CHARLES GIBLOT is the earliest known descendant of this branch of the family.
Born Circa 1670. Died 2 Oct 1729 in Port Louis Mauritius.
He married Anne Claude Convert.
Charles Giblot was born around 1660 to 1680 in the west of France, perhaps in or near Rennes in Brittany. He married Anne Claude Convert around 1700. He was an official of his Majesty King Louis XV of France and lived in Rennes see Map of France from at least 1710 to 1716 during which period he had four of his six children baptised in the church of St. Aubin de Rennes. He probably belonged to the social class known as the "noblesse de robe", i.e. the rank of nobles composed mostly of lawyers, magistrates and senior officials of the King's administration. Indeed, his oldest son Charles François, was admitted to the Parlement de Paris, as a lawyer in 1725.
At the time Charles lived there, Rennes was already a large city and was the seat of the Parliament of Brittany which governed a large region of north-west France. Charles's companions were also noblemen and officials; one of them was even Treasurer of the Troops of Brittany. Their wives and daughters also played active social roles; several of them witnessed the baptisms of four of Charles' children and signed the parish register. One couple, Jean and Anne Le Gay, must have been particularly close friends, as they were present at each ceremony.
Life, however, was quite precarious. Infant mortality was very high, and two of Anne and Charles's children died in 1715 and 1716, before they were two years old. It is likely that a third child, André born in 1716, also died in infancy. This was not all, in 1720 a tremendous fire spread through the medieval streets of Rennes, rapidly engulfing the wooden houses in its flames. Anne and Charles may have witnessed this horrifying scene.
In 1715, King Louis XV who had just succeeded to the throne of France, heard that the French flag had been planted on the Island of Mauritius, which had been abandoned in 1710 by the Dutch. "We, Guillaume Dufresne d'Arsel, captain of the 'Chasseur', by order of the King, christen it Isle de France", was the message he received. The port of the fledgling colony was named Port Louis, and the first Governor, the Chevalier de Nyon, took over in 1722. This early wave of European colonisation focused on the tropics to exploit agricultural products which would complement those already produced in temperate climates. By 1665 the French East India Company had already set up a colony on the Isle de Bourbon (Réunion). Following the colonisation of the Isle de France, it adopted a two pronged approach, whereby the Isle de Bourbon was developed as the 'Granary', and the Isle de France as the 'Port', to provide an important stepping stone on the route from France to India. Excited, probably by the lure of opportunity and the promise of land concessions, many hardy people set off from Brittany and Normandy to the Isle de France. There were administrators, drawn as usual, from the nobility as well as a fair number of military personnel.
Charles and Anne and their three surviving children, Charles François, Jean-Baptiste Félix and Marie Charlotte, by now young adults, were amongst them. They said goodbye to France in April 1729, and set foot aboard the "Duc de Chartres" on the five-month journey from Lorient round the Cape of Good Hope and across the Indian Ocean. As was the custom, they most likely brought along their beds and other basic furniture to make the journey more comfortable, and to ensure that they had the minimum equipment for their new home in the tropics. Nevertheless, they probably soon grew tired of the food and water which was rarely fresh, and their clothes, heavy and elaborate, would have been ill-adapted to life at sea. The constant motion of the ship tossing on the waves, the flapping of the sails and the creaking of the ship's ancient wooden planks would also have been difficult to endure. It was no doubt a great relief to them when the "Duc de Chartres" eventually sailed into the harbour of Port Louis on 19th August 1729.
It is difficult to imagine exactly how the Giblots felt on arrival in the Isle de France. Were they impressed by the tropical scenery, the strangely shaped mountain peaks, the contrast of the emerald green land with the turquoise blue of the sea? And did they appreciate the warm climate? Or were they wondering how they were going to survive in such rustic surroundings with none of the urban comforts they were used to back home? And was this where they were going to live, in this little hut? Once their belongings were unloaded from the ship they probably set up home as best they could. The colony was still very small. There were only some 150 inhabitants, the majority of whom were soldiers based in two regiments, one on either side of the harbour. The rest of the population was composed of 30 settlers and 20 slaves. The Isle de France had remained deserted ever since the Dutch left it in 1710, and there were no dangerous animals or reptiles, only sumptuously coloured birds and butterflies and lots of deer, which the Dutch had introduced from their colony on the island of Java. There were no longer any of those big swanlike birds which the Dutch had described, called the dodo, which had been so easy to catch that they were quickly exterminated down to the very last one. There were plenty of fish in the sea, and the deer were a good source of meat, if one were able to hunt them. The worst thing was certainly the enormous number of insects, and it would probably have seemed lonely with such a small population.
The Giblots' house was very sparsely furnished. They fashioned a sideboard from two wine barrels with the tops knocked in and stored their china and cutlery in it, six of each. For cooking utensils they had only some iron pots, a stew pan and an old iron grill. They had brought with them two candlesticks and two copper lamps, and they had to make do with tallow candles and rape-seed oil. Charles, whose health was probably affected by the difficult journey from France, fell sick, and although his wife and daughter must have done all they could to nurse him, he died on 2nd October 1729, "having received the sacraments of penitence and extreme unction but too ill to receive Holy Communion". The Curé Borthon, priest of the Congregation of the Mission of Port Louis, buried him in the cemetery of the little colony on the same day and signed the entry of his death, in the parish register, in the presence of Charles François Giblot, Charles's older son, Mr. Nicolas Maupin, the General Commander of the Isle de France, and Mr. Jean Baptiste Villecourt de la Motte, his daughter's fiancé, who was a Captain in the Infantry.
The top portion of the illustration is the actual death certificate and the lighter portion, certification of authenticity by the Archives in Port Louis. The death Certificate reads:-
This year of grace one thousand seven hundred and twenty nine, the second of October, died Nobleman Charles Giblot, formerly involved in the King's Affairs in France and recently arrived in this island, after receiving the sacraments of penitence and extreme unction, his sickness having prevented him from receiving Holy Communion, and was interred the said day and year above-mentioned in the cemetery of this parish by me the undersigned priest of the Congregation of the Mission, Curé of Port Louis of the Isle de France in presence of Mister Nicolas Maupin, general commander of the Isle de France, Mr. Jean Baptiste de Villecourt de la Motte, Infantry Lieutenant, known witnesses, and undersigned with Charles François Giblot, lawyer at the Parliament of Paris, son of the deceased, signed as follows: Maupin, Giblot, Villecour de la Motte
Soon after his death, for the purposes of inheritance, the colony's lawyer, Maître de Fouilleuse, made an inventory of his belongings. The lawyer noted that he lived in the Faubourg St. Louis du Port, that he was "Director of the Affairs of His Majesty the King" and that he left a widow and two sons. The older son was Councillor in the Upper Council of the Isle de France; the younger one was a Captain in the Infantry. He states there were no cupboards, just three big chests with brass locks, three mattresses and three pillows. The first chest served as a cupboard for the sheets, tablecloths, napkins, handkerchiefs and other linen. In it were twelve sheets worth thirty pounds, six tablecloths worth fifteen pounds, two dozen embroidered napkins worth twenty pounds, three dozen small napkins in coarse cloth worth ten pounds, and twelve old cotton handkerchiefs, Holland fashion, worth five pounds. The second chest held the father's belongings: three breeches and three leggings worth four pounds, one old jacket and breeches worth fifteen pounds, one old black jacket and breeches lined in black material worth four pounds, six pans in tinplate worth four pounds and ten sols, six ordinary knives worth ten pounds, two old wigs worth two pounds, six spoons and six forks in metal worth thirty sols, eighteen Cadix plates worth thirty-six sols, six goblets in china worth twelve sols, two pairs of old grey woollen stockings worth twenty sols, and four old pairs of shoes also worth twenty sols. The third chest contained his wife's belongings.
Thus ended in this sad fashion Charles Giblot's long voyage to the Isle de France. But, although he didn't know it, the family he and his wife founded, is still flourishing three hundred years later, with members settled far and wide, in many countries throughout the world.
His wife's family name, Convert, is spelt in several different ways according to various records: Convers, Converse, Convet, Couvert. We have chosen Convert as this is how she is named in her son, Jean-Baptiste Félix's baptism record of 1710. We don't know where she was born nor anything about her family. Nor do we know how old she was when she married Charles Giblot. After the journey with her husband and children to the Isle de France she survived for two years in the rough conditions of the early colony. She died on 13th May 1732 "aged about forty five to fifty years" (according to the record of her death) and the Curé Borthon buried her in the Port Louis parish cemetery in the presence of her two sons, Mr. Charles François Giblot, "lawyer at the Parlement of Paris, councillor in the provincial council of the island", and Mr. Jean-Baptiste Félix Giblot du Cray, and her son-in-law, Mr. Jean-Baptiste de Villecourt de la Motte, Infantry Lieutenant.
They had the following children:
i. Charles François Giblot
ii. Jean-Baptiste Félix Giblot du Cray
iii. Marie Charlotte Denise Bénédicte Giblot
iv. Magdeleine Giblot
v. Augustin Charles Giblot
vi. André Giblot