What if you were descended from a king? While digging through her genealogy, Gisèle Gentric noticed that one of her ancestors had more than rubbed shoulders with the kings of France. Her name: Marianne Alespée (1520-1599), mistress of Henri II (1519-1559), who reigned twelve years over France. “Until then, my children found my passion fun, but nothing more,” she says. But that was something else. My proud grandson exclaimed that he was going to talk to his teacher about it! A story she told in The link, the review of the Genealogical Center of Finistère (CGF).
Easy to trace back to the 18th century
Originally from Tréogat (29), Gisèle Gentric has always been interested in its history. A passion which is not foreign to his career as… history teacher. Today, thanks to digital data from the CGF database, it is easy to go back to the 18th century. But, about thirty years ago, it was in the civil and parish registers that she went back in time. “It took time and it wasn’t always readable,” she admits. Sometimes we go up without difficulty and sometimes it is more complicated. Names can change over a single generation. Le Guilli, for example, has become Guilly and Percelay, Barcelay. The dates of birth are also not always the right ones. You have to make assumptions ”.
Children until exhaustion
Enough to retrace the life of his family but also the history of the inhabitants of the Bigouden Country. Apart from the descent with the mistress of Henri II, his ancestors were mostly peasants or craftsmen. They moved little. Contrary to what one might think, they married quite late, around 23-24 years old. The woman usually had a child every two years, and after a while she died in a diaper from exhaustion. “What I found surprising is that the man remarried very quickly, within a few months.” Regarding the first names, it was often the same: Marie, Catherine, Jean, Michel …
I like to immerse myself in this past
Another point that interests him is to link his history with the great history. In the 17th-18th centuries, his ancestors, Les Le Forestier, sought to climb the social ladder by arranging marriages with the gentry. They take the Lesmadec particle and buy a manor house in Peumerit (29).
But all this is before the Revolution. At the end of the 18th century, it was no longer good to be close to the nobility. “Everything falls into the water. On the death certificate of the one whose name is Jean-François Le Forestier de Lesmadec, we discover that he no longer has his particle and that he is described as a simple farmer, says Gisèle. The mansion is sold after his death. I like to immerse myself in this past. Realize that we are the last link in a growing group of people ”.
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