Tag Archives: Panchaud

Lucky to be here

You know, it is actually mind boggling when one stops to consider how did I get to be here … exist, that is. I mean, when you really think about all the dots that had to connect to make it possible for each one of us to be here … and then for our descendants to be here, it is actually amazing to ponder.

We all come from ancestors, who thankfully, lived long enough to begat our grandparents, our great-grandparents, our great-great-grandparents… well, you get the picture. And in those early days, that was no small feat.


Burial record for 4th great-grandmother, Celindah Court Brown, 9 March 1843 at St. Thomas Cathedral, Bombay, India

I’ve been hunting for evidence of my 4th great-grandmother, Celindah Court’s parents for years. She was born about 1805 in Calcutta, Bengal, India  and although I have found her marriage record, death records and records for all of her children, I have yet to determine who her parents were or even an exact birthday for her.

I have been fortunate enough to find an 1813 baptism record for her that took place in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England which lists her parents as Malay. Her father was English, of that I am certain, otherwise she would not have been able to marry as well and own property as she did, nor would she have been taken to England to be baptized. But, a Malay mother is certainly a possibility and my DNA does seem to back that up, showing that my genetic makeup consists of two percent of Asia East.

A couple of months ago, I came across a will for an Elizabeth Court, who recognizes my 4x great-grandmother in her will as her goddaughter. Obviously, my grandmother was very much loved, as she was left money, jewels and all of Elizabeth’s property and goods that weren’t specifically given to someone else . At first I thought that perhaps Elizabeth was Celindah’s aunt, possibly a sister to her father and was quite excited that Elizabeth could be my missing link to breaking down my break wall. Turns out, I believe my hypothesis is half right… more extensive review of the will shows that Elizabeth was a widow, which means Court was her married name. I now believe Elizabeth is Celindah’s aunt but her father’s sister-in-law. The next step was to figure out who Elizabeth’s husband was and I found that out tonight. Thomas Court married Elizabeth Fisher in 1799 in Calcutta, Bengal, India. How do I know I have the right man? Thomas and Elizabeth Court had a son named Thomas Rowland Court… who happens to be mentioned in Elizabeth’s will, confirming I am on the right track.

But, that still hasn’t helped me yet identify Celindah’s father, but I feel I am getting closer and the closer I get, the more I am aware that it is by happenstance that I am here… thinking… breathing… able to write these words in the first place. Elizabeth died at 50. Her husband, Thomas died at 40. Their son died at 25 and his daughter at two and his wife at 26. My 4x great grandmother’s parents were missing from her life at her baptism and she was only about eight years old then. Celindah, in fact died at 38 after having nine children with only six of them living when she passed. Four of them died before they were 30 years of age. One daughter lived to be 73 and yet, another daughter, my 3rd great-grandmother Celindah Elizabeth Jane Brown, her first born, actually lived to be be 94 years old. How lucky is that?


Birth/Baptism record of 3rd great-grandmother, Celindah Elizabeth Jane Brown, 25 April 1828 in Bombay, India

That grandmother, Celindah Elizabeth Jane, who was born in Bombay, India, married Francis Clough and had 10 children by the time she was 33, with my 2nd great-grandmother, Mary Audin Clough being their firstborn. Celindah Elizabeth Jane lost three of those children by age 29 and her husband, my 3rd great-grandfather at 39.


2nd great-grandmother, Mary Audin Clough Panchaud (1846-1909)

My great-great-grandmother, Mary Audin, had been widowed twice and buried three children by age 30 when she met and married my 2nd great-grandfather, Louis Panchaud in England. He was 23 years older than she was and also a widower. Their marriage would only last 12 months before he committed suicide. Mary had given birth six months after their marriage and was pregnant with my great-grandfather, Louis Benoni Panchaud, when he killed himself. My great-grandfather was born eight months later and it’s quite possible his father had no idea he was leaving his wife with child. After a life full of heartache and death, Mary Audin died alone at age 63 in Dimboola, Victoria, Australia. Mary’s two sons did live to reach adulthood. My Uncle Albert became a man of the cloth, thus having no children, and also died at age 63 in Cornwall, England, a beloved parish priest.


Great-Grandfather, Louis Benoni Panchaud (1878-1950) and family, including grandfather, Louis William Panchaud (1922-2006) in sailor suit

My great-grandfather immigrated to Bermuda, where he met my great-grandmother and begat four children of his own, including my grandfather, Louis.

In the grand scheme of things, I consider myself quite lucky that I even exist. I mean, each one of my grandparents was a child that outlived their siblings. For all but a couple, they had to grow up without their parents. While familial lines were ceasing to exist on collateral lines, mine continued. When you think about it that way… it’s pretty amazing that I, let alone my children, are even here. But here we are and here we continue… and now my children are bringing the next generation to life.

Although, I haven’t been able to find who begat the first Celindah, I’d like to think that she is smiling down at what she started and perhaps she plays a small part in my trouble at finding her parents … maybe this is her way of ensuring that her memory continues and a reminder that without her, there would be no me.


A good woman

This story for my Auntie was written as I was on the road, headed back home to West Tennessee from her funeral in Ohio. Thinking of her all day, I quickly put pen to paper or rather fingers to keyboard, to flesh out my thoughts. After being home and rested for a bit, I looked back at what I had written and felt I could do better. So, for those who have read my story earlier, please forgive me for a few changes. Auntie Audie brought out the best in all she came in contact with and respectfully so, deserves the best in return. 

Six days ago a door to my family’s history was closed. Its doorkeeper, a wondrous storyteller, bridged the past to the future – connecting present generations to generations long past and reminded us of our family’s rich heritage and devotion to God.

Yesterday, our family matriarch was laid to rest and with her, our connection to a glimpse of a Bermuda long gone. Although we lost our beloved sister, mother, grandmother and auntie, her leaving was not just a time of mourning and sadness, but also of a celebration of her life and the love that she gave to us all. The lessons that she taught us in life – love of family, of life and for the almighty – carried over in her remembrance. A gathering of family – siblings, children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews – came together to celebrate and to remember the woman, who without, many would not be here today.

She was my grandfather’s younger sister and although she was two generations from me, she was one of my favorite family members. Auntie Audie meant a great deal to me. Growing up, I would see her quite often when she visited my grandparents, who lived in the same small town in Ohio. Or we would go to her home for visits, which I loved to do because she had a swimming pool and was always ready to offer a swim, even if I came without a suit, she would tell me she had one for me to use! She was always one who loved to spoil too with snacks and soda, as well as lots of hugs and kisses.


Father, Louis Benoni holding baby Dorothy Audine, mom Dorothy “Dorrie” May Tatem, and brothers Louis “Billy” William and Albert “Ray” Raymond Panchaud


Dorothy Audine Panchaud

Dorothy Audine Panchaud Richards was born at home on Thursday, January 20, 1927 in Spanish Point, Bermuda. The third child and only daughter of Louis Benoni Panchaud and Dorothy May Tatem, she was welcomed by her older brothers, four-year old Billy (Louis William) and two-year old Ray (Albert Raymond).

A third brother (and probably her favorite because she could spoil him since he was so much younger than her) joined the family about 10 years later. Named for her mother and grandmother Mary Audin Clough, who in turn was named for her grandmother Mary Audin, Dorothy was called Audie during her life and grew to be a beautiful and stately woman.


Grandmother Mary Audin Clough

Born into a prominent and old Bermuda family, whose ties to the island began in the 1600s, she grew up healthy, strong, very independent and very much loved, surrounded by a large and extended family on the island.
MARR_PANCHAUDAudine_RICHARDSRobertShe met the love of her life, Robert “Bob” Sanford Richards, a young American sailor while he was on duty in Bermuda. Marriage at 20 and five children soon followed, as well as a move that would take her from her island home to a new home and country in 1952.


Audie and younger brother Michael Panchaud

A gifted pianist, she taught hundreds of students for more than five decades to embrace their talents and to develop a love of music. A steadfast fixture at the organ of her home church, you could find her every Sunday, filling the sanctuary with beautiful and heartfelt music in tribute and honor of her beloved savior.

Audie led a life many dream of – her family and friends were always close by, and she found fulfillment in her life taking care of her family – her children and her many grandchildren, great grandchildren and nieces and nephews and through her selfless service to the church and to others in need. She was a true woman of God and a genuine friend.

Always a teacher, she was the one who helped instill in me my love of genealogy and my thirst to know where my family came from. From her many albums of old family photographs handed down to her from her mother to her stories and anecdotes of family members which seemed to make the past come alive, her love of family showed through and has been my guiding force as I strive to learn exactly who we are, where we come from and to honor our ancestors who made it possible for us to be here today. For that, I will be eternally indebted to her. I am happy that I was able to introduce her to my contribution to our family’s history and lineage – my sons and her great-great grand nephews and her great-great-great grand nephew, my grandson Liam soon after he was born.

RICHARDS_Robert_AudinePANCHAUD_Nov 2006Uncle Bob, her beloved husband of 70 years was called home first on December 1, 2015 and Auntie Audie, I’m sure feeling she could not continue without him, soon followed less than two months later. I believe they are both laughing and happy to be together once more and I’m willing to bet they have joined her oldest brother and my grandpa, Louis “Billy” William Panchaud and my nana, Angelena Dorothy Mello Panchaud, in a friendly game of bowling once more.

Rest in peace loved ones, for we will soon see one another once more.

In awe of the past

I have been spending the past 10 days on a dream vacation…. a week of research at the world’s largest genealogical library – The Family History Library in Salt Lake City. It’s been a week with no children, no husband, no work (well, almost… I still wrote a couple of stories for this week’s Leader), and almost no school (online classes ;-))

And even with that little bit of work and school I had to do, I have had an AMAZING week! Ten to 12 hours a day of researching, give or take an hour depending on if I remembered to stop to eat. I have scoured through books written in the mid-1800s, examined Internet resources which made available documents and newspapers from all over the world from the past four centuries and my favorite – microfilms documenting marriages, births, deaths, military service and censuses, some as early as 1712! This trip I have visited Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, India, Switzerland and England, all without leaving the warmth of the library.

There is something about being able to view an original document which exists as testament to the life of your ancestors. On my last trip in July, I located the 1827 marriage certificate of my 4th great-grandparents, William and Celinda Court Brown and the 1844 marriage certificate of my 3rd great-grandparents, Francis and Celinda Brown Clough from BOMBAY, INDIA… Talk about an amazing feeling! This time, I found banns (wedding announcements) and death notices written in French from my PANCHAUD line in Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland from 1712… pouvez-vous dire merveilleux?

Death certificate of Jean Francois Panchaud

Death certificate of Mary Roberts

Death certificate of 11 month-old Mary Roberts

I also found the death records of my great-great-grandmother’s first husband and their daughter, my great-great-great-great auntie, who both died in Bombay, India in 1869, just five months apart from each other. Her husband of less than two years, Robert Clifton Roberts was 34 years old and died from an abscessed wound. He was thought of very highly in his community and the local newspaper, The Times of India, reported on Mar. 1, 1869 that his death was sincerely regretted. My 11-month-old auntie, Mary Roberts, died from convulsions. Finding their death notices helped explain why my great-great grandmother left her home and her family and traveled thousands of miles to England in the 1870s after spending her entire life in India. I can imagine how distraught she must have been to have lost her husband and baby within months of each other. She probably was trying to get away from the place that held so much pain for her, even though it was the place of her birth. But at the same time, even though I feel sadness at their passing and what could have been, when I look at those records I can’t help but think if they hadn’t died, I would not be here today. Because it was their deaths that drove my gggrandmother to England where she met my gggrandfather, and in turn, begat my line.

I also learned some American history this week. I located a census of the Indiana Territory for 1807 which listed every free white man living in the territory before it was a state. There was only 616 names on the list! I find that simply incredible that I have a document in my hands that list every single person living in the state of Indiana, before it was a state, and there’s just over 600 names on the list! My sixth-great grandfather, Alexander Guard and two of his sons, David (my 5th great grandfather) and Timothy were listed on the census. They had traveled from New Jersey with their families after the Revolutionary War by following the Ohio River, arriving at North Bend, Ohio in the spring of 1790 and moved to, what is now Dearborn County, Ind. in 1796.

There is so much history to be learned by digging up the past – The history of our ancestors and of our descendants. The reason we are here and the path we are taking. Genealogy is the map to discovering our history. Give it a try and learn the stories of your past.

Panchaud & Cunning

The London Gazette, 6 June 1812

Take notice that the business of Clock and Watch-Makers, heretofore carried on by the undersigned, at No. 202, In Oxford Street, in the County of Middlesex, under the firm of Panchaud and Cunning was determined by mutual consent on the 15th day of April now instant; and that the said business will be for the future carried on by the said John Cumming on his sole account – Dated April 21, 1812.

Jane Ambrose,  Late Panchaud.

Jno. Cumming.
Liverpool, June 1, 1812

St. Nicholas of Wilden & Albert Panchaud

St Nicholas Church

St. Nicholas Church, Wilden, Bedfordshire, England

The Church of England’s St. Nicholas at Wilden was built around 1200 AD and is built in the Gothic style of stone. The church consists of chancel, nave, south porch and a tower which holds three bells. The church is located in the small parish of Wilden in the county of Bedforeshire, England.

Earliest mention of the church is 1231 when it was in the King’s gift. In 1291 the living was valued at £13. 6s. 8d. The earliest church records date to the year 1545 and the following is the known list of rectors for Wilden St. Nicholas.

  • Nicholas de Breaut – 1222
  • Peter Ridel – 1237
  • Simon de Pabenham – 1246
  • Robert de Bueles – 1264
  • Malcolm de Harlye – 1273
  • Simon de Pavenham – 1298
  • John de Pabenham – 1321
  • Edmund de Pavenham – 1343
  • Robert Braybrok – 1361
  • Robert de Eston – 1362
  • William de Lokyngton – 1373
  • John Amy – 1375
  • John Seward – 1412
  • Thomas Gyles – 1416
  • Thomas Bylman – 1421
  • Richard Elstowe – 1456
  • Thomas Mychel – 1456
  • William Brande – 1472
  • Richard Kirkby – 1505
  • John Phillips – 1571
  • Walter Atkins – 1577
  • Richard Worsley – 1579
  • Francis Dillingham – 1600
  • Jasper Fisher – 1624
  • Thomas Watson – 1643
  • Thomas Rolt – 1657
  • John Nodes – 1695
  • Robert Paradine – 1718
  • Thomas Holme – 1742
  • William Fisher – 1747
  • Robert Holt Butcher – 1774
  • Edward Emily – 1779
  • Samuel Kent – 1781
  • William Morris – 1784
  • William Morris – 1806
  • John Vaux Moore – 1822
  • William Shove Chalk -1835
  • Richard Gregory Chalk – 1849
  • Edward W. Jones -1899
  • Robert Davies – 1905
  • John R. Pullan – 1907
  • Reginald Paddick – 1927
  • Albert L. Panchaud – 1931
  • Richard C. Chalk – 1941
  • Signey W. Golding – 1946
  • William R. Peverley – 1954
  • Leonard B. Impson – 1962
  • David Lewthwaite – 1975
  • Lawrence Griffith – 1980
  • John Heffer – 1988
  • Robin Rogers – 1992
  • Sheila Morton – 2008

Father Edmund de Pavenham survived the plague in which many victims were buried in a pit between the church and South Brook. And another famous rector, Francis Dillingham (1600-1624), was a translator of the authorized version, King James, of the Bible. He was buried at Wilden but no memorial or trace of the grave has been found.

Albert L Panchaud

The Reverend Albert Louis Panchaud, 1877-1941

My great uncle Albert Louis PANCHAUD was rector of St. Nicholas from 1932 until his death in 1941.

The Bedford Times

June 13, 1941 page 5


Loss to Two Bedfordshire Parishes

The funeral took place at Wilden Parish Church on Saturday of the Rev. Albert Louis Panchaud, late Rector of Wilden and Vicar of Ravensden, who died on 3rd June at the age of sixty-five years at St. Veryan, near Truro, Cornwall.

Mr. Panchaud was trained for the Ministry at the St. Aidan’s Clergy Training Hotel, Ballarat, Australia.  Ordained Deacon in 1904 and Priest the following year by the Bishop of Ballarat, he worked in the Church of Australia for six years.  He was for two years in India, and was teaching in England for five years, being for some time Head Master of Oak House School, Axminster, Somerset.  In 1918 he was in Egypt and Palestine.  Returning to England in 1919, he became Assistant Curate of Furneaux Pelham, Hertfordshire.  The next year he went to Throcking, Hertfordshire, as Rector, where he stayed until 1931.

Mr. Panchaud became Rector of Wilden and Vicar of Ravensden in 1931 and resigned last November because of ill-health.  He was popular in his parishes, had a good influence over young people, and took a great pride in the upkeep and beautifying of the churches.  Until he went to Cornwall three weeks ago, he had been residing at Home Farm, Ravensden.


A large and representative congregation from Wilden and Ravensden attended the funeral, the following clergy being present: The Rev. E. Fisher, Rector of Little Staughton, who read the opening Sentences; the Rev J. Luxford, Curate-in-Charge of Wilden and Ravensden, who read the Lesson; the Rev. H. F. D. Wynne, Rector of Colmworth, who said the Prayers in church; the Rev. W. G. Gould, Rector of Pertenhall, who read the Sentences at the graveside; and the Rural Dean, the Rev. J. Paulson, Vicar of Riseley, who said the Committal.  Miss M. Harrison was at the organ, and the choir was present.  The late Rector’s favourite hymns, “Jesu, lover of my soul” and “Fight the good fight,” were sung, and the Twenty-third Psalm was chanted.

Floral tributes were sent from: Brother and family, Bermuda; Clergy of Riseley Rural Deanery; Children and staff, Wilden School; Organist and choir, Wilden; Members of Ravensden P.C.C.; Hilda and Monty, Home Farm, Ravensden; Mrs. Harden and Nancy; All at Rosedale; Mr. and Mrs. Wootton and family; Miss Wiles, Bedford; Mrs. And Mrs. Whitmore and family; Mr. and Mrs. Dean and family; Mr. and Mrs. Coles and Mr. and Mrs. Draper and Mary; Mr. and Mrs. Pell; Mr. and Mrs. Filsell; Mr. and Mrs. Lovell and family; Mr. and Mrs. Pell; Mr. and Mrs. Croft and family; Friend Albert; Friend Marjorie.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. Clarabut and Plumbe of Bedford.


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