Pierre Remi Vadenay (Remy Vuadenay)

The earliest known forebearer of the Vadnais surname was Pierre Remi Vadenay, also known as Remy Vuadenay, my 7th great-grandfather.  Information about Pierre and his family is limited, even though several distant relatives had made trips to France attempting to find more.

  In all liklihood his name was probably just Pierre Remi.  During the period of time when he lived it was common for people to not have surnames.  Often a person was given a last name that referred to the trade they did or the place they came from.  He is thought to have come from Vadenay, a town located in Champagne near Chalon sur Marne, France.1  The ending “ay” of the name Vadenay should be pronounced “ais”, because it represent the Latin ending ensis.  This is the origin of the surname Vadenay or as we know it, Vadnais.

Pierre was born about 1665 and his future wife, my 7th great-grandmother, Louise Maury (Moirie) was born around 1650.  The couple married in 1685 when he was about 20 years old and she was around 35 years old.  Their first child was born the following year.  The 1723 marriage record for their youngest son Jean Baptiste shows that Pierre and Louise were from the “paroisse d’Anquiere, diocese de Paris” (parish of Anquire, diocese of Paris).3

* Ondoye refers to a child in a case of extreme necessity being baptized by a layperson.

One of the oldest references to his name mentions Pierre Vadenay, “controleur des guerres” (a man in charge of the maintenance of troops or an armorer).3  Baptismal and burial records for his children show that he was a “master marechal”.  Marechal interprets as marshal or field marshal which could be a military reference.

An unusual find was Pierre’s signature on his son Jacques’ burial record dated June 10, 1687.4

Remy Vaudenay (Pierre Remi Vadenay)

Pierre and Louise are both listed as deceased on their son Jean Baptiste’s 1723 marriage record.5  I suspect they had passed away before Jean Baptiste left for the New World (Canada) around 1719.

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