This text is based on conversations that I had with and material
from Julia Bourmourck Staats, a granddaughter
of Victorine Dorval and Jules Meunier through their daughter Julia Meunier. Some of her information was
based on her sister, Alfreda's recollection. Julia also had a
brother named Jules. Also, information is provided on Alphonse
Andris by his daughter, Marlene Sevilla
Andris Sagert. Finally, there is a chart provided of the Descendants of Arthur Andrisse
and Victorine Dorval for Three Generations.
Arthur Andrisse and Victorinne Dorval were married in Binche, Belgium at the Hotel de Ville. They were both previously married.
Victorine Dorval was born in Binche, Belgium on December 23, 1875 (obituary says 12/24/75) to León Dorval and Josephine Sebille. She first married Jules Meunier, who was born in Binche on November 21, 1872. They had one child, Julia Meunier, later adopted by Arthur Louis Andris after he married "Torinne." Julia was two years old when her father, Jules, died. He was a roofer by trade. One legend has it that he fell off the roof and died, another that he died of consumption.
Arthur Louis Nicholas Andrisse was born in Binche, Belgium. The date on his birth certificate is 4/5/1873, in his obituary, 4/6/1872. There is some dispute over what the name of Arthur's previous wife was. According to the obituary of Arthur N. Andris which appeared in the Parkersburg News on 12/9/88, her name was Elisa Beaumez. According to my brother's resources, her name was Marie Peticote, and she was very a very small person. Their children were Louise, Arthur N., and Aimé
After Victorine and Arthur married, "Grandpa Andris went to Russia to work. He took his wife, Arthur and Aimé. Two other people apparently accompanied them on their trip. Their small child, Louis, who was a baby, was taken along. Louise Lebrun, Arthur's mother, also went along. Louise, Arthur's only daughter, stayed with her maternal grandmother, Josephine Sebille. Julia Meunier stayed with the Dorvals. There is again dispute here about the name of grandpa Dorval. According to Julia, the name is John Baptiste, "Papa Sot," which means fool, teaser or joker, and Josephine's nickname was "Mama Fin." Torinne's obituary says his name was León.
Here is a pieced-together version of an often told family legend. My comments are in square brackets, Julia's in parentheses. [When they got to Russia, conditions were terrible, people were starving. Not only that, but the Bolshevik movement was in progress. ] (The neighbors in the place where they were staying came and warned that the Bolsheviks were coming.) [They needed to leave with only the clothes on their back. Arthur's mother had just died and was not yet buried. He said to the neighbors, "But my mother is dead and not yet in the grave. I can't leave." The neighbor said "You must leave now or you will be killed. We will bury your mother for you."] (They put warm embers in a container in the bassinet to keep Louie warm. They could hear the wolves howling in the distance.) [And they could see the torches of the Cossacks in the distance.]
Apparently, my Uncle Lou must have been the baby that was in Russia. If his obituary is correct, and he was born in Belgium on August 6, 1902, he travelled with them as an infant. [I can remember my father telling me that Louie was premature, and weighed less than 2 pounds at birth. Dad said that his dad said he could hold him in the palm of his hand. The family legend has it that they put Louie in a cigar box and set him near an open oven door.
My brother Tom thinks that they were escaping some part of the 1905 rebellion in Russia. He also heard a story when he was in Belgium that once Arthur and the family was back in Belgium, a Bolshevik came into a saloon and was "spouting Communism" and Arthur shot and killed the man. According to my Uncle Alphonse's obituary, he was born on June 6, 1907, in Binche, Belgium, but according to his oldest daughter, Marlene, the year was 1906. Alphonse's obituary is probably incorrect when it asserts that "He came to the United States with his family when he was six months old."
According to her obituary, Torinne came to this country in 1909. She brought her daughter, Julia, with her, who would have been about 13 years old. My mother tells the story that she had only a nickel with her, and she had to point at beans and fatback in the grocery because she didn't know the right words. She worked as a cleaning lady and saved her money. Sometime soon thereafter, she ended up in Clarksburg, West Virginia, and stayed in Clarksburg until 1916 or 17, when she came to Marietta. [I think she may have had a grocery store in Clarksburg some of the time, but not sure.] Her husband, Arthur, and his two sons by his former marriage, Arthur N. and Aimé, came to Clarksburg from Belgium sometime around the first part of 1910. It is also likely that the two sons, Louis, age 8 and Alphonse, age 3 or 4 came with Arthur. Since my father, Fernand, was born in Clarksburg on October 22, 1910, it is likely that he was conceived soon after they arrived.
While she was in Clarksburg, Julia met Alfred Bourmourk, but they didn't marry until they moved to Marietta. The Bourmourks came to the United States in the late 1800s. Those who came before 1905 came to Castle Gardens near The Bowery, others came to Ellis Island.
There were glass factories in Clarksburg and Marietta. Accoring to Julia Bourmourck, people from the glass factories would go to Belgium and help families come to the USA. When they arrived in Marietta, the men in the family worked in the glass factories. According to my father, his father worked at a glass plant in Salem and one on Northview (Clarksburg) WV. Mrs. Andris' obituary says that he "was employed in the former window glass plant in the Westview industrial section." His son, Arthur N., worked at the Pioneer Glass Co. on the West Side of Marietta. (Arthur N. obituary)
According to his obituary, Arthur, Sr. belonged to Marietta Lodge No. 744, Loyal Order of Moose, and to a French Society that had its headquarters in Indiana.
Arthur, Sr., died in Marietta in 1930 at age 57 or 58, depending on which birth date is correct. He died of a brain tumor, according to my father. Since he had to blow glass from a lead pipe, this might have been a contributing factor. There are unflattering stories of him carrousing with women in his later years; it may have been due to the brain tumor, but this is speculation.
"Torinne bought 313 around 1922 from Mrs. Morris, whose husband was dying of TB. she wanted to go back to West Virginia. She (mom) payed $900 for the store." Her obituary reports that she conducted "the Clover Farm store near her home." I know from past conversations that there was a store at 321 Greene that the family operated. One of these stores was hit by the 1937 flood. According to my mother, it was a terrible tragedy. They had moved all the groceries and equipment up the stairs to the second floor, but the flood went to 55 feet, and was well into the second floor. When they were able to get into the building, everything was ruined. Mud was everywhere. Sacks of flour and sugar were ruined. Canned goods were rusted and the labels had come off. Mrs. Andrisse was devastated. Mother said that she would set for hours scrubbing rusted cans with steel wool and try to identify them for reduced sale. The anguish of the loss and the worry of financial ruin probably contributed in large part to her death on March 4, 1937.
Again according to my mother, she promised Torinne on her death bed that she would "Take care of Squee." "Squee" was Fernand's nickname. He and Lorene were married 5 moths later on August 16, 1937.