Dad Maternal

Table of Contents | Preface | An Indian Childhood | Genealogy | Colonialism and The Raj


[Genealogy] [IndoEuropeans] [Separate and Unequal] [Mum and Dad] [Dad] [Mum] [William  Blanchette] [Thomas Blanchette II] [Thomas Blanchett 1] [Mum Paternal] [Robert Roberts] [Dad Maternal] [Mum Maternal]

Blanchette_Roberts Family Tree

Clemence Adeline (Baptiste) Blanchette
(b1881 m1904 d~1960)

Her Father Cecil Baptiste
b1855 m1880 d1912

married 1880

Mother Adeline Eugenie Baptist
b1862 m1880  d1918

Her Grandfather John Baptist --lawyer in Bhagalpur -- (Spanish)  married Alice Marklew (Irish) in~1822


Her other grandfather Anthony Baptiste -- (French)  married Georgina Bolton "daughter of Indian Rajah and General Bolton"
Clemence Adeline (Baptiste) Blanchette and family--- Dad and his siblings

My Grandmother--Clemence Adeline (Baptiste) Blanchette

Now to my Dad’s mother’s side—a certain amount of these data is unverified and is culled from various family documents written by family members:  I got much of these data through the kind efforts of Cecile Hinton (nee Baptiste) my father’s first cousin who now lives in Australia.  The genealogy is quite fascinating.

Clemence Adeline Baptiste (my paternal grandmother) was the daughter of Cecil Adolphus Baptiste (French/English/Indian) and Adeline Eugenie Baptist (Spanish and Irish).  Yes a Baptiste married a Baptist — I have seen a copy of the wedding certificate!  We now see where my father's names Eugene and Adolphus came from. 

Since she came of French, Indian, Spanish and Portuguese stock one would expect her to be a Catholic.  She was, and was a very ardent one at that  The Catholicism in our branch of the Blanchettes comes from her.  The other Blanchettes are all Protestants.

Clemence married William Blanchette when she was 23 and Dad was born when she was 24.  William died when she was 42 leaving her with seven children to raise.  The youngest child was four and the eldest, my father, was 18. 

Clemence spent most of her life in Ajmer as the wife and then widow of an engine driver.  After her husband died she took in boarders to make ends meet.  All the children got a decent education.  They all finished high school.  The children did the typical Anglo Indian jobs--the boys became railwaymen, customs agents, police sergeants, and clerks, and the girls became nurses and teachers. 

Clemence's children all emigrated after 1947 and Clemence herself emigrated to England in the 1950's.   

Grandma Baptiste's mother was Adeline Eugenie nee Baptist.  Adeline's father was apparently a  “pleader of the High Court” in other words a lawyer.  According to family memory and letters, he was Spanish.  This man is reputed to have been a wealthy barrister in Bhagalpur whose fortune is still tied up in Chancery.  He would have been practicing law in 1860-1880 in the Calcutta area.  I have no idea what a Spaniard was doing practicing law in India in the late 19th century, and the genealogical trail ends with him.  

Adeline Eugenie (Baptist) Baptiste
b1862 m1880  d1918
Father John Baptist Spanish, lawyer, Bengal
Alice Marklew Irish
One of my GreatGrandmothers--Adeline Eugenie (Baptist) Baptiste

Adeline is reputedly the daughter of John Baptist a Spanish "Pleader of the High Court" and "Alice Marklew" an Irish mother.  Her mother would have been born around 1840ish, prior to the Suez canal opening.  A few women from England were coming to India at that time and she could have been one of the Irish poor fleeing the horrible conditions in her native land.  The more likely story is that she was the daughter of an Irish soldier and an Indian or Goan woman.  This is the time that British soldiers were beginning to flood into India to annex western India.  A very large percentage of these soldiers were poor Irishmen escaping a bleak future in Ireland   

 As Warren Hastings and later Lord Cornwallis attempted to bring some order to the chaos in Bengal, they set up courts run by Englishmen who did not speak any of the native languages.  The Hindus were tried by English judges using Hindu law.  The Muslims were tried by English judges using Muslim law.  The barristers who represented the plaintiffs and the defendants were known as "Pleaders".  

Ms Baptist's father is reputed to have had a sword hanging at home which was presented to him by the "king". This too sounds plausible.  The local Moghul nobles were still nominally in charge so they would be following the time honored Moghul practice of giving gifts for services rendered.   Baptist was practising law in Bhagalpur which was indeed one of the major cities of Bengal and would have had a superior court.

Photo of Cecil Baptiste
Cecil Baptiste
b1855 m1880 d1912
His Father Anthony Baptiste b~1820?m~1860 ? d?
Mother Georgina Bolton b~1830 m~1860 d??
Georgina Bolton daughter of "Indian Princess and General Bolton"
One of my Great Grandfathers---Cecil Baptiste

My grandmother Clemence Adeline Baptiste's father was Cecil Baptiste.  Cecil Baptiste (b 1855 m 1880 Calcutta, d 1912 ) worked on the railway  (marriage cert and Baptismal cert).   He was the son of Anthony Baptiste--a Frenchman who was  “Superintendent of the Government Printing Press in Calcutta”, and Georgina Bolton, reputedly the daughter of a General Bolton and an Indian Princess.  I have no documentation on Bolton or Mrs B.

Cecil Baptiste is another of the Anglo-Indians who worked for the railway.  His genealogy is particularly interesting.  Although there is a variety of European blood, there is only one "Anglo" meaning "British" antecedent we can identify.

The photo of Cecil Baptiste on the left is indeed of Cecil Baptiste, but it is Clemence's brother, not her father--it is as close as I could get!  The photograph is of Cecil Baptiste the son of the Cecil Baptiste born in 1885.  The Cecil Baptiste shown here is the father of Cecile Baptiste my cousin who now lives in Australia.  This Cecil spent part of his life in Burma working for the railway.  He trekked over the mountains out of Burma into India just ahead of the Japanese advance in WWII.  His daughter Cecile visited us in California in 1999.  The primary purpose of her visit was to see her friend Nesta who was her kindergarten friend in Burma.  Nesta also trekked out of Burma just ahead of the Japanese. She now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and has raised a family of successful Anglo Burmese Americans--God Bless America!


Anthony Baptiste b~1815 French, Superintendent of  Government Press married Georgina Bolton daughter of "Indian Princess and General Bolton."
One of my Great Great Grandfathers Anthony Baptiste

I have no official data on the Frenchman Anthony Baptiste or on his wife Georgina  Bolton.  I do have a family tree and the family tree data pass a reasonableness test.

Let’s assume Georgina was 30 when Cecil was born.   That makes Georgina’s birth date about 1825.  The idea that a British general would have married a Rajah’s daughter or (more likely) a Muslim noblewoman in about 1820 is not unrealistic and was not all that unusual at that time.  The repudiation of one's Indian ancestors began in earnest in about the 1830's in the Presidency towns and long after that in the hinterlands.

John Baptist b~1820 Spanish lawyer in Bhagalpur, Bengal married Alice Marklew "an Irishwoman."
Another of my Great Great Grandfathers John Baptist

This ancestor is reputed to have been a Spaniard who practised law in Bhagalpur.  Sounds credible and that is all the data I have on him.  He is reputed to have married an Irish woman named Alice Marklew

My Great Great Great Grandparents Generation

This generation would have been born around 1800 and functioning in the first half of the 19th century. 

Georgina Bolton's father is reputed to be a General Bolton.  He is reputed to have married an Indian princess.  This is quite likely since at that time it was quite common for English officers and high level HEIC employees to marry upper class Indians, particularly Muslims.  There is a long story here by William Dalrymple about "White Moghuls"--Englishmen who lived like Moghuls and married Indian women. Here is a picture of  Sir David Ochterlony who was the Resident at Delhi, and here is an article about Ochterlony himself mentioning his Moghul life style and how rapidly the situation changed.

Anthony Baptiste is reputed to have been a Frenchman in charge of the "Government printing press in Calcutta".  This too is quite credible.   The first western printing press in India was set up by William Carey in Serampore in 1799.  The first Government printing press started about 1800.  

Carey and his companions were the first English missionaries to get to Calcutta  in 1795  The HEIC  were so anti missionary that Carey set up shop in Serampore, in the Danish controlled part of Bengal.  The Serampore press became quite famous.  They were the first press to print the Bible and the Gita in Bengali and other languages.  On to Mum Maternal

Table of Contents | Preface | An Indian Childhood | Genealogy | Colonialism and The Raj

[Genealogy] [IndoEuropeans] [Separate and Unequal] [Mum and Dad] [Dad] [Mum] [William  Blanchette] [Thomas Blanchette II] [Thomas Blanchett 1] [Mum Paternal] [Robert Roberts] [Dad Maternal] [Mum Maternal]