Dr. Francis Joseph Pahud de Valangin

Born:  c. 1719/1720, Berne, Switzerland

Died: March 1, 1805,  Cripplegate, London, England

Parents:  Father Unknown

                Mother was related to the Prince of Orange,  hence to King George II

Wives:  1st wife Elizabeth Baddelley (c1733-1777)

              2nd wife:  Elizabeth Hillyer (c1740-1816)

Children:     3 sons,  Charles William Nassau, Thomas John Albert & Frances Joseph (Died young)

                    1 daughter (died at age 11)

Dr. de Valangin had 2 sons who came to America.  The painting at right was given to the Masonic Lodge in Alexandria Virginia in the 1810's by Charles.  It is still hanging in the lodge and is on their web site.

"Dr. Frances de Valangin - an eminent physician of London, England.  Painted in the year 1740 presented by his son, Dr. Francis de Valangin of Fairfax Co., Va. in 1812. Who also presented through Major Timothy Montford, Manager of the Alexandria Museum, a very ancient Masonic Truncheon, a staff which for centuries was the property of gentlemen of first standing in Society in Europe members of Masonic Fraternity.

I.E. Corbitt - Alexandria, Va. - Alexandria-Washington Lodge"

Click here to read an article which gives a good overview of his life.  His Grandson was Albert de Valangin,  who married Wilhelmina Baarticheer in Baltimore in 1820.  Albert was kidnapped by his uncle and brought to America around 1810. Albert & Wilhelmina's daughter was my Great Great Grandmother, Charity de Valangin Patrick.

One of our many mysteries include the estate of the late Dr. deValangin.  As late as 1885,  our ancestors were still trying to get a hold of it,  even though he had died 80 years previous.  Someday I may go to London and see if I can pry it loose!

Click here to read this fascinating letter.

His son,  Charles was mentioned in George Washington's diary from October 29, 1799

29. Morning perfectly clear and Calm. Mer. at 44. Extremely pleasant all day. Mer. 52 at Night. Colo. Griffen Mr. Law and a Mr. Valangin (an Engh. Gentleman introduced by Mr. Barthw. Dandridge). The latter went away afterwards.

"Charles W. Valangin, the son of Dr. de Valangin of London, came to the United States with the intention of making it his permanent residence. He planned to travel throughout the states before deciding where to buy a farm. A man "of liberal Education," Valangin had "made Law & Physic his more particular Studies" and was especially interested in agriculture. Dandridge had written him a letter of introduction to GW because he knew of GW's desire "to encourage improvement of our husbandry by the introduction of farmers of good character" and felt Valangin's information on modern English farming methods would make him a welcome visitor to Mount Vernon. Dandridge wrote that Valangin brought with him samples of many varieties of English seed which Dandridge "advised him in the first instance to entrust to yr. care & which he will do with pleasure" (Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr., to GW, 1 July 1799, DLC:GW). "

The de Valangin name has been passed down through the family to this day. The is an unusual pride in the name.  My great uncle John de Valangin Patrick, his son,  and my distant cousin, Barbara Seelaus, all proudly display the name.   From what I can tell it refers to being from the hamlet of Valangin, in the Canton of Neufchatel, Switzerland.  Interestingly,  it may actually be the Pahud name which had the royal connection.  I guess I need to go to Switzerland to find out.  ;-)

I did get a chance to visit London in July, 2006 and visited St. Giles  Cripplegate church.  Despite assurances from the folks at the church that there was no memorial to Dr. deValangin in the church,  I persevered.  I was rewarded with a beautiful memorial to his wife and 2 children. 

In 2012,  I visited the George Washington Memorial Masonic Lodge in Alexandria, Virginia.  Francis' son had donated a portrait, and an ancient Truncheon to the Lodge.  The portrait is on display, and the truncheon is held in reserve.  The curator was a very nice gentleman,  and brought it out to show us.  Amazing. 

St Giles Cripplgate

One of the oldest churches in London, it survived many calamities over the years. However, WWII bombing practically destroyed the church and surrounding area. The church is rebuilt, but most of the memorials and graves were destroyed. Located in the Barbican area.

deValangin Memorial in St. Giles Cripplegate

Memorial to his first wife, Elizabeth Baddelley. She was connected with William of Orange and probably brought him many connections in society. Also mentions their daughter and youngest son.

Nameplate on Portrait of Francis DeValangin in Masonic Lodge in Alexandria, Virginia

Dave Finlay, 4th Great Grandson of Francis DeValangin, standing in front of his portrait in the George Washington Memorial Lodge in Alexandria

Ancient Truncheon belonging to Francis De Valanagin. Donated by his son to the Masonic Lodge in Alexandria Virginia.