementary classes, Jean Boniface Schmaltz of the trading house was one of the richest in the city and, at the foundation of the Consulate in 1782, had been elected a member of this body. He conceived the ambition of making him do his humanities, as it was then called, that is to say his secondary studies. Thanks to influential relations, he had him admitted to the Royal Military School of Tiron, today Thiron -Gardais, not far from Nogent-le-Rotrou, in the Department of Eure-et-Loir.

In spite of its name, this institution had nothing to do with the military. There were nine others and they were, in reality, simple educational establishments led by members of various religious congregations occasionally secured by a few laics.

Speyer is in Germany so, the French Connection becomes a German Connection! Not so surprising as the name Schmaltz sounds German.

The translation took quite some time as I couldn’t cut and paste. I had to transcribe and then copy and paste into Google translate. Very frustrating but I was well pleased with the results of my labour. I also spent some time researching the places mentioned as, in some cases, I needed to understand more about them to enable me to make sense of the, sometimes literal, Google translation. While putting my research notes together, I decided I would also translate the title of the book to use as a source document:

The diverse and voluntary life of Colonel Julien, Désiré Schmaltz, Officer of the Indo-Dutch Forces, then of the French Army, Commander for the King and Administrator of Senegal and Dependencies, Consul General of France in Smyrna (Turkey) (1771- 1827). L. Jore 1953

Senegal jumped out at me! As mentioned in the notes at the end of my previous story, Marie Josephine Furteau (1795 – 1865) was also said to be the niece of the Governor of Senegal, Governor Smalley. She definitely was a niece of Colonel Julien Desire Schmaltz, the subject of the book and according to the title of the book, he was Administrator of Senegal. Administrator is the same as Governor. Chinese whispers had corrupted the name Schmaltz to Smalley! There is always some truth somewhere in every family tradition. I am not quite sure how I am going to go about confirming the apple barrels though.

Picture: Speyer Cathedral original Westwork 1606 by 01:10, 27. Jan. 2008 (CET) (Wallraff-Richartz-Museum, Köln) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


©Lynette Nunn 2016