This is the story of two families who came to America from France, seeking a better life in the rich coal fields of Kansas. They would eventually come to settle in southern Illinois and work the coal mines in Franklin County.
The individuals seated above were known as Jean Baptiste Bavier and Sidonie Blond in France. When they came to America, they became known as John Bavier and Sadie Blond. They married in America and became Mr. and Mrs. John Bavier and raised four fine children.
America was a country that held such hope for their future but they continued with their longing for the “old country” and the rich traditions of France.
These people are my great grandparents. They would be amazed to see how their generations have grown and spread far and wide across this vast nation.
During my research of the Bavier and Blond families, I met a gentleman named Jean Pierre Chadel of Mazingarbe through a French genealogy website. Without his help, I never would have been able to discover so much information. He made copies of documents, went to courthouses, and contacted individuals on my behalf.
I will be forever grateful to Jean Pierre Chadel who helped a total stranger discover the story of a family.
To you, Jean Pierre, I lift a glass of fine French wine in a toast to friendship from across the sea.
The Blond family lived in Bruay-la-Buissiere, which according to Wikipedia, Bruay-la-Buissière is a commune and seat of a canton in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France. The photo below is probably how the town appeared when the Blond family lived there before their immigration to America. (Wikipedia photo)