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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Montmartre - bad news for Francophobes

A few months back I received an email from Katie in California regarding the whereabouts of a relative long-dead in Paris and believed to have been buried in Montmartre. Although I wasn't able to help her I gave her the name and address of the cemetery. I just received this reply back from "Katie."

Hello Steve,

Cleaning up my emails and you sent me a nice letter in February. I was looking for help finding a tomb in Montmartre. Success, I did find her tomb and just got photos. I tried the volunteer list I use at 'Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness', however, I never heard back from the Paris people, so I assume they dropped out. Then I wrote with help, a letter in French, to the Cemetery and received back a very courteous letter with the location of the tomb. I wanted to try and have pictures of the tomb. Finally took the direct approach and wrote the Cemetery. I tried to make a couple of sentences in French, which I'm sure were worse than 'me Jane, you Tarzan' and followed with the rest in English. Requesting if anyone with a digital camera could volunteer to send some email photos. I had a happy surprise in my mailbox last week, when I received another very nice letter (in French) from the Montmartre. And 2 very nice photos on film paper of the grave.

I wanted to thank you for your encouragement and kind advice. My great great grandmother was Jane Bury Scriven Evans. It is her sister, Catherine Scriven Janvrin, who is buried in Montmartre. Their brother was Joseph Medlicott Scriven, who wrote, 'What A Friend We Have in Jesus'. I have been enjoying doing genealogy on the Scrivens. How fast the family information disappears. Many thanks again, Katie in California

So if you are one of those folks from the United States who think the French are rude, nasty, small-minded people, well you best think again.

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