Marie Chevalier's ancestors

Marie Chevalier-Fox

While doing an extensive research for a medieval spectacle that has to be presented at the Opera of Paris where she works as a costume designer, Marie raised the veil of his ancestors.

She discovered the diary of Ermeline, Guenièvre Dubois, born in Provins (Seine and Marne) France, in 1223

 The youngest of three daughters of a family of small fortune, she was raised and educated in a convent. Ermeline had learned (very unusual for a girl) to read, write and even the art of illumination.

In her diary, she describes her everyday life as a young girl, her passion for plants and herbs and her marriage to 18 years Anthelme Chevalier


In the middle ages, there were still no family names. However, to differentiate themselves from each other and know whom one was talked about, one added a nickname to the name of the person. This nickname may have different origins:

Could someone nicknamed by his job, ex. Honorius Carpenter, or according to its physical ex. Charles the Big,

Anthelme took the name "Chevalier” (The Knight) (which he transmitted to his descendants)

He was knighted during the Crusade of 1239 when he accompanied Thibault of Champagne for the Sixth Crusade

When back to the same crusade in 1240, Thibault brought back a damask rose, which became the famous “Rose de Provins” still well known in the city today.

Here one can see a description of the rose in Ermeline’s journal


Anthelme's noble knighthood has undoubtedly carried honor and it was suggested to him to take Ermeline as a wife.

Ermeline, beautiful and well educated, had no choice but to accept the decision of her family.

Upon returning from the crusade Anthelme received some land and a small house as rewards for his bravery, and an educated woman would be  for him of great help.

The wedding was held June 21, 1241 at St-Ayoul church, Provins (France).

On the occasion of their marriage, Anthelme offered as a gift to his bride, a pendant of silver and Onyx. He had received the black stone as gift for having saved a child who fell into a well near Jerusalem. Back in France he had four small stones cut from it, to be set in and offered it to his bride;

Onyx has a reputation for giving strength and robustness as well as keeping melancholy away.

It seems that the marriage was most happy. The couple had four male children. Ermeline’s diary ends shortly after the birth of the fourth child.

This precious jewel was passed on from parents to children for more than 30 generations, and still is today the property of Mary. 

Discovering the onyx jewel sketched precisely in the diary, Mary knew instantly, there could be no doubt as to her relationship with Ermeline, and she will pass it to Lilly to continue the never ending chain of love.