The family trace in France, roots Français!

In the continuing saga of family roots and places of yesteryear and today and tomorrow,oops long. Ok ,I will tell you about the roots =racines of my family in France, les frenchies as I call them ho ho ho(even if I am too since 2000). Some pictures ok, but not too much ::)

As you might know, sometimes when you have the chance to be in a gorgeous country and world acclaim like France, everybody tells you ,have you been there? like France is a miniature country and not aware of the enormous tourist potential here! Even the city of Versailles did a survey on visitors to the palace, found out 98% of them just visit the palace!! c’mon you don’t even go to see up the road ave de Paris the Menus Plaisir where the French constitution was written and now a wonderful baroque music conservatory ! wow!!

Well there you have it, we live here but cannot be everywhere, with time we will see everything; maybe, we will need good health too. Anyway, this is our roots here in France with a bit on each place. Hope you enjoy knowing the French.

My wife’s mother or my mother-in-law was born here in Villenoy, a small town in the département 77 or Seine-et-Marne , in the region of Île-de-France. The town is bordered by the Marne river on the southeast side of the canal de l’Ourcq passes by it. The road I took many times and still do as it has no tolls or péage is the N3 passing to the north of the town. The name of the town was first noticed in the 7C on a will and last testament of Aldegonde of Maubeuge,that the town belong at the time part of the abbey of Maubeuge. In the 12C , the bishop of Meaux creates a parish and the first Church was built.The Church of Sainte-Aldegonde rebuilt in the 17C. At the end of March 1814, the town had combats just around it and inside the town when the Russians entered Meaux. The biggest battles took place in the quarter of faubourg Cornillon in Meaux. The war of 1870, caused heavy damaged to the town and lots of requisitions. There is a anti aircraft bunker that could house hundreds and built between 1938 and 1940, restored in 2013. It was designed to protect the personnel of the sugar factory nearby in the parc de l’Hôtel-de-Ville. More on the sights in the city page here in French:  https://www.villenoy.fr/categorie/notre-ville/histoire-patrimoine/

The mother or my mother in law now lives here in Chambry, and another sister too. Another town in the département 77 of Seine-et-Marne in the région of Île-de-France. There is a legend that town was given by Jules Ceaser to one of his legionaries in the 1C , with the first mention of the town dates from the 12C. The town was the scene of heavey combat during the famous battle of the Ourcq (September 1914), that was part of the bigger conflict in the area of the Battle of the Marne. You have a monument known as the Four Roads built in 1915 on ordered of general Galliéni dedicated in memory of the soldiers of the Paris army that won this battle It is a national necropolis with a French cemetary as well as a German cemetary (1918). You have the St Peter and St Paul Church or Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul, from the 15C, damaged in 1940 and restored after 1944. Well I joked with in laws, that Julius Ceaser did indeed past by here because there is not much all surrounded by wheat fields. The city hall is Mairie de Chambry, 10, rue de la Ville 77910 Chambry.Tel +33 (0)1 64 34 04 77 ma; email: mairie-chambry@wanadoo.fr

Chambry

Chambry entering town

Then, nearby there is a sister at Étrépilly. A national neocropole with tombs and ossuaries of the fallen in WWI fallen while the battle around Étrépilly in 1914. During the Battle of the Ourcq,September 7 1914 ,the 2e Regiment of Zouaves were here and were stop the charge before the cemetary where the German were in trenches during the charge half the men felled together with their commanding officer lieutenant-coronel Dubujadoux. You can see the St John the Baptist Church or Saint-Jean-Baptiste. The city hall is at Mairie 4 Place Christian de Bartillat 77139 Etrepilly, Tél: +33 (0) 1 64 36 61 19 ; Fax:+33 (0)1 64 36 66 13.

Another sister lives at Chauconin-Neufmontiers also of course in the département 77 of Seine-et-Marne in the région of Île-de-France. The first mention of the town of Chauconin was shown in texts of the 8C under the name Coconiacum ,with the town of Neufmontiers, was shown from the 13C created by the abbots of Saint Faron in Meaux, which has now no trace, the fusion of the two towns was done in 1972 as Chauconin-Neufmontiers. The Battle of the Ourcq as known here the Battle of the Marne bigger theater. The Saint Saturnin Church or Saint-Saturnin de Chauconin,built in the 16-17C. In the 18C the relics of an old Church in the village nearby were transfered to the current Church. This Church serves as an example of the change from gothic to renaissance styles. The Church of Saint-Barthélemy de Neufmontiers, 20C served as a hospital in the first Battle of the Marne in WWI,September 5-13,1914. Jeanne d’Arc passed by Chauconin on her way to Reims by the road we now call the road of Reims that goes from Chauconin towards Crégy-lès-Meaux. Painter Maurice Utrillo painted the the burning farm of Chauconin or « La ferme incendiée à Chauconin, near Meaux where the Church of Chauconin appears in the background within the context of WWI. More on the town here:  http://chauconin-neufmontiers.fr/decouvrir-le-village/sites-remarquables/

A younger brother lives at Nanteuil-lès-Meaux a town as well in department 77 of Seine-et-Marne in the region of Île-de-France. The Marne river marks the northern limits of the town. Here you have a protestant temple built in 1827. This one was a replacement to one built in the village of Chermont around 1570 and destroyed after the enactment of the edit of Nantes in 1685, one of the first ones built in France at the end of the 16C. Nanteuil-lès-Meaux becomes the Capital of Protestant Briard following the disappearance of the Cénacle of Meaux. there is, also, the Saint Georges Church of the 18C. More on the town here:  http://www.nanteuil-les-meaux.fr/Decouvrir-la-ville/Histoire-et-patrimoine

Meaux , i have written individually before as it is the native town of my wife, but here is some history I like. Also in departément 77 of Seine-et-Marne in the region of Île-de-France. Old capital of the Brie region, the Meldes were celts made their Lantinum their capital. After the Roman conquest the name of Meldes still exist and the town takes the name of Meldis. The Christianism is preached to the Meldes in the 3C by Saint Denis and his successor Saint Saintin was the first bishop of Meaux. During the WWI Meaux was the theater of the first Battle of the Marne. The old bridge over the Marne was destroyed to stop the advance of the Germans. the combats around the town of Meaux or the pocket of Meaux during this first battle of the Marne between August 30 and September 12 1914 was furious; there were battles known as the Ourcq and Marais de Saint-Gond were huge within the overall Battle of the Marne. The liberty in tears by the American Frederick MacMonnies, better known as the American Monument (We have paid our respects RIP) or the monument of Varreddes was a huge statue of 22 meters high, erected in 1932 on the road leading to the town of Varreddes and also Chambry was done in the memory of the French fallen during the first Battle of the Marne. The monument was done on the forward advance line of the Germans in their drive to Paris in 1914.

The wonderful museum of the Great War in the country of Meaux dedicated to the WWI (the Great War is how it is known here the First World War), and especially to the two battles of the Marne (1914 and 1918), opened in 2011. Meaux is crossed by the road N3, old royal road also known as the Germany way. The N3 is ,also, link to the expressway /Autoroute A4 passing south of the city and arriving at Meaux by the A140. Meaux is a town of Art and HIstory designation and a four flower label as a flower town of France. The navigation of the Marne river is authorize by boat/peniche and other motor boats with a wonderful pleasure harbor marina, sailing, Canoë/Kayak club. Meaux has a river beach and is one of the rare town to have swimming in the Marne river. The historical spectacle of Meaux,held during June, July, August, and September in the gallo roman ramparts is magnificent way to see life in the middle ages done by actors; check for official days;see the wonderful episcopal city which includes the St Stephen Cathedral or Cathédrale Saint-Étienne built in the 12-15C and the Episcopal palace built in the 12-16C including the museum Bossuet , the old palace of canons of the Cathedral and the old chapter in the jardin Bossuet, 17C, and the ramparts garden credited to André Le Nôtre , etc etc, really a wonderful town. More on tourism by the city of Meaux here:  http://www.ville-meaux.fr/fr/tourisme.html
The tourist office is here:  http://www.tourisme-paysdemeaux.com/

Meaux

American Monument next to museum of WWI

Let’s go south! to Lavaur, where my wife’s father was born, a town in the département 81 of the Tarn,in the region of Occitanie. Located in a triangle of Albi, Toulouse, and Carcassonne. The town is on the borders of the Agout river,on the hills of the cocagne country. On the east north east of Toulous ,south of Gaillac and west of Castres. It is seen written for the first time in 1025 and by 1035 as a enclosed town. By 1065, there was written a constitution of the Lavaur, given by the monks of the abbey of Sainte-Foy of Conques. In 1098, it was built the Saint Alain Church in a prairie offered by the monks of the abbey of Saint-Pons of Thomières,by Isarn, bishop of Toulouse. You have here now the Saint Alain Cathedral built 13-15C with the only jacquemart in the southwest of France. The Bishop’s garden old French style gardens done by the bishop and renovated in the 19C in the English style. St Francis Church also known as the Cordeliers built in the 13-15C with a great organ of 1866. The Plô old site of the old Castle today gone, attached by the King by the consuls in 1622, and now arranged into a nice promenade later esplanade from the 17C. The tower or Tour des Rondes, one of the last remaining from the fortifications of the old town and today the tourist office. The monastery of Clarists founded in 1642 destroyed during the French revolution and restored in 1802; the current chapel from 1837 has a in a chase the body of Sainte Clémentine,a Roman Virgin and martyr discovered in one of the catacombs of Rome. The lavaur bridge in stone and cement over the Agout river built in 1773-1791, and the grains warehouse or Halle aux Grains, built in 1880. The town webpage here:  http://www.ville-lavaur.fr/-Visiter-Lavaur-
The tourist office here:  http://www.tourisme-tarn.com/a-voir-a-faire/les-incontournables/les-bastides-et-villages/lavaur

There are still cousins at Montans , a town in the département 81 of the Tarn, in the region of Occitanie. You can reach it by the expressway/autoroute A68 exit or sortie 9 ,and the by the road N88.  The Gallois produce pottery here on the site of Montans and after the Roman occopation the town became one of the most important early on our era o the production of potteries. The findings are presented in the Archéosite de Montans, a museum and conservation center since opening in 1995 retracing the history of the prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. There is a gallo roman road in the principal street of Montans as well as a house of the ceramic worker where you can imagine life as it was in the 1C. All year round there are animations, events, demonstrations, expositions, shops and spectacles. The town city hall is here:  https://www.montans.fr/archeosite

Other cousins and uncles/aunts are still in Graulhet, also in the département 81 of the Tarn in the region of Occitanie. Located at the heart of the Tarn at equal distance from Castres and Albi in a valley parallel to the axis Toulouse-Albi but with no train station , and for the same reasons a bit on the distant of the roads such as A68 that links Toulouse with Albi,and do link by the D964 to Gaillac. The Roman presence here was big with evidence of a center gallo-romain. In 1166, Graulhet, been a lordship passes under the domain of the Counts of Toulouse.In 1484, again the lordship passes to the house of Amboise, due to the marriage of Hugues d’Amboise d’Aubijoux with Madeleine de Lescun d’Armagnac. You can still see here the Château de Lézignac, 17C, the old bridge built in 1244 ; the quaint medieval neighborhood of Panessac, narrow and with many mansions in wood embellished from the 16-17C . The wonderful Hostellerie du Lyon d’Or, a medieval mansion. Henri of Navarra, future king Henri IV, did a gourmand stop here. You can still see the Cross of Saint Andrew from the 15C on a nice facade with showing roman numerals on the wooden sides.The Church Notre-Dame-du-Val-d’Amour,which at its foundation you see a funeral stone of Louis d’Amboise d’Aubijoux, also the leather house or Maison des Métiers du cuir to visit the transformation of leather from the skin to the objects done with leather. The city hall page here:  https://www.ville-graulhet.fr/historique-0
And the tourist page here:  http://www.tourisme-tarn.com/patrimoine-culturel/graulhet

graulhet

market day in Graulhet

And we go north or nord to the older brother at Caudry. The town is located in the south of the département 59 or Nord in the region of Hauts-de-France.Lots of fabrication of tulle and lace by mechanical means where the quality was crowned in the international exposition of Brussels in 1910. Caudry shares with Calais the title of the world Capital of lace of Calais design to go into high fashion garments. The town is ,also, named City of occupations and Arts in 1995. It is located about 14 km from Cambrai, and 62 km from Lille . It is south of the D643 road, the old N43 that links Cambrai with Charleville-Mézières. The origins of the town are not well knownw but it can be said goes back to the Merorvingians era as many passages mentioned the martyrdom of Maxellende. Caudry was anneexed to the kingdom of France by the treaty of Nimègue signed in 1678, after that taken of Cambrai by king Louis XIV in 1677. During WWI Caudry was occupied by German troops mostly all the war period ; entering the town in August 1914 with the city hall serving as HQ. The town was again occupied during WWII when the Nazis entered in May 1940; the town was liberated by an American 5th Armored Division on September 3, 1944. You can see here:Breweries Brasserie l’Union des Coopérateurs du Cambrésis, rue Charles-Gide ; Brasserie-malterie Lemaire et Defossez ,rue de Saint Quentin ; the industrial house of maison Dumont, built in 1947, rue Émile-Salembier. The laces museum or Musée caudrésien des dentelles et broderies in the factory of Théophile et Jean-Baptiste Carpentier, where the brick building dates from 1898. In its collections you can trace the history of the knitting machines. It does expositions and learning shops for the children.

Caudry has an underground carved from chalk around the 10C to hide the population in times of needs. it was not known until discovered in 1847. The underground goes into three directions , the part under the rue de la Paix has 14 rooms and a a gallery at 13 meters deep and 74 meters long. In 1916-1917, caving of the land allowed the Germans to discovered a great part of it , and it was fitted as an ammunitions depot; while retreating in 1918 the German blew up the entrance and a part of the cave. The parish of Caudry is mentinoed since 1181 , and the Basilica of Sainte Maxdellende was done as the previous one was too small and was in bad shape. The new one was started in 1887, consecration in 1890 and was raised to basilica minor by a Papal briefing in 1991. It has a neo gothic style built in bricks on white stone measuring 72 meters long and 36 meters wide with a bell tower at 75 meters high with three bells Vox Dei, weighting 2 tons,Pax at 1700 kg and Maxellende 1500 kg; the bells were blessed in 1920 and 1922 replacing those taken by the Germans in 1918. More in the city hall of Caudry here:  https://www.caudry.fr/fr/visiter-caudry.html
And the tourist office here:  https://www.tourisme-caudry.fr/

Caudry

at Caudry me,dad and inlaws being shown how to roast a pig

The metro area with these towns tourist page is here:  https://www.agglo-paysdemeaux.fr/fr/tourisme.htmlion 

The department 77 tourist webpage is here: https://www.seine-et-marne-attractivite.fr/en

And the region of ïle de France tourism is here:  http://en.visitparisregion.com/

And there you go , a bit more of me , us in France. For the memories, for eternity ,for the web, and you. Enjoy your week. Cheers!!!

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