Recovering a Lost Lineage: The De Fontevieux Family of Alsace, Paris, and Washington Co., Pennsylvania

As many reading this can, I’m sure, attest, if one pursues family history long enough, sooner or later one runs out of stories touching on direct ancestors, and one starts to fan out in search of other subjects of curiosity and mystery, touching increasingly distant relatives.

And then, I think, a transition of sorts occurs, or can occur, from pursuing stories that have indeed been steadily retold, and really weren’t in any great danger of being tossed to the wayside, to ones that actually have been forgotten, truly lost, and now need finding once again.

This story hits both of those notes: it touches on a family not my own, at least by any blood reckoning, and to the best of my knowledge, it represents the reanimation of names and events that – like a beautiful Roman mosaic lying beneath a British farmer’s field – have been silently waiting, for years, to come back to light.

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