I began my research of the FOURQUET family name back in 1991. I had spoken to many relatives for the next couple of years, trying to reconstruct the family tree. I remember one mentioned visiting Spain and seeing our surname on a street sign. I was confused since family had always said that we came directly from France. Not knowing where to go for more information, I visited the New York Public Library, I checked their computer library and found very little about the surname. I happened into their reference library and found an entry in a Spanish encyclopedia and quickly made copies.
Translation: "JUAN FOURQUET Y MUÑOZ, Spanish medical doctor, born in 1807 and died in 1865 in Madrid, Spain. Since he was a student he dedicated himself to interesting medical investigations. Barely completing his career he invented an apparatus that destroyed urinary calculas. A short time afterwards, he was named Director of Anatomical studies with La Facultad de Medicina, of Madrid (a prestigious medical school). In 1841, the royal order granted a higher honor for his specialization in anatomy and in 1853, he initiated the creation of an iconografic museum that was established by the Marqui of San Gregorio and Doctor Calleja. In the year of his death, Juan founded a annual scholarship award of 500 pesetas to the most distinguished alumni of la Facultad. He was a member of the Academy of Medicine and made trips to other countries to learn of advanced principals of science. A street has been named FOURQUET in his honor." Encyclopedia Universal Illustrada EuropeoAmericano, Tomo XXIV, Espasa-Calpeas, Copyright 1924, Madrid: Rio Rosas. pg.814
Imagine my excitement! 5 years later I visited Spain and towards my final days there I dragged some friends to find this street. We asked the concierge, at the hotel, and he pulled out this huge road map of Madrid and began our search. It was not listed as Calle FOURQUET but as DOCTOR FOURQUET. It was some walking distance away, but my friends were excited for me.
There it was. It ran only one long block filled with old style Spanish homes mixed with modern art deco businesses and shops. We went in a grocery store on the corner and bought something to drink. I went back out and began taking pictures.
We walked around, happy to get off the tourist track and spoke to people of the area. We saw the museum of La Reina Sofia closeby and decided to visit. There I saw Picasso's GUERNICA painting and some Salvador Dali and Velasquez works, walking the corridors of this renewed building, I felt a sense of belonging. I knew that our family had come from Spain and that I was sharing in some of it's past.
Before I left Madrid, I spoke to a gentleman who is a genealogist in Madrid and I asked him to see if there is a biography available for me to read about this individual. He said he would so I left for my long trip home to the states.
Last year, I received an email from that gentleman. He explained that there isn't really anything written about Juan Fourquet. He gave me some other small details would help me along in my research and then added; "BTW, I'm sure you know that the hospital he founded was near to the street you visited, it's now El Museo Reina Sofia". Imagine that!
Since Fourquet y Muñoz has not been confirmed in our Family Tree he has yet to be added. Our family came from Castellon, Spain and I have not found the link to this prestigious individual. Below I will continue adding bits a get to continue my search. If you would like to join in this search please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org