JUNE 2006

by Gwyneth Daniel Cheeseman

Following in Patricia Le Croisette Padfield's steps, I went to Beauvais, to the location of a comprehensive collection of works on ancient Picardy.

3 cours des Lettres
Centre culturel François Mitterrand
60000 - BEAUVAIS

They have, on fiche, in this public library (in a reading room at the top), access to everything I needed to track down the villages named in the genealogy of the alleged 'Colard de Croisettes'. The fiche reader, fuzzy quality, can be used to read this. The original is stored safely in an archive in the other building. Nothing is to be gained by going over the genealogy again, as the reader can see it in translation and transcribed in French here.

The librarian on duty was the soul of helpfulness. We showed him what we had. He immediately hauled out a heap of reference books, including Bernard Guenée's book, on the Tribunals and legal families in the bailiwick of Senlis in the Middle Ages.

I later tracked down a copy and bought it.

Here are the pages of the references in it:

I also bought the two publications where he wrote at length about the de Croisettes, debunking the myth about the right to arms. More about that here.

When we showed him our list of villages, querying some of them, he dived into the pile of books. First, he said, Russon is actually these days known as BARON.

He showed us where it is.

Motte is Mareuil La Motte.

Meremont is Merlemont, Hermes is Les Harmes, and so forth.

The best guess about these villages can be found on this page: with further information and photographs here:

Each of the photographs that follow will allow the keen reader to follow in our footsteps. Click to enlarge to full-size photos of reasonable quality. There is a whole series of books, some still available from antiquarian booksellers, dealing with the villages and telling of their history, so far as it is known.

This is the series:

Also there are Louis Graves's statistical summaries. One in particular to do with the 'Arrondissement de Beauvais' and the 'Canton to Noailles' we looked through to find out detail about the villages. I have grouped these next. This is called the Précis Statistique. Arrondissement de Beauvais. Canton de Noailles.

Then something more up to date.

If you wish to understand more about these click on them, import them into a graphics processor, size them and print them down.

The French are way ahead of the British in getting their ancient documents scanned in and on the web. Some of the old maps I've shown on the Picardy villages pages among the photographs I found on the web.