Roche Family Genealogy Blog

My ramblings and sites while on the quest to trace the Roche family history. If you're on the same quest, join the Roche Genealogy mailing list.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Genealogy Search

Just now came across this helper site - genealogy-search-help - which helps you form google search queries for genealogical searches.

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Monday, June 27, 2005

Col. John Finnis

Recently got a mail from John. He is related to Col. John Finnis - through John Finnis & Elizabeth Wilmott, Great-Uncle of Col. Finnis. Col. John Finnis was one of the first casualty of the 1857 mutiny/revolt in India.

Co. Finnis's wife was Sarah Roche. Sarah's father was Robert Roche and mother was Margaretha Louisa Plusker - they married on 31st May 1809 at Chinsura (in Bengal, India).

Margaretha Louisa Plusker was the youngest daughter of Dr Jacob Plusker.

Robert Roche's parents where Peter Roche and Elizabeth. Robert was born in Rotterdam, Holland on 1st Aug 1787 and died at Chinsura on 14th Dec 1820.

John Finnis was born on 28th Jan 1804 at Hythe, Kent to Robert Finnis. Stephen Finnis (29th Native Infantry) and Thomas Quested Finnis (Lord Mayor of London, 1857) were his brothers.

He married Sarah Bridgetta Dorothea Roche on 2nd Jan 1838 at Dholi (in Bihar & Orissa). Sarah died on 16th Aug 1890 - aged 72.

From John, I got a link to a Finnis web site maintained by Anthony Mercer Finnis - which has Sarah listed. But the details in the site do not match up properly.

So she was probably born around 1818 - based on age at death. The site lists her birth as ca. 1808. Also, her parent married in 1809 ... and she married in 1838 ... so I would lean more toward the 1818 date ...

The site states that she was born in Hythe, Kent. Not sure if she was born in Kent - since her parents were from Holland, so I don't see a reason for her to be born there. She was probably born somewhere in bengal.

But if its the same person - I now know her progeny. The site lists nine children - five boys and four girls.

Also Col. John Finnis's parents are listed as Robert FINNIS (1754-1832) & Elizabeth QUESTED (1762-1839). That would explain his brother's - Thomas Quested Finnis - name.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Three Frenchmen in Bengal

Found the book Three Frenchmen in Bengal in the Project Gutenberg archive. It was written by S. C. Hill in 1903.

The full title of the book is -
Three Frenchmen in Bengal
The Commercial Ruin of the French Settlements In 1757
S.C. HILL, B.A., B.Sc.
Officer in charge of the records of the Government of India
Author of "Major-General Claud Martin"
With Maps and Plans


"This account of the commercial ruin of the French Settlements, taken almost entirely from hitherto unpublished documents".

This book was linked to from the New General Catalog of Old Books and Authors.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Bengal Marriages

The index of Bengal Marriages has been updated with the marriages from 1713 to 1800 too (grooms, brides).

Groom Bride Year OIOC Reference
Roche, Edward "Domingo" 1752 N/1/1/382
Rock, Phillip Parsons, Sarah 1791 N/1/4/123
Rocke, Richard Pattle, Miss 1797 N/1/5/53
Rennell, Francis Roach, Sarah 1800 N/1/5/329

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TANAP VOC Documents

From the TANAP database of VOC Documents.

"This Database of VOC Documents intends to contain the descriptions of all individual documents of the Dutch East India Company (VOC, 1602-1795) all over the world."

Its still incomplete. Currently it contains about 100,000 descriptions of the records sent from the VOC establishments in Asia and South Africa to the Board of Directors of the VOC in the Netherlands. These incoming documents from Asia are called Overgekomen Brieven en Paperen (OBP).

You've got to be a bit creative with the search. For instance Mangalore is spelt as Mangaloor! For locations you can try the Geographical names search.

For Mangalore, I found three records -

Year: 1727
Repository: NA
Fonds code: 1.04.02
Item no.: 9009
Section: mla
Page: 541 - 543

Year: 1732
Repository: NA
Fonds code: 1.04.02
Item no.: 9013B
Section: mla
Page: 3213 - 3298

Year: 1737
Repository: NA
Fonds code: 1.04.02
Item no.: 9022
Section: mla
Page: 529 - 535

The descriptions were in Dutch :(.

For Canara (and its various spellings) there were 115 records!

On searching for Roche I found 10 records. Nine of them referred to Louis Stephanus de la Roche and one to "de la Roche" (possibly the same person).

All of Louis Stephanus de la Roche's records were in Repository "NA", Fonds Code "1.04.02", Item no "8208", Section "mks" and in the year 1736. They were in pages 1 - 3, 3 - 163, 163 - 166, 166 - 177, 177 - 210, 210 - 219, 219 - 225, 225 - 229 and 229 - 239.

The de la Roche record was in the Year 1734, Repository "NA", Fonds Code "1.04.02", Item no "8205", Section "mks" and page 92 - 101.

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Captain David Roche, 1770s

I recently read a book/narrative written by Capt. David Roche. The narrative was about the duel he had with Lieut. Ferguson on his way to India in 1771 at the Cape of Good Hope.

The book is titled
A Plain And Circumstantial Account of the Transactions Between
Capt. Roche and Lieut. Ferguson,
From their First Meeting to the Death of Lieut. Ferguson.
To which is added, The Trial and Depositions at the Cape of Good Hope,
Where Capt. Roche was Acquitted; Also His Second Apprehension;
And the Judicial Proceedings of the Governor and Council of Bombay.
With His Speech to the Privy Council When under Examination Here.
With every other circunstance Attending this remarkable Case.
Duly Authenticated.
Sold by G. Allen, No. 59, in Pater noster Row.

David Roche, Esq. obtained a Captain's command in the service of the HEIC (Honourable East India Company) in May 1772. He & Mrs Roche embarked on board the Vansittart bound for Bombay.

Others on board the ship were Serjeant Frazer, Serjeant Brown, Lieut. Ferguson, Mr. Grant (a writer), Grant's mother-in-law and her two daughters amongst others.

Lieut. Ferguson and Mr. Grant, the "co-conspirators" were bound for Bombay, but their destination was Bengal. Mr Grant was originally servant to Mr. Beecher, formerly in Council at Bengal, who afterwards promoted him to a desk in his office. Serjeant Frazer was first-cousin to Mrs. Frazer - Grant's mother-in-law.

On the ship Lieut Ferguson repeatedly tried to provoke Capt Roche and once even asked him on duel. Ashore at the Cape of Good Hope, on September 4th 1773, Capt. Roche was walking by the Dutch gardens at around 5 pm when he was attacked by Lieut. Ferguson. In the fight that ensued, Lieut. Ferguson lost his life.

Capt. Roche later took a French ship for passage to Bombay. This was provided by the Dutch Governor and Fiscal at the Cape of Good Hope. He was imprisoned in Bombay and was later acquitted. In 1775 he was in England.

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I had a look at the TANAP archives which contains Dutch East India Company Archives & Research.

In their respository of Resolutions of the Council of Policy of Cape of Good Hope (Cape Town Archives Repository, South Africa) found a few references to Roche.

I was specifically looking for any records of Capt. David Roche who was attacked there by Lieut. Ferguson on his way to India in 1772-3. I didn't find any reference to it - or didn't understand it due to the language used in the documents.

Make sure that you read the introduction before reading any of the documents. You may like to look at an example of a Council meeting and an explanation of the structure of Council meeting minutes. The origin of the text and the language of the Resolutions and also consult the glossary to decipher unfamiliar words in the 17th and 18th century Dutch texts .

Here are the Roche referenced in the documents -

Monsr. la Roche
in C. 2, pp. 177-181, Woonsdag den 2en Meert 1661.

Jan de la roche
in C. 76, pp. 104-108, Dingsdag den 11e Maart 1727, voormiddags.

Louisa de la roche
in C. 108, pp. 32-34, Saturdag den 30 Augustus 1738, voormiddags.

Captain la Roche
in C. 159, pp. 377 – 383, K.A., Woensdag den 6: Júnij 1781 as Capitain Heer Chevallier roche.
in C. 159, pp. 384 – 387, K.A., Satúrdag den 16 Júnij 1781 as Mons Roche.
in C. 163, pp. 102 – 125, K.A., Dingsdag den 27: aúg:s 1782 as Chev roche.
in C. 177, pp. 161-204., Dingsdag den 5 febr: 1788. as Capitain la roche.

Major de Bas en la roche
(possibly the same person as above)
in C. 177, pp. 213-248., Donderdag den 14 februarij 1788 as Major de Bas en la roche.
in C. 177, pp. 403-410., Maandag den 24 Maart 1788 as Mrs de Bas & la roche.
in C. 178, pp. 36-56., Dingsdag den 15 April 1788 as de Bas en la roche.
in C. 177, pp. 249-287., Dingsdag den 19 febr: 1788 as Major la roche and De Bas Chev de la roche.
in C. 177, pp. 364-402., Dingsdag den 18 Maart 1788 as Maj Chevalier de la roche, De Bas Chev de la roche and Chevalier de la roche.

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