The Péotin Genealogy Office is the oldest probate genealogy office outside Paris and the only one to have been passed down from father to son for four generations.
1899-1914 : Amédée Pérotin
Amédée Pérotin was a solicitor in Aunac in Charente at the end of the 19th century. In 1899, he founded a probate genealogy office in Bordeaux, located at Cours de l’Intendance. In 1911, the business moved to 29, Allées de Tourny, in the offices which it still occupies today. Amédée Pérotin developed the business until his death on 21st August 1914.
During this era, searches for cousins extended to the 12th degree and marriage recordings were only just beginning to feature on birth certificates. The tax burden for inheritance gained from direct family succession was 1% for property assets.
1919-1947 : René Pérotin
René Pérotin was a doctor of law. It was after his military demobilisation that he took over the office from his father, to which he devoted his entire professional life from 1919 until his death in 1947. From the 1930s onwards, he also had a partner named Marcel Lamagnère, whom he met at Coqs rouges (a Bordeaux sports and cultural association).
Between the two wars, accountancy began to develop and the use of bank transfers and cheques was not widespread. So when René Pérotin travelled to London to settle a share of an estate with an elderly housemaid heiress who lived in an attic room, he gave her a batch of gold pieces. He had difficulty explaining that her fees had already been deducted and that he couldn’t accept her persistent request to fill the pockets of his waistcoat with coins from this small treasure…
1947-1989 : Jacques Pérotin
Jacques Pérotin was also a doctor of law, but decided on a career in teaching. The death of his father shortly after the Liberation of France led him to take over the office suddenly, with the help of Marcel Lamagnère, who remained a loyal partner and friend until the end of his life in 1981.
Jacques Pérotin was particularly especially fond of research and contact with beneficiaries, during a time when it was common to travel to the home of beneficiaries to have them sign contracts of inheritance rights. He once travelled to the home of a beneficiary who was said to be a little crazy but found her to be perfectly sane, willingly signing the contract showing her rights relating to the estate of her distant cousin. When he was about to leave, he extended his hand, but she was determined to keep her hand by her side.
— Has no one told you, sir?
— Told me what?
— That I have leprosy…
The leprosy was, of course, in her imagination.
Jacques Pérotin transferred the management of the office to his son, Benoît Pérotin in 1989, but continued to go into the office every day, and devoted himself to detailed research and training new employees, such as Pascal Allafort, until his death in 1993.
Depuis 1989 : Benoît Pérotin
Benoît Pérotin began training in genealogical research with his father in 1973, the same year he obtained his master’s degree in private law. He was, however, undecided about which career path to take and devoted the majority of his time, for several years afterwards, to the study of law: a Masters in private law with professors Hauser and Derrupé followed by a Masters in fiscal law with professor Lamarque. His thesis was concerned with the evolution of inheritance rights. Benoît subsequently embarked upon inheritance research alongside his father. He took over the office in 1989.
Being acutely aware of matters relating to professional ethics, which are essential in the field of probate genealogy, Benoît Pérotin soon became involved in the activities of the Chamber of Probate Genealogists of France. He was elected secretary-treasurer in 1986 under the presidency of Maurice Coutot, then was unanimously voted as president between 1992 and 2002. He was subsequently president of the professional ethics commission from 2002 until 2008. Benoît is still a member of the Chamber’s board of directors. He is also a member of the communication commission.