Brief History of Château d’ Aix (formerly Château d’Ays)
The property d'Ays is located at the intersection of the royal road from Cahors via Tournon d'Agenais to Agen and an ancient route north-south from Orgueil to Lauzerte. It is separated from the town of Saux by a narrow valley. The parish Saint-André de Saux formed together with that of Saint-Hilaire de Troniac a separate unit under the Royal powers of Lauzerte. These parishes were surrounded by the royal powers of Agen in the south and west and north and east by the parishes Ferrieres and Coulourgues which fell under the Consulate of Montcuq. The name of the family d'Ays was first mentioned in 1402. Bernhard d'Ays was a squire and a coseigneur in the city of Fumel and the land of the parish of Saux was donated to him. He married with Mascaroze Fumel and after their marriage they first lived in Tournon d'Agenais. They built the first settlement d'Ays and settled there with their children.
The family died out with Baroness Indie d'Ays, who married to Mr. Amalric de Balaguier, Lord de Ginolhac en Rouergue and by his marriage Baron d'Ays de Quercy in 1465.
Coat of Armes of the family de Balaguier
Baroness Indie d'Ays died in 1481 and left her entire estate to her only son Mathelin de Balaguier, Baron d'Ays de Quercy. Mathelin showed a very poor steward and he lost lots of land and property.
Mathelin died in 1523 and he left his wife Baroness Catherine de Gautier Savihac childless and with many debts. She even had to borrow money from her neighbor to pay the funeral. The tomb of Mathelin can be found in the front altar of the church St. André of Saux. In August 1524 Catherine Gautier de Savihac remarried Gilibert de Gozon.
Coat of Armes of the family de Gozon
The family de Gozon has a fascinating history, since this family was characterized by their membership of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem (famous crusaders known as Knights of Malta). Gilibert's father was Jean de Gozon, a squire employed by Gaston de Foix, Count of Candale who was married to Infanta Catherine de Navarre, the daughter of Gaston IV, the King of Navarre. By intervention of King Louis XII Anne de Foix, the daughter of the Earl of Candale married King Vladislas II of Bohemia and Hungary. Anne took with her to Hungary Jean de Gozon and his wife Isabelle d' Holhète de Navarre as companions and Jean became the Grand Master of the Royal Household. The Gozon's children, Gilibert (1502), Anne (1504) and their second son, Imre (1506) were born in Hungary. Jean de Gozon died in February 1506 in Buda and his wife in September of the same year during the birth of her son Imre. The two brothers were bought to France in 1510, before the Turks occupied Hungary, by their uncle, Baron de Mélac, an important branch of the family de Gozon. The sister Anne remained in Hungary as godchild of Anne de Foix to be married there. Gilibert spent some time with his cousin at the castle of Mélac where he quarreled with his cousin over the rights of the reign of St. Victor of Rouergue which originally was owned by his father. Imre died at the age of 17 at the chateau d'Ays.
As mentioned before Gilibert de Gozon married the Baroness Catherine de Gautier de Savihac, widow of the Mathelin Balaguier in 1524and received the title of Baron d'Ays de Quercy. The couple settled in the castle d'Ays in Saux. After the death of his wife in 1527 he married Charlotte de Tardieu, daughter of the nobleman Jean Tardieu and the noblewoman Françoise de Saint-Marin, living in the castle of Noals (it doesn't exist anymore) near Lauzerte on August, 1533. Gilibert de Gozon had remains of his inheritance, despite the greed of his patrons. He tried to get the lost rights of the nobility back and to buy back the lost property what was lost during the management of the Mathelin Balaguier, the first husband of Catherine. Gilibert built a new building to the existing château d'Ays. They had six children. Gilibert died in 1557.
His eldest son, Charles de Gozon, Baron d'Ays de Quercy, de la Bastide-Marnhac, Lapeyrière et Lamothe, married Foy de Castanie. They also had six children.
The oldest, Charles de Gozon, Baron d'Ays de Quercy, de la Bastide-Marnhac, Lapeyrière et Lamothe, married Marie de Gaulejac on February 4, 1627. They had four children .
The oldest, François de Gozon, seigneur d'Ays, Saux et Fargues, married Jeanne de Giscard on May 26, 1663. They had 7 children.
The oldest Jean de Gozon, seigneur d'Ays, Saux et Fargues, married Agnès de Vidal Lapise on May 5, 1701. They had 1 child.
Pierre de Gozon, seigneur d'Ays, Saux et Fargues, was knight of Saint-Louis and commander of the battalion of the regiment Bourbonais. He married Magdelene Montagut on June 10, 1778. They had 2 children.
Their children are called Dieudonné de Gozon (1780) and Marianne de Gozon. Dieudonné de Gozon became the mayor of Saux, and was a member of the Chamber of Deputies in Paris. He maried on Juin 26, 1851 with Rosalie Euphrasie Defaure de Montmiror.
The lands of the Lords of Ays in 1838 source : La Domaine rural des Seigneurs d’Ays
His heir, Pierre Alfred de Gozon, gave a part of its ownership of Château d'Ays to Miss Marguerite de Boeuf Touch-Clermont, who lived in Paris and was born in Naples on July 1886. Nothing else is known about a possible marriage or children of Pierre Alfred de Gozon. He died in 1889.
In May 30, 1889 Magdeleine de Gozon and her husband Jean Juyot the Gamy obtained the remainder of Château d'Ays from the legacy of Pierre Alfred de Gozon.
Madame Magdeleine de Gozon and her husband, Mr. Jean Juyot the Gamy lived at the Château d' Ays and sold the castle in 1901 to Charles, Earl of Royère and his wife Joanna Elvire Marie-Thérèse TouchBoeuf FleurCourt, Countess of Clermont.
|Coat of Armes of de Royère||Coat of Armes of Clermont|
After almost four centuries the family Gozon loses the ownership of the Château d' Ays. Charles, Count de Royère and his wife Marie-Thérèse, Countess de Clermont also buy the part of Marguerite Touch Boeuf-Clermont, who lived in Montreal (Canada) by then. The Count and Countess had 8 children: Marguerite (1894-1986) maried Geoffroy du Bois de Beauchesne; Guy (1895-1953) maried April, 22, 1924 Marie-Antoinette de Boysson (1902-1995) 1 child; Louise (1898-1917); Xavier (1899-1977) maried April 22 1924 Marguerite de Boysson (1904-1990) 3 children; Jacqueline (1900-?); Marie-Christine (1903-1998) maried Paul Sonier de Lubac, they had 6 children: Paule (1904-1993) maried August 30, 1926 Pierre du Fayet de La Tour (1901-1990); Jean de Royère mort pour la France (1907-1940) maried January 1, 1932 Colette Castillon du Perron (1909-1999). The family de Royère used the castle as a stay for the holidays. There was a manager stationed Mr. Henri Bosc (1863). He lived in the castle along with the staff.
On May 14, 1921 the Count and Countess sold Château d'Ays to Jean François Méjean, who was born on January 19, 1863. Jean François married Philomène Rosalie Pantel who was born on September 25, 1866. During their stay, the name of the castle changed in Château d'Aix. They had 7 children. On January 26, 1934, the inheritance of the children was divided. Everyone got a piece of land with a house and buildings and if necessary a financial compensation.
1. Marie Marthe Méjean born on December 19, 1889 married Jean Baptiste Durand, they received Mas (now called la Guillaumière) in Saux. 2. Joseph Méjean born on March 23,1891, received Le Pech in Saux 3. 'Louis' Emile Méjean born May 15, 1893, received Caillon in Vire, Canton Puy l'Eveque. 4. 'Emile' Adrien Méjean born May 15, 1901 stayed single and was still living at the Château d'Aix 5. Raymond Eugene Méjean born on October 19, 1904, received the castle (see below). 6. Anne Julia Méjean born on December 25, 1906 and later married Elie Pouchet, received Les Moustans in St. Matre.
Identity card of Raymond Méjean (document privé Joel Vigouroux)
Raymond received the Château d'Aix with surrounding lands, but with the obligation to take care of his parents and his brother Emile, who all three were allowed to live in the castle. On 31 January, 1934 Raymond Méjean married Yvette Marguerite Jambon (aka Chambon ), who was born on June 13, 1914. They have two children, a daughter Marie Therese Aimee Méjean, born on April 2, 1935 and a son Jacques Henri Claude Méjean, born on May 2, 1943. On 4 February, 1966 Marie Therese Méjean bestowed the castle of her parents with the obligation to take care of her parents and her resident uncle Emile Méjean.
Marie Therese Méjean on June 29, 1957 married to Jean Louis Vigouroux, born on September 6, 1932. They had three children Dominque (born on April 27, 1958 and married with Mr Fedyszyn), Joel (July 19, 1960) and Jean-Luc ( April 17, 1963). In 1973 Marie Therese-Vigouroux Méjean sells the castle with park and Maison du Parc, but without all the land, to Mr. Jacques Loison and lived in the adjacent newly built farmhouse with her family, her parents and her uncle Emile. She died on 23 December 1974.
August 27, 1983 Joel Pascal Michel Vigouroux inherits the farm with the duty to take care of his grandmother Yvette Jambon (died on August 2, 2002) and his great-uncle Emile Méjean (died in 1990). He is associated with Betty Grandjean and they runs the winery Château d'Aix and cultivates the land.
As said Mr Jacques Loison bought the castle and its park and the Maison du Parc, but without the land and the farm in 1973. He tried to restore the castle to some of its former glory. In 1990 he sold the Maison du Parc to his cousin who a year later sold it to the English couple Mr. and Mrs. Michael and Jane Davis.
Mr Jacques Loison died on June 27, 2002 and was buried in the cemetery of Saux. He left the castle to his fifth wife, Mrs. Evelyne Matet and his daughter from his first marriage, Mrs. Aude Loison, spouse of Mr Eric Dehors.
In August 2005 the castle came into Dutch hands. It was bought by a private company called SCI d'Ays, in which six Dutch people had the shares. In August 2006 the SCI d'Ays bought the Maison du Parc from the English owners. Mrs Blandina Catherina Jonker and Mr Wim Alexander Hubertus 'Sander' Kocken bought all the shares of the other four Dutch members in 2008. They provided the castle with all modern conveniences and they now rent it out as a group accommodation for 24-28 persons. Since then the castle has been the centre of many celebrations, such as weddings, shows, exhibitions etc.
Fair Gourmet: Each Wednesday-evening in the summer. source: photo-collection B.C. Jonker
Article: Le Domaine rural des Seigneurs d'Ays receive Joel Vigouroux.
Dictionnaire généalogique, héraldique et chonolique the Gozon. Armorial Général de J.B. Reitstap.
Counts or Rouergue: Bernard Ii, Count of Toulouse etc
Private documents (various instruments) by Joel Vigouroux
Sources of images:
Coats of Arms: Wikipedia: Armorial des familles and France.
Map: Le Domaine rural des Seigneurs d'Ays
Identity: Document the private Joel Vigouroux
Photo Foir Gourmand: photo collection B.C. Jonker