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Jacqueline (Paresis) Tourneur's story

Updated: Jan 26, 2019

Jacqueline Paresis (or de Parisis) was born about 1620 in France and emigrated to New Netherland (New York) with her husband, Daniel Tourneur, in 1652. They were among the original 23 grantees of New Harlem in New York City. They were also my 10th great-grandparents.

Yet another valuable and interesting piece of Tourneur family history is found in "New Harlem past and present", on page 127, as follows:

"Mrs. Tourneur, in tender childhood a victim of that cruel war, and driven, with others of her family, from her native Hestin, probably on its capture by Louis the Thirteenth in 1639; hers was a tale of trials, of which we have but the veriest outline".

Regarding Jacqueline's hometown, the author was referring to the medieval town in the Pas-des-Calais department of northern France, called Hesdin. Amiens, where Daniel Tourneur lived as a child and was most likely born, is just 35 miles south of Hesdin.

The "cruel war" was the Thirty Years' War, which began when Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II began to force Protestants to convert to Catholicism. In the end, over 8 million lives were lost. It was during this war that King Louis XIII's army sieged Jacqueline's hometown of Hesdin in 1639.

Hesdin, at the time of the 15th century, was located in the county of Artois. Artois was originally the dowry of Flemish princess, Isabelle of Hainaut. The dukes of Burgundy acquired it through inheritance in 1384. Afterwards it was inherited by the Hapsburgs (Austria) and then it was passed to the Hapsburg dynasty's Spanish line. During the Thirty Years' War, Artois was part of the Southern Netherlands. After the siege of Louis XIII, aforementioned, Artois became part of France. Most of the people of Artois already spoke French.

Jacqueline and Daniel were said to have married in Leyden, Holland, on September 5, 1650. Did Jacqueline and her parents flee to Leyden like Daniel Tourneur and so many others did, or did they escape to Leyden together? These questions have yet to be answered but it seems to me that these tragic circumstances are the very thing that drew their two hearts together, making the way for generations of descendants in America.

Browse around the streets of modern-day Hesdin with this interactive map from Google Maps. Click on the image to move around and drag to pan:


  • New Harlem past and present; the story of an amazing civic wrong, now at last to be righted, by Carl H. Pierce, W.P. Toler, and H.D. Nutting, 1903.

  • Hesdin article on Wikipedia [Link]

  • Pas-de-Calais article on Wikipedia [Link]

  • Thirty Years' War article on Wikipedia [Link]


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