Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Great Share Challenge

Michael J. Leclerc
In early January 2015, Mocavo (FindmyPast related) blogger wrote a post asking for people to remember that researching is fine, but we're doing this to share our findings with others. His share challenge consists of:
"You should pick at least twelve ancestors or ancestral couples. The goal is to research and share at least one story a month. Bring your ancestors to life so that other family members can discover their roots."
He goes on to state we could do this by writing blog posts, making a Facebook page and/or writing up ancestor's stories to share.

I have been sharing my stories, which is how this blog came about. As you know, I started to write up my paternal grandmother's story and making it public. However, I didn't write her whole story. I'm waiting for further information before I begin on writing her story up for the family, which is why her story has seemly come to an end on her. That and I figured I'd write up a more detailed story in which to pass along to family members.
Pic taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgium_and_the_Franco-Prussian_War#mediaviewer/File:Le_drapeau_belge.jpg

Then came along the challenge. I've had my head in the world of Belgium and France since early December 2014. My cousins wanted me to help them with the Gauquie side of the family and to prove or disprove stories and find our links back to France. Since then I've come a long way (reached the late 1700's) and still going. In fact, I've actually met another cousin that does live in France, but we are still trying to prove the link fully.

My main stumbling block is learning languages and then learning from history. I admit I hated history when I was in school. I put it down to putting facts into the head and then spitting them out. However, since I realized just what history has affected MY history its fascinated me. Now the person who hated history just can't get enough. Examples include: my great grandfather Jules actually owned land George Washington encamped on his travels before he was President, the French Revolution affected the family (I think they left France to Belgium in order to protect their inns/bakeries from the looting/robbing that was starting because of inflation which took place just before the French Revolution. Then there was the draft or conscription in Belgium. The first one was in 1860 and my 2 times great grandfather was actually in it as a rifleman. According to Wikipedia:
"1860 a battalion-sized unit known as the Tirailleurs Franco-Belges (Franco-Belgian Sharpshooters). Recruited amongst volunteers from both countries, this became the Pontifical Zouaves in 1861 and fought as an allied force on the French side in 1871 during the Franco-Prussian War.[4]"
What a way to find out about the Franco-Prussian War!
My 3 x great grandfather's paperwork stating he was in the National Military

In order to complete the above mentioned Share Challenge, I've started up a Gauquie Facebook page and have been sharing information with my cousins on that. Its been a weekly thing now its up and going - unless I find out more information from one of the feelers I've put out before I turned my focus into bringing money back into the house - a job.

For me, the sharing challenge for the year, has been met as long as I keep this up, but I've met the basic quota for the sharing information.

Now the next big task? Sitting down and writing up the new relative's timelines and then format them into a story for each person. Already I can see its going to be very interesting...when I get the time to sit down and write them out.