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The Huguenot Family of Ester Odiot, later de l'Épine (Lepine), in London

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The Huguenot Family of Ester Odiot, later de l'Épine (Lepine), in London

Posted: 13 Jul 2009 1:03PM GMT
Classification: Query
The Threadneedle Street French Church baptisms of the children of Isaac and Ester de de l'Épine (Lepine) between 1686 and 1696 show her maiden name to be Odiot or Audio and also a variation of her first name as Elere.

Some correspondence regarding the family in publications and in the Huguenot Society state a link of the Odiot family to the Oudart family, but the pronunciation of Odiot is very different to Oudart.

The name Oudart can also be traced to France, however an 1806 document at the National Archives in Kew (regarding the estate of Maria L'Epine who died in 1798) states that Ester Odiot was said to have been a Dutchwoman.

A letter dated 1726 from Isaac Lepine to his son (in the Sussex Records Office) was written and sent from Amsterdam, which could indicate Isaac and wife Ester (who is mentioned in the letter as being with Isaac) went there to stay with her relatives.

There is no baptism in the Threadneedle Street registers for Ester's baptism or any Odiot or Audio temoignages (membership) entries. However there are are other entries in the registers for this family which show further variants of the surname were Odyo, Odio, Adio, Lodiot and Haudiot - in addition to Odiot and Audio.

The church registers however do show that a Jaques Odio and his wife Catherine de Hau (also listed as Dehau and de Haux) had seven children baptised at Threadneedle Street between 1666 and 1684. These children were:

Louise in 1666

Catherine in 1667

Katerine in 1669

Abraham in 1675

Anne in 1678

Jean Jaques in 1681

Jaques in 1684

The entry for Louise has "Dans le maison de" written over it so this indicates a home baptism, presumably because she was ill or weak. The fact that a second Katerine was baptised in 1669 must show the Catherine born in 1667 died as a child.

The IGI shows that Abraham married Katherine Eliza Portray in 1701 at St Dunstan, Stepney. It also shows Jacques (here listed as James) married Grace Beare in 1702, also at St Dunstan, and they had a son James in 1703.

So while there is no baptism of an Ester Odiot born to Jaques and Catherine it seems that as they were seemingly the only family with the surname Odiot in the area that Ester was related to them.

The parish registers of Threadneedle Street do however show that Ester Odiot (spelled as Haudio) was a sponsor/Godparent to three children. These were Jean Sauoye, son of Josue Sauoye and Madelaine Vitou, on 1 September 1689; as Ester Oddio to Samuel Picavee, son of Albert Picavee and Madelaine, on 4 May 1690; and also to Esther Garnechon, daughter of Samuel Garnechon & Suzanne, on 7 May 1693.

Ester would have married Isaac de l'Épine between 1684 and 1687 and most probably in 1685 or 1686 as her first known child, Jean, was baptised in April 1687. However in official documents a married woman was still referred to by her maiden name so it is almost certainly this Ester, wife of Isaac, who was the Godmother to these three children.

However a 1711 baptism entry in the registers of the French Church in Wheeler Street, Spitalfields (transcribed in Quarto vol 45), shows her as Godmother to another child with her name recorded as "Mme Ester Lepine". The child was Samuel Oudart, son of Samuel Houdard and Jaquelinne, and was baptised on 13 May 1711. The other Godparent was Samuel Piquavet, who was perhaps the same Samuel Ester had been a Godmother to twenty one years previously.

The only occasion it seems a married surname was used was if "Mme" preceded the name so this is almost certainly Ester Odiot. Other references to "Ester Lepine" without the "Mme" will not be Ester Odiot and instead indicate the Ester who was daughter of Isaac Lepine and Marie Le Nain of Picardie who married Jeane Debonnaire in 1688.

While the only evidence cited so far for linking Ester to the family of Jaques Odio and Catherine Lehau is the name, the baptism of one of the children of Ester Odiot and Isaac de l'Épine gives a further indication. This Threadneedle Street entry for their daughter Catherine on 10 March 1689 shows her Godmother was Catherine Odio. This is surely the same Catherine who was baptised in 1669.

Given this and the surname it seems highly probable, but as yet unproved, that Ester Odiot who married Isaac de l'Épine was an elder daughter of Jaques Odio and Catherine Lehau. Pehaps she was born outside of London and travelled to London with her parents or was baptised in another London church.

We know that Ester most probably married Isaac in 1685 or 1686. We don't know how old she was when they married (or even where) but the earliest known child of Jaques Odio and Catherine Lehau, Louise, was born in 1666. Ester being born two years before would make her at least 20 or 21 years when she married Isaac. This seems all seems feasible but it based on supposition.

There are two entries on the IGI I have found under the variants which could possibly be ancestors or relatives of Jaques Odio who married Catherine Lehau. The earliest is for Jaques Odio, son of Estienne Odio, who was baptised on 11 December 1603 at the Walloons or Strangers Church in Canterbury. There is also a Franciscus Adio who married a Hellena Smith who married on 10 May 1653 at Edingale, Stafford.

Further to these there is an Estienne Audeoud, which given the pronounciation could also be a member of this family. He was a sponsor/Godparent to Pierre Arabin, son of Pierre Arabin, "dit Champar", and Henrietta Pioger on 8 January 1710.

Further evidence will hopefully come to light in the future which may shed further light on the Odiot family.

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