Continuing to report on our genealogy junket to Nancy, we take you now to the truly ancient and dilapidated building of the MJC Lillebonne in the centre of old Nancy. Our time in Nancy was not as abundant as we might have wished so, when we missed the regular opening of the Cercle Généalogique de Nancy on Thursday afternoon, the staff most kindly agreed, on Friday evening, to sacrifice a Saturday morning to meet with us. It was not just any Saturday morning, but the annual festival of Saint Nicholas that was missed, in part, in order to discuss French genealogy.
We were grateful to be met at the door, for we should never have found our way along that labyrinthine route through corridors that surely have not been painted since the building was constructed in 1578, across miniature courtyards, up terrifyingly rickety and slanting stairs, down another corridor that made us feel -- for the first time in our long life -- that our shoulders were too broad, to a somewhat cramped office, the meeting room being in use.
Once our palpitations were calmed, we listened to Monsieur Blaché, the President of the Cercle tell of the work of the group. The great treasure shared by the various genealogy groups of Lorraine is their lovingly created database, GENLOR, once of Minitel renown, and now known merely as "la base de l'U.C.G.L.". The database now has over ten million elements extracted from all kinds of documents relating to the people of Lorraine and can be searched via www.filae.com (previously Généalogie.com).
In addition to the database, the Cercle offers classes in the rather specialised genealogical research of the region, what with its having been bounced back and forth between France and Germany. Membership brings not only a lot of very helpful advice, but the newsletter, "Bergamote et Macaron". We signed up on the spot. For those of you who cannot travel to Nancy to research your family, we suggest that you, too, join the Cercle Généalogique de Nancy, not only to support their fine work, but to receive the newsletter and, especially, to be able to request advice and research help in hunting your ancestors from Lorraine.
After this most interesting discussion with such dedicated genealogists, we sauntered to the Saint Nicholas festival, where we caught sight of one of those monster circus animal creations of Paris-Bénarès.
©2016 Anne Morddel