Francisco Ravest descendants


The following is derived from: Familia descrita en el libro de Guillermo de la Cuadra Gormaz, Familias chilenas (Origen y desarrollo de las familias chilenas), Editorial Zamorano y Caperán, Santiago, 1982, Tomo II: P-Z.


Francisco Ravest, oriundo de Francia; c.c. Rafaela Améstegui Canales de la Cerda [h. Francisco Améstegui y Lorenza Canales de la Cerda León]. Hijos registrados:

  1. Marcos Ravest Amésteguic. Juana Soto. Hijos registrados:
    1. Nolasco Ravest Soto.
    2. Ventura Ravest Soto.
    3. Ignacio Ravest Soto
    4. Santiago Ravest Soto
    5. Juan José Ravest Soto
    6. Toribio Ravest Soto
    7. Antonio Ravest Soto
    8. Josefa Ravest Soto
    9. Dolores Ravest Soto
    10. Carmen Ravest Sotoc. Manuel Murúa. Descendencia está registrada en Manuel Murúa.
  2. Ramón Ravest Améstegui, Jesuíta.
  3. Bernabé Ravest Améstegui c.c. Francisca Castillo. Con sucesión Ravest Bonilla, Ravest Campaña, Ravest Hurtado, etc.
  4. Valeriano Ravest Améstegui, Mercedario.
  5. Lorenza Ravest Améstegui
  6. Francisca Javiera Ravest Améstegui
  7. Ursula Ravest Améstegui

A later, related Francisco Ravest is recorded in Familias chilenas :

Francisco Ravest c. siglo XIX c. Agustina Castro. Hijos registrados:

  1. Clemente Ravest Castro, testó ante Gómez Solar en Santiago 1881; c.c. Natalia Rivera Cienfuegos. Hijos registrados:
  2. Clemente Ravest Rivera
  3. Francisco Ravest Rivera
  4. Arturo Ravest Rivera
  5. Alberto Ravest Rivera
  6. Natalia Ravest Rivera
  7. Elena Ravest Rivera
  8. Albina Ravest Rivera


Gaston Ravest

Gaston Ravest, a French man, arrived in the New York  on 11 May 1897 from Pot-au-Prince.  Ellis Island records give his age as 37y 3m.  He arrived on the Prins Willem III.  (In 1917, under its later name, Geogios Antippa, this ship was sunk by a German submarine while carrying coal from Sunderland to France.  All crew were saved.)

Gaston Ravest was on board the sister ship Prins Willem I when it was lost in the Bahamas according to a report in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 30 July 1900.


“Dutch Steam ship Wrecked North Side of Island of Inagua.

  • Passenger and crew saved
  • Vessel Left This Port [Brooklyn] With Twenty-two Cabin Passengers
  • Carried a Valuable Cargo. Cape Haytien, July 30
  • The Dutch steamer Prins Willem I has been wrecked on the north side of the island of Inagua.
  • The passengers and crew were saved.

A dispatch received to-day in Manhattan at the Maritime Exchange confirms the loss of the steamer. The exact date of the wreck Is not furnished, but the distance between Inagua and San Domingo, from which the telegram came, gives the belief that the disaster must have occurred about Wednesday last. This opinion is strengthened by the fact that the Prins Willem I left here July 19 for the Dutch West Indies.

Kunhardt & Co., agents of the Dutch Royal Mail Steamship Company, say the Prins Wil­lem had a full cargo of valuable machinery, etc., and twenty-two cabin passengers. The first port of call was to be Port-au-Prlnce, In Hayti, thence she intended to go to Aux Crugas, a number of the Haytien ports, and finally to Curacoa, Puerto Cabello, Laguayra and other ports in Venezuela. She was due at Port-au-Prince last Friday.

A full list of the passengers of the ship  is not yet available, but the agents gave out the following as being among those who went from this port on the craft: A. L. Gurin, Emile Mangin, J. N. Legor, Gaston Revest, W. R. Gann and L. de’ Granqueville. Mr. Granqueville had with him his 6 year old child, in charge of a nurse.

Great Inagua, where the vessel was lost, is called Great Heneagua in the tropics, and is the largest and most southerly of the Bahama group. It Is fifty miles long and twenty-five miles wide. It is the home of some of the most formidable wreckers in the South Sea. They are called wreckers down there, but northern courts have declared them many times to be nothing less than pirates. The hope of saving the ship or any of her cargo is, there­fore, abandoned by those who know anything of the island.  The Prins Willem I was commanded by Captain Nyboer and bad a crew of fifty-eight men. She was 264 feet long, 36.2 feet beam and 21 feet deep. Her gross tonnage was 1,720 and net 1,121 tons. The steamer was valued at $150,000 and her cargo was worth three times that amount.”

Cornelia Louisa Revest

Cornelia Louisa Revest was an artist. She won second class medals in 1819 and 1831 in Paris.  She was born in Amsterdam in 1795 and died in Paris 1856.  Pupil of Serangely and Vafflard in Paris.  In 1814 she painted Magdalen at the feet of Christ for a church in Marseilles.  She painted portraits and A Young Mother playing the Mandolin.

Dona Rafaela Amestegui Canales de la Cerda

Dona Rafaela Amestegui Canales de la Cerda married Francisco Ravest and is therefore the”mother” of the Chilian, (and hence UK), Ravests.

She was the daughter of don Francisco Amestegui and dona Lorenza Canales de la Cerda y Leon.

Dona Lorenza came from an illustrious family which can trace its ancestry to Hernando de Canales y Villamal, Duke of Valencia.  The great-grandson of Hernando, Fernandes Canales de la Cerda, (born around 1580), came to Chile as a soldier under the command of Marcos Sotomayer in 1605.

It is possible that the de la Cerda family derive from Fernando Alfonsez III, King of Castilla y Leon, born 1201.

Early French Ravests / Revests

Place names

It seems likely that the family name originated from a place name.  There are several villages which include Revest as part of their name.  It can be no coincidence that these villages in the south east corner of France are in the same area where most of the Revests continue to live. More research is needed to determine when all of these villages were founded and their relevance to our story.

The word Revest derives from the traditional language of Southern France, Occitan, in which revest, (a variant of revers), means a site exposed to the north.

  • Revest-les-Roches is a small commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in South Eastern France, population around 200.  The name of the village was first recorded in 1007 (Revestis).  Its inhabitants are called Revestois.
  • Le Revest-les-Eaux, population 3,750, lies in the Var department of the Provence-sur-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region of France.
  • Revest-du-Bion, population around 500, is a commune in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, in the south of France
  • Revest-des-Brousses, population around 250,is a commune in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
  • Revest-Saint-Martin, population less than 100, in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.


I assume that Ravest/Revest are alternative spellings.  However, without more information, I cannot assume that all Revests are actually of the same family as they may originate from different villages.

The earliest reference that I have found so far is of Raymond de Revest de la Roque, born 1220. A later individual, Raymond de la Roque de Revest is recorded as dying in 1316. Both presumably derive their name from the first village mentioned above.

Pierre Mathei du Revest was born in Jura, 1450, and died in Paris,1544.

Hugues Ribier Revest, born in Var, South of France, 1475.  He died in 1546.


Guillermo Ravest, my Grandfather

My grandfather, Guillermo Oliva Ravest, was the start of the UK Ravests. I have found only a few records concerning my grandfather. He is recorded in the 1911 UK Census as an engineer, aged 30, and being married for 8 months to my Grandmother, Maudie, aged 19, [full name Ethel Maude Ravest, 1891-1973].  It records that she was born in Woking, Surrey. They were living in Holborn, London.  From this I assume that he was born around 1880.

I understood from older members of my family that Guillermo was a navel officer, attached to the Chilean embassy.  I can now confirm this.  He graduated from the Escuela de Aspirantes Ingenieros de la Armada in 1900.

The passenger list for the Pacific Line ship Orissa names Lieutenant Guillermo Ravest as leaving Liverpool for Valparaiso on 1 June 1911.  He was with four other lieutenants, all traveling first class. One of these, (Lieut. Victor Soffia), graduated from the Escuela in 1904.  My Grandmother travelled later.

I believe that he was in England on a mission related to the procurement by the Chilean Navy of a new class of destroyer, the Admirante Lynch Class.  Six of these destroyers were ordered in early 1911.  They were significantly larger and heavier armed than contemporary British destroyers. Only two were delivered before the First World War.  The others were taken into the British Navy of which three survived to be delivered after the war.

My father, (Guillermo Mario Ravest on his birth certificate), was born in Concepcion, Chile on 2 Sept 1913. He was brought to England by his mother under the name William Ravest. They traveled second class on the Orita, arriving Liverpool 8 December 1913, when my father was aged 3 months. My father was later known as Lesley Ravest.

I am very keen to get more information on Guillermo Ravest, his family and career.


Francisco Ravest

Francisco Ravest appears to be the founder of the Ravest family in Chile.  He is identified as coming from France in the following extract from:

Guillermo de la Cuadra Gormaz, Familias chilenas (Origen y desarrollo de las familias chilenas), Editorial Zamorano y Caperán, Santiago, 1982, Tomo II: P-Z.

” RAVEST, DON FRANCISCO. De Francia. Celebro esponsales con dona Rafaela Amestegui Canales de la Cerda, hija de don Francisco y dona Lorenza Canales de la Cerda y Leon. Sus herederos: Marcos, c. c. dona Juana Soto; Ramon, jesuita (Vol. 656, ano 1744); Bernabe, con suc. de dona Francisca Castillo; Valeriano, mercedario (Vol. 556, ano 1747); Lorenza; Francisca Javiera; Ursala (Quillota, Vols 4, 8, 19. 38, 47, 51, 57, 65 de Notarios). Fueron los Ravest Soto: Nolasco; Ventura; Ignacio; Santiago; Juan Jose; Toribio; Antonio; Josefa; Dolores; Carmen, mujer de don Manuel Murua (Vol 51), con cuatro hijos, Domingo, Juan de Dios, Mercedes y Josefa. La familia Ravest ha tenido ramas establecidas en Rancagua y Valparaiso. A una de elles pertenecio don Francis, que se unio en matrimonio a principios del siglo XIX a dona Agustina Castro, y cuyo hijo don Clemente Ravest testa en Santiago (Gomez Solar, 1881) designando por herederos a Clemente, Fransisco, Arturo, Alberto, Natalia, Elena, Albina, habidos todos en su legitima esposa dona Natalia Rivera Cienfuegos. De los Ravest Castillo procedieron los Ravest Bonilla, Ravest Campana, Ravest Hurtado y otros. ”

In English:

RAVEST, DON FRANCISCO. From France. Married dona Rafaela Amestegui Canales de la Cerda, daughter of Don Francisco and Dona Lorenza Canales de la Cerda y Leon. His heirs Mark, c. c. Juana Soto; Ramon, jesuit (Vol. 656, 1744); Bernabe, who married dona Francisca Castillo; Valeriano, [mercedario] (Vol 556, 1747.); Lorenza; Francisca Javiera; Ursala (Quillota, Vols 4, 8, 19, 38, 47, 51, 57, 65 of Notaries). From Soto Ravest: Nolasco; Fortuna; Ignacio; Santiago; Juan Jose; Toribio; Antonio; Josefa; Dolores; Carmen, wife of Don Manuel Murua (Vol 51) with four children, Domingo, Juan de Dios, Mercedes and Josefa. The Ravest family had established branches in Valparaiso and Rancagua. Of which one belonged to Don Francis, who joined in marriage in the early nineteenth century to dona Agustina Castro, whose son Don Clemente Ravest, made a will in Santiago (Gomez Solar, 1881) designating heirs as Clemente, Fransisco Arturo Alberto, Natalia, Elena, Albina, born to his legitimate wife dona Natalia Rivera Cienfuegos. From the Castillo Ravest family came the families Ravest Bonilla, Ravest Campana, Ravest Hurtado and others.