Name of a Thousand Blue Demons
By Cheryl L. Huttner
In the process of some genealogical research I have located some information on the de Grandin line that I believe successfully integrates it with the main Wold Newton Universe information. "Grandin" is a fairly common French name, with many forms, such as Legrand, Grandet, Grandin, etc. The de Grandin line that leads to Jules de Grandin can be traced back to a Josce-Pierre de Grandin and his wife Isabelle Hugonin. Isabelle gave birth to twins, Jacques-Yves and Anatole de Grandin in 1785. Because Isabelle was minor nobility, Josce (a merchant) having married above his station, the family fled to England during the French Revolution. (Possibly helped by the notorious Scarlet Pimpernel). Afterwards, the family returned to help rebuild the nation and Jacques, the elder, inherited the family lands. Jacques married Seraphine Austin (I am uncertain if she is related to the Austins connected to the Challeger/Rutherford family.) Their only son Josue-Laurent married Helene Gerard, (who, according to her daughter) was supposedly a sister of Brigadier Gerard. (I have been unable to locate a sister of the Brigadier with that birthdate, but have found an Uncle of his, who married a Maigret. I suspect that, given her birthdate, Helene is actually a cousin of the Brigadier.) Anatole went to the American continent to make his own fortune. There he settled among the Crow nation, marrying a Crow maiden named Snow Cat. In 1829 Jacques, his son Josue, and daughter-in-law Helene were killed by bandits shortly after the birth of Josue and Helene's only child, Geralda. Josce, who survived the attack, sent for his youngest son, notifying him of the situation.
In his discussion of Sir William Clayton's -um- vast contribution to the spreading of the Wold Newton mutations, Mr. Farmer uses the information provided by Sir William in his memoirs. In there, there is a brief mention of Sir William's third marriage, during his trip to the American Rockies with the Rubinroth expedition. No date is given but the timeframe sets it between 1827-1831. The comment reads: "William m. thirdly, Marie, dau. of ___ GRANDIN (emphasis mine), a French trapper and of a Crow woman, while living with the Crows." He returned to England after his wife drowned in a mountain stream. He wrote about this period in a bestseller of the time "Blood and Love Among the Redskins" which Mr. Farmer used as his source.
My research indicates that (1) the unnamed Grandin mentioned here was, in fact, Anatole de Grandin and (2) there was a child born of this union. That son was Jules de Grandin's grandfather. I believe that the information on Marie's death was inaccurate but that Sir William believed it to be the truth. There was an accident, in which Marie and her mother were washed away and believed lost. Snow Cat, in fact was drowned and it was her body they found. When they returned to the village with her body, Anatole turned on his son-in-law in a blind, grieving rage. He had just received word from France of the deaths of his brothers' family, leaving only his grandniece. Now his wife and daughter had also apparently perished. He drove Sir William away and still grief stricken, never notified him when Marie was found alive. Marie lived only long enough to give birth to a son. Anatole took the child, Phillippe-Guillaume, back to France as his own late-born child. Phillippe married his cousin Geralda and their son Jean-Nicolas married a Serene Delagardie. Jean and Serene were the parents of Jules de Grandin. Interestingly enough, Serene Delagardie seems to be the daughter of a Vernet, possibly a sister of the same family who married into the Poirot and Holmes families. (There is a slight resemblance between Hercule Poirot and Jules de Grandin.)
I am appending a simple chart of what my research indicates is the (true) de Grandin family line. The line, as it appears in most French records, makes Phillippe the son of Anatole without mentioning Marie. Phillippe is describes as being the son of 'a trapper's daughter'. There are concurrent claims of his possibly being of 'mixed blood', though this was never confirmed outright. The cousin-marriage, according to those rumors, was designed not only to link the two lines, but to provide a bride who could not object to his background.
Josce-Pierre de Grandin - Isabelle Hugonin
2nd Generation: Children of Josce-Pierre de Grandin & Isabelle Hugonin
1. Jacques-Yves de Grandin b. 1785 - Seraphine Austin (?)
2. Anatole Grandin b. 1785 - Snow Cat (Crow)
A. Child(ren) of Jacques-Yves de Grandin & Seraphine Austin
1. Josue-Laurent de Grandin b. 1805 - Helene Gerard
2. Daughters, untraced
B. Child of Anatole (de) Grandin & Snow Cat
1. Marie Grandin b. 1813 m William Clayton
A. Child of Jacques-Yves de Grandin & Helene Gerard
1. Geralda de Grandin b. 1828 m Phillippe-Guillaume de Grandin (2nd cousin)
B. Child of Marie Grandin & William Clayton
1. Phillippe-Guillaume de Grandin b. 1830 m Geralda de Grandin (2nd cousin)
5th Generation: Child(ren) of Phillippe-Guillaume de Grandin & Geralda de Grandin
1. Jean-Nicolas de Grandin b. 1852 m Serene Delagardie
2. Other sons & daughters, untraced
6th Generation: Child(ren) of Jean-Nicholas de Grandin & Serene Delagardie
1. Jourdain-Renaud de Grandin (untraced)
2. Others, untraced
3. Jules de Grandin (youngest, no known children)
Note: French characters with detective abilities that might also connect include Kotzwinkle's Picard, Balzac's Eugenie Grandet, and the Lecoqs.
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All rights reserved. The text of this article is copyright 2000 by the author, Cheryl L. Huttner. No copying or reproduction of this article or any portions thereof in any form whatsoever is permitted without prior written permission and consent of the author.