17 November 2011

(Jean) Gaspard Weiss

Ages ago I wrote about an article that I had found which showed that at least one other person in the world was interested in Jean Gaspard Weiss. Tobias Bonz is a German cellist who has rediscovered the music of Jean Gaspard Weiss, through works held in the British Library. He has also found an autobiography of Weiss, held in the archives of Mulhouse.

One of the things I have learnt from Tobias is that Jean Gaspard Weiss called himself Gaspard Weiss, dropping the "Jean". This has been hard for me to get used to, because my research first found him as Jean Gaspard Weiss, but from now on I shall try to refer to him as Gaspard Weiss.

Tobias leads a baroque ensemble called Antichi Strumenti, which has been playing some of Gaspard Weiss' music. They have recently made a recording of some of his works, which I hope to get a copy of, as I have not yet heard any of his music!

Tobias has given me the names of all fifteen of Gaspard and Marie Weiss' children which is fantastic new information - previously I only had names of eight of them. Tobias believes that the information I have found on the son Gaspar Weiss actually refers to Willoughby Gaspard Weiss. I'm not yet convinced, but he's read the autobiography and I haven't, so I guess that trumps me!

The children of Gaspard and Marie Weiss were:

Charlotte Mary, born 30 June 1776 in London. It is believed Charlotte died young, probably while the family was still in England. Charlotte is portrayed in a painting of the family.

Gaspar, born 12 September 1777 in London. Tobias believes Gaspar also died young.

Mary Ann (Marie Anne), born 6 September 1778 in London. Mary Ann married Godefroi Hofer in Mulhouse, and died in 1839.

Sarah Elizabeth (Elisabeth), born 19 May 1780 in London. Details and the date of her death are unknown.

Willoughby Gaspard, born 12 May 1782 in London. Although it is extremely likely that Willoughby Gaspard travelled with the rest of the family to Mulhouse when they returned there in 1783, at some stage he did return to England and worked as a music dealer, and in 1814 he married Ann Hunter at St Oswald, Chester, in Cheshire, England. Willoughby and Ann had six or seven children, including the famous opera singer Willoughby Hunter Weiss. Willoughby Gaspard died in Nantwich, Cheshire on 25 March 1853.

Jacques, possibly born 1784 in Mulhouse.

Jean Georges, born 12 June 1785 in Mulhouse. He married Barbara Blech in 1809, was briefly mayor of Mulhouse in 1843, and died 26 February 1874 in Mulhouse.

Martha, possibly born 1786 in Mulhouse.

Samuel, born 1788, presumably in Mulhouse.

Charles Nicholas, born 20 June 1789 in Mulhouse. My great great great grandfather. Moved to England, and married Benigna von Holst in London on 9 September 1828. He was a flautist, worked as a Professor of Music, and joined the British Army to serve as a bandmaster. He died in Bombay India, whilst stationed there, on 14 June 1845. Charles and Benigna had six children, the youngest of whom I am descended from.

Paul, born 1791, presumably in Mulhouse. Possibly died when he was seven years old.

Fréderic, born 1792, presumably in Mulhouse. Possibly died when he was six years old.

Jean Antoine, born 1794 in Mulhouse. Possibly died when he was four years old.

Guillaume, born 1797, presumably in Mulhouse. Possibly died when he was only one year old.

Rosine Angélique (she appears to have been known as Angélique), born 13 April 1798 in Mulhouse. Her mother died four days after the birth of Angélique, presumably from complications from the birth. Angélique married Jean George Schmaltzer in Mulhouse on 21 April 1826. They had at least one child, a daughter, who married into the Desaulles family. The autobiography of Gaspard Weiss appears to have been handed down through the Desaulles family until it ended up in the Mulhouse archives. The date of Angélique's death is unknown. The name "Angélique" was passed on down through many generations of her brother Willoughby's family - perhaps Angélique was Willoughby's favourite sister.


  1. Hi, a relative advised me of your informative blog site, I am related to Charles Nichols via this tree:
    My Mother Kathleen Annie Laws (Weiss)1922-2008
    her Father Frederick Arthur 1889-1966
    his Father Arthur Horsey 1866-1946
    his Father Frederick Adam 1839-1931

    i have a lithograph of Charles Nichols and a four genation photo including Frederick Adam, Roseata and their sons etc
    how do I email them to you?

    Joe Laws
    email: lynjoe@bigpond.com.au

  2. Great to hear from another relative Joe! I'll email you. Prue