I wanted to find out more about Mathilda, her family and to dig into my French and Belgian ancestry as I knew next to nothing about her. My father and his twin brother were raised by Mathilda’s youngest sister, Bernadette and her husband Chris J Lindeman. My dad was very secretative about his mother and what had happened to her. My brothers and I were told she had died when he and his brother were about 12, but when I asked him how she died, he gave me a different story every time. I knew something was very wrong but it was all hush-hush.
So, in 1998, I started my research on my grandmother’s side of the family tree, all I knew were a few facts from my father; the names of her parents, the names of some of her siblings and that her father Jules Nicolle’s side was from France, and that her mother Justine Morenier’s family came from Belgium. I was not sure what the true spelling of Morenier was, as documents, from my father and my great aunt Bernadette spelled her Justine’s surname several different ways.
Now, after all these years of hard work, learning to read French records and networking with great people and cousins from France and Belgium who have helped me with my ancestry, I now have all the information possible of my French and Belgium roots. I finally know what happened to my grandmother who had a very sad life.
Here’s some stats about my family tree. The earliest person in my database is Jean BÈRARD who was born in 1490 in the Department of Orne, France. That information was provided to me by Emmanuel Hamel and his very detailed research on that family line. As of now, there are 2936 individuals and 959 surnames.
Today, the male line of Jules Nicolle and Léopold Morenier has died out. The only living descendents of Jules Nicolle and his first wife, Vitaline Galichet are from Louise Nicolle Garnier Lecieux and Leonie Nicolle Ferguson. The only descendants of Jules Nicolle and Justine Morenier are from Matilda Nicolle Hootman.