Monday, July 10, 2017

La theorie de l'escargot...

Recap: I had traced Margherite Lerdou all the way back to Esquiule, France, where she was born and cofirmed the names of her parents: Gabriel Lerdou Hilarreguiborde, born in Esquiule, and Marianne Etchegoren, born elswhere. Seems like I will be heading... Elswhere.

Leaving your comfort zone is not easy, but since you are already there, you might as well get something done. So I tried my old trick of Geopatronyme for the Etchegoren lastname but with only 5 hits between 1891-1915, the distribution was not going to mean much.
There was an even older trick, that I hadn't used before, and that some experts like to call “L'escargot”. No, it doesn't mean it will take forever to search for records in other towns, quite the contrary. We grab a map of the area and we pin the last known residence of the person (in this case was Esquiule, where Marianne gave birth to Margherite), that will be the center of our cloud of possible hometowns. Then, it is pretty much like connecting the dots, we draw a line to the closest town and the next dot should be as close to the center as possible (you will probably end drawing a snail, which I hate so I don't care about representing them correctly).

It does seem logical and sometimes it works. But we must keep in mind the circumstances in terms of Geography and History. What if there are mountains (like in this particular area) and towns are better connected by the roads of the valley than across the mountains? What if there was an exodus towards the cities?! Which cities?!! Where they moving east to reach the Mediterranean, or west, towards the harbors of the Atlantic to migrate to the Americas??? What about moving to Paris??? (ok, let's stay realistic, here).
Before drowning myself in questions, I decided to take a short cut and see what the experts have already found. Luckily, one of Geneanet's power users had already found Marianne and Gabriel's marriage record in the bride's hometown. Thank you blaplume! (please let me know how you'd prefer to be cited).
See what I did there? I'm giving proper credit to the person that did the research. It doesn't hurt at all and we all should do this as part of our research.
I cannot be more clear about this: the rest of the information you will find about Marianne after she left France was copied from a GEDCOM file created by me (it either leaked from GEDMATCH or Ancestry) without giving proper credit, nor answering messages. The original dates of the findings and attached documents are in FamilySearch entered by the user Na+, et Na+ c'est moi. I have a system to trace the information I release and I will discuss it in another post.
En of rant and back to happy!
If you are not so lucky, here is one more trick that I learnt later and should work very well for those researching their Basque roots.

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