Thursday, May 27, 2010

Les Frères Lasserre

My blog is meant to highlight the French influence in San Francisco generally. Initially though I would like to honor my French ancestors who came to San Francisco in the late 19th century. After all they are the reason I have started the blog in the first place. Three brothers from the Lasserre family, François, Jean Baptiste, and Jean all emigrated from Aquitaine to San Francisco between 1887 and 1890. François, the oldest was my great-grandfather.

The Lasserre brothers.

François Lasserre was born in 1861 in the small town of Estos, near Oloron Sainte-Marie in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques of South West France.

François Lasserre (1861-1920)

François Lasserre and Marie Bardet on the wedding day in 1901

Oloron Sainte-Marie

Pyrénées-Atlantiques Countryside

Estos is near the French Basque region and the Parc National des Pyrénées. François left Estos in 1887 at the age of 16 and emigrated to the U.S., finally settling in San Francisco. He would open a florist shop and marry another French émigré Marie Bardet. They would have one daughter Emelie, born in 1903, my grandmother. They would survive they 1906 earthquake and great fire, but would lose everything and have to rebuild.

Jean Lasserre and Gracieuse Pedeuboy on their wedding day in 1909

Jean and Gracieuse Lasserre with their daughter Marie

François' younger brother Jean would also leave France for San Francisco and marry a fellow emigrant from Lucq-de-Béarn in Aquitaine, Gracieuse Pedeuboy. They would have one daughter Marie who would never marry. Jean worked for the municipal railway and was a streetcar driver. I am named after Jean and he was said to be a kind an honorable man. Today I wear the same wedding ring that Jean wore his entire married life. Besides a token from the man I am named for, he and Gracieuse were married on March 27th, the same day I met my future wife.

1 comment:

  1. My grandfather, Jean Mialocq, and Jean Lasserre were close friends and business partners. They were active in the benevolent societies, and owned a French laundry together in San Francisco. I have a photo of my grandfather in front of his florist shop at 1518 Bush St., and I believe Jean Lasserre may also be in that photo. We need to collaborate.