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More about my French connection

In my most recent post,  “We were never Moseleys“, I mentioned that I had discovered that my great-great-grandmother Emma Wilkins left England, where she was born, and moved to France, where she married a Frenchman, Auguste Bodet, in 1870. That led me to my next area of research: to see if I could find out what happened to Emma and her French children. I also wondered if I have any distant cousins in France today.

Emma Wilkins was the mother of William Moseley, my great-grandfather.

Here is a summary of what I have learned so far about Emma Wilkins Bodet.

Emma and Auguste were married July 4, 1870, in Vernantes, France, just North of Saumur (see the photo of Saumur above), where Emma was living and working as a teacher. Auguste was working as a valet in the same region. Saumur is a town in the Maine-et-Loire area in Western France.

Saumur, France
Saumur, France

Life  might have been turbulent for Emma and Auguste, because on July 15th, two weeks after their wedding, France began mobilizing its soldiers for the Franco-Prussian War, which lasted from July 19, 1870, to January 28, 1871, when the Prussians captured Paris.

Map of Vernantes, France
Map of the Vernantes are of France

Emma and Auguste had three daughters, Marie Irma, Marguerite Jeanne, and Augustine Marguerite Marie.

Marie Irma Bodet

Marie Irma was Emma and Auguste’s oldest daughter, born March 20, 1871, in Saumur (see map above). On June 17, 1894, she married Louis Pierre René Jousselin in Paris. Marie Irma died August 7, 1954, in Meaux, Île-de-France, Seine-et-Marne.

Marie Irma and Louis  had a daughter, Marie Louise Jousselin, born December 22, 1898, in Saint-Bonnet , Charente, France.

Some time before 1918, Marie Louise married Eusèbe Désiré Mousset. Eusèbe was in the French infantry during World War I. He died May 8, 1918, in Pizieux, Sarthe, France. The cause of his death was “maladie contractée en service”,  which was probably the Spanish flu. The Spanish flu killed a large fraction of the soldiers that died in the “Great War” in France. The record of his death says he was buried with his wife. Did they both die the same year? Did they have any children?

Marguerite Jeanne Bodet

Marguerite Jeanne was born September 13, 1773, in Saumur. She married Georges Jean Victor Batallier in Paris on September 2, 1894.

The Batalliers had a daughter Emma Georgette Marguerite, born September 6, 1895, in Guédéniau , Maine-et-Loire, Pays De La Loire, France. Guédéniau is just North of Saumur. Emma Georgette Marguerite lived a long life and died February 29, 1976, in Courbevoie, Hauts-De-Seine, Île-De-France, France. Courbevoie is just across the river from the Arc de Triumphe in Paris. So far in my record search I haven’t found any indication that she was ever married.

Augustine Marguerite Marie Bodet

Emma and Auguste’s third daughter, Augustine, was born February 3, 1881, in Guédéniau. She died in infancy on October 9, 1883.

Status and topics for future research

Although I have now learned quite a bit about Emma, Auguste, and their three daughters, I still haven’t found death records for either of them, so I’ll continue to look for that information in the French records that I’m learning to decipher. (I do know that Emma and Auguste were both alive in 1894, the year both their daughters were married.)

In addition, I’d like to get answers to the following questions:

  • Did Auguste serve in the Franco-Prussian war (1870-71)?
  • Did daughters Marie Irma or Marguerite Jeanne  have any more children?
  • Did granddaughter Emma Georgette ever marry?
  • Is there a record of Emma’s death?
  • Are there any living descendants of Emma and Auguste?