The first source – of great significance – is the “Family tree of the Gimbrère family” by Klaartjes father Bob Gimbrère (1920-2013). The starting point of our search was the Bordeaux origin of the father of our Jean François, which he mentioned. Internet searches have given mentions of the name Gimbrère in the most diverse sources. The first impressions of the Gimbrères in France were therefore acquired from the Netherlands. From this it became clear that we had to search the Gimbrère heartland not so much in Bordeaux, but in the Gers department, in southwest France.
Parish church books play a major role in the search for ancestors, as forerunners of the records of the registry office. In those books you will find the mentions of baptism, marriage and burial of parishioners, often with reference to parents and godparents. An important stroke was the viewing of microfilms of Bordeaux church books, looking for the link between Bordeaux and the Gimbrère heartland. These microfilms were made by and under the management of the Mormons. Hans has looked at a lot of them. The next phase of the investigation was visiting the (departmental) archives in Bordeaux, in the Gers and in Gaillac (Tarn department), where a group of Gimbrères had also emerged. Klaartje and Hans have found many references to Gimbrères in church books in the relevant archives. What they also discovered, just like Felix, who also went looking for the origin, was that most of the Gers’ church books that have been preserved can be viewed digitally by the members of the genealogical association of the department, the Généalogie Gasconne Gersoise. So this got two Dutch members. The Amitiés Généalogiques Bordelaises were also gladdened by Dutch membership
It soon became apparent that the village of Ayguetinte was a main Gimbrère dwelling place. Unfortunately, church records of Ayguetinte have only survived as of 1760. But fortunately, notarial records of Ayguetinte have been saved as of 1629. These records contain marriage contracts, last wills and testaments and other contracts. Those too contain information on Gimbrères and their family relations, as we have succeeded to unearth in many visits to the departmental archives of the Gers in Auch. Hans and Klaartje and Felix and Mariken have spent many a holiday on this. This way too we discovered the notarial records of Jegun dating from 1595 onward as an important source for the family in Castera Vivent. With this information we eventually succeeded in tracking the continuous lineage out of Castera Vivent from about 1540 through Ayguetinte, Bordeaux and Antwerp to Tilburg in 1839.
We have also investigated the history of lieu-dit la Gimbrère, the origin of our family. The description of this, as it can be found in this book, stems from our study of archival documents such as cadastral books from the 17th and 18th centuries, court rulings from the 16th century, accounting of the Archdiocese of Auch from the 15th up to the 18th centuries, documents of local nobility and many secondary sources. The latter concerns books and dissertations by historians, articles in regional historical journals such as the Revue de Gascogne and the Bulletin de la Société Archéologique du Gers. The digitally accessible collection of books and magazines (galliapprox.bnf.fr) of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France has proved to be very valuable, but Internet Archive (archive.org) cannot be left unmentioned. Felix is in the process of putting in writing the results of his research into Saint-Sernin de la Gimbrère and into the seigneurie et salle noble de la Gimbrère in greater detail.
The oldest archive piece that we have had in our hands is a parchment dating from 1325: a codicil to a testament of one of the sons of the lord of Bonas, neighbour of la Gimbrère. One of the witnesses at the drafting was Sancius de Gimbreda, probably a Gimbrère.
It would go too far to give an extensive list of all the archive documents consulted by us. The perused church books run into the hundreds and we have worked through more than 60 notarial registers. If you have further questions about our sources, feel free to ask via firstname.lastname@example.org.