Patrick Delaforce & Ken Baldry

'The Delaforce Family History' - Chapter 30
La Force (Perigord)

Previous page

Next page

Back to Patrick's Index page

Chapter 30

"Suffer the little children to come unto me" Joshua ben Joseph (Jesus Christ)

La Force (Perigord)

This village was the one handed over to the Caumont family by King Philippe IV, who then caused all true Delaforces looking for their ancestors serious confusion by adding 'de la Force' to their name, see chapter 19. Added to which, Henri IV, of blessed memory, made Caumont into the Duke de la Force, employed both him in his government and also Sieur Jean Delaforce, our ancestor.

La Force on its defendable slight rise above the Dordogne

Hostellerie des Ducs on the Main Square

Constance de Caumont de la Force in 1819.

The name, John Bost is very prominent in this village. See this link for interesting information about the John Bost Foundation.

Here is a biography, ripped off from a French language website, shrunk, transliterated & rendered politically correct:-

John Bost

Jean Antoine - known as John - Bost was born on March 4, 1817 in Moutier-Grandval, canton of Bern, where his father was a Protestant Minister. A brain fever stopped his studies at the College of Geneva when he was 12, although he was a passionate student. He was then apprenticed to a bookbinder for 7 years. But he learned the piano and violoncello & Franz Liszt heard him and offered to teach him, launching him on a concert career.

In 1839, he left Geneva for Paris. He gave lessons & became a pupil of Zimermann & Chopin. But he is also impressed by the poverty in Paris & considers becoming a Minister himself.

In 1840, he gave up his musical career. After a long stay in Ireland, tutoring a Christian family, he entered Sainte-Foy College in 1841 to prepare for the baccalaureat. This was courageous at that age. After two years, violent headaches prevented him from continuing. The alarm clock then started to wake the Churches of the Dordogne valley. He had attended meetings in the country, in particular in Laforce, getting to know the life of the Protestant farmers, of whom he became pastor and organizer. In 1843 on the advice of some friends, John Bost went to the Ability Montauban to better prepare for the ministry. One day, he noticed the absence of a pupil. He investigated & discovered the poverty of the families there as well.

In 1844, a group of Christian evangelicals in Laforce determined to form an independent Church. They remembered John Bost and called upon him to be their Minister, which he accepted, being ordained in Orleans on September 26, 1844. Thus John Bost became established in Laforce and lived with his Ponterie parishioners, in the beautiful house of Meynard, which became his when he married his host's daughter, Eugenie Ponterie, in 1861. He immediately organized the community, which built the new temple, the Consistory having disallowed his use of the old temple which it had however paid for to the heirs of Caumont La Force. The new temple rose on the hill which dominates the valley not far from the ruins of the Caumont Chateau.

The new Temple built by John Bost & his Volunteers

The gateway is all that remains of the proud Caumonts' chateau

The Protestant Temple built of stone from the chateau

The new temple, built by volunteers, was inaugurated on December 15, 1846 by Bost's father. John Bost wanted to build the Asylum of his dreams by the temple. The parishioners supported him with enthusiasm. He raised support and funds in Montauban, Paris, England and Scotland, enough to start the construction. The parishioners provided more voluntary building work in the evenings.

The Family, as it was called, was inaugurated on May 24, 1848. John Bost was then 31 years old. It was immediately made available to children, orphans, incurables, the blind, deaf-mutes, phthisics & the mentally disabled before completion. This led to the idea of other establishments. The first, Béthesda, was inaugurated on November 15, 1855. Soon, other locations requested asylums.

From 1858 to 1860, there was a short pause. John Bost consolidated the work of 10 years. During this time, now aged 44, he finally married Eugenie Ponterie on July 2, 1861. They had 4 children: Leila, Caroline, Henriette (dead at 6 weeks) and Henri. More Asylums followed, to take in epileptics, widows, old teachers and for old, crippled or incurable maidservants. Two elderly spinsters of Bergerac left land in 1878 for more establishments. He was growing old & tired but had the joy of seeing the Asylums recognized by the State as Public Utility Companies in 1877. This secured the future of his work.

In 1881, he summoned his last strength to go to Paris to promote the interest of the Asylums and the education of the children. He fell ill there and died on November 1st at 64 years of age. His body was brought back to La Force for burial.

After the 9 asylums created during his life, 13 more have followed.

The following few chapters cover the search for de la Force ancestors during the tenth to thirteenth centuries. While some of the characters proved not to be our precursors, what we discovered about them made them worth including, as if not ancestors, they were certainly cousins of ancestors.

Previous page

Next page

Back to Patrick's Index page

Contact: Ken Baldry at 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him
© 2003-2004 Ken Baldry. All rights reserved. Last revised 18/12/2005