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Descendants and ancestors of Stephen Payran, Philadelphia hatter (1767-1847), born in the Huguenot colony Mariendorf, Hesse, Germany.

Members: 2
Latest Activity: Aug 23, 2012


For 30+ years I have been looking for the origins of my gr-gr-gr-gr-grandfather Stephen Payran.  I had a lot of information about him and his descendants here in the U.S., but no knowledge of his birthplace.  He was variously reported to have been born in France and Germany; family tradition said he was from a French Huguenot family. My mother's cousin was working on a connection to Hesse Kassel, but did not have any specifics.   The earliest appearance of Stephen in any records was in a Philadelphia city directory in 1793, and his marriage to Sarah Senneff that same year.  His interment record when he died in 1847 says he had lived in Phialdelphia for 63 years which would set his arrival there about 1784.

My breakthrough came when I reviewed his obituary and interment record recently.  His August 16, 1847 obituary read, " Died. On the 4th inst., Mr. Stephen Payran, in the 80th year of his age. The French papers will please copy, giving name Etienne Pairan."  His interment record stated he was a native of Germany (other records, such as some censuses where his offspring reported their father's country of origin, had named France). I still wasn't sure whether it was France or Germany.  The obituary seemed to indicate there might be relatives in France.   Some heavy-duty searching on  Etienne Pairan, ultimately got me to a scholarly-appearing German website, Hugenotten-Vorfahren Familie Germerot ( I danced a happy dance when I saw "1111667] Estienne PAIRAN, * 16. März 1767 Mariendorf [Paten: Estienne Chiout & Susanne geb. Costebelle], konf. 1781 Mariendorf, +

Of course, it was all in German (mine is well-nigh non-existent) and used unfamiliar German genealogical symbols.  Thank goodness for Google where I was able to find a page explaining the symbols and terminology  (  * is birth, + is death, 00 is marriage, Paten is sponsors, geb is nee, konf is confirmed.  Estienne Pairan's birthdate 1767 is spot on with all my sources for Stephen Payran and his confirmation date of 1781 is just 3 years earlier than his presumed arrival in Philadlephia in 1784.  It all adds up!

His parents were Jean Pairan and Madeleine Sabine Jullien and he had 3 sisters and 5 brothers. (I struggled through a lot more German on the site to make this out.)  His parents and all his siblings except one sister lived and died in Mariendorf.  There is no death information for the eldest sister, Susanne.  Unless Susanne emigrated, Stephen came without any other immediate family members.

So, having had this marvelous breakthrough, I'd love to share/collaborate with other Payrans/Pairans.  It appears to me, but I don't mind being proven wrong, that all Payrans descended from Stephen.  I have encountered a few stray Payrans I can't account for yet, but all the others I can trace to Stephen.

Hoping I will find some interested cousins!

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