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The Guise Family 

The Roots of Therese Caroline Alexandrine Tourniaire

Jules Carl Guise after arriving in England from Denmark married Therese Caroline Alexandrine Tourniaire who was the grand daughter of Jacques Tourniaire, a French Equestrian who established the first circus in Russia.

Jacques Tourniaire was the son of Louis Tourniaire

See The Giese Family Section 1 for more details

Jacques Tourniaire


October 17, 1772


Grenoble, France


Died January 14, 1829 in Koenigsberg, Germany

Immediate Family:

Son of Louis Tourniaire and Magdelene Maugiron
Husband of Philippine Barbara Ludowika Katarina Roediger
Father of Sophie Tourniaire; Benoit Tourniaire; Ernest Jean Joseph Bachigaloupi Tourniaire; Francois Tourniaire; Marie Louise Tourniaire; Adeleide Marie Claudine Tourniaire; Louis Tourniaire and Ferdinand Tourniaire


 Jacques Tourniaire

The first circus built in Russia was established by the French equestrian Jacques Tourniaire, who settled in 1827 in what was then the Russian capital, St. Petersburg. The building, designed by the architect Smaragd Shustov and named Cirque Olympique, was located near the Fontanka canal, practically where St. Petersburg’s Bolshoi State Circus (the former Circus Ciniselli) stands today. Tourniaire’s circus had only a short existence: it was bought back by the government of St. Petersburg in 1828 to be transformed into a theater. Still, the event didn’t fail to catch the attention of the Muscovites, who always took exception to the influence of Peter The Great’s Baltic capital.

The previous year, Tourniaire had exhibited his equestrian prowess in Moscow, in the manège of the Pashkov mansion (today the Russian State Library), on Mokhovaya Street. Another famous trick Any specific exercise in a circus act. rider, Jacob Bates, had long preceded him in the former Russian capital, where he performed in 1864, and since then, Moscow had welcomed several equestrian companies—among which that of Pierre Mayheu, the famous Spanish rider, in 1790—but contrary to most European major cities, the great Russian metropolis didn’t have a permanent circus of its own.

(The first Russian circus to incorporate a full complement of acts was that of the Frenchman Jacques Tourniaire, a first-rate equestrian who built a short-lived circus in St. Petersburg.)

Jacques became the Equestrian Master to Tsar Nicholas I and established the circus in Moscow, where it has remained popular since. He married Philippine Barbara Ludowika Roediger b. c. 1780, who stated she was a daughter of a Leipzig merchant, and she established a menagerie of animals, including elephants purchased from the estate of the deceased King of Wurttemberg. While being unacceptable now it was very innovative at the time and amazing to audiences not used to seeing such exotic creatures.

Jacques died on 14th January 1829 at Konigsberg, Prussia where he is buried, as is Philippine, who died in 1852. They had a number of children who carried on the circus, among whom were Benoit Tourniaire and Louis Denis Tourniaire. Louis was born about 1810 and married Jeanne Marie Louise Schulze in 1843. Their children were Adelaide Tourniaire, Benoit Tourniaire, Philippe Tourniaire, Fanny Antoinette Tourniaire and Therese Caroline Alexandrine Tourniaire.


Three Generations - starting with Therese Caroline Alexandrine TOURNIAIRE who married Jules Carl Giese later Guise, from Denmark.

See Guise Homepage

  Some Other Details of the Tourniaire Family

The connection between this information 
and Jacques Tourniaire has not been clearly made yet

TOURNIAIRE, BENOIT. (d. September 13, 1865) Horse trainer, rider, and juggler. Brother of the famous equestrienne, Louise Tourniaire, and a pupil of François Tourniaire. Married Rosaline Stickney, 1851. J. M. June’s, 1850; Rufus Welch’s, Philadelphia, 1851; Spalding & Rogers’ Floating Palace, 1852-53; Whitbeck’s Cirque des Varieties, 1854; Ballard & Bailey, 1855; Jim Myers’, 1856; G. F. Bailey’s, 1857; Tourniaire & Whitby, 1858. Died in Havana, Cuba, while with Abisu’s Circus. [John Dingess: “...known on the bills as Mons. Benoit, he was a trick rider and gave grand equestiran displays in which he did light balancing and plate spinning on horseback, as well as juggling cups, balls, stick dancing, etc.”] See Tourniaire Family and Louise Tourniaire.

TOURNIAIRE FAMILY [Madame Louise, Mons. Benoit, Josephine, Theodore, Ferdinand; r. n. Ciseck or Zhieskick]. French equestrians. Welch’s, Philadelphia, 1851; E. F. & J. Mabie’s, 1851; Franconi’s New York Hippodrome, 1853; Bowery Amphitheatre, 1857; George F. Bailey & Co., 1857; Tourniaire & Whitby, 1858; National Circus, 84 Bowery, NYC, winter 1858-59; Levi J. North’s, 1859.

TOURNIAIRE, FERDINAND. Rider. Ballard & Bailey, 1855; Sands, Nathans & Co., 1857; Buckley & Co., 1857-58; juvenile rider and double act of horsemanship with brother Theodore, Tourniaire & Whitby, 1858; Chiarini’s, Havana, winter 1859-60; R. Sands’, 1860; principal rider, Tom King’s, 1861-62, Washington, DC; Spalding & Rogers, West Indies, 1863-64; Hippotheatron, NYC, Spalding & Rogers, spring 1864; Rivers & Derious, 1864. Married Kate Ormond, May 15, 1864, while both were with the latter show. J. F. Orrin’s, South America, 1865-66; Dan Castello & Co., 1866; Stone, Rosston & Murray, Front Street Theatre, Baltimore, winter 1866-67; Orrin Bros.’, South America, 1867-68; Hemmings, Cooper & Whitby, 1870; James E. Cooper’s, 1872; J. W. Wilder’s, 1873; Sells Bros.’, 1874. See Tourniaire Family and Louise Tourniaire.

TOURNIAIRE, FRANÇOIS. From the Cirque Napoleon, Paris. First husband of Madame. Louise Tourniaire. J. M. June’s, 1850-52; Mann-Moore, 1853; equestrian director, Whitbeck’s, 1854; Sands & Nathans’, 1857; proprietor, Francois Tourniaire’s, 1865. See Tourniaire Family and Louise Tourniaire.

TOURNAIRE, JOSEPHINE. Daughter of Louise Tourniaire; wife of James DeMott and mother of Josie DeMott. J. M. June’s, 1850; Whitbeck’s, 1854; Ballard & Bailey, 1855; Tourniaire & Whitby, 1858; George F. Bailey & Co., 1861-62; S. O. Wheeler’s, 1863; Robinson & Howes, Chicago, 1863; Howes’ European, 1865; bareback equestrienne, DeMott & Ward, 1868. See Tourniaire Family and Louise Tourniaire.

TOURNIAIRE, LOUISE. (1825-April 12, 1901) Born in Germany of a family of acrobats by the name of Ciseck [or Zhieskick]. Apprenticed to the Tourniaire family in Europe as a child rider at the age of 5. Later married François Tournaire. Had a daughter from this marriage, Josephine. Awed Londoners by her principal act in the 1840s. Tourniaires came to America, 1846, Louise, François and Louise’s 3 equestrian brothers, Benoit, Theodore and Ferdinand, who had also been pupils of Francois. All took the name of Tourniaire professionally. Often referred to as Madame. Tourniaire, her career that lasted until 1883. Noted for her nerve, daring and grace; one of the first women to stand on one foot on a cantering horse, balancing herself erect; elegant act upon a single bareback steed was featured wherever she went. At Cirque Napoleon in Paris, became the first female to successfully ride a 4-horse act. Also famous for her outstanding manège act. While with the Montgomery Queen's, 1876, she presented the trick and dancing horse, Rienzi, a coal black thoroughbred. [John Daniel Draper: “Faultlessly seated in her side saddle, with tiny whip in hand, she compelled Rienzi to march, trot, gallop, waltz, dance, pirouette, balance and do high leaps and a number of other difficult moves, all evidence of complete and masterful control.”] With James June’s American and European Amphitheatre, 1850, was billed as horse trainer and the only equestrienne appearing in America without saddle or bridle, coming from Franconi in Paris and Le Cirque Nacionale in Brussels. Last mention of François Tourniair’s appearing with her, 1857, on Sands, Nathans & Co. It is unclear when Mme. Tourniaire married her second husband, William C Brown, a circus musician (one report listed 1872); but around 1860 a daughter was born to this union, Mary (Maria or La Petite Louise Marie), known in the circus ring as Little Mollie Brown. J. M. June’s, 1850; Whitbeck’s, 1854; 6 horses bareback, bounding from steed to steed, Ballard & Bailey, 1855-56; Tourniaire & Whitby, 1858; George F. Bailey & Co., 1861; Nixon’s Cremorne Gardens, NYC, spring 1862; S. O. Wheeler’s, 1863, 1867-68; L. B. Lent’s Broadway Amphitheatre, NYC, winter, 1863-64; George W. DeHaven’s, 1865; Dan Rice’s, 1865; S. P. Stickney’s, 1869; manège, Batcheller & Doris, 1870; Montgomery Queen’s, 1875. [John A. Dingess: She was “beyond a shadow of a doubt the most intrepid female rider that has ever appeared in this country.”] Died in Philadelphia, age 76, preceding Brown by 2 years.

TOURNIAIRE, MARIE. See Mollie Brown.

TOURNIAIRE, ROSALINE. See Rosaline Stickney.

TOURNIAIRE, THEODORE. Rider. Ballard & Bailey, 1855; juvenile rider and double act of horsemanship with his brother Ferdinand, Tourniaire & Whitby, 1858; Hippotheatron, NYC, Spalding & Rogers, spring 1864; Spalding & Rogers, 1864; George W. DeHaven’s, 1865; Howes’ European, 1865-66; Adam Forepaugh’s, 1867; DeMott & Ward, 1868; Mrs. Charles Warner’s, Philadelphia, winter 1868-69; S. P. Stickney’s, 1869. See Tourniaire Family and Louise Tourniaire.

BROWN, MOLLY [“Little Mollie”]. (May 17, 1860-January 9, 1924) Equestrienne. Born in Somerset County, NJ, the daughter of the famous equestrienne Mme. Louise Tournaire. Began a professional career at age 6, and as a child performer had remarkable strength and endurance and was an outstanding pad and bareback rider. Credited with being the first woman to turn a somersault on a bare-backed horse from a standing position, 1873. Earliest reference was as Marie, L. B. Lent’s Equescurriculum, 1865; George W. DeHaven’s, 1866; S. O. Wheeler’s, 1867-68; S. P. Stickney’s, 1869; Campbell’s, 1870; Batcheller & Doris, 1870; Sheldenburger’s, 1871; John O’Brien’s, 1873; P. T. Barnum’s, 1873; Mongomery Queen’s, 1874-76; New National Theatre, Philadelphia, winter 1876-77; Adam Forepaugh’s, 1877; D. W. Stone’s, 1878; P. T. Barnum’s, 1878; Batcheller & Doris, 1879-1880; Circus Royal, 1881; John V. O’Brien’s, 1883; O’Brien, Handenberger, Astley & Lowanda, 1884. [Elmira, NY, Gazette, July 2, 1873: “Old and experienced circus riders consider it quite a feat to turn somersaults on a horse going at full speed but here is a young girl twelve years old, the only female who has the bravery and skill to accomplish it, performing the feat with an ease and grace that call forth the most enthusiastic applause.”] Was married clandestinely to Clarence W. Farrell, February, 1878, who was for many years treasurer of Frank A. Robbins’ Shows. Second husband was James J. Files, non-professional. Died in Philadelphia, survived by 2 daughters, Louise and Viola.

STICKNEY, ROSALINE “CRISSIE.” Equestrienne. The daughter of Rosaline Stickney and Benoit Tourniaire. John Robinson’s, 1873-76, 1879-82; W. W. Cole’s, 1878; Orrin Bros.’, Havana, winter 1878-79; Burr Robbins’, 1879, 1888; Adam Forepaugh’s, 1887-89; Martinho Lowande’s, West Indies, 1893; performed in South America up until 1895; Edward Shipp’s Petersburg Midwestern Circus, winter 1895-96. After giving up riding, became involved in trained animal acts. Married October 8, 1877, Lebanon, TN, to Robert Greare.

Circus History Society http://www.circushistory.org/

Index of Names http://www.circushistory.org/Olympians/OlympiansA.htm