The French game of “Jeu de Sept Familles” is first known from 1876 designed by André Gill, a cartoonist. The game was intended more for adults at first rather than children. The families consisted of Father, Mother, Son, Daughter Valet and Cook. They were also definitely not tradesmen as most of the Happy Families packs were. M Gill went for Doctor, Lawyer, General, Minister etc although there were a few unsavoury characters thrown in too, like a Smuggler. Pretty soon the families became more like the ones we are familiar with and had comic names with a connection to their trades.
Images and notes courtesy Rex Pitts.
Mauclair Dacier ‘Sept Familles’ c.1890
This “Jeu de Sept Familles” was produced by Mauclair Dacier in the late 19th century. Mauclair was an employee of Watilliaux (who produced games from 1874 to 1908). When he left and set up his own business in 1887 he became a strong rival. By 1904 he was taken over by JJF (Jeux et Jouets Français)