According to a letter written in 1880 by his grandson Charles John FRENCH, ancestor Charles FRENCH changed his name from CLUGE (KLUGE) to FRENCH
after marrying a daughter of a Colonel FRENCH. I haven't found any evidence of the marriage.
Charles FRENCH enlisted in the East India Company Artillery and boarded the "Earl Talbot" at Gravesend UK on 31 May 1785.
He is described as Charles FRENCH, a labourer age 24, (therefore born 1760/1), height 5'6"
The "Earl Talbot" left Portsmouth on 16 Oct 1785, sailing via Madeira
& Cape Horn to arrive at Madras on the Coromandel Coast of India 0n
6 April 1786.
Charles married Elizabeth JACKSON at Trichinopoly Christ Church on 27 November 1789. His marriage is documented as "widower to a widow" Elizabeth being the widow of Major William JACKSON of 8 Battn. N.I.
The baptism of Charles & Elizabeth's first child Charles Augustus in 1792 recorded the father Charles as Sergeant "a German"
Charles' grandson maintained that Charles was the son of a von CLUGE of
Germany/Denmark, and several descendants were given "Cluge" as a middle
A family tree compiled by another descendant has Charles at the head as Count Von CLUGE. but this is a misunderstanding. Charles' father was employed by Count Heinrich SCHIMMELMANN Henrich Carl von SCHIMMELMAN
(1724-1782), born in Demmin Pomerania
In 1756, after the start of the Seven Years War (Saxony v. Prussia),
Schimmelmann left Saxony and had lucrative contracts to supply the Army of King Frederick II of
Prussia In 1757 von Schimmelmann moved to Hamburg in Holstein, and in 1759 bought Ahrensburg Castle estate including villages Woldenhorn, Bünningstedt and Ahrensfelde. Schimmelman brought a large number of families from Dresden, to Ahrensburg, important offices he held with men of his confidence.
In 1762 he bought the estate Wandsbek in Holstein and built a Castle. He also bought Lindenborg in North Jutland. He was raised to the Danish Title of Count.
several plantations in the West Indies (Slave trade) and a sugar
refinery in Copenhagen.
He died in Copenhagen on 15 February
1782, left a fortune of between 5 and 10 million rigsdaler, and is buried at the Schimmelman Mausoleum in Wandsbek. His son Frederick Joseph inherited Ahrensburg (with debts).
Schimmelmann's Ahrensburg Castle
Schimmelmann's Copenhagen Palace
SCHIMMELMAN's eldest son Ernst Heinrich (born Dresden 1747) became both
Minister of Finance (1784+) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1824+) for
Denmark, and was instrumental in abolishing the slave trade in Denmark.
"In the village clannish family-book, Johann Gottlob Kluge
worked for the Lord
of Ahrensburg, in 1763 as equerry and in 1766 as stable master
and keeper of the cellar. “Make sure the first class animals in the
stables are always available”, was the assignment of ... Heinrich Carl Schimmelmann, for who Kluge served."Ahrensburg Pay list
Johann Gottlob KLUGE was
in the service of Heinrich Carl von Schimmelmam at least
1759-1766 and probably until SCHIMMELMAN senior's death at Copenhagen in
Johann Gottlob KLUGE's son-in-law Nicolaus ROHR (husband of Charlotta) succeeded him at Ahrensburg.
Subsequent research has revealed that Johann Gottlob was the 1722 son of Johann George KLUGE 1690-1738, a coachmaker of Dresden.
It seems that Johann Gottlob moved to Ahrensburg after the 1757 death of his mother Anna.
A transcript of the "Village clans book" shows the family of Johann Gottlob KLUGE includes 4 children baptised in the Castle Church: Carl Hans Paul KLUGE b. 1759, who changed his name to Charles FRENCH, and August Christian Wolfgang KLUGE b. 1766, married at Wandsbek 1795, tenant at Wandsbek, until 1813 who has at least 46 descendants.
Charlotta Christiana Henriette KLUGE b. 1768, married Nicolaus ROHRS at Woldenhorn in 1785 (Genealogie Stormarn, Namenindex)
Johanna Sophia Katharina KLUGE b. 1770, married Heinrich Johann MENCK c.1790 (Family-Seemann-Ancestry)
The Sippenbuch was written in the middle of the 20th
century, sources are the church books and the research results of the
It is possible Carl was educated with
Schimmelman children born 1747...1767, at the Royal College of Copenhagen. When Heinrich Schimmelmann's died in
1782, Johann's son August was just 16 and I presume Carl (Charles) age 23 had departed on his adventures.
Possible research sources could be: Attendance records of the Royal College
of Copenhagen, information about the administration of
Schimmelmann's estates. (Genealogy Denmark).