History Website for Dibdin, Aglio, Rowntree, Guise, and other Families
History   Homepage Picture Gallery Photo Gallery Museum Articles Sitemap
The Guise History

The Guise family (so far).
Originally Giese

by Sarah Guise

Section 1

Link to Section 2

Link to Section 3

The family surname was originally Giese. The origin of this surname is a nickname for Gilbert, the Germanic version of the name being Gieselbrecht. It is found particularly in Germany but also Denmark.

The family have used this surname since at least the 18th century, demonstrating that their social status was above the "peasantry" of Denmark, a country where surnames were not uniformly used until the mid 19th century. Of course the family may have migrated from a Germanic state as the Danish court was much influenced by its German neighbours but there is no information on the family before the 18th century Ė so far! One prominent person with the surname in 17th century Denmark is Admiral Frederick Giese who unfortunately died in the fire which consumed the Copenhagen opera house.

Thadeus Peter Julius Giese married Bertholine Schou on 2nd November 1827 at Holmens Kirke in Copenhagen. References to him in printed transcripts on the IGI and also on the Copenhagen census notes refer to him as Raceus, a name unknown. Looking at the photocopied entry of his marriage entry in the register his name is more likely to read Thadeus. However, I havenít seen the original marriage register to follow the faded ink marks. He seems to have dropped his first name and subsequently is only ever listed as Peter Julius. I will note that that one of his daughters was called "Raceline" but again Iíve not seen the original entry of her baptism and so am relying on transcripts.

Peter Julius was baptised, probably at the Trinitatis Kirke (photocopied baptism entry yet to be obtained) and born on 29 June 1803 in the street Slippen 251, Copenhagen (Copenhagen census notes). His parents were probably Carl Henrich Giese, a master tailor, (born about 1754) and Cathrine Beck, possibly his second wife. This has yet to be definitely confirmed but the 1801 Copenhagen census records an Ane Kirstine Cathrine Giese as a child of this couple. She married Christopher Mulvad on 4th January 1825 at Trinitatis and Christopher Mulvad witnessed the marriage of Peter Julius and Bertholine.

Another clue is that the address they lived at, Slippen (Landmaarket) 251 was owned by Carl Henrich Giese and there are various rental agreements with tenants in his name during the later 18th century. It also seems to have been damaged during the British land bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807, but more information to be gathered.

Bertholine Schou was born on 4th October 1807 in Salviegade 11, Nyboder quarter, Copenhagen (Copenhagen census notes). She was probably baptised in Holmens Kirke (photocopy yet to be obtained). Her parents were Rasmus Jensen Schou and Magdalene Knudsdatter who was born about 1773 in Christiansaand, Norway (Copenhagen census). She was still alive in 1850.

Peter Julius trained as a teacher, a highly prized profession in Denmark, and qualified at the Jonstrup seminary in 1827. This teaching academy is still training teachers.

He worked as a school teacher and church singer at Tranegilde, Ishoj an area south-west of central Copenhagen on the sea.

The first child of Peter Julius and Bertoline was Carl Christian Giese who was born on 2nd April 1828 in the Soe-Etatens Boys School, Nyboder Quarter, Copenhagen (Copenhagen census notes) which is probably where Peter Julius was teaching, but their next three children were born at Tranegilde: Emma Cathrine Kirstine Giese on 8th May 1830, Magdalene Conradine Giese on 13th August 1832 and Raceline Emilie Giese on 9th August 1835.

Peter Julius subsequently became headmaster of the girlsí school at Store Magleby, Dragor in the Amager area south of central Copenhagen. He was also parish clerk and carried out the census returns himself for that area.

Peter Julius remained at this school for over 30 years and features in a book on the history of the school. He was described by the Bishop as not very well liked for he seems to have been stiff in his teaching and perhaps a little morose but he was a good man! Perhaps he relaxed as the decades moved onÖ. He did manage to get the kitchen of the school masterís house upgraded with more modern innovations imported from the city. He had complained that the kitchen was damp and not good for Mrs Gieseís health.

Their last three children were born at Store Magleby: Bertha Petrine Giese born 22 November 1840, Thorvald Emilius Giese born 8th May 1842 and Conradine Sophie Giese baptised 26th March 1846.

Around 1870 Peter Julius retired and he and Bertholine lived in the Frederiksberg area of Copenhagen. He died on 25th November 1875 while Bertholine was still alive, living with her daughter Emma, a dressmaker, in 1885 (Copenhagen census).

When younger, Emma had lived with Bertholineís sister Conradine and her family, the Petersens. She obviously carried on her business and never married. Of the younger children Emelius became a teacher and the girls all married except Bertha who died at Store Magleby on 22nd October 1864.

By 1845 Carl Christian was apprenticed to Joseph Raffine a wigmaker, who was French, and he became a hairdresser. He married Marie Jorgensen on 26th August 1852 at Trinitatis. Marie was born about 1832 at Villingerod, Tikob, in the county of Frederiksborg and this is perhaps why she and Carl Christian moved to Helsingor, nearer her family. Their home and business was on the Strand, by the water front. Their first two children were born in Helsingor: Conrad Sophus Thor Giese born 2nd November 1853 and baptised 27th November 1853 at St Marie, Helsingor and Conradine Petra Bertholine Giese born 19 December 1855 and baptised 17th February 1856 at St Olai, Helsingor.

Carl Christian and Marie had returned to Copenhagen, at least for the birth and baptism of their son Julius Carl Giese. He was born 6th November 1857 and baptised 13 December 1857 at Trinitatis. Two more children were born: Bertholine Giese baptised 19th February 1860 at Helligaands church, Copenhagen and Valdemar Jorgen Conrad Giese in about 1865. By 1885 Valdemar was an apprentice hairdresser with his mother Marie (Copenhagen census) in the Frederiksberg area of Copenhagen. His father had died by this time.

Maybe Julius Carl Giese enjoyed the shows in the Tivoli Gardens. Perhaps he decided joining the circus would be fun. Somehow he became an "artist", probably with the Tourniaire circus, which visited Copenhagen on their European tour.

Jacques Tourniaire was born on 17th October and baptised on 19th October 1772 at Saint Hugues, Grenoble, the son of Louis Tourniaire, a merchant and his wife Magdeleine Maugiron. He is a significant figure in the development of European circus and features in any discussion of circus history. A number of researchers have trawled the State Archives of various European states extracting the progress of the Tourniaire circus across France, Italy, Spain, various German states and Russia.

Jacques became the Equestrian Master to Tsar Nicholas I and established the circus in Moscow, where it has remained popular since. He married Philippine Barbara Ludowika Roediger b. c. 1780, who stated she was a daughter of a Leipzig merchant, and she established a menagerie of animals, including elephants purchased from the estate of the deceased King of Wurttemberg. While being unacceptable now it was very innovative at the time and amazing to audiences not used to seeing such exotic creatures.

Jacques died on 14th January 1829 at Konigsberg, Prussia where he is buried, as is Philippine, who died in 1852. They had a number of children who carried on the circus, among whom were Benoit Tourniaire and Louis Denis Tourniaire. Louis was born about 1810 and married Jeanne Marie Louise Schulze in 1843. Their children were Adelaide Tourniaire, Benoit Tourniaire, Philippe Tourniaire, Fanny Antoinette Tourniaire and Therese Caroline Alexandrine Tourniaire.

Therese was born about 1856, possibly in Chantilly, France, although the 1901 census for Brixton gives a place which looks like "Cantilly" France.

On one of the Tourniaire visits to London Therese and Julius Carl married. Their marriage certificate for 22nd November 1880 shows they married at St Thomasís, Lambeth, Julius still spelling his surname Giese.

All their children are believed to have been born in Copenhagen and certainly Benoit was born in the city and baptised in the Roman Catholic church in the Frederiksberg area of Copenhagen.

The use of the surname Guise was used early on, certainly Benoit was baptised under that surname. However, the two surnames remained interchangeable with marriages, and even the death of Therese Caroline Alexandrine in 1949 London, being registered under Giese.

It is clear that Therese was the driving factor in the adoption of the surname Guise, and giving all the children French names. Even her husband was often called Jules, rather that his original Julius.

Emilie Marie Therese Johanna Guise was born on 24th September 1884, Louis Guise on 27th October 1885, Evangeline Guise on 11th February 1887, Jules Carl Guise on 11th October 1889, and Benoit Ernest Georges Guise on 5th November 1894.

By 1900 the family had settled in Brixton. Kellyís for 1901/02 show they lived at 27 Bonham Road and they stayed there until the 1909 Kellyís Directory show them at No. 25. The Fleuss family (Henry Otto Fleuss) lived at No. 23. Julius Carl and Therese continued to live there, Julius dying on 29th June 1939. I understand Therese was bombed out of Bonham Road during the blitz.

Julius Carl must have decided that there was a more stable income (and less stamina required) in becoming a theatrical agent and this he remained for the rest of his life.

Family life was musical, Louis played the violin. Music and creativity in an exuberant household was how they entertained themselves. French and Danish were the languages used at home. In later life Louis kept pigeons and wrote articles for pigeon fancying journals. He it was who told Benson that the real family name was Giese, pronounced Geezer, and Benson could only be relieved the boys at school hadnít known about it!

Emilie married a Dane, Frants Bernhard Knud Siegler on 18th August 1913 at St Maryís RC church, Clapham, and returned to live in Copenhagen.

Evangeline married William Batt, and they had two children, Therese and William. I believe this is probably the cousin Therese Anthony knew.

Louis married Winifred Mare and had three children: Mary B. Guise born 1916, Peter Louis B. Guise born 1921 (I believe he married Sadie Cohen and had two daughters) and Paul Francis George Guise born 23rd April 1927 and who died 18th July 1943 at Clapham. I understand he was killed by a shotgun but Iím not clear on the circumstances yet.

Benoit married Dorothea Ella Evans on 10th October 1928 at St Edmundís RC church in Beckenham. He worked for the Westminster Bank in Foreign Exchange. Shortly before his son was born Benoit became a naturalized British citizen and Benson George Guise was born on 11th September 1930 at Beckenham.

Their house at Beckenham was also damaged by bombing, which affected him, but Benoit had never been strong and suffered from bronchial problems which became increasingly worse and he died on 2nd October 1948 at Beckenham. He had wanted to last long enough to see their 20th wedding anniversary but didnít quite make it.

Benson Guise married in 1964 and has three children each of whom have offspring.

It has been most interesting researching a family history in another country, having only experienced English genealogy. The Danes have put many records on the internet, which is a great help, but still the language needs to be tackled. Iíve had help from archivists in Dragor, a few Danish people Iíve waylaid along the way. Otherwise itís me and a Danish dictionary!

Of course, there is much more to discover, Iím sure, and the top end of the story will be refined and improved upon.

Sarah Guise August 2008