History of the family von Pidoll

Arms from 1714

The catholic family “von Pidoll“ is an artistically talented “ancient lorain gender“. A Y-DNA test with 67 markers, performed by the company iGENEA, Zurich, yielded in the result that the family members belong to the haplo group E1b1b1 and have the following migration history: Central Africa - Egypt - Canaan - Phoenicia - Carthage - Southern Italy - Middle England - Lorraine.

According to family sage an English soldier (in old french language: bidault) was released close to the lorain town of Mirecourt after the ceasefire in the Hundred Years War in 1445. At that period of time Mirecourt was an international trading centre for wood products, especially wood carvings. The soldier settled there as a wood turner and invented a throw-top called “pidolot“, obviously a slang form of “bidault“, which soon spread over the whole Lorraine as a popular toy for children and adults.

Pieter Breughel, 1559, Play with the pegtop, in Lorraine language "pidole"

According to mid-ages tradition the older sons took over the profession of their fathers. Since 1445 there were good living conditions in Lorraine. For this reason the family increases, and some younger sons were forced to settle down more to the north close to the town of Nancy. In this region the name of the top became changed to “Pidolle”.

Later, a single wood turner settled down even more north in Pange, a town at the roman road from Metz to Mainz close to Metz, which was founded for a second time with new settlers in 1464. In the french tax files were recorded “Mansu le tourillon” (1579) and “Françoia le tourillon“ (1579, 1583) as wood turners.  In Chanville, a town close to Pange, was born 1610 “Mangeon Pidoll” and 1615 Marshal “Toussainct Pidoll”.

As a consequence of the occupation of Metz by the King of France in 1552, bad living conditions came up for the citizens due to very high taxes, and many of them lost their whole properties and became poor vagabonds on the streets.

One of these poor vagabonds was the first documented member of the family von Pidoll, the wood turner “Claude le tourillon”. In 1570 he inscribed as one of the first settlers of a new town specially founded for the poor called “Nouvelle Chémery” (today Chémery-les-deux, a town close to Bouzonville and 25 km north of Pange).

In 1588, his son Nicolas, born around 1557, owned a small farm in "Nouvelle Chémery" and earned additional money with the same profession as his father. Two farms away from him lived Claude Sellier, the richest inhabitant of the village, who often gived his neighbours high credits.

The social ascent of the family began with the marriage of Symon Pidoll (*around 1582, +around 1640) with his wealthy neighbours daugther Barbara Sellier (*around 1582, +3.1.1675). On 6.6.1620 Symon and Barbara leased a great farm called Frönholz in the vicinity of Richemont north of Metz. In additional documents Symon is qualified as "virtuous and honest Sieur Symon Pidoll mayor and chief judge of the supreme court of Richemont". He owned this function at least until end of 1627. Further documents state that Symon possessed farms in Saint-François, Beckerholtz, Holling and Hobling, villages situated close to Chémery-les-deux.

Symon Pidoll, reconstruction

Signature of Symon Pidoll

In 1632 the war of thirty years started in Lorraine with the occupation by the French army. A last source qualified Symon as "lieutenant-colonel in Royal French services". In 1636 Richemont was burned off by the Croatian army. Half of the inhabitants of Richemont died during the attacks in the war.

Symons son Sir Dominique Pidolle (*1626, +28.2.1689) survived the destruction of Richemont and the move of the local supreme court to Hayange. In that village he got to know Lady Anna Katharina Schaus (+1670), daughter of Samson Schaus, mayor and chief judge of the supreme court of Hayange. Both married in 1651. From 1657 to 1679, Dominique himself became mayor and chief judge of the supreme court of Hayange. He especially cared about the reconstruction of the destroyed ironworks. After the decease of his wife he married for a second time: Maria Barbara Girard, daughter of the mayor of Richemont. From his money earned he founded in 1670 a brewery in Hayange. A painting qualified him as a captain of the Duke Charles IV of Lorraine. He was faithful to the Duke even during the Dukes exile in Trier (1669-1675).

Dominique Pidolle, reconstruction

Signature of Dominique Pidolle

Dominique Pidolle had 16 children. A son of him and Anna Katharina named François (*4.1.1665, +11.11.1745), from 1714 Sir Franz Knight (von) Pidoll, nobleman from Quintenbach, became officer in French military services. Due to the contacts of his father to Trier he got to know Johanna Helena de Thier von Offenberg (*1665, *11.2.1738), daughter of the chancellor of the Prince of Nassau, Geheimrat Jean Pierre de Thier von Offenberg and Barbara Lauer. Both maried in 1687. François homeland was a wealthy centre of the iron industry. For that reason François had the idea, to rebuilt the mill of Jean Pierre, which he leased in 1683, to an ironwork, the so-called "Quint" (10 km east of Trier). This happened and François became manager of the Quint. After the death of his father-in-law Jean Pierre, François became owner of the works. The sells were good and other ironworks were founded nearby: Zemmer Mühle, Eichelhütte, Bleischmelze, Mülchen and Oberhammer. The family Pidoll became very rich.

François Pidolle, reconstruction

Signature of François de Pidoll

At 18.5.1714 the Roman Emperor Charles VI struck François to a knight with the inheritable title "Knight (von) Pidoll, nobleman from Quintenbach" and awards him arms and inheritable nobility. In 1735 the castle of the Pidoll's was built in Quint.

First page of the nobility letter from 1714

The arms of the family Pidoll are red with a slanting golden beam charged with tree roses having five leafs (similar to the arms of Lorraine). Additionally in the upper left side is a crescent silvery moon (the heraldic symbol for catholic piety), and in the lower right section is a lorrain pegtop called pidole (the symbol of the family name) with a winded blue cord.

Churchwindow with the arms of the family von Pidoll in the church of Hayange. These arms were also on the churchbells casted in 1771.

The oldest son of Franz named Karl Kaspar became a respected clergyman. His third oldest son Hubert (*20.12.1691, +1.1.1757), which was master of the Thurn and Taxis post office, married in 1720 into one of the most respected noble families of Trier: Josepha Margaretha von Geisen (+3.10.1759), daughter of the director at court Friedrich Franz von Geisen and Maria Magdalena Buchholz. The second oldest son Franz Gottfried von Pidoll (*15.5.1689, +Mai 1762) studied at the university of Trier till his degree in 1708, but married in 1725 the middle-class woman Anne Luise Guichard (*15.12.1701), daughter of the notary Louis Bertrand Guichard and Charlotte Clement. For this reason father Franz subscribed him at this date the ironwork of Eichelhütte near Himmerod, acquired in 1704, and a great farm called Heeg as premature inheritance and gave Quint castle and the Quint ironworks to his son Hubert.

Huberts son Johann Franz (*30.1.1738, +25.7.1781) also married in 1769 according to his social position: Baronesse Luise von Forster (*23.7.1750, +31.10.1809), daughter of the advisor at court Baron Karl Anton von Forster and Maria Antonetta Josepha von Rosneck. Johann Franz lived at Quint castle and further managed the business of the Quint ironworks. In 1794, French revolution forces appeared at Quint and the family fled to Austria. At the court of Austria all three branches of the family married according to their social position, got very recognised and were struck to the grade of a baron (Karl Anton Michael at 14.5.1841 by Ferdinand I, Johann Michael Joseph at 16.7.1851 by Franz Josef I and Franz Friedrich Angelo Theodor at 1.9.1865 by Franz Josef I). Today, however, no Baron von Pidoll of this branch of the family lives any more. Some years earlier, at 14.9.1814, Johann Michael Joseph bishop of Le Mans was struck by Napoleon Bonaparte to the grade of a Baron of the french empire.

Gottfried von Pidoll, reconstruction

Signature of Franz Gottfried von Pidoll

Gottfrieds son Ludwig von Pidoll (9.1.1740, +5.10.1812), which called himself Ludovicus, was married at 11.2.1771 to Maria Franziska Jacobi (*12.8.1754, +8.5.1805), daughter of Konrad Jakobi, master of the cellar of the castle of Ulmen, and Maria Anna Fier. In 1762 he inherited the Eichelhütte and the farm Heeg and took a high credit to pay his five brothers and sisters. In spite of lack of money Ludwig was able to enlarge the Eichelhütte and to buy in addition other ironworks (1766 Hütte Wenzelhausen and Merkeshausen, 1777 Hütte Malberg). The climax of the development was reached!

In 1794 French revolution forces appeared at Eichelhütte. Ludwig fled to Heeg, but was also expelled from there. His farm was confiscated and sold by the French. Becoming poor due to this procedure, Ludwig sold his destroyed ironwork of Eichelhütte in 1807 and bought a farm called Neuhof near Himmerod, where he died in 1812.

Ludwig von Pidoll, Selfpainting in his sleeping jacket

Signature of Ludwig von Pidoll

Ludwigs sons 1) Karl Kaspar (*18.2.1777, +3.1.1857), married since 26.2.1810 to Maria Margaretha Fischer (*1783, +34.1862), daughter of the forester Peter Fischer, and 2) Gottfried (*9.4.1784, +13.5.1846), married since 19.8.1815 to Eva Kleudgen (*1796, +1.6.1873), daughter of the chief forester Theodor Kleudgen and Anna Katharina Weber, became both foresters and had many descendants, which mostly lived in Eifel or Saarland.

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