Jehan Coursier

Jehan Coursier (1635 – 1663) was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Miller line.

Jehan Coursier was born about 1635 in Île De Re, France.  He married Anne Perroteau before 1649 in Ste Marie De Re, Charente, Poitou-Charentes, France.  Jehan died 1663 in Île De Re, France

Anne Perroteau was born in 1630 in Île De Re, France. Anne died 1663 in Île De Re, France,

Children of Jehan and Ann

Name Born Married Departed
1. Anne COURSIER c. 1649 Rene REZEAU  22 Jun 1670 in Ste. Marie De Re, Charente Maritime, France. 18 Feb 1719 Elizabethtown, Union, NJ.
2. Marie Coursier 1660 in Île De Re, France Daniel Jouett 1679  Île De Re, France 1732 Elizabethtown, New Jersey

A text from the Protestant Museum in La Rochelle indidcates that Daniel and Marie Jouet were part of a group of Huguenots led by: Ezechial Carre – pastor of the colony, studied in Geneva, served 2 churches in France-Mirambeau in Saintonge and La Roche-Chalais,  Pierre Berthon de Marigny, and Pierre Ayrault – doctor from Angers.    These French Church New York City baptisms show a close connection between the two couple Anne & Rene and Marie & Daniel in the early 1690’s.

1691 Nov 01; To Daniel Jouet and Marie Courcier, Jean; Witnessed by Rene Rezeau and Suzanne Ratier wife of ??? Doucinet 1693 Feb 05;  To Daniel Jouet and Marie Coursier; Elisabeth; Witnessed by Pierre Filleux and Suzanne Rezeau (Rene and Anne’s daughter?) 1695 May 05; To Daniel Jouet and Marie Coursier; Anne; Witnessed by Rene Rezeau and Anne Reseau

Children (2nd Gen)

1. Anne COURSIER (See Rene REZEAU  ‘s page)

2. Marie Coursier

Marie’s husband Daniel Jouett was born about 1660 in Île de Ré, France, near the Huguenot center of La Rochelle. Daniel died 13 Oct 1721 in Elizabethtown, Trenton, New Jersey.

He was of an old Norman family of Huguenot origin settled in Touraine,  His grandfather was  the noble Matthieu de Jouhet, Master of the Horse (Grand Écuyer) to Louis XIII of France, Lord of Leveignac, and Lieutenant in the Marshalsea of Limousin.

In 1685, Louis XIV issued the Edict of Fontainebleau, a revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Under the Edict of Nantes, Protestants were granted certain civil rights. Louis XIV’s new edict declared Protestantism illegal, and after its issuance, hundreds of thousands of Huguenots fled the country. The violence done to Huguenots in France prior to the Edict of Nantes is counted among history’s worst atrocities.

Among those Huguenots who escaped the violence that was sure to follow the Edict of Fontainebleau were Daniel Jouet, his wife, the former Marie Coursier, and their children Daniel and Pierre. Daniel Jouet was a sailmaker by trade. Daniel and his wife initially emigrated to London, England after the Edict of Fontainebleau. In late 1686 or early 1687, they received five pounds sterling to “go to Carolina” from the French Committee, who oversaw dispensation of funds to needy Huguenots in England. They would not leave for Carolina until 1695. First, they moved to Plymouth, where their third child, a daughter named Marie, was born. In 1688, they emigrated to Narragansett, Rhode Island.

In 1689, the Jouets relocated to New York City where their fourth child, Ézéchiel was born. Ézéchiel, another son Jean, and two more daughters, Élisabeth and Anne, were baptized in the French Church in New York. By 1695 the family “suddenly and surprisingly” left for Carolina at last. They petitioned for naturalization in 1696, but did not remain in Carolina long before once again relocating to Elizabethtown, New Jersey. Daniel Jouet’s will was proved on Oct 10, 1721. Daniel Jouet’s rootlessness is explained by Bertrand Van Ruymbeke as “symtomatic of the post-Revocation exodus and of the displaced Huguenots’ unusual capacity for mobility”

Children of Marie and Daniel (Gen 3)

i.  Matthew Pierre Jouett b. c. 1681 in Lisle De Re, Aunis, France; m.  Susannah Moore (1707– 1772); d. Jun 1746 in Hanover Co. Va.  Matthew Jouett patented large tracts of land in Hanover in 1732.

ii. Daniel Jouet Jr. b. c. 1681 in Lisle De Re, Aunis, France; m. 1697 in Ile De Re, France to Marie Cavalier d. Feb 1749 Elizabethtown, Essex, New Jersey

Daniel Jouet Jr’s son  Cavalier Jouet  remained in New Jersey; he was raised by his grandparents, Daniel Jouet and Marie Coursier Jouet. He was imprisoned for his Loyalist sympathies, but escaped behind British lines in New York. His property and estate were confiscated, and he emigrated to England. He returned to America in 1792 to attempt to regain his property, but was apparently unsuccessful and returned to Rawreth, Essex in England, where he died in 1810.

Cavalier Jouet’s son Xenophon Jouet was also a Loyalist. He fought as ensign in the New Jersey Volunteers during the Revolution, then moved to Canada following the war. Our Rezeau descendants were also Loyalists and were removed to Canada after the Revolution. (See Nathaniel PARKS for details).

iii. Pierre Jouet b. 1683 Lisle De Re, France; d. 17 Dec 1743 Albemarle, VA

iv. Marie Jouet b.1685 in Plymouth, Devon, England; m. 1700 in Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey to William Dixon; d. 1713 Elizabeth, New Jersey,

v. Ezechial Jouett b. 2 Apr 1689 in French Church, New York; d. 1696 New Jersey

vi. Jean Jouet b. 28 Oct 1691 in New York; d. Virginia
Baptism Record 1691 Nov 01; To Daniel Jouet and Marie Courcier, Jean; Witnessed by Rene REZEAU and Suzanne Ratier wife of [__?__] Doucinet

vii. Elizabeth Jouet b. 28 Dec 1692 in New York; m. Absalom Ladner (b. 1667 – )
Baptism Record – 1693 Feb 05;  To Daniel Jouet and Marie Coursier; Elisabeth; Witnessed by Pierre Filleux and Suzanne Rezeau (Rene and Anne’s  REZEAU’s daughter)

viii. Anne Jouett b. 2 May 1695 in New York; d. 7 Jun 1711
Baptism Record – 1695 May 05; To Daniel Jouet and Marie Coursier; Anne; Witnessed by Rene REZEAU and Anne RESEAU

Daniel’s son Matthew, settled in Virginia. He was an imposing figure at 6’4″ and 220 pounds and contemporary accounts describe him as muscular and handsome.  Jouett’s family, based in Albemarle County, was very active in the revolutionary cause.  Among the earliest entries on the Court records of Albemarle in 1745, is a notice of the death of Matthew Jouett, and the appointment of John Moore as his executor.

Albemarle County, Virginia

Matthew’s son John Jouett Sr (Gen 4) and grandson John Jouett Jr  signed the Albemarle Declaration, a document renouncing King George III signed by 202 Albemarle citizens. During the Revolution, John Jouett Sr. supplied the military with meat for its rations, and his four sons all served in the military, including one who was killed at the Battle of Brandywine.

John Jouett, who was for many years a prominent citizen of Charlottesville.  In 1773 John purchased from John Moore one hundred acres adjoining the town on the east and north, and at that time most likely erected the Swan Tavern, of famous memory. Three years later he bought from the same gentleman three hundred acres south of the town, including the mill now owned by Hartman. In 1790 he laid out High Street, with the row of lots on either side, and by an act of the Legislature they were vested in trustees to sell at auction, after giving three weeks’ notice in the Virginia Gazette. He kept the Swan until his death in 1802.

John “Jack” Jouett Jr (Gen 5)

John Jouett Jr. is perhaps a more famous Patriot than he, however. Captain John “Jack” Jouett (wiki)  (1754 – 1822) was a politician and a hero of the American Revolution, known as the “Paul Revere of the South” for his late night ride to warn Thomas Jefferson, then the Governor of Virginia, and the Virginia legislature of coming British cavalry who had been sent to capture them.  Google Map Directions of Jack’s ride (of course he didn’t take I64 because the Whitecoats were on the highway)

The only known depiction of Jack Jouett Jr. made while he was living, a silhouette by his son, Matthew

Jack Jouett’s Ride

On June 1, 1781 British General Cornwallis learned from a captured dispatch that Gov. Thomas Jefferson and Virginia’s legislature had fled to Charlottesville, Virginia, the location of Jefferson’s home, Monticello. Virginia’s government had escaped to Charlottesville after Benedict Arnold, who had defected to the British, attacked Virginia’s capital, Richmond.

General Cornwallis had the Virginia Government on the run from Richmond to Charlottesville

Cornwallis ordered Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton, “Bloody Tarleton” the Continental Army called him, to ride to Charlottesville, Virginia and capture Gov. Jefferson and the Virginia legislature. Tarleton hoped to capture Jefferson and the many notable Revolutionary leaders who were Virginia legislators, including: Patrick HenryRichard Henry LeeThomas Nelson, Jr., and Benjamin Harrison V. On June 3, Tarleton left Cornwallis’s camp on the North Anna River  with 180 cavalrymen and 70 mounted infantry of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Tarleton marched his force covertly and planned to cover the last 70 miles to Charlottesville in 24 hours, an incredibly fast maneuver designed to catch the politicians completely unaware.

The Ride Begins

Many contend that Jack Jouett's Ride was far more important than that of Paul Revere.

Jouett, twenty-seven years old, lay asleep on the lawn of the Cuckoo Tavern  in Louisa County, Virginia on the night of June 3, 1781. During the night, he heard the sound of approaching cavalry and spotted the “White Coats,” the British cavalry led by Colonel Tarleton. Jouett correctly suspected that the cavalry was marching to Charlottesville to capture Virginia’s government. Jouett knew that the legislature was completely undefended. Very little fighting had taken place on Virginia soil from 1776 to 1780, so most of Virginia’s forces were deployed elsewhere. The British had only recently begun significant campaigns in Virginia, so few forces were in the state except a small group led by the Marquis de Lafayette, who was far from Charlottesville. With no possibility of defense, the only hope for Jefferson and the legislators was advanced warning and escape. Jouett quickly mounted his horse and, at about 10 P.M., began the 40 mile ride from Louisa to Charlottesville. With the British cavalry on the main highway, Jouett had to take the rough backwoods trails to the overgrown Old Mountain Road with perhaps only the full moonlight to guide him and still ride fast enough to beat the British.

Tarleton’s Travels

At 11 P.M., Tarleton paused for a three hour rest at Louisa Courthouse. He began his march again at about 2 A.M. He soon encountered a train of 11 supply wagons at Boswell’s Tavern bound for South Carolina where Nathanael GREENE led the main branch of the Continental Army in the South. Tarleton burnt the wagons and continued onwards.

Lieutenant-Colonel Banastre Tarleton by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Around dawn, Tarleton reached the plantations of Castle Hill, Doctor Thomas Walker‘s home, and splinter group of British arrived at Belvoir, the home of his son, Continental Congress member John Walker. Tarleton captured or paroled various important figures at the two plantations. Various legends have sprung up about the stop at Castle Hill. Supposedly, Dr. Walker prepared an elaborate breakfast (including alcohol), for Tarleton in order to give more time for Jefferson and the legislature to get warning of the cavalry. Tarleton’s account says he did pause at Castle Hill for a half-hour rest, but the story of Walker’s ploy is probably apocryphal.

Dr. Walker prepared an elaborate breakfast (including alcohol), for Tarleton in order to give more time for Jefferson and the legislature to get warning of the cavalry.

Jouett’s Warning and Monticello

Jouett’s route took him through a ford of the Rivanna River at the town of Milton. At about 4:30 A.M., he crossed the ford and ascended the mountain on which Jefferson’s Monticello sits. At Monticello, Jouett awoke Jefferson and his guests, several Virginia legislators. (According to the Giannini family, descendants of Jefferson’s gardener, Anthony Giannini, noted early riser Jefferson was in the gardens at Monticello with their ancestor when Jouett arrived.) Jefferson rewarded Jouett with some fine Madeira. Jouett then left to travel the extra two miles to warn the town of Charlottesville.

Jack Jouett Warning Thomas Jefferson as he was preparing for breakfast. Jack played by Stuart LilieJefferson by Colonial Williamsburg's Bill Barker

Jefferson did not rush. He had breakfast with the legislators, and began making arrangements to leave. He spent two hours gathering his papers together. When Captain Christopher Hudson rode to Monticello to warn of the imminent arrival of the British, Jefferson sent his family to Enniscorthy, a friend’s estate about 14 miles away. He himself continued to prepare to leave, setting a horse outside his estate for a quick escape.

Jefferson checking Charlottesville with his telescope for signs of the British.

Within a couple hours of Jouett’s departure, another American rider came. Captain Christopher Hudson told Jefferson that enemy troops were immediately behind him, working their way up the mountain to Jefferson’s home. Jefferson decided to check. He strapped on a light sword, walked to a vantage point away from the house and trained his telescope on the city. He saw no activity. He was walking home when he noticed that the sword was missing. Assuming he had dropped it, Jefferson retraced his steps to his viewing point and took another look at Charlottesville. Tarleton’s red-and-green uniformed men filled the streets.

Jefferson jumped on a stallion and flew into the woods, bound for the Shenandoah Valley, eighteen miles west beyond the Blue Ridge. He disappeared just as an enemy detachment reached his front door. Jefferson spent the night at a nearby home.  The British detachment sent to Monticello was led by Captain Kenneth McLeod. Upon their arrival, the British found Jefferson’s slaves hurriedly hiding his valuables.

Jouett and Charlottesville

After Monticello, Jouett rode to the tavern where most of legislators were staying, the Swan Tavern (owned by Jouett’s father). The legislators decided to flee and reconvene in Staunton, 35 miles west, in three days, June 7.  Jouett’s warning allowed most legislators to escape, but seven were caught.

Tartleton captured a few people, among them legislator and frontiersman Daniel Boone. He detained them briefly, and paroled them. The British did comparatively little damage. Monticello was unharmed, though some wine disappeared. Tarleton left Charlottesville on June 5. With his departure, the British considered the matter closed. Cornwallis wandered to Yorktown, where General George Washington trapped his army in October and forced its surrender.

Jouett displayed more heroics and helped General Edward Stevens escape. The general was recovering from wounds he received at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. From the Swan Tavern, Jouett rode with Gen. Stevens as he made his escape, but the wounded Stevens could not ride fast enough to keep the British from catching up.  Fortunately, Jouett had the eccentric habit of dressing in ornate military costume, and Stevens was dressed in shoddy clothing. British cavalry assumed that Jouett, dressed in a scarlet coat and wearing a plumed hat, must be a high military officer, so they ignored the shabby Stevens and chased Jouett, who successfully eluded them. Stevens later returned to the battlefield to lead a brigade of 750 men at the Siege of Yorktown.

Aftermath and Honors

In Staunton, the legislature elected Thomas Nelson to be the next governor, since Jefferson’s term had actually expired on June 2.

Recognizing its debt to Jouett, the legislature passed a resolution on June 15 to honor him. The legislature resolved to give Jouett a pair of pistols and a sword in gratitude. Jouett received the pistols in 1783,  The state’s poverty explains why Jouett got the pistols in 1783 and the sword twenty years later in 1804.

Jack Jouett has, for the most part, fallen through the cracks of history. Jouett has retained some recognition including an elementary school in Louisa County, Virginia and a middle school in Albemarle County named in his honor. Many contend that his ride was far more important than that of Paul Revere. However, Revere’s ride had the benefit of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem to enshrine it in the American consciousness. In an attempt to help promote Jouett’s memory, the Charlottesville Daily Press published the following poem on October 26, 1909:

“Hearken good people: awhile abide
And hear of stout Jack Jouett’s ride;
How he rushed his steed, nor stopped nor stayed
Till he warned the people of Tarleton’s raid.

The moment his warning note was rehearsed
The State Assembly was quickly dispersed.
In their haste to escape, they did not stop
Until they had crossed the mountain top.
And upon the other side come down.
To resume their sessions in Staunton Town.

His parting steed he spurred,
In haste to carry the warning
To that greatest statesman of any age,
The Immortal Monticello Sage.

Here goes to thee, Jack Jouett!
Lord keep thy memory green;
You made the greatest ride, sir,
That ever yet was seen.”.

Later life

His wife was Sarah Robards, a sister of the first husband of President Jackson’s wife.   In 1782, Jouett moved to what is now Kentucky. A family story says that, on his way to Kentucky, Jouett heard a woman’s screams coming from a house. He burst into the house and found a wife being abused by her husband. He attempted to help by knocking down the husband, but the wife did not appreciate his involvement and struck him over the head with a pot. The pot’s bottom gave out, and the pot became stuck around Jouett’s neck. Jouett fled the scene and travelled 35 miles before he found a blacksmith to remove the pot.

Mercer County, Kentucky

Jouett settled in Mercer County. He served as a Virginia state legislator and, when Kentucky became an independent state, a Kentucky state legislator from Mercer and later Woodford County when he moved there. Jouett was a prominent citizen of Kentucky. He had friendships with Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay. In business, he focused on livestock raising and breeding, importing animals from England.

While in Mercer, Jouett married Sallie Robard. Together they had 12 children, including the famous painter Matthew Harris Jouett.

Jack Jouett died March 1, 1822 at his daughter’s house in Bath County, Kentucky.  He is buried in Bath County at the “Peeled Oak” farm in an unmarked grave. The site of the grave was lost until the 20th century.

The Jack Jouett House  is open today for docent led tours.  It is six miles southwest of Versailles on McCowan’s Ferry Rd. Follow the signs from downtown to High Street which becomes McCowan’s Ferry Rd. Go six miles and turn right onto Craig’s Creek Rd.

Matthew Harris Jouett (Gen 6)

Matthew Harris Jouett Self Portrait

Matthew Harris Jouett (wiki)  (1788 Mercer County, Kentucky,  – 1827 Lexington, Kentucky) was a well-known artist, especially for his portraits of Thomas Jefferson and other patriots.

Matthew Harris Jouett's portrait of Thomas Jefferson

Matthew’s father sent him to Transylvania University and encouraged him to study law, but Matthew spent much of his time painting. The frustrated father commented “I sent Matthew to college to make a gentleman of him, and he has turned out to be nothing but a damned sign painter.”

Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834), about 1825, by Matthew Harris Jouett

Jouett served as a lieutenant of the 28th infantry in the War of 1812. He was promoted to captain. After the war, he studied portraiture and went to Boston to study with Gilbert Stuart in 1816. Jouett painted in New Orleans, Natchez, Mississippi, and Kentucky. He was commissioned by the Kentucky legislature to paint a portrait of the Marquis de Lafayette. Jouett also painted Thomas Jefferson.

Henry Clay 1818 by Matthew Harris Jouett

Jouett was the father of James Edward Jouett, a naval officer.  Matthew Jouett is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery.

James Edward Jouett (Gen 7)

James Edward Jouett,(1826 – 1902), a naval officer. James served with Admiral David Farragut and was immortalized in Farragut’s famous quote “Damn the torpedoes! Four bells! Captain Drayton go ahead! Jouett full speed!”

James Edward Jouett

Rear Admiral James Edward Jouett , known as “Fighting Jim Jouett of the American Navy”, was an officer in the United States Navy during the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War. His father was Matthew Harris Jouett, a notable painter, and his grandfather was Revolutionary War hero Jack Jouett.

Born near Lexington, Kentucky, Jouett was appointed Midshipman 10 Sep 1841. He served on the African coast on the Decatur with Matthew C. Perry and on the John Adams during the Mexican-American War.

American Civil War

At the beginning of the Civil War, Jouett was captured by Confederates at Pensacola, Florida but was soon paroled. He then joined the blockading forces off Galveston, Texas, distinguishing himself during the night of 7 to 8 November 1861 in the capture and destruction of Confederate schooner Royal Yacht, while serving on USS Santee. Jouett later commanded the Montgomery and R. R. Cuyler on blockading duty and in September 1863 took command of the Metacomet.

Damn the Torpedoes

In the Battle of Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864, Jouett’s ship, the Metacomet, was lashed to Admiral David Farragut‘s flagship Hartford as the ships entered the bay. Monitor Tecumseh was sunk by an underwater “torpedo“, but the ships steamed on, inspired by Farragut’s famous command: “Damn the torpedoes! Four bells! Captain Drayton go ahead! Jouett full speed!”Metacomet was sent after two Confederate gunboats, and in a short chase Jouett riddled Gaines and captured the Selma.

Post-Civil War and last years

Jouett had various commands ashore and afloat after the Civil War, taking command of the North Atlantic Squadron in 1884. In 1889 he commanded a naval force which forced the opening of the isthmus of Panama, threatened by insurrection.

Admiral Jouett was named President of the Board of Inspection and Survey and served from June 1886 – February 1890.

Rear Admiral Jouett retired in 1890. A special act of Congress granted him full pay for the rest of his life as a reward for his brilliant service  He lived most of his remaining years at “The Anchorage,” Sandy Spring, Maryland. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery section 1, site 85A.

Three ships in the United States Navy have been named USS Jouett in his honor..


This entry was posted in 12th Generation, Line - Miller. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Jehan Coursier

  1. Pingback: Rene Rezeau | Miner Descent

  2. Chris Carr says:

    Ann rezeau and Jean Perlier are my grandparents. Thank you for this article!

  3. --Deb says:

    I want to thank you again for your exhaustive research. I came across your blog a couple years ago while tracing my maternal grandmother’s Littlefield family from Maine. (If I never thanked you for your research on them, I’ll do that now, too!). But–imagine my surprise now, while researching my maternal grandfather’s New Jersey family (Douglass to Dixon to Jouet) and I find another scrupulously detailed blog post explaining that branch of the family–or at least some of it. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s