DU PLESSIS, Jean Prieur


Family Links

1. BUISSET, Maria

2. MENANTEAU, Madelena

DU PLESSIS, Jean Prieur

  • Born: 1638, Poitiers(St. Lienert) Poitou, France
  • Marriage (1): BUISSET, Maria in Holland
  • Marriage (2): MENANTEAU, Madelena about 1668
  • Died: Dec 1708, Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Western Cape, Cape Province, Union Of South Africa aged 70

bullet  Events:

1. Historical. Information from Hendrik du Plessis, (dupi) <>
JEAN PRIEUR DU PLESSIS, born 1638 Poitiers (St.Lienert) Poitou, France.Died Stellenbosch December 1708. Practiced as a medical doctor at Poitiers, fled with other Huguenots to Holland. Became a member of the "Waalse Kerk", Amsterdam, Nederland on 20.9.1687. Arrived with wife MADELENE MENANTEAU in 1688 on the ship Oosterlandt at Cape Town, South Africa (Cap de Bonne Esperance). Their first born son, Charl Prieur was born on the ship. In 1693 he returns to Holland in the ship Sirjanslandt (I cannot find any Dutch record of this ship). His wife died around 1694. He marries MARIA BUISSET of Sedan, Lorraine (born c 1676), in the "Domkerk", Amsterdam on 29.8.1700 and returns about 1703 back to Cape Town and settles in Drakenstein. He died in 1708 in South Africa.I have some information that he might have had as a first wife JEANNESANZEAU of Poitiers, married in 1674.
He is of the family du Plessis de Richelieu from whom the Dukes de Richelieu came.

2. Historical. From Colin Pretorius:- The late Dr Nico Coetzee did extensive research on the Du Plessis family for his book "Die Du Plessis Familieboek". In the book an extensive history of the du Plessis family is given, not only covering the family in SA after the arrival of the stamvader, but also going into a huge amount of detail about their very early history - 12th - 16th century.There is however, a gap of about 100 years in the Du Plessis history, a gap just before we get to Jean Prieur. Coetzee reviews an unpublished book by Amalia du Plessis, where certain claims are made to the parentage of Jean Prieur, but without confirmed documentary proof.

3. Historical. Hereunder is a copy of an article on the early history of Jean Prieur Du PLESSIS provided by Sharon Marshall on ZA Roots.The European Background by M.Boucher - have found it to very well-researched complete with sources, though of course it doesn't provide whole family trees. Here is what it has on DU PLESSIS: P143,144: The ancient capital of Poitiers , on its commanding hilltop occupies a special place in the history of western civilisation, for its name is associated with the battlefield, not far distant, where in the eighth century Charles Martel defeated the invading Moors. In the seventeenth century it was an active center of Calvinism and its temple at les Quartre-Piquest outside the town was served by its two pastors.Among those who sailed from Goeree on Feb 3, 1688 aboard the Oosterland of the Zeeland chamber were the surgeon Jean Prieur du Plessis ((Pleases), born in Poitiers about the year 1638, and his wife Madeleine Menanteau of the same town. Du Plessis had taken the oath of loyalty required of emigrants together with other male members of the Oosterland party on January 8, 1688 in Middleburg, having moved to the Zeeland capital from Amsterdam. A son Charles was born to the couple on the voyage and christened aboard the ship on April 18, 1688. In the style of adventure, Du Plessis is said to have lived at some period "op St Christoffel". Franken is of the opinion that this must refer to a place of that name in France. There are a number of possibilities here, including the village of Saint-Christopher north of Poitiers . he may, however, be mistaken in dismissing another alternative, the island of St Kitts (St Christopher) in the West Indies. This colony in the Leeward islands was divided into French and English quarters, and was a considerable haven for Calvinist refugees after 1660, especially from the French Atlantic seaboard and its hinterland. Huguenot merchants were numerous in the west Indies and although worship in the French quarter of St Kitts was only permitted in private houses,a Dutch pastor preached in French for Huguenots in the English quarter. Among settlers in the French part of the island were Guillaume Du Plessis and Pierre Prieur It has been suggested that Du Plessis was of noble origin and that a descendant refused to accept an offer made by the first Napoleon to restore him the family title and inheritance. It may be so, although the story has not been substantiated. On the other hand the fact that the minister's wife Anne de Berault and her brother Louis stood as godparents at the baptism of Jean-Louis Du Plessis, born at the Cape on Feb 13, 1691, might suggest a higher social status than the average. The names Prieur and Du Plessis probably represent a family alliance. Both appear in Protestant registers in Poitou, together with that of Menanteau. The marriage of a Jean Prieur to Jeanne Sanzeau is recorded in 1674 at Lusigna, a rural church SW of Poitiers.The exact date of arrival of Jean Prieur du Plessis and Madeleine Menanteau in the United Provinces is uncertain, but they became members of the Walloon church in Amsterdam on Sep 28, 1687, with attestation form the church at Saint-Thomas. This may reinforce the argument in favour of a period of residence in the West Indies. Du Plessis became a citizen of Amsterdam on Sep 30, 1687. Three Menanteaus, Antoine, Marguerite and Marie, were members of the Walloon church in Amsterdam in August 1688 while in the previous month Deis Martineau Du Plessis, a schoolmaster from Fontenay, possibly Fontenay-le-Comte, had reached the city. He married there a few months later. In Amsterdam at an earlier date was a wine merchant, Jean Du Plessis, of Saint-Germain-en-Laye near Versailles, birthplace of Louis XIV. One Du Plessis from Poitiers made his way to Wolfenbuttle in Brunswick before the revocation: Joseph Du Plessis, a former Catholic priest. There was also a Louis Du Plessis, minister of the French church at Bremen, whose daughter Louise was baptised in Amsterdam in Sep 1686, and a Michel Du Plessis, reader of the church at Bergen-op-Zoom and father of a large family. The further history of Jean Prieur du Plessis, who was to return to Europe for some years, is recounted elsewhere in this study P257: From Sedan came Marie Buisset, daughter of a merchant and long a midwife in Table Valley, who reaches the Cape in the early years of the eighteenth century as the new wife of the surgeon Jean Prieur du Plessis. Her father's name is not known, although there was an Etienne Buisset in Amsterdam in 1690. Marie Buisset and Jean Prieur du plesiis were married in the Nieuwe Kerk of Amsterdam in August 1700. Her second husband, Dirk Snith, also became a surgeon.P344: Jean Prieur Du Plessis returned at the end of the five years stipulated period of residence in 1693 with his wife Madelein Menatueas and their sons Charles and Jean-Louis. Although the historian GM Theal has suggested that Jean Prieur returned to Europe to look into the family fortunes Du Plessis himself stated in April 1693 that his departure was occasioned by an inability to earn sufficient money either as a farmer or in his professional capacity. He hoped to do better in the United Provinces and in view of his lack of funds, he and his family were not required to pay immediately under the command of Jan Gerritsz, with the return of the fleet of June 1693. The captain was doubtless the man from Bordeaux who brought the Java into Table Bay in Apr 1688.The movements of the family after reaching the United Provinces are uncertain, but it is known that a daughter Judith was born in Ireland - or possibly England - in 1694. Du Plessis may have joined the Irish settlement scheme for French refugees undertaken at this prison, or perhaps had English family connections. The surname is not infrequent among refugees there: Francis Du plesiis was the first chaplain to the protestant Hospital in London which opened in 1718; Philippe Du plesiss, like Jean Prieur a surgeon, lived in Tower liberty of the English capital in 1702.Menanteaus, perhaps relative of Jean Prieur Du Plessis's wife, were still living in Amsterdam in 1699, while at Delft on May 6, 1691, the child Louis, son of Charles Marette and Judith (Du Plessis), was baptised, Charles with his brother, Louis, had come from Laons, near Dreux, with Gedeon Malherbe in 1687, abjuring Calvinism in order to escape. Could his wife have given her name to his daughter? (MY NOTE: IF LINEAGE GIVEN BY OTHER RESEARCHERS IS CORRECT; IT WOULD SEEM THAT THIS NAME CAME FROM HIS GRAN, Judith Du Plessis Du Mornay) This family connection is merely conjectural, but what is certain is that Jean Prieur Du Plessis was in Amsterdam by 1700 and that his wife Madeleine Menanteau had died by that date. His subsequent marriage to Marrie Buisset in the Nieuwe kerk of Amsterdam suggests that his wife's family had long been resident in the United Provinces. It is clear from Walloon church records, as at Groningen, that there was a tendency for French speakers to move into into the Dutch churches when they were fluent in the language of the country of their adoption. At the time of her marriage Marie was in her early 2Os and her husband was over 60 years of age.Jean Prieur Du Plessis, his children and Marie Buisset returned to the Cape, where the eldest son Charles followed in his father's footsteps as farmer and surgeon. Marie Buisset was not the only member of her family to emigrate. Chrsitophe Buisset stood godfather to her daughter Anne in 1704 and the company's sword maker Jacob Buisset of Sedan must also have been related. By the end of the 18th century branches of the Du Plessis family were farming in the Swellendam, Tulbagh and Graaff-Reinet district, as well as the south-western cape.SOURCES: Over 40 sources given for above conclusions - ranging from SA published sources, FRANKEN, 'Jean Prieur Du Plessis', Die Huisgenoot, XIV, 382, July 26, 1929, to Dutch, French and SA archives.


Jean married Maria BUISSET in Holland. (Maria BUISSET was born about 1680.)


Jean next married Madelena MENANTEAU about 1668. (Madelena MENANTEAU died about 1700.)


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