Brotherhood of the Bonjour & Junod families

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The Brotherhood of Families Bonjour and Junod, dates from 1788 and was incorporated in 1791. It is still active nowadays, composed of descendants of the two founding families who meet each year in their commune of origin.

Context of its constitution

The origin of our Brotherhood has its source in the right of real estate property as we understood it then. Currently, property means the right to enjoy and dispose without any restriction (except in matters of police and public utility). It was not so in the past and throughout the Middle Ages.

The Germanic law which is at the base of our customary law, adopted in large part during the elaboration of our civil code copied on the Napoleonic code, laid down the principle that the ground belonged to the Prince, that is to say to the State, which gave it in fee or acens, according to the quality and the rights granted to the occupants. Those who held a fief were bound by various obligations to the Prince, such as homage, indivisibility, return to the Prince in case of felony, contingents of men in case of war, etc.

By the census, the Prince conceded the perpetual enjoyment of an immovable by means of certain royalties of the tenant to him. These royalties include land tenure which was an annual fee; the requisition and affixing of the seal during the transfer of the acts of transfer and which was a tax tax of Chancery.

But the most important of all, and the only one that has not been abolished or redeemed is the "lods", the right that the tenant had to pay when carrying his property for a fee. This fee was the 12th last, ie 8.5% of the price, then reduced to 6%. Currently this right still exists but in the form of an indirect tax and has lost its former character. It is, as you all know, 4% of the selling price, and all buildings in the canton are subject to it, with the exception of a part of our territory.

In addition to these rights and royalties in favor of the Prince, the buildings were still subject to certain easements which no longer exist today; such were the banalities of ovens, mills, and butcheries; the right of glandage and of chintrage;

But the main one of these easements, the remembrance of which is fairly recent, was the course or right of vain grazing. It was thus called the right of all the members of a community, at one time of the year, to graze their cattle indiscriminately on all the funds situated in the district of the Commune. That right belonged to the Community, not as a legal person or a corporation, but as representing all the properties within its jurisdiction. The right of way did not exist in the upper part of the country, but where it was in force it was the common rule, so much so that no fund could be traveled was exempt, unless the exemption was acquired and proved by a special title.

This exemption carrying the faculty of enclosing the exempt fund, was called closed, properly used of closed, use or profit of closing; a closed fund, was a fund for the benefit of the faculty of closing, hence the name of the closed, for the fund itself, a closed one.

The exemption of the right of way, ie the closed one, acquired the Community in the district of which the fund was situated; it was a notarial act, like any other real estate transaction; the permission of the Government was to intervene.

A decree of Prince Berthier, of January 19th, 1807, abolished the right of course. The lands belonging to the Commons themselves alone continued to be subject to it. A redemption price initially fixed at 10% of the value of the fund, then reduced by a decree of April 11, 1807 to 5% for the communal owners, to 8% for non-communiers, was imposed, in favor of Communes, to the owners of the franked lands.

This purchase, however, was not obligatory: the proprietors of meadows and fields, who did not wish to free their lands, had to dispose of the herbs until the 1st of August; after this time, they would be auctioned for the benefit of the Commune, to be mowed, and not delivered to the course. For forests that have not been redeemed, the course would continue to be used.

This optional redemption did not affect the spread of the measure; the abolition of the course became general, and the royal ordinance of August 10, 1814 confirmed it. The decree concerning the course of June 15, 1808 regulates the exercise of the right of each owner to graze his cattle on his own funds and subject this right to restrictions in the interest of neighboring funds.

We see from what precedes that before this decree of Prince Berthier of January 19th, 1807, the Communes could exempt the properties of the course, either free or against payment. At home, this purchase was probably made by some individuals who have thus closed their properties, so many of us remember the fields of Chemarin still lined walls to preserve livestock during the season of the course.

Later in the year 1785, probably the Community of Lignières suppressed the vain pastures, but our archives of the Brotherhood do not say if it was free or against payment; but there is every reason to suppose that this concession was granted without redemption since our Junod and Bonjour families saw an increase in the annual yield of their lands and that they evaluated it at 21 batz per pose where mowing of the regain and 10 batz 2 creutzer where one mow point.

This exemption granted by the Commune of Lignières could be withdrawn, since we saw that it is only in 1807 that the Prince Berthier abolishes definitively the course and still for optional redemption or to let mow these herbs after the 1st of August.

It was to prevent this eventuality of withdrawal by the Commune that our ancestors, in cautious and prudent people, told themselves that they should set aside every year this increase in the yield of their lands to form a fund. This is what they did and on the 2nd of January 1791 they gave a body to their association by the adoption of the Regulations, which was signed by all the heads of families who made a loss and profit and paid the pastor a shave.

The Rules provided that for 10 years the interest would be attached to the owners' payments to build up capital, and that after that time the Brotherhood would decide whether the fund should still be increased or whether the parties would share the income.

Lignières, January 9, 1893

(signed) Arthur Junod, Alexis Bonjour, Emile Bonjour (notary), Louis E. Bonjour.

Accession by redemption of missing generations

By decision of the assembly of January 8th, 1998 held in Lignières and the majority of the present members, the Bonjour or Junod sons, direct descendants of the founders have the possibility to request their membership to the brotherhood (called the "recovery") under certain conditions, among others:

  • No ancestors in direct line have withdrawn before or been excluded from the brotherhood (by restitution of the capital of entrance for example)
  • Membership is accepted accompanied by a retroactive (and paying) recovery of missing generations Filiation is proven
Accession to the bearers of the surname Bonjour or Junod

By decision of the meeting of January 9, 2016 held in Lignières and unanimity of the members present, the direct descendants of the founders, bearers (sons and daughters) of the surname Bonjour or Junod may be admitted to the Brotherhood.