On 19 March 1831 Ivo, the eldest son of Petrus Joannes and Monica died. And 5 days after his painful disappearance their fifth child was born. They called him also Ivo and for his second christian name he received the name of his grandfather Francies.
Here is the text of his birth certificate :
"In the year Eighteen Hundred and Thirty One, on the twenty fifth of the month of March, before us Jan Bernard Vanpeene, Mayor and official of the civil registry of the municipality of Assenede, district of Eecloo, province of East Flanders, has come Pieter Joannes Noé, 45 years old, farmer, domiciled at Assenede, who has shown us a child of the male gender, born yesterday on the 24th of this month at 11 o'clock in the evening, of him the appearer and of Monica De Craene, his housewife, and to whom he has declared to have given the name of Ivo Francies. This declaration and presentation were done in the presence of Ambrosius De Schepper, manufacturer, 50 years old, and Pieter Francies Dellaert, farmer, 49 years old, both living in Assenede, and the father and the witnesses have signed together with us after the reading of this act ."
Ivo Noë and Catharina Boone.
Pictures by J. Van Brabant, Lokeren.
One of the gravest consequences of the French occupation of our country starting in 1795 was the obligatory military service. This law of 18 September 1798 received in our regions the name of "blood law". All unmarried men between 20 and 25 years old had to serve in the army, for 5 years in peace time and for any length of time during war. It caused incredible consternation among our people. Averse to all things military our boys were now supposed to fight in the army of the occupant. In view of the numerous battles in far off regions the probability of their paying with their lives was enormous. Not to mention the many accidents with horses, cannon or gun powder. After all the sackings and exactions our ancestors had endured the job of soldiering was not considered very highly.
When on 5 September 1798 all unmarried men between 20 and 25 years were called to arms the pent-up rage exploded in what would later be called the famous "Boerenkrijg" (Farmers Revolt) which was suppressed with much brutality and without mercy. The lotteries were boycotted and most of those who drew an unlucky number failed to turn up. Of one group of 730 who had drawn an unlucky number only 141 turned up for duty. In Paris they were only 99 and in Dijon only 3 were left.
So then the hunt for deserters began. And year after year more soldiers were required and going underground became ever more difficult. Parents were imprisoned until the deserter gave himself up. Or they were condemned to a fine of 1500 francs. At a time when a schooled worker earned one whole franc per day. Or else 5 to 10 soldiers were quartered in the parental home at the expense of the parents of the deserter. Of course there were also the flying brigades and the house searches.
At the outset no substitutions were allowed but fairly soon a system was installed that gave the well off the opportunity to send someone else instead of their sons. The substitutes came from the lowest classes of society, they were the poor, the illiterate, the adventurers. The money that was paid for these substitutions could be a great help to their families, if, of course, it wasn't squandered. This system of substitution continued after the independence of our country in 1830.
Ivo who was 1,70 m tall (5 ft ) was of the military draft of 1851. And his father had already found a substitute before he drew number 22, a bad number. He exchanged it with lucky number 53 of Josephus De Cock, a labourer who was of the 1849 draft and had already exchanged it with Petrus Dejans. But Dejans drew lucky number 35. So for the sum of 300 franks Josephus De Cock served as substitute for Ivo.
|To make absolutely sure nothing would go wrong|
with this substitution for the military service by Mr
De Cock, Ivo's father went to see a notary public
who drew up an official act. We reproduce here
the first page of this act.
Ivo Francies was 35 years old when in Zelzate on the 14th of May 1866 he married Catharina Boone who was born and baptized there on 25 April 1840. As newly weds they went to farm in an area of Zelzate called the "Akker" which means "Field". They succeeded Sepherinus Van Kerckvoorde and his wife Amelie De Vos on this farm. And it is here that their 7 children were born.
When their youngest was 2 years old they moved to a bigger farm in the St.Elooispolder in Wachtebeke-Overslag. The farm was built in 1874. The previous occupants, Sophie Bruggeman, the widow of Livinus Theodorus Buysse moved with her children to a nearby place called Koewacht (Cowherd) just across the border in the Netherlands. On 2 April 1882 Ivo and his family and Catharina's sister Stephanie were registered in Wachtebeke. Their address was St. Eloypolder 21. His great-grandson works this farm to this day.
Ivo was active in several societies. He was dike reeve of the St.-Elooispolder and even alderman of Wachtebeke. He died on 3/12/1915, only 6 months before their golden wedding. Catharina followed him into eternity on 16/3/1923.
Most recent update : 04-08-2018