Mouquin De L'Abbaye


The auberge operated by Veuve Mouquin in January of 1829 was located in Echallens, roughly fifteen kilometers north of Lausanne, in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland. The words, "de L'Abbaye" written after the name of her late husband, David, did not mean that David had been born in the town of L'Abbaye, as I first thought.

A trip to the canton of Vaud, Switzerland solved only some of the mystery of L'Abbaye. The Mouquins were French Huguenots from the Savoy. Sometime after 1590, two Mouquin brothers fled the persecution of French Huguenots in Savoy, and settled in the cold little village of Le Ponts, at the northern tip of Lake Joux, Switzerland. The Mouquins lived in the area for nearly one hundred years before they earned Swiss citizenship. Stonemasons and carpenters by trade; the Mouquins earned their Swiss citizenship in 1690, in L'Abbaye, as part of their compensation for helping to rebuild the abbey on the Eastern shore of Lake Joux. A fire had destroyed the abbey, from whence the town gets its name, when lightening struck the roof.

Hereafter, all Mouquins from this part of the family tree are referred to as Mouquin de L'Abbaye, because it is the point where the family was first granted Swiss citizenship. All descendents, including those living in other countries, are still entitled to the privilege of Swiss citizenship, should they so desire.

Lake Joux is still a remote, cold area, secluded by the Jura Mountains on the east side, and the border between France and Switzerland on the western side of the lake. The wind blows north with such a force that roofing shingles or corrugated metal on the southern exposure fortifies all the houses. The harsh climate fostered poverty and suffering.

In 1719, Joseph Mouquin married Elizabeth Rochat in L'Abbaye and had five children: Jean David (born October 13, 1720); Suzanne (born December 14, 1721); Jean Isaac (born June 25, 1725); David Aime (born May 21, 1730) and Elizabeth (born June 27, 1734. Jean Isaac Mouquin married Jeanne Bailli. Their son Jean Abraham was born in L'Abbaye, February 10, 1754. The record indicates that Jean Isaac was in the business of limestone (en service a la chaux). Sometime after the birth of Jean Abraham, Jean Isaac and his brother David Aime decided to leave the poverty stricken area. The families followed the cow paths up over the Jura Mountains to the warm valley of Lake Geneva. Here they began new lives as farmers in the areas of La Sarraz, Villar-Lusseri, and Eclepans.

Jean Abraham Mouquin married Marie Brun and had four sons: Samuel, Charles, Benjamin, and Isaac David Mouquin. Isaac David was born in Villar-Lusseri, November 25, 1792. He was baptized December 21, 1792. This is the same David Mouquin de L'Abbaye who married Henriette Monnier, who operated an auberge in Echallens. Echallens is about 6 kilometers east of the farming village of Villars-Lusseri. Henriette Monnier Mouquin is the widow whose will I found in the attic.