Photos of past Noisette Family Reunions
-By Darrell Noisette
Louise Noisette Merrell, the granddaughter of Walter Scott Noisette, sponsored the first Noisette reunion in 1986. It was held at the Vagabond Club on John’s Island, and was attended by the descendants of Walter Scott Noisette and Amelia Noisette. She then began hosting a yearly yard party around her birthday, where she invited all the local Noisettes and other family and friends. Everyone looked forward to her parties. In 1993, Louise had a big bash celebrating the 200th anniversary of Noisettes in America. Unfortunately the yearly parties ended when Louise passed away in 1997. Louise being the family archivist and genealogist at the time, had in her collection, documents she had researched for many years. They were packed away, and put in storage until 2004, when a young Canadian, Lex Musta, came to Charleston in search of descendants of Louis Gregory, whose wife, Lauretta was once married to Louis Noisette. Lex researched the Noisette name and became interested in the story of Philippe and Celestine Noisette. In searching he came across Harry Noisette Jr., direct descendant of Jacob Noisette (1820) who contacted Peggy Clement and her sister, Auzheala Bryan, direct descendants of Philippe (1773-1835) and Celestine (1780-1853). Lex had a passion for history and encouraged them to tell the fascinating story of Philippe and Celestine. He also told them there were many Noisettes through the country and they should think about maybe having a reunion, inviting them to meet in Charleston to celebrate the beautiful love story of Philippe and Celestine.
2006| February 11: New York City
This reunion hosted by Lex Musta, united the New York Noisette descendants of Philippe and Celestine, and descendants of Benjamin and his brother Louis Noisette. Mary Noisette Merriweather of Seattle, Washington, her daughter Sebrena, granddaughter Rena, and her nieces from Charleston, Sharon Harvey, Peggy Clement, and Auzheala Bryan, attended this mini reunion. The event took place at…in the village. What a wonderful program giving histories and introducing families. Cousin Jimmy Owens, jazz musician, gave us an unforgettable display of his magnificent talent. A reception followed, the Noisettes began to make the connections, and started making plans for the grand reunion in Charleston.
Mary Noisette Merriweather, with the help of Louise’s daughter, Peggy Clement, reviewed the documents Louise had collected and realized that she had amassed a lot of information that the family was not aware of. Mary, continued the research of Louise, took genealogy classes, and located many more historical documents and information which led to locating more Noisettes through out the country. As a result, In 2008 the first Noisette reunion was held in Charleston, SC.
2008| August: Charleston, SC
Peggy Clement contacted Noisette descendants from all over the US, as well as Haiti and France. Over one hundred and twenty people participated in the first International Noisette Reunion. The event was held at the Sheraton Hotel, in North Charleston, August 21-24, 2008. The first night, Thursday, a reception was held, bringing together many Noisettes who had never met before. Family trees were displayed, and families were introduced for the first time. Friday, the family picnic was held on former Noisette farmland, which was purchased by the federal government and became a US Navy Base from 1901-1996. After the based closed it was bought by the Noisette Company, who co-sponsored the picnic. Saturday Morning, the group toured the city, several former Noisette properties and the Noisette Rose trail. Saturday night banquet was full of family fun, awards, entertainment by family members, Keri Noisette and Jimmy Owens, guest speaker Bernie Powers, and a great family picture.
2011| July-August: Charleston, SC
Because of the success of the 2008 reunion, the number again topped one hundred and fifty returning family and new family members. Thursday,. Friday evening’s event was at Avery Research Center where the first Noisette Exhibit of 19 panels of Noisette History came to life. The public was invited this reception which received rave reviews. The banquet on Saturday night honored all Noisettes over 80, and entertainment by cousin Wes Norton of Philadelphia. The guest speaker was Ruth Knopf, a renown local rosarian, who made important contributions to the history, study, and promotion of the Noisette class of roses.
2013| May 4-11: Paris, Caen & Nantes, France
Talk of a reunion in France began at the 2011 reunion. In the fall of 2012, an invitation went out to all Noisettes to get an approximate number of people wishing to attend. Initially about twenty people expressed an interest in traveling abroad for the first French reunion. By the end of February the number had grown to over forty. The final count was fifty three, fifty two coming from the states and one from Rome, Italy. Cousin Peggy Clement, along with cousin Emmanuel Noisette in Paris, and cousin Herve’ Noisette Reby in Nantes, planned a another unforgettable reunion of American and French Noisettes. Arrivals began on Wednesday, May 2nd, at the very quaint Hotel Bellevue, one block from Emmanuel’s home. The official reunion began Sunday morning in Paris with a short walk to St. Bernard de la Chapelle for Mass, mid-afternoon the group took the train to le Pere Lachaise, and early evening, a train to Montmartre, a walk to the Old Quarters, and a walk by the Moulon Rouge, taking pictures and dancing in the street.
On Monday, the Noisette family received a special invitation to the French Senat’ where one half of the group attended and the other half visited Notre Dame. Later that afternoon the whole group met at the Societe’ Nationale d’Horticultural de France where Peggy Clement was presented with a very special award from the Societ’. The same award given to Louis Claude Noisette in the mid 1800’s. Also in attendance were the new found Noisettes from the Louis Toussaint line. The evening culminated with a reception of all Paris Noisettes at Bateau-mouche on the River Seine. What a spectacular party as we cruised the river viewing the Tower de Eiffel, Notre Dame, the French statue of Liberty, and many more sites. There was good food, good wine, a beautiful family and a incredible sunset!
Tuesday began with an early start to Chateau de Versaille Malmaison (The King’s Palace) and the gardens of Versailles, with a visit to the garden named for Louis Noisette (1772-1849).
Wednesday’s early departure took us to Cousin Claude and Marianne’s 32 room Manor on 16 acres in the country side of Rosel at noon for a grand welcome. What a wonderful lunch with wine of course, and a serenade by cousin Claude, on a very large, antique organ in his beautiful music room, containing many other antique musical instruments. As an added treat, Marianne took the group to her music room and played for us an incredible selection. What and unforgettable day in Rosel, France! But our day was not over yet. Off we went to US soil, Normandy Memorial Park, which contains the remains of 9,387 American military dead, most of whom were killed during the invasion of Normandy and ensuing military operations in World War II. Included are graves of Army Air Corps crews shot down over France as early as 1942 and three American women. Walking among those 9,000 crosses was overwhelming. It rained for a short time, hiding the tears of many. That evening we gathered with the Caen family for a fantastic french dinner, and wine of course! The hotel accommodations were at the Premiere Classe Caen Memorial, on Martin Luther King Blvd.
Thursday started out early as usual departing for Nantes, arriving at noon at the home of cousin Marie Do, and her husband Philip for a lunch reception. The once 9 bedroom bed and breakfast gave beautiful views overlooking a huge backyard which was really a sprawling vineyard. There they met Christian Quintin and Philippe Reby the French families’ genealogists, who furnished displays and pictures. The group then gathered for that family picture, all dressed in red. What a picture!! Hotel in Nantes was Kyriad Nantes Centre.
Friday started with a visit to the basilica and graveyard of St. Donatien Catholic Church. Another famous picture of the Nantes Noisette family and the American Noisettes was taken.
After lunch, the group walked the Jardin de Plantes, where Antoine Noisette was director in 1826. The group the visited the Memorial de l’Esclavage where the Mayor of Nantes gave the Noisettes an official welcome.
Saturday and Sunday morning many departed from Charles de Gaulle for the US.
2014: July 2014, Montclair, NJ
Irving Geddis anticipating the arrival of the family of Emmanuel Nosiette of Paris, France, for a three week stay, planned a small garden party inviting Noisettes from the surrounding areas of NJ, and NY. Invitations were sent out by calls and emails. Word spread to other cousins on the east coast. Final count for the party came to over 70 cousins with guests coming from as far south as Florida. Here again, many cousins meeting for the first time. It was an amazing event and a big surprise for the Noisettes of France.