Thursday, May 3, 2018

A-Z Blogging Challenge - The letter F is for France!

In 2017, there was a challenge. I heard about it from jillballau blog and more information can be found out about it on the A-Z Blogging Challenge (which was at page itself. However, as I was testing links I found the A-Z Blogging Challenge link is no longer working *frown*

Many people had done this challenge in April 2017, but I’m a rebel and do things when I have time, so I’ll do mine now. I’ve been working on it over many days, and was hoping to get it all done before posting BUT it’s taking me a lot longer than I expected. I’ll do a few posts now and work on the rest. I know I have about ½ of this challenge done in draft format, so not too bad.  J

What can I say – I’m an original. So, here I go…

The letter F is for France!

The Gauquie family has deep history in Belgium. However, way back when there was changes in the French-Belgium border. Due to this, our family in the early 1700s was on the border between France and Belgium. This included the time of Napoleon and after.

The town of Wijtschate is the red dot on the map above.
The family story was our family moved from France to Belgium because of Napoleon and the French Revolution.  As a good genealogist, you nod and say ok, and you take down the story. This includes ALL stories no matter what. Then you see what the paperwork you have balances with what history, from multiple sources say, and then you reach any number of possible conclusions. 

I thought this was a plausible story. However, when I took in the timelines of the events, Napoleon's rule from 1794-1815 and the French Revolution from 1789-late 1790s, and put them together with the paperwork from the family, it just didn't work out. 

The earliest paperwork I was able to find, thanks to a cousin, was for 1723 for my 6th great grandfather, Jean Baptiste Gauquie. It showed he was born Wijtschate, in Belgium, and died in Boezinge, in Belgium. 
If you look at the date, 1723, my relatives are already in Belgium prior to both events. However (isn't there always at but?), I was able to find something to do with Napoleon and the area.

 See highlighted parts below. 
The highlights show the area belonging to France and had been touched by Napoleon AND the French Revolution.
The above shows stories are sometimes twisted, a tiny bit, but can also be found to have truth. I would say while, they didn't move and we're in the heart of France, they WERE part of France, and had to deal with Napoleon AND felt the French Revolution according to this above. 

This, to me, would be the reason why they left the area for Boezinge.

This being said, the Gauquie last name sounds very French. We do know there was a famous Gauquie sculpturer named Henri Désiré Gauquié (1858-1927). We know he’s related but we are looking into it.

A few bits of his work are below.



As if that wasn't enough, I've just learned a tiny bit of the French connection to my paternal side as well. 

My grandfather was born in a tiny town called Niedermendig, Germany and now its mainly called Mendig, Germany. 

Over the years from the 17th century on wards the border between France and Germany keeps changing. This is why many of the towns nearby have had name changes in them (exactly like Belgium).  A great example is Coblenz and Koblenz. Same place but one is French and one is German. Take a look at the map and see how close to the border it is! 

When my grandfather was born it was under German rule, but during different times it had been reverted back to France every now and then. Usually the Rhine River was the border they went to and used. 

And even here, too, they felt the French Revolution! See below.


I've only just figured this link out but thought it was very interesting and something you don't hear about during the talk of history of the two countries.

Viva la France!