France Regions
The Regions of France today

 In 1790 after the French Revolution, the historical provinces of the kingdom of France were superceded by the establishment of the département system.

France Departments 1811
The Departments in southwest France in 1811

The Region of Aquitaine

St. Jean de Luz is in the modern département of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (formerly Basses-Pyrénées) in the lower coastal region of Aquitaine in southwest France.  This is in French Basque country in the old Basque province of Labourd.  Prior to the French Revolution and the département system, the coastal region had been part of the historical French province of Gascony.  Carolyn Colucci's great great great grandparents James and Catherine Sutherland marched from Spain, arriving in this region with the 2nd Battalion of the 59th Regiment of the Foot on November 11, 1813, the day after the Battle of the Nivelle during the Peninsular Wars.  Their son, James Sutherland, Jr., was born in December in a stable in St. Jean de Luz when his parents were cantoned there with the 59th and the Marquess of Wellington.  Around the time of James' birth his father was promoted to Corporal.  After the battle of Nive at Bayonne Dec. 9-13, the 59th regiment had fulfilled its Peninsular war duties and so in early 1814 made its way to Bordeaux from where it sailed for Ireland in May.
James Sr. later returned to France after his part in the Battle of Waterloo when his Division crossed into France on June 22, 1815, took part in the storming of Cambrai and marched on to Paris.  There they were encamped at the Bois de Boulogne for four months before moving a bit south to Montlhéry.  In December they marched to Calais and sailed for England.
The family later went to the 1st Battalion of the 59th stationed in India, where James Sr. later died in 1825 in Cawnpore (now Kanpur).  His son, James Sutherland Jr., enlisted in the regiment the following spring at the age of 12 in Cawnpore, and at the end of his military career settled in Claverton near Bath, Somerset in

Interesting Links:

1) Wikipedia article on the Northern Basque Country.
2) Wikipedia article on the Departments of France.


Site maintained by Norman Franke. Last modified August 12, 2007