My name is David Bernard AUDCENT, born in Bristol, England. Now aged 77 (2016), I was granted early retirement at the age of 51, perhaps one of the lucky ones - though we didn't think so at the time!, and thus was able to devote much time and effort to the collation and collection of information relating to the family and its liaisons - a science known as Genealogy. Whilst a member of the Society of Genealogists in England, I consider myself an interested amateur on the subject. In the event my nephew Geoffrey, through the development of the Internet and various visits to the archives and places in France, continued much of this work and today in April 2016, he has published a "History of the Audcent family", being a summation of our forebears and including a documented, historic connection to the early Royal families, of England, France and Scotland.
My work commenced many years ago, when my young daughter asked how we were related to all those cousins of foreign name that visited or wrote to us. I didn't know, so set out to find the links that bound the families together. In the process, I have been fortunate to meet my cousins, to make numerous friends and acquaintances and most important of all to build bridges between persons.
My biography appears among these sheets, so if you wish to find out more, you can easily do so. I have nothing to hide, the family are all normal, nice, perhaps not wealthy, but good people like so many others and of little interest to troublemakers, criminals, or others of mischevious intent.
My approach to Genealogy, differs somewhat from the wonderful academic work undertaken by many. I see my role, as a bringing together of living persons with a common ancestry, and by so doing making the world a more friendly place - indeed enlarging our families to encompass the greater whole. Whilst these web-pages limit the information given on living persons, they do at least show their links with the past, and by so doing enable other cousins to contact both myself and each other and add their names and lines to the basic genealogical trees shown on these pages. Whilst it is of interest to examine ancient history, and the discovery of descendance from famous families and persons is exciting, my own position is such that it is more important in this day and age to document the living and those close to us.
I certainly have no special abilities or opportunity (a) to access ancient information, (b) to translate or transcribe foreign languages and scripts and (c) the general knowledge and experience to deduce relationships from isolated pieces of information passed down through generations.
My role as I see it is to allow all and sundry to add their little pieces of information, attach them to my own, and generally enlarge the picture of each family, their liaisons and descendants. I bear in mind that I was left documents and letters some dating from 300 years ago, I realise that some of these may be duplicated in the public domain archives, but the likelihood is that many won't. The academics are unable to tap such sources of information, and my web-site is a means for us all as cousins to pass to one another that hidden information that we have.
I rely, through trust that information sent me is accurate, use my personal skills to assess accuracy, and seek and ask for copies of supporting documents for placing into my database where these are available, which could then be passed to other cousins.
Further, I much appreciate those emails, correcting information, and those that clarify, qualify and add to the web pages as seen to the benefit of us all.
A SIMPLE ARTICLE
A number of years ago, I wrote an article for our Local St James Parish Magazine, and although my forebears have increased in stature, consisting now of Emperors to simple folk, the meaning remains clear, and I see no reasons to change anything I wrote at that time. For interest, I attach it herewith.
Article in St James the Great Church Magazine, Downley, Sept
|Why an article on Genealogy in a Church Newsletter!
Well, firstly I felt that we should have an interesting and possibly contentious article among the rest, secondly it has proved a lifelong interest, thirdly I do think it is relevant to present day Christian living, and lastly, someone has to start providing articles.
Before we comment on the relevance to Christian living, a word on the hobby.
Genealogy is a wonderful hobby, particularly for the retired. It a permanent and precious legacy that you can leave the children, a knowledge of their family, which can be handed down through generations - and is never likely to be lost or disposed of. My interest started with family trees prepared by a GG Grandfather (1837) on the one hand, and a GGGG Grandfather (1769) on the other, both have been brought up to date. If your own children take no interest, or even their children, it is more than likely that the next generation will.
Why for the retired? Well I started when I was about 30, and it has been difficult. The reasons?
On the retirement of her husband, a cousin of mine, inspired by my work, started on her own family tree. Within a year she had progressed one line back to 1580 (luckily for her this family had remained in Somerset for the whole period), she made many contacts and has had a wonderful time. Now, with her husbands help and co'operation she is researching his side of the family. A real shared interest.
In the process, I have also studied Computing, Heraldry, Graphology, and learned much about living History and Geography.
Study the bible and you will find various genealogies, in particular the New Testament Matthew verses 1 - 17, indicating the line of descent of Jesus from Abraham & King David. NOTE: This varies from that in Luke 3 verse 23.
Now for the philosophical bit!
I believe that we are not alone in this world, we are, whether we like it or not, part of the past, though living in the present, and responsible for the future. Not just in the genetic inheritance that we received from our forebears, or in the passing on of our own genes to our descendants. No much more, in the general environment, culture and moral inheritance that we all must transmit. In fact when looked at in this light, it is a relatively easy step from this view to conceive that all life, past, present and in the future is one event.
It is also fairly easy to rest happy in the knowledge that all persons, even those who have died, are remembered by God and to overlook that we also, have a duty and responsibility to follow his example. Persons are never forgotten whilst they live in someone's memory, and the greatest sadness comes when their lives, personality and example are totally lost to younger generations through the death of those who do remember them.
In my researches, one of the greatest pleasures is the discovery of 2 groups of persons in particular, those infants and children who died young, and those members of the family who had no issue, such as maiden aunts and batchelor uncles. Once having found and recorded them, they are no longer lost to us, but exist at least in name to be remembered and prayed for. Those who had children were generally much luckier, for quite often the children kept records of at least their parents and grandparents.
Genealogical investigation can have other benefits. A person's family tree is more than likely to be ecumenical, class-free and even have international or racial dimensions. I have received equal pleasure in finding out about a person, whether they be of different religious outlook, noblemen or those of simple station, and even to find those with human failings. I have suffered, with them, when their children and wives died one by one. It teaches one humility, and to receive others as you find them.
My forebears are, R.C., Calvinist, Anglican, Methodist; Emperors and Kings to Day Workers (persons paid on daily hire); from Silesia, France, Germany, England, Scotland, Canada, West Indies - note no Irish although there is every possibility of such a liason with the next generation.
I am aware that in this particular day and age, increasingly, some persons will find that this article on my interest somewhat painful, for they themselves are, either unable or frightened to trace information as to their own families. To them I would just say that everyone's experience derives not just from the immediate family forebears, we are all part of the much larger family, our local community, and beyond. A real interest in living people, in local or national social history, can prove just as rewarding. Often even a walk around the local churchyard will help, at least you can speak to people, probably those you have met when they were alive, & without the risk of being spoken back! Some years ago I spoke to the children in our local primary school, knowing that a number would be the issue of broken or dysfunctional homes and asked them to ponder on their own special place in this our World.
To this end, visualise two triangles, the first is a normal one, with a single forebear at the top, in the base are the hundreds of descendants of which the school child is one, showing that he or she is part of a much larger family with many cousins. The second triangle is inverted, showing the individual child at the bottom, with the top consisting of hundreds of forebears from which he or she descended. This illustrates just how special each one of us is as an individual, for if any one of those hundreds had failed in love and/or nuture, he or she could not have been born - we are thus the product of "love and support" from someone in each generation.
In delving into genealogy and the historical lives of our forebears, we begin to realise that they also had both difficult and happy times. We learn to respect the old, both those still living and those deceased, to take note of their lives and to listen with greater interest to what they have to say or may have written. We also feel sadness for the children and infants who were denied life for whatever reason, and solely by the simple act of remembrance, grant them a renewed life. This very simple act can make us value our own life and make the best use of it.
In this continuity of past, present and future, respect for one group, will breed respect for others. Our life and the manner in which we live can then be placed in a correct perspective. Sinful acts deriving from individual selfishness, greed and just plain 'living for the present', no longer have quite the same attractiveness or relevance when seen in this context.
Another French forebear (he calls himself an old soldier) - instead of leaving a Genealogy, has left a document dated 1789 (The year of the French Revolution), entitled "Testament for the instruction of my children", in which he relates his life, the wars of the time, his links with South American Indians, and passes on his knowledge and wisdom on Theology, Philosophy, Politics and Morals for future generations to read. Little would he expect that his advice could still be read by numerous descendants in 1994.
Wouldn't all our lives be somewhat more useful and constructive if we, as individuals, leaders and groups had a clear and positive view of the kind of world we would like to see 3 or 4 generations from now, and acted accordingly.
In the course of research I visited a cemetery to find the grave of my GG Grandfather and was shocked and dismayed to find the parish graveyard had been vandalised, although his gravestone remained standing. Returning again after 4 years, the broken and overturned stones remained where they had fallen. Was I right to find myself less concerned about the initial act of vandalism, than with the horrifying revelation that a 'caring church' appeared to have no concern or regard for the remains of its own faithful departed, and their descendants.
I am certain, that one sign of a living Christian Church is its support for the poor, the disadvantaged and those unable to defend themselves. If respect is lost for either the dead, the old, the living, or future generations (including prospective children - foetus and eggs) then respect for the other groups will rapidly disappear - they are all part of the same body, Gods humanity, and that body is not just everyone but each one of us. We all suffer in the end. Whilst I understand, that with limited resources, we ourselves, Church & State must give some priority to those living now, it serves no purpose to ignore the broader view. Judge for yourselves how far we have moved down this narrow & somewhat selfish road!
We must ask ourselves:- Are we still a Christian country? Does Parliament truly represent our Christian morality? Do we & the Churches really preach and administer Christian values? Do we in our own personal lives think of only today?
Are we, each and every one of us, entirely blameless! Perhaps not, but there are many persons and groups whom we should thank, who selflessly give of their time and labour for the benefit of others.
Locally, what about the unsung heros who repair and maintain our church building, those who assist with the spiritual education of our young people, those who help at services and fund-raising events. We do have a caring fund (see elsewhere in this Newsletter), which has been well subscribed and is available to assist those in hardship. All is not doom and gloom.
Finally, we are very fortunate today, that new technology is beginning to open libraries and repositories of information throughout the world to normal individuals. We are able to record voices and pictures (either still or moving), of events and persons. Why not follow the example of my father-in-law who, 18 yrs ago, interviewed his mother-in-law aged 80. The tape now exists for her Great Great Grandchildren and beyond, and tells of her life and experiences.
Well, well, and this all started with preparing a simple family tree!
If you want to know more about Genealogy, please either contact the writer, or perhaps join in with others, at one of the Evening classes normally held in the Autumn.
HISTORIC PHOTOS 1 CD-ROM
AUDCENT, FERNEY, PINOT DE MOIRA and ST OUEN d'ERNEMONT families.
I have prepared a CD-ROM of Historical Photographs in my possession relating to the families: Audcent, Ferney, Pinot de Moira, St Ouen d'Ernemont, it contains thumbnails of all photographs, and high resolution scans of them all. Also included on the CD is a copy of this website as it stood in October 1999 and I have added the family Newsletter as originally placed on this website, from inception April 1997 to when it was closed down in May last year (1999). Further, I have added an historic tape recording of Henriette Ferney made in Aug 1965 the year before she died. You can now download from my Documents page an ISO file which when burnt to a CD will enable you to have a working copy.
As a further bonus I attached the Descendance of the Audcent and Pinot de Moira families from Charlemagne, which formerly occupied this page on the web-site.
latest on the families AUDCENT and PINOT DE MOIRA
I am beginning to include my Genealogies on the Documents page, designed as A3 in PDF form. This will ensure that you will always have the latest version available, for printing by others in any form you like. Just download the file and take it to your local printer.
David B Audcent