The Counts de Hochepied in Smyrna

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Count Danielle de Hochepied 1891-1972

Welcome to our de Hochepied Ancestry website

For the most uptodate record see the pictorial map link below

For the record I was married to Yvonne Margaret Stride whose first husband was Stephen Bernard Stride whom I new for many years. He was the eldest grandson of Marguerite Marie Elise Natalie Countess de Hochepied. Stephen died of leukaemia in 1993, and who always said if his grandmother and mother had been male, he would have been the Count de Hochepied!

From Stephens and my research I've found their lineage has been traceable back to Nicholas de Hochepied born about 1524 in Antwerp, Belgium.

Over the next 100 years the family descendants moved through Prussia into Holland where after 4 generations Daniel Jean de Hochepied, was born in 1657, the son of a dutch merchant in Amsterdam, and then crucially about 1678, he travelled to Smyrna in the Ottoman Empire (now Izmir in Turkey) to take the post of Dutch Consul and as such met and married his wife Clara Catharina Colyear in Constantinople. By promoting the interests of Leopold I (1658-1705), German Emperor and King of Hungary and in particular, a money advance to the Emperor Josef I (1678-1711), Leopolds son, he acquired on the 8th April 1704 the title of baron, which was transmissible to his heirs of both sexes. From then on the de Hochepied dynasty will live comfortably as the western aristocratic Dutch Consuls, wealthy merchants, land owners and farmers in Smyrna for the next 218 years.

After the death of his father the Baron, Daniel Alexander takes over the post of Consul General in Smyrna and in 1741 is raised to Count (equal to an Earl in UK) by the newly crowned Marie Thérèse, Empress of Germany and Queen of Hungary for his efforts at the Treaty of Karlowitz in freeing Austrian prisoners and slaves, which accounts for the manacles on their Coat of Arms. By now the family have at least 5 great houses 4 in Smyrna and 1 in Seydiköy (pronounced See-dik-u-ee,) with farm lands, now Gaziemir in south east Izmir, and several surrounding the Dutch Embassy in Smyrna.

The families descendants continue to expand and inter-marry with all the great Levantine families and influence in local politics until 1922 when Mustapha Kemal, later Kemal Atatürk, following the defeat and embarrassment of the Ottomans at the end of the first world war, was forced to resign from the Ottoman Army and then promoted head of the newly formed New Turkish Army and so swept across Turkey defeating the invading Greeks at the Battle of Dumlupınar and on into Smyrna to expel the last of the Greek Army, (and in the process politically threaten Constantinople where all the great western powers resided). After a few days the restless army commenced (alledgedly not under orders) to torch the city, killing and raping many thousands (some reports up to 100,000!) and expelling around 200,000 of the cities Greek and Armenian population; A disaster of biblical proportions and the end of an era! Most levantines left, some stayed, however although the de Hochepied family lived some way out of Smyrna, (about 10Km SE in Seydiköy now Gaziemir) allegedly, a band of marauding turkish robbers (but probably some of the turkish army?) took advantage of the upheaval and attacked and looted the house sparing nothing. The family now moved to a place in Buca, a sub district of Izmir, where head of the family and last Dutch Consul of Smyrna, Count Edmond Jaques Paul dies in 1929. His son, Danielle Jaques Edmond, now Count, and secretary to the Dutch Legation in Istanbul, spends time in various places then retires to end his days in 1972 with his 3rd partner Ruth Gretzler in Munich, Germany. However he is interred in a memorial in the catholic part of the Feriköy Cemetery in Istanbul along with his first wife and son, both of whom predeceased him. The rest of the family retire to England, France and Holland.

The peak of the de Hochepieds influence was probably 100 years earlier, but now the family name and title was drawing to a close, apparently none left now. Daniels son Wilhelm known as Wimmy and the last of the line, never marries and dies relatively young before his father in 1956, and with him the end of the line of Counts de Hochepıed.

Good books of these events in Smyrna in 1922 would be 'Paradise Lost' by Giles Milton. and 'Levant' by Philip Mansel, also a video can be seen here.

On a personal note, although this change in direction for Turkey had some disasterous side effects in 1922, I think the country today stands as a great testimony to Kemal Atatürks vision, and a lesson some surrounding countries could learn.

My wife and I also visited the site of the house in Seydikuey, Gaziemir, June 2012, and all thats left near the Cengizhan Primary School is a large field (presumably what used to be part of the garden)which some of the locals have planted with crops, and a large pile of rubble in the middle, (presumably the remains of the house) and what appears to be a bit of the surrounding wall with the back gate still intact. I have added an old family painting of the back gate from the inside for comparison.

However I realise I could be wrong about this as I have seen it described as the ruins of a church and church gate!

UPDATE 2013: A family member has passed to me this map which would seem to show I could be correct and that the gate shown was to the de Hochepied House now demolished.

UPDATE 2014: I once again visited the site on 2nd November 2014 and was welcomed by an elderly Turkish family whose house overlooked the field in question. It would appear that I am correct and this is the site of the 30 room de Hochepied mansion burnt in 1922, however after that date some local Turkish families moved into presumably a still liveable building, until about 1985 when another fire further damaged the apartments and so the mansion was completely demolished, the rubble left on a now a overgrown mound, can still be seen in the field, This later information I received from a very nice Turkish family whose wife said that she used to visit her friend in this house before it was finally demolished. On the eastern side of the field there was a wall with apparently another similar gate, since also demolished. Presumably surrounding the previous Van Lennep residence also marked on the map.

UPDATE 2015: After comparing the previous map mentioned and with Google maps in the correct orientation and with reference to 'Izmir 250 Years Ago' by Evelyn Lyle Kalcas it would seem that the ground that the Van Lennep Mansion stood on has now been built on with flats etc where my friends now live and also the present day Cenghizghan School. The empty land as can be from google maps today would be some of the de Hochepied land of which 12,364.8 square metres is now under legal ownership question in the Turkish Courts.

Created with Family Historian 5
Modified by Wallis