Bevaix, Neuchâtel, Switzerland ... established in this village by chance ?
Resident at Bevaix since 1990, it was a surprise to discover at the beginning of my genealogical research (in 1993) that my great-great-grandfather Louis Alphonse Junod had married in Bevaix on May 12, 1860 a girl from the village: Victoire Justine née Mellier, daughter of David Henry Mellier (1813 - 1862) and Madeleine Uranie, also born Mellier.
In turn peddler, vineyard worker and Mechanic, Louis Alphonse lived in Thielle (1841), Cortaillod, Bevaix and La Chaux de Fonds (from 1887). He and Victoire had 15 children.
Ethymology - Bevaix
First hypothesis, from the "Musée Neuchâtelois" No 3 from 1990:
"mansus Chuneberti situs en villa Bevacensi, 998; in monasterio Bevacensi, 1005; ecclesia sancti Stephani de Bevat, 1092; Bevaais, Bevais, 1228; Bevaz, 1258; 1260; Bevay, 1268; Bevex, Bevaix (ultérieurement).
This name is hard to analyse.
The oldest known citation, 998, tells us that the village existed well before the donation of the priory of Bevaix.
The toponymist Gatschet, quoted by Jaccard, proposed to go back to the old German bifahan "close" which would make it a synonym for closed. Old quotations, like modern forms, oppose such an interpretation.
Its origin probably goes back to the Gallo-Roman or perhaps even Gaulish. It would come from a man's name completed by a suffix.
However one is tempted to see there a name of the Latin family bibere "to drink" which would be explained by its presence, on the route of the Vy d'Etra, in a region rich in sources, so that it could be a water point on the old Roman road to quench the passengers and water their teams.
Two other hypotheses put forward: we first talk about a named Billius, who would have had his farm and exploitation here in the Middle Ages, then that the original name of Bevaix would be Biviae, which means two paths, with an idea obviously of crossing paths and meetings.
Alliances in Bevaix
By my ancestors "Mellier" and "Ribaux" and through various alliances, I have become a (distant) cousin of several families from - or established in - Bevaix whose main ones include :
Borioli of Lugano, TI & Bevaix, NE
Comtesse, of la Sagne and of Ponts-de-Martels, NE
Despland, of Grandson, VD
Dubois, of Buttes and Colombier, NE
Gygi, of Kappelen, BE and Bevaix, NE
Henry, of Cortaillod, NE
Löffel or Loeffel, of Muntschemier, BE
Maeder, of Ried bei Kerzers, FR
Mellier or Meiller, of Bevaix, NE
Ribaux, of Bevaix, NE
Tinembart, of Bevaix, NE
My research naturally extended to these families (and their allies) in this village where I settled ... by chance?
To note the peculiarity which made that the surname MEILLER became MELLIER by decree of 1847. However, several MEILLER families emigrated before this date (for example to the USA) where we find them today under the old spelling MEILLER.
As to RIBAUX, here is the meaning given to this surname by MM. Esmangart and Eloi Johanneau found in the Oeuvres de Rabelais, Tome IV:
"Those formerly known as ribaux were properly young, robust men, who earned their lives in loading and unloading the commodities they were taking on board or landing. If, in the past, we have also called ribaux those who help to go up the boats, it was because this maneuver is done on the bank of the rivers".
Link to the Ribaux family web site of Claude Ribaux.
A few web links about and in Bevaix (in French)
Alice de Chambrier
Barque de Bevaix, animation de la phase de construction
Bevaix, site clunisien
Château de Bevaix
Dictionnaire Historique de la Suisse
La voie suisse de l'expo 64 (vidéeo TSR 1967)
Le site officiel de la commune
Pêcheurs de St-Aubin et Bevaix (vidéo TSR 1963)
Treytel - historique
Amicale des sapeurs-pompiers
AMJB - Maison des Jeunes de Bevaix
ASLB - Association des Sociétés locales de Bevaix
Centre de jeunesse "La Rouveraie"
CNB - Club nautique Bevaix
Fête villageoise "Miaou"
FSG - Gymnastique