Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Family History - Neolithic history

Woke this morning to a bit of thunder and could see
some lightning forking down in the sky! But it all
finished so I could go out walking some more.
Armed with a map that showed me where the road Les
Ruettes was, I set out hopeful that this morning I
would find the house called Les Ruettes where my Payn
ancestors lived. And it wasn't too long before I was
standing in front of their house. It has been much
altered over the years, with an extra storey added on,
but it was clearly the same traditional styled rural
house. I was glad to have made this contact with the
I next kept walking to get to La Hogue Bie. I have to
confess that I was completely ignorant of the fact
that Jersey has a rich and varied neolithic history.
At La Hogue Bie there is a mound covering a large
passage grave, which it is explained was more than
just a grave and had ceremonial uses. In the 90s it
was discovered that the sunlight at the equinox
reaches a far part of the passage. On the top of the
mound in the 12th century, a chapel was erected over
this place of pagan pilgrimage, turning it into a
Christian site.
During WW2, many forced workers had to come to Jersey
and German bunkers intrude on the mound. A memorial to
the workers is in the bunkers.
I decided to go to Jersey Archives in the afternoon to
put some of the family names into indexes to see what
turned up. What did turn up was an interesting book,
all in French, detailed various legal matters
surrounding inheritance. Then I checked a few
censuses. I found my great-grandfather at home as a
mariner a few years before he left for NZ. His father
was listed as a ship's carpenter and his mother as a
schoolmistress. I now have a reader's card for Jersey Archives!

No comments:

Post a Comment