French Renaissance Paleography


Nouhant,[1] 15 May 1650 (notarized copy, 14 September 1665)
Transaction between Louise d’Harzillemont, widow of François de L’Estang, _seigneur of Bouis, and Philippe de L’Estang_, sieur_ of Doulaye and Bouis, regarding the division of their common inheritance _
Chicago, Newberry Library, VAULT Case MS 5027


This document details the division of the assets held by François de L’Estang, seigneur of Bouis in Auvergne, upon his death. His widow Louise d’Harzillemont retired to a property owned by the Harzillemont family in Picardy and decided to sell to her brother-in-law Philippe de L’Etang part of her share of the common inheritance.

François de L’Estang and his brothers Philippe and Gilbert appear to have been cousins of Pierre de Lauzanne (1590-1642), seigneur of Bouis, Puy-Malsignat and de L’Estang. Pierre and his wife Louise d’Haultefaye had seven sons, including Claude (1626-1692), the patriarch of a Lauzanne family branch established in Auvergne in the area of Puy-Malsignat. Claude and Louise’s third son Sébastien (1627-1695) left Auvergne for Brittany, where he acted as captain in the Mazarin regiment and founded the Brittany branch of the Lauzanne family. The sixth son of Pierre and Louise, Philibert (1632-1684), seigneur of Saigne Vieille and Rochegude, viscount of Vaurousset, became the patriarch of another Lauzanne family branch in Auvergne and Limousin. He married Anne d’Anglars de Rochegude in 1676, granddaughter to Annet d’Anglars and Anne de Rochegude, whose marriage contract can be found here/manifest.

The document reproduced here is part of The Lauzanne Family Papers, an archive of documents of the Lauzanne family and other allied families established in Auvergne held at the Newberry Library. Numerous documents pertain to Pierre, his sons, and their progeny, such as a confirmation of the nobility of the Lauzanne family obtained by Sébastien in 1667, and leasing agreements for the seigneurie of Saigne Vieille signed by Philibert and his wife Anne.

There are about 500 documents directly related to the Lauzanne family in this archive spanning the 16th to the 20th century. The earliest Lauzanne document, dated 2 October 1535, confirms the rights of Jacques de Lauzanne (b. 1505) to the seigneurie of Sermur, while the most recent is a letter dated 1965. Important figures of the Lauzanne family include François-Guillaume de Lauzanne (1674-1733), whose documents pertain mostly to the administration of his seigneuries of Puy-Malsignat and la Maisonneuve, and a different Pierre de Lauzanne (1730-1792), who was brigadier and maître des eaux et forêts d’Auvergne. Many letters sent to him still bear original red seals. Amable-Joseph-Philippe de Lauzanne, known as Frédéric (1807-1873), plays a role in many of the family documents, partly due to an inheritance received from his uncle Amable-Jacques de Soubrany de Bénistant in 1842, his involvement in several other inheritance legal cases, and the extent of his assets.

The earliest documents in the entire collection are related to the Langeac family, including several documents on vellum from the 14th and 15th century. They are in the collection due to the alliance of Françoise de Vichy to François de Lauzanne in 1584. Françoise was the daughter of Françoise de Langeac and François de Vichy, and heir to the seigneurie of the Puy-Malsignat. Six Langeac family documents are found in our digital collection.