Chronology of Gassiot Latourrette (Gassioo de la Torreta in Bearnais)

The language of Bearn was historically Bearnais and until after the French Revolution (1789), Bearnais and French were both used as official languages, sometimes with Bearnais and old French mixed in the same document. Many villagers in Osse still speak Bearnais and the pastoral play performed in 2005, reproduced on this site, was approximately half in Bearnais because so many of the region's customs, stories, chants and songs are in the old dialect.

Gassiot (pronounced in French with the "t" silent is the same as in Bearnais) is the first ancestor of Jean Latourrette (who came to New York City in October of 1687) about whom we have some substantial information. The complete genealogical linkage from Gassiot to David Latourrette (abt. 1635-1697) is yet to be established, but French genealogists believe David is a direct descendant. That Jean (abt. 1651-52 to July 1726) is a second son of David is based on circumstantial evidence, subject to the location of documentary evidence like that which establishes Jacob (abt. 1650- after 1716) is the oldest son of David and Marie, a younger sister, who marries Jean Laclede of Bedous, March 5, 1685. Note: The "de" used in Bearn to identify the family of a person, like Jean de Latourrette or Gassiot de Latourrette, does not indicate nobility as in other areas of France. It merely places Jean or Gassiot as being from the house (oustau in Bearnais) of Latourrette. Therefore, in this chronology we will not include the "de" or "d'" associated with the many names cited except for the houses of Albret and Arros which were of "nobility" and where titles and names are being quoted or where sentences are being paraphrased in translation from the French.

Chronology Table
1535-40: Born in Osse, Bearn. Father thought to be Pierre born about 1510 and the family came from the Baretous valley to the west of Osse in the Aspe River valley. The Latourrette name is historically associated with the village of Aramits in the Baretous valley about 17 miles northwest of Osse, but there is no evidence about the family origin. Did the Latourrette family come to Osse when King Ferdinand of Spain seize Upper Navarre in 1512 and Jean d' Albret and Catherine of Foix fled to Sauveterre de Bearn, thus reducing their empire to Lower Navarre and Bearn?
1563: First synod in Bearn at Pau, September 20, 1563 establishes Protestantism in Bearn. Gassiot is examined favorably and assigned as the minister of the Aspe (valley). Citations about synods are from Sarrabere, Dictionnaire des pasteurs Basques et Bearnais , CEPB, 2001. Citations about actions at synod concerning Gassiot Latourrette are from Professor Philippe Chareyre, President, CEPB, Pau.
1564: Synod at Pau, March 13, 1564 assigns a minister to Borce in the Aspe valley, so Gassiot becomes minister at Osse. However, position at Borce is not filled until 1574.
1564: Simultaneum regime declared by Queen Jeanne III d'Albret which required the Catholics to share the village church, Saint Etienne with the Protestants of Osse. This was in effect throughout Bearn and caused conflict between the two religions as the Protestants would take out statues and idols from the Catholic churches.
1565: Synod at Sauveterre, September 5, 1565 lists Gassiot with the Colloquium of Oloron at Osse. This colloquium includes the ministries of the three mountain valleys: Aspe, Baretous and Ossau.
1566: Synod at Nay, June 5, 1566 lists Gassiot at Osse with the Colloquium of Oloron. As in 1565 there are 9 ministries in Colloquium with 4 in the mountain valleys: Osse in Aspe, Arette in Baretous, and Arudy and Laruns in Ossau. The ministery at Bielle in the Ossau valley apparently is not filled until November of 1566.
1568: Married Marie Coudures around 1568. Born around or before 1550. Likely related to Jean Codures who is described as Gassiot's nephew. Jean Codures becomes the minister at Borce, 1592-1596 and follows Gassiot at Osse, 1596-1613.(Codures is also found as Coudures and Codure)
1568: Synod at Pau, April 17, 1568 Gassiot Latourrette excused by letter because of illness.
1569: Huguenots loyal to Queen Jeanne III d'Albret retake Bearn and in October Jeanne d'Albret's Baron d'Arros burns and pillages Catholic properties in the Aspe valley. The dime and abbey of Sarrance, about 5 miles north of Osse, is granted to the village of Borce which was loyal to the Queen. It is said that Osse was burned on October 22, 1569 as the result of the martyrdom of Miramonde Loustau who was tortured and killed during the occupation of Bearn by the Catholic army. Miramonde Loustau was the wife of Pierre d' Apoey at Osse and related to the minister Pierre Loustau of Lembeye tortured and martyred at Lescar, with two other ministers, in April 1569. The burning of Osse, along with other villages was in response to the suppression of Protestants by the Catholic army, joined by some of the Catholic villagers. The villages of Borce and Lescun were spared because Bernard Salefranque of Borce, abbot of Borce and Lescun was loyal to Queen d'Albret. After 1569. Osse becomes strictly Protestant and takes control of the Catholic Church, St. Etienne until 1620, when Bearn was joined to France by force and Bearn was forced to be a Catholic state under the King of France.
1569-1595: In his dictionary of the Pastors of Bearn Albert Sarrabere indicates Gassiot attended the synods until his death in 1595. (Sarrabere, Dictionnaire des pasteurs Basques et Bearnais , CEPB, 2001, P. 170.)Synods were held every year in Bearn from 1569 to 1580, but there is a lapse until 1594 and 1596.(Sarrabere, p. 299) The 1569 synod was in Lescar, where Pastor Loustau was martyred in April That a synod was held in Lescar in October of 1569 while D'Arros was burning Catholic churches and villages in the Aspe valley is amazing. One wonders whether Gassiot could attend the synod or was he like the Osse villagers hiding in the mountains?
1569-1595: The role of Gassiot in establishing Protestantism at Osse is described by Professor Philippe Chareyre as "decisive, especially because he was born in Osse and "was fully integrated into civilian life in the region, raising horses and arbitrating conflicts between villages." The other ministers sent into the mountain valleys were not generally successful and many actually refused to go. It is obvious that Gassiot was able to support himself which gave stability to his ministry in Osse and, thus, he was like the rising class of merchants in France who broke from Catholicism and became Huguenots. What Alfred Cadier in his history of Osse Protestantism in 1892 and Philippe Chareyre in 2005 views as Gassiot's strengths in establishing the only successful Protestant ministry in the mountain valleys of Bearn, one which still survives today, is viewed by Cadier's critic as vulgar because he wasn't a priest who lived off of his people but with his people. (See Victor Dubarat, Le Protestantisme en Bearn et Au Pays Basque (1895), particularly pp. 254-56.) Citations: Alfred Cadier, Le Bearn Protestant (reprint of original history of Osse), 2003, Chapter 6, pp.83-88. Philippe Chareyre, "Nouvelles Recherches sur Le Protest- antisme a Osse-en-Aspe," CEPB, Bulletin 38, December 2005, pp.1-16.
1570: Birth of Gassiot's son Pierre around 1570. Pierre is recommended for the study of theology by the August 20, 1596 Synod in Pau. He becomes the minister at Castetnau in 1601 and is there until at least 1653. He may have died in 1653 or 1655.The village of Castetnau is now combined with Camblong as Castetnau-Camblong and is located about 30 miles west of Pau and about 29 miles northwest of Osse. Pierre's ministry may be the longest in Bearn at least 52 years.
1572: Some earlier research reflected in a history of the Temple Bethel at Osse suggested that the Protestant parish was established in 1572. This point is made in an unpublished paper by a member of the CEPB Administrative Council, Madame Antoinette Doerr. Madame Doerr also indicates that the Protestants of Osse were meeting in St. Etienne, the former Catholic Church, and the maison-forte (strong house) of Gayrosse. The point is made that the entire population of Osse is now Protestant. Also, she notes that the Latourrette family of Osse is not descended from the Lord of Gayrosse, because there were stories in Osse that he was the original Latourrette. As explained below under 1605 the Gayrosse maison-forte, associated properties and title of abbe laique were purchased by Marie Latourrette's husband and eventually came into the possession of David Latourrette, apparently around 1666. An interesting question is how did the abbe laique,(noble) Pierre d'Abbadie de Maslacq, seigneur and baron of Arboucave and Baleix, function in Osse between 1569 and 1605 when the rights were sold? See 1578 below.
1572: Birth of Gassiot's daughter Marie around 1572. See her marriage below in 1594.
1575: Birth of another son Gratien around 1575. He may be the link between Gassiot and David Latourrette (abt. 1625-1697). Is the link through Eleazar who dies in 1664, according to the legacy records of the temple? Cadier, Le Bearn Protestant, p. 181 and personal copy of David's audit of the legacy as given in Cadier. The genealogy line is not likely through Pierre in Castetnau nor Marie in Oloron.
1578: Research before a careful examination of the synod records described above suggested that Gassiot may have only become the minister at Osse sometime before 1578, which is the date cited on a list of pastors of the temple of Osse. This led to speculation by Madame Doerr, cited above (1572), that he may have attended the Protestant University at Orthez. We know from the synod of 1563 he studied and passed the examination without attending an academy. Moreover, the academy at Orthez wasn't established until 1566. The erroneous assumptions about his not taking a ministry until after 1563 likely led to the estimate that he was born as late as 1540. It is now thought that may have been born as early as 1535.
1588: A significant lawsuit between the villages of Accous and Lees was settled in 1588 by Gassiot with the two villages agreeing in advance to accept his decision. Alfred Cadier cites this as evidence of the reconciliation that had taken place between Catholics and Protestants since 1569 under Gassiot's ministry and influence as a peacemaker. (Cadier, Le Bearn Protestant , 2003, p. 88.) Professor Chareyre also cites his role as a mediator to resolve disputes between Osse and Borce. (Philippe Chareyre, "Nouvelles Recherches sur le Protestantism a Osse-en-Aspe," CEPB Bulletin No 38,December 2005, p. 2.)
1594: Marriage of Gassiot's daughter, Marie, to Bertrand Davancens who was a widower. Marriage in Oloron with Gassiot as pastor and assistance from son Pierre on August 27, 1594. Cited by Dubarat (p. 255) from source ARCH B.P.E. E 1800, f 347 vo. Davancens was a merchant and wool trader in Oloron. Marie's dowry is specified as 1500 francs payable at determined periods. Davancens' pledge to Marie is 1000 francs but only half if she remarries. Isaac de Baldran, minister of Oloron and Jean de Lane are witnesses on this act, passed before Bertrand de Bonefont, notaire. Gassiot had a business relationship with Bertrand Davancens which was an equal partnership in raising and selling horses. Gassiot would pasture mares in the summer in Osse, Bertrand would house the mares in Oloron in the winter and they would share the profits.
1595: Gassiot makes his will at his daughter's house Marie in Oloron on March 31, 1595 and he dies on April 8, 1595. Will cited in E 1801, 1594-1595 and March 31, 1595 cited by Professor Philippe Chareyre. His will is found in Pau archives.
1595: April 15, 1595 Pierre, as sole executor of Gassiot's estate, settles the issue of Marie's dowry with Davancens.
1596: At the August 20, 1596 Synod in Pau, the son of Gassiot, Pierre, is recommended to "be supported for a few years with the church's money to study for the ministry."
1604: At the Synod of October 5, 1604 we have "Mr de Latourrette, minmister of the church at Castegnau (Castetnau) excused for the extreme illness of his wife (strike wife) mother-in- law." This is Pierre, Gassiot's son. At the synod it is noted that the minister at Navarrenx, called Francois Lapierre (Francois Le Gay), is too old to attend ("age decrepit") At the end of the synod there is a statement that says Pierre Latourrette has a residence in Navarrenx and there was some question about his intentions. The result of the deliberations of the synod was to allow him to stay in either Navarrenx or Castetnau and to assist the ministry at Navarrenx after hearing from both churches. (Note: Castetnau and Navarrenx are about 2.5 miles apart.)
1605: In an act of June 16, 1605, sold for the price of 15,500 francs, at 10 good sols per franc, the Abby maison and its associated properties, called the Abbaye de Gayrosse situated in Osse, in the Aspe valley in favor of Guilhem- Arnaud de Castarranh and Bertrand de Davancentz (Davancens), his son-in-law, merchants of Oloron. The sale is by "noble" Pierre d'Abbadie de Maslacq, seigneur and baron of Arboucave and Baleix. (translation from the French). Davancens was a widower who was married at first with the daughter of Guilhem-Arnaud and hence the reference to him as a son-in-law. As noted above Davancens was married to Marie Latourrette in 1594. This is the purchase which ultimately brings the Gayrosse maison forte, associated properties and the title of abbe laique d'Osse to the Latourrette family as confirmed later by David Latourrette (abt. 1625-1697).It is thought that Marie Latourrette and Davancens did not have any children and that Marie outlived Bertrand and his father-in- law by his first marriage resulting in Marie inheriting the title and property and passing it on to family. Exactly how is still not known. Note: The Abbaye Gayrosse was sold by the Gayrosse family to the family of the Abbadie de Maslacq in 1544, before the Protestant revolution in Bearn was really fully underway with Jeanne d'Albret. Citation: Pau archives E 1805 f 897 or f 807 vo. Also found in "Notice genealogique sur la maison d' Abbadie de Maslacq," Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, Vol 1, Meetings of May 1895, p. 78.
1596-1613: Jean Codures (Codure or Coudures) assumes the ministry at Osse after Gassiot's death. Codures was born in Osse and was a nephew of Gassiot. He married Marie Loustau (Lostal) in Oloron October 10, 1592. Marie was the daughter of Pierre Loustau martyred at Lescar in April 1569, noted above, and the niece of Jean Loustau (Lostal), seigneur of Bidos. He died in 1613. Codures was the minister at Borce from 1592 to 1596 and was named to Osse by the synod of 1596 at Pau, August 20. Citation: Alfred Sarrabere, Dictionnaire des Pasteurs Basques et Bearnais , CEPB, 2001, p. 89.
Note: The long tenure of Gassiot as minister, followed by his nephew Codures, is cited as a major factor inestablishing Protestantism firmly in Osse. Thus, after 50 years, 1563-1613, Osse was a stronghold of the Reformed religion.Research is being conducted to determine the genealogical lineage from Gassiot Latourrette (1535-40to 1595) and David Latourrette (ca. 1625 to 1697).David is likely the father of Jean Latourrette (1651-1652 to July 1726), born in Osse, who fled with Pastor Pierre Peiret and his family from Osse mid-September of 1685 and came to NYC in October of 1687. The linkage is likely through a son of Gassiot named Gratien (a Bearnais given name) born about 1575. Is an Eleazar, who died in 1664 in Osse, the son of Gratien, perhaps born around 1600? And is Eleazar the father of David born around 1625?