I have been actively pursuing my genealogy since 2010 and have unearthed a treasure trove of information. Well…at least it is a treasure to me.
The French branch of my family hails from the Nord Pas-de-Calais area where they were coal miners and they came to America to continue to mine coal. They began in the coal fields of Kansas and ended up working the coal fields of Franklin County, Illinois where many of their bodies rest beneath the soil.
One of my biggest regrets in life is that I didn’t pay more attention to my grandparents’ talking about their family history. As a child, I didn’t find it of much interest, as an adult, I would hang now on every word. If I could go back in time, I would sit at my great grandmother’s kitchen table with my grandfather at my side sipping a cup of strong coffee in a china teacup, a French pastry on the plate and a tape recorder capturing their stories. They didn’t have much in the way of material possessions but they were rich, indeed.
Strong, dark coffee and coal dust runs deep in my veins.
This is the story and the heritage of my great grandparents, Jean Baptiste Bavier and Sidonie Blond and this research is a legacy gift to my own grandchildren.