The Warlands/Walrands of Belgium

The Wallerand/Walrands of Arimont - Malmédy - Stavelot - Bellevaux

People with the surname Wallerand/Walrand are recorded in the Arimont - Malmédy - Stavelot - Bellevaux area of Belgium from the early 1600s. An interesting similarity of names may also be found on the Isle of Wight from the early 1200s - Waleran Trenchard, with the name sometimes changed to Walrond, Waldron and later Warland..

According to this Geneanet site, a man by the name of Walrand Godefroid d'Arimont was born in Arimont-Malmédy in the 1600s to Godefroid De La Court d'Arimont and an unknown spouse. Walrand d'Arimont married Catherine Henry Franceaux del Burnenville (? - 1696) probably by 1638 and they had four children:

Walrand d'Arimont died on 9 November 1666 at Bellevaux in Belgium.

Wallerand d'Arimont married Marie de Stockeux ( - 1725), the daughter of Jaspar de Stockeux, on 12 January 1676 and they had a number of children:

François Godefroid Walrand (Warland) (1683 - 1759) married Catherine Michel Pirotte (1691 - 1741) on 6 May 1710, Stavelot, Belgium. They had the following children:

Gilles François Warland (1722 - 1773) married Marie Jeanne Cheurenne (Cheulenne - Scheulen)(1725 - 1792), the daughter of Jean Scheulen and Marie Jeanne Ywagnay, on 10 May 1746, at Bellevaux (B). They had the following children:

Jean François Warland (1750 - 1831) married Anne Marie Rémi Paquay (1757 - 1792), the daughter of Jean Jacques Rémi Paquay (1730 - ) and Marie Catherine Debossine (1730 - 1804), on 23 November 1783 at Bellevaux (B). They had the following children:

The connection - if any - with the Warlands below, is not yet known; there is at least two generations of names missing between the two groups. It is perhaps worth noting that many people named Warland still live in the Malmédy area of Belgium.

From the mid 1800s - The Warlands of Gouvy

Gouvy is south of the areas where the Warlands above were recorded. It is not known - but presumed - that the Warlands from Gouvy are connected somehow.

Anatole Joseph Warland (1853-1925) of Steinbach was a butcher. Anatole married Marie Joséphine Victoire Lutgen (1868 - 1962) and they had a number of children (Source: ancestors.familysearch website):

At the start of the 20th century, the family lived in a beautiful large house with four bays, opposite the Gouvy station. The signs on the facade state: 'Warland, butcher. Really cheap, fishing tackle, liquors, colonial food'. They later sold cigars. (Photo titled: Gouvy, festival of August 15, 1907, rue de la Station, source 'Ma nouvelle vie à Lîdge' website, see details below)

The photograph below also dated 1907 is from the same website, shows the family outside their shop. The caption (as translated) reads: 'We see, among other people all smoking or clinking glasses, bottle on the table and glass in hand: Anatole and Victoire, the parents, their daughter Irene in the foreground and to the left, Odon himself, aged 17, mounted collar and bow tie, full suit, pocket watch and cigarette on his fingers.

The photograph below of Odon Warland was apparently taken in Gouvy when he was 18.

Odon Warland married Berthe Monnier. They had three children: Raoul Warland (1 January 1900 (TBC since Odon was born in 1890!) - 29 December 1962, Virelles), Albert Warland, and Roger Warland.

The web page about the Warland family (quoted above on the site 'Ma nouvelle vie à Lîdge') includes the following memories from Jean Morsomme (as translated), which provide some insight into how Odon set up himself in business: 'For the farmer of the day, butcher's meat was a scarce commodity. (….) On the day of the feast, the butcher's son Odon Warland would deliver the orders to the villages. During the war 14, Odon had to take care of the food of the Russian prisoners working in the embankment of the railway of Gouvy, of which part of the camp was installed at the corner of Remaifait and the road of the wood of Ourthe. This boy was to create the Boule Nationale cigarette at the armistice. At the beginning, its production was purely artisanal, family-run. He offered his merchandise on the platform of stations in the region, then in Liège, in Brussels. Success was there and he had to adapt his production to keep up with demand. Powered by its tri-color logo, identifying itself with the brand new victory, dearly and proudly won, flattering national pride at the right time, the Boule Nationale made a dizzying breakthrough across the country.

According to the website fabriekofiel, Odon Warland 'was one of the entrepreneurs who used the rapid rise of the cigarette, partly as a result of the First World War, to go into business. As a symbol of the liberation in 1919, he marketed a three-colored cigarette pack under the name 'Boule Nationale''.

See this page for ads from 1909, and also this page for later ads for Boule Nationale on the 'Ma nouvelle vie à Lîdge' website.

Warland began the construction of his cigarette empire in Brussels in 1920 with the purchase of a factory (and house) in the suburb of Jette. He established new brands, including 'Boule d'Or', 'Benson & Hedges', and 'Gold Dollar'.

Odon's father Anatole Warland died on 24 July 1925 aged 72 (although another site suggests he died in 1895). He was buried at Cherain. (Source: 'Ma nouvelle vie à Lîdge' website).

In around 1926, Warland acquired an estate and farm that was not doing very well. The property was described in the 'Rogery' website (see below) as follows: 'The farm was built on a set of land with an area of 326.29 hectares. The greater part of this property had been acquired in public sale made at the request of the municipality of Bovigny, in execution of a royal decree of June 9, 1851, then requests in concession, ordering this sale'.

According to the same website: 'He therefore came into possession of the entire area of the Concession (the property). The old farm buildings were razed and rebuilt with modernity, allowing intensive exploitation, with the use of fertilizers, use of agricultural machinery and maintenance of a 'competition' herd. Sumptuous tree-lined walkways converged on the new farm buildings. He renovated the castle and its park, he had many ponds built along the Glain. The farm, whose reputation was soon established, became the object of many visits and its manager, 'then farmer: Nicolas NIZET "sits there as viceroy'! Odon WARLAND put everything up for sale again and it was Mr. LEFÈVRE, a grand ducal industrialist, who became the purchaser.

In 1928, Warland acquired the tobacco factory AJJA (André-J.Jacobs Aîné) in Molenbreek. AJJA had since the mid 1800s imported tobacco and settled in the Brussels canal zone. According to the website fabriekofiel, the industrial tobacco sector was very active in Molenbreek and AJJA specialised in the processing of tobacco for the manufacturers of rolled cigarettes.

In order to centralise the scattered business locations, Warland relocated the factory to a new factory on the Koninckstraat in 1930 known as the 'Ettablissements Odon Warland'. The buildings consisted of '... two wings in six-storey concrete high-rise buildings, whose spacious production rooms were only interrupted by mushroom columns and had an abundant incidence of light thanks to large windows'. The buidings were designed by the architect Joseph Bijttebier, and were funded by the tobacco giant British American Tobacco (BAT).

The company experienced its heyday in the 1950's. After the death of Odon Warland in Uccelle in July 1954, his two sons continued to manage the company for another 10 years.

The following details were recorded in his obituary:

Odon Warland born in Gouvy on 25 April 1890, industrialist, owner of the 'Boule nationale' brand of cigarettes, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Managing Director of S.A. Etablissements Odon Estlsnf; President General of the Belgian-Luxembourg Federation of Tobacco Industries; Chairman of the Board of Directors of the 'FEDETAB' Surety Cooperative; Chairman of the Board of Directors and Managing Director of S.A. 'SOLABEL'; Director of S.A. Anciens Etablissements NOBELS-PEELMAN; Director of the Indochinese Cigarette Manufactures; Honorary President of the Académie Royale Liégeoise de Billard; Officer of the Order of Léopold; Officer of the Order of the Crown; Knight of the Order of Léopold; Decorated with the Pro Ecclesia and Pontifice Medal; unexpectedly died in Uccle on 10/7/1954, son of Anatole-Joseph Warland and Marie-Joséphine-Victoire Lutgen, married Berthe Monnier.

The people named in his death notice were as follows (the names are hard to read). The sons were Raoul, Albert and Roger.

From the early 1960s, control passed entirely to BAT-Benelux which ended cigarette production in 2001. The building was acquired by the Brussels Regional Development Agency (GOMB) which transformed it into a modern business centre and named 'Lavoisier'.

Odon Warland Avenue may be seen in the map of Brussels, below. There is even an 'Odon Warland' tramstop.

Sources and references:


Page created 10 September 2021, last updated 10 September 2021. Copyright © 2021 Andrew Warland. (andrewwarland(at)gmail.com)