Husson Historical Background
Unlike the Letains, relatively little is known about the Hussons. The main reason is that to date, no family tree on the Hussons has been found in Belgium. Another reason is because the Hussons seem to be centered in two main areas in Europe, the Chassepierre area of Belgium and also in the French Ardennes in France, near the Belgium-France border, but located in France. It appears that most of them originated around Chassepierre, Belgium. The first person with this surname recorded in the parish registers is Jacques Husson who married Anne-Marie Jacquet, daughter of Nicolas Jacquet and Anne Damoin. There is no record of the birth or death of Jacques, though there is one for his wife Anne-Marie. She was born in 1762 in Lacuisine, Belgium and died on March 13, 1828 at 5:00 p.m. Records show them having one son: Jean Joseph born on June 1, 1836 in Chassepierre, Belgium, and Marie Adeline born on March 12, 1860.
Jean Joseph Husson was an innkeeper (cabaretier) and journalist(note: it is not likely he was a journalist- his trade in french was 'journalier' which does not mean journalist but journeyman or handy man, which was common at the time. In other words, just a laborer? He married Marie Elisabeth Clothilde Joniaux, a housekeeper who was born on January 3, 1837 in Jandun, France. The name Husson is quite common not only on the tombstones of Chassepierre, but in Belgium as a whole. An internet query search through the telephone directories of Belgium (Infobel) listed 290 Hussons, mostly in the Flemish part of Belgian (outside the province of Luxembourg). There are still some Hussons around the Chassepierre area though not many. Tombstones of certain Hussons buried in the Chassepierre cemetery indicate that some were killed in the war. For example, the following: Jules Husson-Tombé pour La Patrie au Marquis du Banel –3/11/1924 –18/6/1944. However, it was pointed out to me by either Odon Mernier or Nadia Cellier that many of those are not related to us, at least not closely related. I.e. there are different branches of Hussons around Chassepierre, but most are not closely related. Further checks through microfilm records and other sources, however, indicate how they were related (check the family trees). On another tombstone in Chassepierre the following is inscribed: A la gorieuse memoire de Regina Servois-Prisonnière Politique, 37 mois à Ravensbrük. Épouse de Adelin Husson 10/5/1901-14/3/1949.
I was recently (1999) informed by a professor-correspondent from Florenville, who has been involved in researching Belgiums who emmigrated to the Americas, that some Hussons were involved in the anti-german resistance during World War II. Among those were Adelin Husson and his son Jules. His father lived at La Barrière. They were killed by the Germans in 1944, probably because of their involvment in the resistance, though the circumstances surrounding their death was not mentioned in the letter.
Justine, baptised as Thédorine Justine, the wife of Jean Ernest Letain was the sister of Felicité Eugénie Husson. Besides these two sisters, however, there were several other siblings in the Husson family. These were Amélie, Odeline, Celine, Célinie, Jules and Vital.
It appears that Amélie married after immigrating to Canada in January 1898 to Alexis Cléophas Lemaire from France. Amélie was 19 when she came over to Canada. She came because of health reasons (tumor on her side, according to Mae Borsa). She was born on May 1, 1874. They had three children: René, born in October, 1898, Edouard born around 1909. Marie married Frank Borsa. They used to live in Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba, and later in Winnipeg. They had two children: Robert and Marlyn who married George DeJonckheere on September 3, 1960.
Vital was younger than his nephews. He lived in Chassepierre. He was born on March 13, 1875 and married Stephanie (Fanie) Poncin in 1898. He was younger than his nephews. He had several children: Aline, Jeanne, Justin, Maurice, Myriam, Charles and Omer.
Meeting the Hussons in Belgium
On our first trip to Belgium in 1977 we visited some descendants of the Hussons. When we inquired of Odon Mernier whether he knew any Hussons around Chassepierre he gave me the address of Nadia Cellier one of the few Husson descendants around Chassepierre. She lived in the commune of Fontenoille. She used to come there for the summer for her holidays, but when she went back to work it was around Liege (Milmort). Nadia’s mother Myriam, one of the daughters of Vital Husson,was married to a Cellier.
Nadia corresponded with me for some time. In early 1978 I received a letter from her mother Myriam, listing the names of her aunts and uncles and well as all her brothers and sisters. Unfortunately she did not give any birthdates or any information about her aunts and uncles. She also mentioned her daughter Nadia that I had met. I thought it was a strange coincidence that of all the people that descended from the Hussons who lived in Belgium I ran across one that was born on the same day of the year that I was, though on a different year.
Another person we met who was related to the Hussons was Marie Thiry, the widow of Justin Husson who had died sometimes before. It may have been in the war. She lived in Fontenoille. Apparently their house was used as a stopover for allies coming through this part of Belgian during the war. It had been years since she had taken out the Champagne bottle, i.e. since the troops left the local area, but she took it out for us. Unfortunately, I was inexperienced at removing corks from Champagne bottles. She handed me the bottle so I could open it, just like an old-time war Canadian ally had done during the war, however, when I managed to yank the cork out after much fananiganing around, it hit the ceiling and about a quarter of the preserved champagne shot out behind it, much to the amazement of Marie who just could not believe what she was seeing.
Marie herself was not descended from the Hussons and she gave us the address of a woman descended from the Hussons then living in France Lucile Gourmet living in Tétaigne, France.
I wrote Lucile several times starting in 1977 and she always replied eagerly. She was then quite aged. She explained that she had a daughter names Sylvette who was married to an Arnould and who were bakers in Fumay, France. She also corresponded with May Borsa who then lived in Winnipeg, and indicated that May’s husband Frank Borsa had recently died. She also indicated that her daughter Christiane lived in Chehalous/Marne, France and Arlette lived in Normany on a farm. She kept corresponding until 1979. On December 23, 1978 she wrote a letter indicating that she had turned 74 on the 21st of December. She must be deceased by now. If living she would be 94 years of age.
Jean Jacques Husson