History of some Cavey

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Note: the following was written around the year 2000. Since then other publications have been made on the Internet about the Cavey of France.

At the beginning of the millennium, my father found two branches of Caveys in France. We have some good reasons to think that they have the same roots, but we can't prove it and I fear we never will.

The branch we have been able to trace back the furthest is from the Orne department in Lower Normandy, but it is not necessarily the oldest.

  • Cavey's from Orne (Argentan, Southern Normandy)

As I explained in "How the story began, it is very difficult to find the date of birth or death of French people before King François I and the "Edict of Villers-Cotterêts" (August 1539). But even without official records, it is possible to find some information based on the dates of marriages and other important events in the lives of the Caveys. Below is some of the information I have gathered.

The oldest document that contains the name Cavey was found in an archive that is listed as 'H 5347' in the Archives Départementales de l'Orne. In this document is written about a piece of land in Fontenil which was sold in 1228 to the "Maison-Dieu de Trun" (Trun is a small village in the Department of Orne).This is important because, as I explain below, all the Cavey descendants of this Jean Cavey are "escuyer-seigneur de Fontenil".

As far as our research goes, the oldest known Cavey in France is Nicolas Cavey. We do not know the date of his birth or death, but his name is found, in writing, in a register dated 1288. He obtained a favour from a certain Robert de Pontol, who was a nobleman. This happened while Philip the Fair (1285-1314) was King of France and Edward the First (1272-1307) King of England.

After that came Jehan Cavey a noble person who, according to a register, gave a favour to Robert de Guerpel on 2 July 1381.

In 1388, Raoul Cavey is mentioned in a register of the "Abbaye de Silly" (Orne).

In 1399, Philippe Cavey is mentioned in a register of the "Commanderie de Villedieu le Bailleul" (Orne).

We have also found an incomplete branch of Caveys which begins with this information: Robert Cavey, married in 1495 in Amboise (France) with a woman named Picard. Robert Cavey was "escuyer - lord of the valleys". This title is very important and interesting in relation to the origins of the name Cavey. See : What about Cavey's name ?

Their son, Jean Cavey married Jeanne Guerin in 1522 and was named "escuyer - seigneur de Villedieu" (That is "Squire-Lord of Villedieu").

Between 1288 and 1522 my father found many Caveys, but I have not yet had time to write about them here. The Caveys above are those for whom we have the most significant information.

From Jean Cavey onwards, all his descendants are noble and "escuyer-seigneur de Fontenil" ("Squire-Lord of Fontenil").

We also found a Claude-Philippe Cavey. We do not know his date of birth, but he married Marie-Louise de Lespée in 1694, died in 1750, and was "lieutenant general of police in Trun". On 19 July 1697, his coat of arms was registered in the General Armorial of France" (We have a copy of this act). What is interesting for the Belgian branch of the Caveys is that the name is written: "Claude de Cavey, escuyer-seigneur de Fontenil". We have only found one occurrence in France of a Cavey written "de Cavey", but we have found a "de Cavey" line in Belgium (see : Caveys in Belgium and India).

In the "Dictionnaire de la région d'Argentan Country", published in 1961 by Xavier Rousseau, it is stated that "Les Caveys, whose date of ennoblement is unknown, but who were recognised as nobles on 1 April 1770 [...]". This means that this branch of Caveys was noble from the beginning.

From my father's research, it seems that all the Caveys living or having their roots in the department of Orne are descendants of these Caveys.

  • Cavey's from Manche (La Ronde Haye & Pirou, Southern Normandy)

This is the second branch of the Caveys de France, the branch from which I descend.

My father found the following information in the civil registers of La Manche (H series Abbaye Ste Trinité de Lessay Abbaye) on the Caveys below (I could not find more information about them):

Thomas Cavey (1392) : from Pirou (Manche, Basse-Normandie). He buys a parcel of land (1392) from Ruolle Cordier of Saint-Patrice-de-Claids (Manche, Basse-Normandie).

Robin Cavey (1467) : from Perrier (Manche, Basse-Normandie). He bought a parcel of land (1467) from Jean le Comte. The following year, he sold the same parcel to Nicolle Le Compte, Priest (1468).

Perrin Cavey (1486) : He is mentioned in a lease (1486) between Alain le Large of Sainte Opportune de Lessay (Manche, Basse-Normandie) and Fleury Bertey of Créances (Manche, Basse-Normandie).

Raoul Cavey (1542) : He is mentioned in a judgement (1542) concerning an undertaking relating to a plot of land sold by Nicolle Le Comte of Lessay abbey (Manche, Basse-Normandie).

Jacques Cavey (1686): He is mentioned in a deed (1686) by which he receives the responsibility of the priory of Sainte-Marthe-de-Cottebrune (Manche, Basse-Normandie)).

The name is continuously present from 1560/1580 in a very small village called "La-Ronde-Haye" and in the surrounding area (especially in Pirou). There is a strong line of Caveys from 1580 in La Ronde Haye to my father and myself.

Other Caveys can be found not far Pirou. Because of this, we believe they are all related to the Caveys of La Ronde Haye and Pirou. They are all my distant cousins.

  • Too early for a conclusion?

There are two branches of Cavey in France. One of them originates from the Orne and was ennobled. This is why we have a lot of information about it. The oldest Cavey of this branch is Nicolas Cavey who was alive in 1288.

The other branch, from Manche, is not noble. They were ploughmen and landowners themselves. This is my branch. My earliest known ancestor is Thomas Cavey who was alive in 1392 during the reign of Charles VI of France (1380-1422) and Richard II of England (1377-1399).

Because the departments of Orne and Manche re neighbours (they have a common border), and because there are less than 80 kilometres between them, we think we have the same roots. According to a hypothesis of my father, the Commanderie of Templiers de Villedieu Bailleul (Orne) may have created an annexe Commandery in the department of Manche (near Pirou). And perhaps a Cavey immigrated to the Manche at that time (approximately in 1399).

But for the moment there is nothing to confirm this hypothesis.


Last update : Jun-20-2021 16:29:19 CEST

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