Posts Tagged With: French history

Book Review: The Book of Lost Names

Heroes in real life don’t wear masks and capes. Sometimes they don’t stand out at all. But real heroes can save a life—or many lives—just by answering the call in their heart. ~Victoria Arlen

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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Water

It is Week 14 in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks’ writing challenge. And trust me when I tell you, this week’s writing prompt, Water, was much harder than I first believed.

I thought about the men in our combined families whose professions were on the water. However, as I had previously written about the mariner men in our families’ trees, I needed another option.

I then considered the surname Water or Waters. Surely, with 12,000+ people in our combined families’ tree, there must be at least one Water/Waters within the branches. There was not. Really?

At this point, I was at a loss and had no clue about whom to write. I needed an idea…fast, so I went back to our ancestors’ list and perused the names again. Suddenly, a wave of inspiration washed over me. Instead of limiting myself to Water/Waters, maybe I should cast a wider net: What about “bodies of water” surnames instead?


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Categories: Everyday People, Extended Families, Harwick-Bush Line, On This Day, Spangler-Kenney Line | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Book Review: All the Flowers in Paris

As a family historian, I endeavor to breathe life into my ancestors by telling their tales. Taking aged documents, diaries, letters, and photographs, I try to recreate my predecessors’ realities, using our words and my imagination. Everyone has a story to share.

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Book Review: Dearly Beloved

In between Shakespeare and statistical analyses, Austen and annual reports, I indulge in historical romances. I especially relish reads whose heroines are spirited, steely-spined, softhearted survivors. And when it comes to strong women, author Mary Jo Putney always delivers.

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Joan of Valois

My genealogical researches have uncovered dozens of devout ancestors. This is the ninth installment of a series of posts titled “Doing God’s Work: Our Families’ Faithful”, documenting the lives of those who served God.

In the previous post of this series, I discussed the life of Marie of Brabant (my 23rd great-grandmother), who entered monastic life after the death of her husband. In this post, I will discuss the life of my ancestress, Joan of Valois, who became a nun after her husband’s death.


On this day, 7 March 1342, Joan of Valois, Countess of Hainault, passed away. She was my 22nd great-grandmother through her grandson Thomas of Woodstock, my 23rd great-grandmother through her grandson Lionel of Antwerp, three-times 20th and three-times 21st great-grandmother through her grandson John of Gaunt, and my 21st great-grandmother through her grandson Edmund of Langley.

Born circa 1294, Joan of Valois was the second eldest daughter of Charles of Valois and Margaret of Anjou.

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Categories: On This Day, Our Families' Faithful, Royal Roots, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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