New Sources about Devaranne
Since many obscurities still exist about the freedom hero Devaranne, I sought to locate further historical sources about him, and the efforts were crowned with success. Records concerning the marriage of the hero’s parents, the death of his mother and two siblings and, more than anything else, his own birth certificate could be located.
The desired records are located in the church books of the Walloon Congregation in Hanau a. M. As archivist Carl Jünger from Hanau told me, the Devaranne family probably left France during the time of the Huguenot pogroms and the Walloon Congregation in Hanau took them in. The Walloon Congregation was founded by reformed emigrants, who settled in Hanau in the year 1594.
The marriage certificate of Devarannes parents is worded as follows:
„Il y a des promesse de mariage entre Pierre de Varanne, Bourgois de cette ville d’un part et entre Elisabeth Joost fille de Chretien Joost Bourgeois de cette ville d’antre part. Marié le 10 me Mars 1783 par Mons le Pasteur Moeser.” (The marriage was contracted between Peter de Varanne, citizen of this city on one side and between Elisabeth Joost, daughter of Christian Joost, citizen of this city on the other side. Married the 10th of March 1783 by the Reverend Pastor Moeser.)
From the following birth certificate, it can be inferred that Johann Christian Claudius Devaranne was the eldest son, because he was born almost exactly one year after the marriage on the 8th of March 1784. The entry in the church book reads as follows:
„Jean Chretien Claude, fils de Pierre, Devarannes et de sa femme Elisabeth née Jost, naquit le 8 Mars 1784 fet batisé le 14 du dit par Mons le Pasteur Mader, ent pour Parain Jean Chretien Jost et pour Maraine Anne Catherine Jost son Grand Peré – et sa Grand Mére.” (Johann Christian Claudius, son of Peter Devaranne and his wife, born Jost, born the 8th of March 1784, was baptized an the 14th of the same month by Reverend Pastor Mader (ent must probably be eut), had as godfather Johann, Christian Jost and as godmother Anna, Katharina Jost, his grandfather and his grandmother.)
Devaranne’s father was a locksmith. That can be inferred from the entry in the death record book. The mother didn't survive the sad fate of her son. She died on the 2nd of January 1813 at the age of 53 years and 9 months. Devaranne had another brother, who died on the 25th of October 1813 at the age of 23. So his older brother outlived him by just three months. A sister, Johanna Elisabeth Devaranne was born on the 6th of April 1794 and died unmarried on the 16th of June 1869 in Hanau. The entry in the death record book reads:
”1. 2. 1813. Elisabeth Devarane, wife of the citizen and locksmith Pierre Devaranne in this very place, aged 53 years 9 months.”
”10. 25. 1813. Devarane, of the citizen and locksmith Peter Devaranne legitimate son, aged 23 years."
”6. 16. 69. Devaranne, Jeanne Elisabeth Demoiselle b. 4. 6. 1794 residence 21 Römer St.“
Their confession was reformed evangelical. Nothing was found in Hanau about our hero’s wife, whose name was Frederike Hager. Archivist Carl Jünger from Hanau told me, that the name Hager doesn’t appear in the Walloon Congregation's books or in any of the other churches in Hanau. In this case, further research must be conducted. The question about when Devaranne first came to Wald is probably also of interest. From the available invoice that he delivered himself and was signed by him as a receipt, it can be inferred that he already had the hardware business in Wald before the 1st of December 1806 because the invoice is dated the 1st of December 1806. Devaranne was 22 years old at this time.
Now a word about the spelling of the Devaranne name. The name is almost always spelled differently in the records. We meet with the following spellings: Devarannes, de Varanne, Devarane, Devaranne, Deveranne and Dufrandt. The dispute about the correct spelling is quickly settled in that we write the name the same way the bearer himself wrote it. There is still an original signature available in his own hand, and this shows the following spelling: J. C. C. Devaranne.
I succeeded in achieving the following documentary discoveries regarding Devaranne’s wife. The wife of the martyr for his fatherland was named Catharina Margaretha Friederika Hager. She was the daughter of wine dealer Johan Hermann Hager, of Mülheim a. Rh. and of Johanne Wilhelmine Koeller, who died in Wald. Frau Devaranne was born on the 10th of April 1785, as can be inferred from the marriage certificate from her second marriage. Three and one half years after the sacrificial death of her husband, on the 25th of January 1817, she married beer brewer Konrad Möllenbeck from Langenberg. She died on the 27th of April 1836. Because of 10 missing volumes of documents, J. C. C. Devaranne’s marriage certificate could not be located.
2^ a. M.- on the Main River.
3^ dahier - 'dahier' is a very old word for 'hier', 'an diesem Ort' or 'am hiesigen Ort' ('in this very place/town/city'). (see http://dict.leo.org/forum/viewUnsolvedquery.php?idThread=162273&idForum=1&lp=ende&lang=de, 12 March 2008.
4^ B & Schl. P.D. – Probably ”Bürger und Schlossermeister Peter Devaranne”.
5^ A. Rh. – On the Ruhr River.