Father Rolland (1825-1902)

A French priest in America at the end of 19th century....

Researches for the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Church of St Ann in Hampton - New Jersey.

Claude Rolland 1825-1902

(with courtesy of Louis and Madeleine ELEGOET)

All began in 1825 ...



His act of birth (Click the picture to enlarge)

(thanks to Alain Seite & Jean Roue- Genealogic circle of Finister)

Translation :

"In the year 1825, the 15th of April at 4 p.m, in front of me, Jean Marie SOUBIGOU, Mayor and Officer of the civil estate of the town of Plouneventer, Township of Landivisiau, Borough of Morlaix, Departement of Finistere,came Paul ROLLAND, 41 years old, farmer, living in the hamlet of Penguilly in Plouneventer, who presented us a male child, born the 14th of the present month of April at 5 p.m., declared the parents of this boy were himself and Marie Francoise LE ROY, his spouse and wanted to give him the name of Claude Allain Marie ROLLAND.                                                                                                                                

These declarations and presentation in presence of Vincent DEREU, 35 years old, farmer and Guillaume LE ROY, 22 years old, farmer, both of this town. Father and witnesses put their signatures on the present act after reading"

The house in which he was born
(the hamlet of Penguilly is composed of 6 houses)

Plouneventer is situated in France, departement of Finistere in Britany.

Finistere on the map of France

The church of PLOUNEVENTER where he was baptised
Cross in Plouneventer cemetery

To get more pictures of the inside of the church ( click )


his genealogical tree

According to researches of Alain SEITE, Paul ROLLAND (father of our priest) had a young brother Claude (born 18th october 1787 in Bodilis) who was ordonated priest in 1814 (source : "clerge de Quimper et Leon 1801-2006")- Uncle Claude showed the way to his nephew.

"18/10/1787    Bodilis       Lieu-dit : Creac'Hguial   (Pays : Landivisiau ) baptême ou naissance
ROLLAND Claude, garçon, Enfant de Alain   et de INISAN Françoise
Parrain : Floch Claude
Marraine : Le Bras Marie"

The Priest :

Claude Allain Marie ROLLAND was seminarist in the congregation of " Fathers of the Holly Spirit" (Pères du Saint Esprit) but not belonged to them, he learned to be a priest in French colonies

5th august 1855, in Paris (Seminaire St Esprit) he is ordonated priest.

(Thanks to Vincent Thauzieslibrary of the diocese of Paris)

 (Click the picture to enlarge)

Missions :

According to the registers of Glergy of Quimper and Leon 1801-2006 (p.272) 

Father Rolland is mentionned as Rolland "Ernest" (nickname?)

and archives from the "congregation of Fathers of The Holy Spirit".

  • 26th december 1855, he arrived in French Antillas (Guadeloupe)

Map of Guadeloupe Island

  • From 15th April 1856 : Vicar in Morne a l'eau - Gadeloupe
  • From 10th March 1857 : Vicar in Trois Rivieres- Gadeloupe.
  • From 10th May 1857 : Priest in Marigot St Martin - island of St Martin. 
Church St Andrew in Morne a l'eau
Trois Rivieres Church (Link )
View of Marigot in St Martin Island

  • 1859 - 1861 : Hampton New
  • In 1859, foundation of St Ann Roman Catholic Church

To see St Ann at the origin : Link

St Ann since 1867 : Link

First page of St Ann's register of baptems (year 1861)
Emigrant Savings Bank records 1850-1883 -       Hamton NJ

Link to St Ann parish : http://www.saintann1859.org/index.html

  • 1865 : Vicar in Quemeneven (France, Britany)

 Church in Quemeneven

  • 1869 : "Recteur" (Priest) in Lanneuffret (France, Britany)

Church of Lanneuffret

  • 1873 : "Recteur" (Priest ) in Saint-Eutrope in Tregor Morlaisien (France, Britany)

  • 1885 : "Recteur" (Priest) in Lamber, hamlet of Ploumoguer (Franc, Britany)
Church "Saint-Pierre aux Liens" in Lamber
  • 1901 : retired in House St Joseph in Saint Pol de Leon

The St Joseph House
5, rue Psalette
Saint Pol de Leon

St Pol de Leon

Act of decease
Thanks to Alain Seite & Eric Menez - Genealogic circle of Finistere

Translation :

"The 11th of January 1902 at 3 p.m, in presence of Raoul de Kerdrel, second

Mayor  of Saint Pol de Leon, came Francois BERVAS, servant, 44 years old ,
living rue (street) Psalette in Saint-Pol de Leon, friend of the deceased and Jean Marc GUEGUEN, servant, 35 years old, living rue  Psalette in Saint-Pol
de Leon, friend of the deceased , who declared that yesterday at 5:30 p.m,
ROLLAND Claude, priest, bachelor,born in Plouneventer, 76 years old, son of
late Paul and late Francoise LE ROY his wife, died in St Joseph....."

Claude Alain Marie ROLLAND was buried in ST DERRIEN cemetery .

The grave does not exist today.

Some pictures of St Derrien's church and cemetery

(source : Mrs Genevieve FAUJOUR , Rev. ROLLAND's relative)

Memorial marker stone for Father Rolland St Ann church dedicated in the new part of the parish cemetery :


Done april 2008 - Andre SZCZERBA & Maryann BARNES
New version february 2012