The Beginning of the Hansennes

Around the year 1860, two brothers, John and Alexander Hansenne, lived with their parents at Heusy, in the province of Liege, Belgium. John had as an intimate friend, M. Dedoyard, who possessed pigeons of remarkable quality. Mr. Dedoyard offered John, a couple of eggs from his best stock. The eggs were accepted, carefully packed, and John put them in his pocket. On his way home he looked in at a dance in the village and forgetting the pigeon eggs, spent the evening dancing. The next day he remembered with sudden alarm, Mr. Dedoyard's present still in his pocket. A hurried examination found the eggs intact. He gave the eggs to his brother Alexander, who, when he learned what had occurred to the treasures, had little hope of them hatching. Nevertheless, he placed them under a setting pair, and in due course, received a couple grand youngsters.

These proved to be two cocks, both Bronze Chequers, with one carrying a white flight. At a later time Alexander married and John remained with his parents. The two pigeons were divided, Alexander taking the Bronze Chequer, leaving John the Bronze Chequer white flight. John, so far as we know, was never mentioned again in connection with pigeons, and I think it is quite safe to assume that before long the white flight cock also became an inmate of Alexander's loft.

In 1886 a terrible epidemic of cholers broke out in Belgium, and two famous Vervier's fanciers, Guelissen and Bonjean were among the victims. Hansenne secured their birds, which were also of the Dedoyard damily. From this Guelissen, Bonjean, Dedoyard combination, the late Alexander Hansenne formed a formidable breed. This, perhaps was the most formidable that the long history of Belgium pigeon racing has ever recorded. Later on he secured a Blue white flight cock from M. Polis Verviers. He then bought all the birds of the Dedoyard brothers and it was from three of his own cock, mated to three hens from Dedoyard that Hansenne eventually built up the greatest and most formidable loft in Belgium.