We’re all immortal…

As long as our stories are told.

“Genealogy becomes a mania, an obsessive struggle to penetrate the past and snatch meaning from an infinity of names. At some point the search becomes futile – there is nothing left to find, no meaning to be dredged out of old receipts, newspaper articles, letters, accounts of events that seemed so important fifty or seventy years ago. All that remains is the insane urge to keep looking, insane because the searcher has no idea what he seeks. What will it be? A photograph? A will? A fragment of a letter? The only way to find out is to look at everything, because it is often when the searcher has gone far beyond the border of futility that he finds the object he never knew he was looking for.” (Henry Wiencek  The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White) .

I took my daughter to Tours a few days ago to provide us both a change of scenery. This city, situated in the center of France, is close to my heart because that’s where my mother was born. All my family on her side lived in the area too for at least 9 generations before her. That means even before the French revolution!

We set camp in Montlouis, just outside of the city in a camping site on the Loire river’s banks. No matter what we do during the summer, we always prefer a camp site instead of a hotel room. Even if it’a an urban environment! There was a heat wave afflicting most of the country last week and with a general 40° during day time (and just a little less than 30° during the night), i’d much prefer to stay outdoors anyway.

I have a postcard with my great great parents’ house and a few people – some are relatives. So, with little information about where it was exactly, we drove to the village where it had been taken ( about 10 km² large, 1 639 inhabitants) and searched for it. Thanks to helpful neighbours, we found it and baaam there goes the time travel again!

We’re now back home and I’m working on that family tree again because our trip made me want to know more about the history of this house. I’ve been studying the village Census and one hundred years of reports gave me new infos which are taking my mind in so many different family stories.


“We’re all ghosts. We all carry, inside us, people who came before us.” 
― Liam Callanan, The Cloud Atlas

Back to a different kind of colour scheme…

14 thoughts on “We’re all immortal…

  1. It is very special to be able to trace your family back nine generations to the house and village of your ancestors. Unusual to me and I venture most people living in North America or the so-called New World. Most of the people I know are first or second generation immigrants and their heritage is told through stories and oral memories.
    Good luck on researching 100 years of census records.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sandy. I’ve been working on my family tree for 5 years now and it is unbelievable that I can still discover new things. I’m so thankful many things are now on line and easily accessible. It makes checking the records much more feasible when you live far away.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. -Wow, in the same town for so long!!!! I can’t imagine what it would feel like to have roots like that
    -Love your picnic blanket!
    -Send me a link to that postcard online??? With the familiar face
    -Chez Pia – that’s a Finnish name (or Swedish), Pia
    -I like the last quote

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well the ancestors haven’t lived in Tours itself for 10 generations but in the area. At least three generations stayed in the same village.
      I’ll send you the postcard via PM.
      No Pia is definitely not a regular French name. But Tours seems to attract quite a lot of foreigners, so who knows?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is a great place. All the Touraine area is great too with so many châteaux to visit. But Tours has the charming of a rural large town, but with the buzz of a university city.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oui une très belle ville.

      Oui tout va bien. Malgré la morosité de septembre, les tentatives de mise en place de projets personnels et familiaux occupent beaucoup de mon temps. Cette nouvelle année scolaire devrait apporter du neuf… Inchallah!

      Liked by 1 person

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