The Ancestors of a Huguenot Family in Germany –

Traced back to the time of the Albigensian Crusade

by Friedo Zölzer [1]


Johanna Tossanus was a lady of Huguenot descent, whose parents had fled religious persecution in France and settled in Heidelberg, Germany. Her grandfather was Philbert Couet du Vivier, a senior official at the French Royal Court. Philbert’s grandfather was Jacques Couet du Vivier, who seems to have come from the family Couette "de la Couetterie," while his wife Jeanne de Prunelé probably belonged to the "de la Porte" branch of her family. Among Jeanne’s ancestors were Guillaume III de Prunelé and his wife, Isabelle, "dame d'Alzonne et de la Châtellenie de Montréal". There are various speculations about Isabelle’s ancestry, some assuming a relationship with the family de Montesquieu, some with the family de Compiègne. It is argued here that neither of these speculations is tenable, but that she may have been the daughter of the Châtelain of Montréal, Pierre Effredi (or Escafredi). She inherited Alzonne and a few other dominions from the de Compiègne family to which she was distantly related. When she and her husband passed away, their sons were still minors and came under the tutelage of a Bernhard de Montesquieu, probably a half- or step-nephew of Guillaume. Bernhard’s father, as well as possibly Guillaume’s father, belonged to the Cathar community.

Foundations (2022) 14: 57–80                              © Copyright FMG and the author

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