This is a biography of Comte de Rochambeau based on a talk given at the Newport Historical Society on 16 August 1979. Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau, was born in 1725, the third son of the governor of Vendome on the Loire. The family chateau was a large country house, a few miles away on the same river. The de Vimeurs had been a noble family for many years. A direct ancestor, already ennobled, had been killed on the First Crusade in 1096. The members of the family had been brave and gallant warriors. They were not rich and the father and the son needed jobs such as the governorship to maintain even a modest place in French society. The mother's family, the Begons, were organizers and administrators, they had only recently been ennobled. One of them, a governor of the French West Indies, was an amateur botanist and collected plants which he brought back to France. The begonia was named for him.
Woodbridge, George C.
"Rochambeau: Two Hundred Years Later,"
Newport History: Vol. 72
, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.salve.edu/newporthistory/vol72/iss249/6