A MARRIAGE IN OHAIN (Belgium) in 1652 : Pierre DELCROIX & Catherine DARDENNE

This document was presented to family members on 15 October 2006 at Friendship United Methodist Episcopal Church in Landisville, New Jersey. This church was the church of the LaCroix of Pancoast Mill Road. It is located at Weymouth and Friendship Roads in Buena Township, Atlantic County, New Jersey. Its address is P.O. Box 379, Landisville, NJ 08236. Many of our LaCroix kin and their kin are buried in the cemetery which adjoins the church grounds.
© Pierre AUBRY & Robert A. VALOIS – 2006

The Three Marriages of Pierre DEL CROIX

00600 DELCROIX Pierre - DARDENNE Catherine 1652 Contrat mariage p 1

Pierre DEL CROIX lived in the 17th century in the Walloon Brabant (Belgium), during the time period of French Kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV. He is the earliest known ancestor of the LaCroix family members and the first of a very long lineage. In the 21st century, his descendants are still living in Walloon Brabant and others are living in the USA.

DEL CROIX, DELCROIX, DE LA CROIX, LA CROIX, LACROIX or LACROIS are the various patronymics, or family names, of the same family. Not so strange, because the writing of family names are fixed only in the middle of XIXe century

We do not know when or where Pierre DEL CROIX was born. We know he died in Ohain on April 16th 1698.

Pierre DEL CROIX was a blacksmith in Ransbeck (Ransbeche), a little village near Ohain.

Pierre DEL CROIX must have been well to do. He bought several estates in the village: a house “sur le Mont” in 1664, a house in Bas Ransbeck in 1673 and some pieces of ground or grove.

Later however he was unable to pay 22 florins 4 sols and 6 deniers for the 1695 and 1696 taxes. Some of his properties were sold at auction on August 20th, 1696 on the request of the tax collector who added charges of 17 florins. The total receipt was a little bit more than 39 florins, but the auction of a grove and two pieces of ground yielded only 32 florins.

Arbre Delcroix

Pierre DEL CROIX was married three times. His first spouse was Catherine DARDENNE. She was born in Ohain on March 11th 1632. The marriage took place in July 1652 in Ohain. Two children were born from this marriage:

  • Jean or Vincent LA CROIX was born on June 17th 1654, in Ohain. In 1677, he stole a red brown mare and sold it in the village of Hoeylaert. He was under arrest for it on May 16th 1679.

  • Barbe LA CROIX was born on March 11th 1655, in Ohain.

Catherine DARDENNE is a daughter of Claude DARDENNE and Catherine LE BOULENGIER.

The second marriage was with Anna THEIS on June 19th 1657 in Braine-l’Alleud, not very far away from Ohain. Anna THEIS died in Ohain on September 14th 1676. Three children were born from this marriage:

  • Elisabeth LACROIX in 1662

  • Englebert LACROIX on August 13th 1663

  • Maximilien LACROIX who was married two times-in 1688 with Jeanne DANNEAU and around 1695 with Dorothée BAUCLERQH. He died in 1714.

Marie HANNART was Pierre DEL CROIX’s third wife. They married around 1680. She was the mother of six of his children:

  • Jean DELCROIX probably born before the marriage in 1678,

  • Jean François DE LA CROIX born on May 27th 1680,

  • Marie Catherine LACROIX born on January 26th 1683,

  • Roch Walther LACROIX born on April 29th 1686,

  • Jeanne Marie DELCROIX born on August 15th 1688,

  • Pierre Claude LACROIX was born on December 9th 1690 and died on January 24th 1770 in Ohain. This child was married on November 6th 1729 to Marguerite DOUCHAMPS. She was born between 1709 and 1712 and died on October 17th 1788.

Pierre AUBRY (presently living in Belgium), Robert VALOIS and the American members of the family – notably the LaCroix of Pancoast Mill Road in Landisville-Buena, New Jersey – are all descendants from Pierre DEL CROIX and his third wife Marie HANNART and from their son Pierre Claude LACROIX.Pierre DEL CROIX is Pierre Aubry a 9th génération ancestor.

André ORLANS is not a descendant of Pierre DEL CROIX. He is a descendant of the second marriage in 1813 of Louis Joseph ORLANS with Marie Josephe JADOT. Louis Joseph Orlans’s first wife was Marie Louise LaCroix, descendant of Pierre DELCROIX.

Pierre DELCROIX or DEL CROIX is the earliest known ancestor of the LaCroix family members who descend from him and his third wife Marie HANNART (see above). We are presently living in the United States and Belgium and elsewhere. The LaCroix of Pancoast Mill Road in Landisville-Buena, New Jersey are descended from him, and the USA descendants from them.

The Marriage Contract

In 2005, Andre ORLANS found the marriage contract in the General Archives of the Belgian Kingdom in Brussels on the occasion of Robert VALOIS’ visit in Belgium.

Contract Of marriage Between Pierre Del croix and Catherine D’ardenne On the 16th Of July 1652

00600 DELCROIX Pierre - DARDENNE Catherine 1652 Contrat mariage p 2bis

Contrat De mariage Entre pierre Del croix et Catherine D’ardenne Du 16eme julet 1652

Aujourd’huy XVIe de Juillet XVCLII Pardevant moy soussigne pasteur d’ohain et les témoins ce requis Et appeles comparurent personnellen [personnellement] Catharine Boulengier, assistee de Claude Jean Cornet, son beau-fils, Bastin Pannier, Phle [Philippe] Dardenne d’une part et Jean Phle [ ?] et Jean Alard, Oncles de Pierre Del croix D’autre part et ce pour Conclure et arrester le mariage futur entre Pierre Del Croix et Catherine Dardenne, ce qui puisse reussir a la plus grande gloire de Dieu, au salut de leurs ames, et s contentement de leurs parens et amis

Premieren [Premièrement] Jean Phles promet livrer audit Pierre Del Croix prompten [promptement] deux mil de fer livré à Ohain # #a ses despens, Item en cas de bancquet deux aymes de bierre, et un mouton et une rasiere de froment. Et ladite Cathine luy promet donner a sa fille deux napes, item un lict et couvert. En outre trois paires de linceuls, et une demy douzaine de serviettes, Item douze rasieres de bled, Item Phle et Jean Dardenne promettent de donner a leur sœur chun [chacun] cinquante florins a prendre sur leur part a venir apres le deces de leur mere luy promettant de tirer lesdits cent florins promptement en cas qu’ils en auroient besoin, et en cas que lesdits Phle et Jean ne furniroient lesdits cent florins promptement, ils seront obliges de payer par an la mo ???re d’iceluy argent.

Jean Cornet en advanten [advantement] du mariage de sa sœur luy promet une Ayme de bierre et une rasiere de bled Bastin Pannier luy promet aussy une rasiere de froment un mouton.

En foy et corroboration de tout quoy lesdites parties avec moy et les tesms [témoins] a ce requis avec moy ont signe et marque

tesms [témoins] jean alard, et arnoud gregoire, Joseph la SC?, marqe X de Jean Phle, marqe X de Jean Cornet, marqe de X Cathine boulengier, Philipe dardenne, Jean dardenne, ?loy pst V. Guillaume

Analysis of the contract

The wedding contract discussed below describes the conditions of Pierre DELCROIX and Catherine DARDENNE‘s marriage on July 16th 1652. Primarily, it outlines what the husband will receive from his bride’s family. The village Priest drafted the document and attested to the signing.

The bride’s family: The DARDENNE

The representative of the bride’s family is Catherine BOULENGIER or LE BOLENGIER. She is Catherine DARDENNE‘s mother. Her husband was Claude DARDENNE. He was not present and was probably dead before 1652.

The mother of the bride is “assisted”. Before the end of XXth century a woman was required to be assisted by a man (usually her husband) to perform a legal transaction such as a contract, including marriage contracts for her children.The widow Catherine BOULENGIER was assisted by several men of her family: her son Philippe DARDENNE, her son-in-law Jean CORNET and by a one Bastien PANNIER. A Jean DARDENNE also signed the contract.

Who are these signatories?

Philippe DARDENNE (or DARDEINE) is a son of Claude DARDENNE and Catherine BOULENGIER. He is the bride’s brother. He was born in Ohain in 1630, on April 26th. He was 22 years old in 1652.

Two people named Jean Cornet appear in the Ohain parochial registers, born in 1616 and 1618. Both were from the same parents (Anthoine CORNET et Jeanne BENOIT). One is Barbe PANNY‘s husband. This couple has one daughter, Jeanne PANNY, born in Ohain in 1648.

In the wedding contract, the bride is called the “sister” of Jean CORNET. “Sister” in this context probably means “sister in law”.

Who is the person called Bastien PANNY?

We know from the archives of Ohain that on January 22th 1618 a certain Jean VAN HAMME sold to “Pierre PANNY spouse of Catherine BOLENGIERa half bonnier piece of ground on Le Boutonnier field (H. De Pinchart – Inventaire des greffes scabinaux d’Ohain – p. 312 – GSN 4690).

Bastien is probably be a child of this couple. Therefore he is probably a half-brother of the bride and also the brother of Barbe PANNY, spouse of Jean CORNET.

The name Bastien is probably a contraction of Sébastien. There was a Sébastien PANNY living in this time in Ohain. His wife is Catherine WAUTHIER. He is the father of a daughter named Jeanne, born in 1654.

We note that Barbe PANNY was probably married two times and was also married with a WAUTHIER (Jean Baptist).

The names PANY, PANNY and PANNIER are the various patronymics, or family names, of the same family.

It is clear that all of these individuals are related in some way. The chart below shows the connections.

Arbre Le Boulengier

We can also make several deductions with these elements: Catherine LE BOULENGIER was twice a widow: of Pierre PANNY and also of Claude DARDENNE.

We know from Daniel LEGRAIVE’s research that Claude DARDENNE must have died somewhere other than in Ohain. We do not find any trace of a death certificate for any member of the family DARDENNE in Ohain; nor for the family PANNY. But this is not sure, because the parochial registers of Ohain miss many informations.

The reference to Catherine BOLENGIER in the archives of the Court of Ohain as being already married in 1618 allows us to place the year of her birth in about the year 1600 or before.

Concerning the patronymic or family name LE BOULENGIER, we note that D. LEGRAIVE the first time identifies the wife of Claude DARDENNE as being Catherine LE BOULENGIER and the second time as being Catherine BODENGIEN.

We note that variations of spelling were frequent and imagine that the name BOULENGIER became BODHENGIEN at a later time.

 The Husband’s family: the DELCROIX

The representatives of the husband’s family are two uncles of Pierre DEL CROIX. Since they do not have the name DELCROIX, they could be two brothers of Pierre’s mother or two husbands of sisters of both Pierre’s parents.

The name of the first one can’t be read. The second is Jean ALARD.We found no relation between the DELCROIX and the ALARD families in Ohain during this time period. We only found that Jean ALARD was the father of several children to Ohain between 1615 and 1618. His wife is Jeanne BASTIN.

The conditions of the marriage

Pierre DELCROIX received from one of his uncles a certain quantity of iron. Remember that he is a blacksmith in the village of Ransbeche (Ransbeek). He also received a sheep and a quantity of wheat as well as two “aymes” of beer in case of a banquet. The word “ayme” is an ancient measure for the wine and the drinks which were often used for allowances or stipends.

The bride received from her mother some pieces of household linen – tablecloths, towels, and bed sheets – as well as a bed and twelve times more wheat than her husband. She received from her two brothers one hundred florins to be taken on the future inheritance which has to return to them at the death of their mother. A clause provides that in the event the sum is not quickly paid an amount of interest is added for the default.

The bride also receives some beer and some wheat from her brother-in-law Jean CORNET. For this consideration he gives his agreement on the marriage. Her brother Bastien PANNIER gives a sheep.

About the signatures


On the document are some signatures. Note that the engaged couple do not sign the contract.

  • Joseph la SC? : Unidentified

  • Marque de Jean Phle: Pierre DELCROIX’s uncle

  • Marque de Jean Cornet JC: Catherine BOULENGIER’s son-in-law, probably the husband of a half-sister of the bride. He can’t write. He uses only the first letters of his names.

  • Marque de + Cathine Boulengier: The mother of the bride. She can not write and use a cross.

  • Phlipe darden : Philippe DARDENNE’s signature, brother of the bride. He was born on April 26th 1630 in Ohain. He can sign by his name. It is not usual in this time.

  • Jean dardenne : Unidentified member of the family DARDENNE, probably a witness.

  •  ?loy : Unidentified person, probably a witness

  • Pst V. Guillaume: The priest Vincent GUILLAUME. He wrote the certificate.

A certain Arnoud Grégoire is quoted at the end of the text. There is an Arnold GREGOIRE, spouse of Françoise DUCHESNE, father of five children in Ohain between 1648 and 1661.

Lexicology of some words in the old French transcription

Ayme de bière: An ancient measure for the wine and the drinks, often used for allowances or stipends.

Rasière: Capacity measure for the grains

Bonnier: An ancient measure for surface, a little bit more than 87 ares, but can be different from place to place. In the 19e century 1 bonnier = 1 hectare.

Linceul : Sheet of cloth for a bed

Bled : Wheat

Adventement : Agreement


  • Dictionnaire de l’Académie française – 1e édition – 1694

  • Ohain – Inventaire des registres paroissiaux de l’église St-Etienne 1600-1796, by Daniel Legraive – Cercle Historique et Généalogique de Wavre

  • Dictionnaire de Généalogie, by Léon Roy – Editions Labor

  • Collections of General Archives of the Belgian Kingdom in Bruxelles

Pierre AUBRY & Robert A. VALOIS – 2006

Transcription & Analysis: Pierre Aubry, Belgian descendant of Pierre Del Croix (Memb. of CGHL – Cercle de Généalogie et d’Histoire de Lasne).

Editing of the English version: Robert A. Valois, American descendant of Pierre Del Croix

Picture and documents research: André Orlans (Memb. of CGHL – Cercle de Généalogie et d’Histoire de Lasne).

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