My name is Angloswiss and I am a graveyard tourist. I do not mind admitting it. Others take photos of famous landmarks, show people where they spent their holidays, and me? I play the generation game showing people where I might have a few related bones laying around. I began a few years ago going through records, ordering birth certaificates of long lost ancestors that I actually never knew I had.
It got interesting when I discovered I am a Huguenot – not exactly, but grandad’s mum, my great grandmother had the name of Camroux. So you take a trip to France (on the computer) and discover there was a whole bunch of Camroux spread around Montpellier and the little villages in the area. Unfortunately the French did not want protestant Camroux inhabitants, so there followed a small disagreement resulting in the deaths of many Huguenots. It was said the River Seine was red with their blood at the time, but who knows. Anyhow my Camroux decided to go while the going was good. It seems a couple were sleeping at the time and spent the remainder of their days on the galleys as french prisoners. The others took a trip to London via Germany from where my part of the Camroux family originates.
Anyhow great grandmother Lay, born Camroux, had a long happy life and died at the age of 91 in 1911. How do I know all this? No problem, today it is all on line. Just pay the money, register and you get it all on the computer records. Nothing is now left to coincidence. I spent many hours, days and months, if not years, searching for a connection to the British Royal famiy. Was I a Saxe-Coburg, House of Hannover, having a connction with Queen Victoria? Had today’s royal family, now the house of Windsor, cheated me out of my rightful inheritance? Who knows? Of course perhaps Marie Antoinette might be involved, me being a genuine Huguenot in the generation game, but Marie Antoinette was not a Huguenotte and all those Louis Kings they had in france were definately not in my family. My mum did not like garlic in her food and she was convinced that the French ate horse meat, which no self respecting British subject would touch. I quite like it, but I always was an exception.
My next genrations will all be Swiss of the Helvetia tribes. I can imagine the disappointment when my descendants in 100 years or more discover that somewhere along the line english blood had been mixed into the family and that they were not descendants of Arnold Winkelried. He was a genuine Swiss hero that gathered the spears in his arms of the advancing army to save Switzerland, although rumour has it his last words were “who pushed me”.
After discovering 1,005 people in my family tree, I gave up. This modern trend about finding who you are and who you were was taking up too much time and money.
This is a short one today as I am off to the hairdresser. Her name is Heidi, but no, she is not descended from the lady in the book “Heidi”, it is a Swiss name. If Mr. Swiss wants to trace his ancestors it is no problem. All the generations are registered in his original home place which is in Emmental. The Swiss always know where they originated. He even knows the name of the village and how it all happened. That is Switzerland, they leave nothing to chance. Everyone has a home town, a place where it is all stored. Now and again a fire might have broken out and the records destroyed, but every self respecting Swiss has it all in his head. I think they learn it from when they are born. It seems Mr. Swiss grandfather was even in the French foreign legion, but we do not really speak about it.
Due to the fact that Mr. Swiss chose me as his wife (or was it vice versa), I am also now a native of the Emmental, because my documents are now also deposited in Schloss Trachselwald with his I suppose. To keep things tidy, if you move in Switzerland you must register in your new local town hall and deposit your documents there. If you forget to do this, or even refuse, you are confronted with a fine. You just cannot have people moving around and not saying where they are going.
I never told anyone in England I was going, I caught up with it a few years ago, thanks to the Swiss. They told me that I was entitled to an english pension as I was now retired and gave me details where to write. Yes, the Swiss are really good and thorough. I now receive a monthly pension from england as well as my Swiss pension. It is not a vast amount, but buys me a Sunday dinner.
I must now go, my iPhone has just told me to get ready for my hairdresser appointment and Mr. Swiss is getting nervous in the background, he is my chauffeur and will be generating the car.