Holidays are perfect for catching the season's best movies and with intense anticipation, I rushed to view the movie adaptation of Les Miserables. As hoped, the movie is spell-bounding. And with the musical on screen, it provides the viewer an opportunity to gain a deeper perspective of the events surrounding the French Revolution.

Revolutionary France coincided slightly with the American Revolution and history reveals that America could not have won her revolt against England without France's partnership.
But unlike America whose independence spurred the formation of a democratic government soon after victory; the French people suffered decades of tumultuous reigns of power. King Louis and Marie Antoinette lost their heads by 1793 but the French people did not see democracy until the mid to late 1800's.

The country rode turbulent waters of oppressive monarchies and overpowering militaries as tens of thousands of revolutionaries lost their lives during various skirmishes until the mid 1800's. Which is the point of subject of Les Miserables: a people's uprising after the death of their leader in June of 1832.

As a family historian, I find the history of the French Revolution intriguing. Although I still search the identity of my French ancestor's parents, it is apparent they likely immigrated to America in the early 1800's. Their reasons for immigration are left to my imagination but with an America free from British hold, my French ancestors must have felt pulled to the promises offered, certainly not unlike the majority of immigrants then and now.

As genealogists uncover more details of their ancestral puzzles, their family history is revealed. But we will never know all the details. Our ancestor's autobiographies will always remain incomplete. It is only with our imaginations guided by historical facts of our ancestor's times can we fantasize their complete story. And though never absolute, a family historian can only provide a good recount of their ancestry if it is told within the framework of their environment.

Do you search for your French ancestor's? Take a look at my Links to French Records page for opportunities to explore.

My plans for this blog during the New Year is to offer a quality story on the first Sunday of each month. If you, the reader, would like an opportunity to be a guest writer then you can email your well written, 500 word or less story to Your publication must be genealogy in nature and I will review it for relevancy to this website.

Keep searching for answers,

(Source: The Daily Beast)



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