Trying to Trace a Great Great Grandfather in Alsace

by Cowell

My great great grandfather I believe came from Alsace. I have copies of two letters dated 1867 and 1870 that he wrote in English to his son, my great grandfather, who was living in England.

My great great grandfather's name was William Gautier. I don't have any birth certificate for him, but I have his name on all his childrens' marriage certificates.

On these marriage certificates, his profession is stated as either colonial merchant or merchant. In the 1870 letter which was written in August, he states that "the war has broken me."

I presume he was referring to the Franco/Prussian war which was only a month old at the time he wrote this letter. I am also wondering whether he meant that the war had ruined him financially.

So my question is did the war impact heavily on business and trading. I have so little information on him and I know he must have died sometime between writing this letter in 1870 and 1872 when his wife married again.

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