The period around the year 1800 is a real watershed in Europe. The French Revolution is 11 years old. Napoleon Bonaparte just seized power, the society was thoroughly modernized. Troops traversed Europe. Also for the Gimbrères this is period of far reaching changes.

The last French Gimbrère

The last French Gimbrère we’ve been able to trace is Georges Louis Eugène Gimbrère from Paris, deceased in 1970 in Tournan-en-Brie. Was he truly the last standard bearer? We have checked the French telephone directories, in which some listings of Gimbrères can be found. All of those listings are traceable to a namesake born in the Netherlands. Because telephone directories are becoming obsolete in the 21st century, we have also consulted Google and social media. That way too we have been unable to find any signals from Gimbrères not having Dutch ancestors.

We have also searched for listings in known places in the French Civil Registry, the État Civil, of which more and more is searchable online. All in all, we have found quite a few mentions in the first half of the 19th century (especially in Larressingle and Larroque and then some scattered individuals). In the second half we have only found a handful of Gimbrères and the only ones that cross the century boundary are the Gimbrères in Paris and Mouchan. The aforementioned Georges is the last representative of these. It is much harder to prove that something is not there than to find something that is there. We can’t therefore exclude the possibility that there are descendants of a French Gimbrère, who live in France in anonymity, or who have left France to go abroad. But we have not yet been able to discover them. That is why we continue here with the Gimbrères in Antwerp.

We follow the track of Jean Gimbrere, who leaves Bordeaux for Antwerp, shortly after 1800. For one generation the Gimbrères stayed there.

Then they flourished in Tilburg.