Untangling the Twigs – The Challenges

We have gotten the Doyon family as far as La Rochelle, France in the late 1500s. It is time to set Jean on his journey to New France and begin the story of my father’s family in North America. When I began this project, I was very naive about the amount of time it would take to do it properly. The volume of work has grown now that I have begun to write the narrative. There are just so many bits and pieces to gather and stitch together – so many twigs to untangle. And with the power of the Internet – that job is made both easier and more difficult. Just when I think I have a handle on it, something new crops up. That happened when I discovered Pére Dominique’s published family history of the Doyons.  I have now discovered two more Doyon family histories residing in the Canadian Library and Archives in Ottawa. Unfortunately, interlibrary loan does not extend beyond U.S. borders and I am working to procure copies. If you think government agencies work slowly here in the U.S. – try getting someone at a Canadian library to reply to an email. Their “auto” reply to my query was that it could take up to four months to “really” reply. And I am not quite ready to travel 900+ miles to take a look at these documents. But my local library has become quite adept at procuring loans from U.S. libraries and I was able to pick up two books on the early settlers of New France yesterday – my reading material for the next few days.

My work is also slowed somewhat by the fact that ninety percent of the printed material coming out of Canada is in French. Although my command of French is pretty good, it is still very time-consuming to read through everything in a language that is not my native tongue. The upside is that my command of written French and my vocabulary is improving daily.

As a result, my initial plan of having a chapter of the story ready to publish each week may prove more difficult than I had previously thought. I hope you will all hang in there – there is much more to come.

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