Thursday, March 17, 2011

Julie Laura Emma Chevallier

Julie Laura Emma Chevallier Meine is my grandmother's mother and my great grandmother. Oh, how little we know about our past.

There is a story of her during World War II, and how she saved the village from destruction by the Germans, but that must come later.

Julie was the daughter of Paul Constant Chevallier and Anne Marie Richier. They married in 1847. Julie had two brother, (Paul Ernest Chevallier, born 1848 and married 1893. Marcel Edmond Chevallier, born in 1859, married 1887) .

My grandmother's house

As the song says, my grandmother's house is still there but it isn't the same. Today it is a bit overgrown with vegetation. It is owned as a summer vacation home by a couple from Holland.

To the left is an image of the house circa 1910, courtesy of my cousin. If you squint you can see a female figure to the left of the house, who is most certainly Julie Laura Chevallier Meine.

The main entrance to the house is up the stairs on the right of the image. Over the door is an iron decorative piece with the initials "C & L", representing the names Charles and Laura. [Recheck this]

I know that Julie married Charles William Meine. I know nothing of him. I know that

Julie, presumably, did not marry in Graffigny. I can't find a marriage record, and it may be that she married in Frieburg or Hannover, Germany.

My cousin also had this picture of Julie and her two children, Paula and Marguerite. Which girl is the younger and which is the older is not for certain. The image is taken by photographer Carl Theis in Hannover, Germany. A letter in my grandmother's collection identifies her birthplace as Hannover. Surprising to me as my grandmother hated Germans.

[Note to self. Look for a birth record of Paula Meine in Graffigny.]

My great grandfather Charles Meine died before the First World War began, so Julie was left to raise her two daughters alone.

[Recheck this fact. During World War I, Julie wrote to her daughter from the the church in Viviers. Check out the stunning 360 degree panorama by Claire Thibau. Her daughter Marguerite remained in Graffigny at the house where she grew up.]

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