The oldest part of the Roulet family in the canton of Neuchâtel has its legal origin ("commune d'origine" or "Heimat") at La Sagne and Les Ponts-de-Martel, adjacent villages near La Chaux-de-Fonds in the Neuchâtel mountains. The founder of the family, Rollet Bayard, lived at La Sagne, and died before 1512. He had no sons, so (following a common practice of that time) his son-in-law, Claude Jaquet, adopted his wife's name, and their children used Rollet-Bayard as their surname. Subsequent generations shortened this to Rollet, which later became Roulet.
There are also Roulet families at Peseux and Neuchâtel which are probably offshoots of the same line.
Our Roulet family
The starting point of our own branch is Blaise Roulet, who died before 1615. He probably lived at Noiraigue, although his son Pierre was living in Brot-dessus in 1635. Pierre's son Othenin was received into the parish of Rochefort in 1642 and Les Ponts-de-Martel in 1666. From this point onwards, the family's official origin became La Sagne and Les Ponts-de-Martel.
Othenin and his wife Marie had at least four children, including Abraham, who was a communicant at Rochefort and Plamboz, parishioner of Les Ponts-de-Martel, and freedman of Valangin. He owned land at Les Abattes and Plamboz, both in the parish of Les Ponts-de-Martel. Abraham married Elisabeth Jeanrichard-dit-Bressel, and had six children before his death in 1689.
Abraham's second son, David, was baptised at Les Ponts-de-Martel on 31 October 1669 and married Susanne Benoît in 1690. He was a smallholder with lands near Rochefort and owned a house shared with one of his brothers and a cousin. David and Susanne had five children, all baptised at Les Ponts-de-Martel.
The youngest child, also called David, was baptised on 24 October 1706 and married Jeanne-Marie Perrenoud in 1738. They had no less than 14 children, all baptised at either Les Ponts-de-Martel or La Sagne. The youngest son, Jonas François, was baptised at Les Ponts-de-Martel on 4 January 175, and married Julie Beauclair at Les Planchettes in 1781. She was the daughter of a Frenchman who had crossed the border from Montbéliard into the canton of Neuchâtel around 1760. Jonas François and Julie lived in Le Locle, La Sagne et La Chaux-de-Fonds.
Their third child, Charles-Frédéric, was born in Le Locle on 10 June 1786, and married Marianne Vuillemin in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1806. This couple also had a large family, with 13 children born between 1806 and 1830. Their youngest son, Edouard, was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds on 14 March 1827 and married Marguerite Mélanie Müller from Bonfol in what is now the canton of Jura, but at the time was still part of Bern. Marguerite came from a Catholic family with ancestors in Bonfol and Beurnevésin, as well as just over the border in France.
Edouard and Marguerite (who converted to his Reformed faith) had five children, although two of the children died in infancy. They lived in Boveresse and Edouard worked as a day labourer. Their fourth child, Paul-Emile, was born on 28 January 1863 and married Rose-Adèle Grandjean in Bevaix in 1889. Rose-Adèle's father, Samuel-Antoine, was a baker who had moved to Bevaux from the neighbouring canton of Vaud.
Paul-Emile managed the Hôtel-Restaurant des Tilleuls at Gorgier. He and Rose-Adèle had nine children, all born in Bevaix. The youngest, Cécile Mathilde, was born on 18 June 1904. She was governess to the children of a Swiss consul in Germany and later taught German in secondary school. She was a talented artist, sometimes using both hands for her work as she was completely ambidextrous. Cécile married Paul Hermann von Allmen in Neuchâtel in 1932.