My final destination was Saint-Malo named after the Celtic Saint who was part of a group known as the Seven Saints of Brittany some of these have links with Jersey, all be it that the Island was more of an outpost rather than a area of any great importance.

Charles Rouxin

Charles Rouxin

I arrived off the Paris train mid morning and made my way to the budget Ibis just up past the fishing boat dock, I had booked a few days earlier from my hotel in Paris via the internet, I knew it was on the outskirsts but I had no wish to be near the walled town other than within walking distance. I was pleasantly surprised with the hotel although basic it had plenty of room and it was light and airy although I was facing a busy road. I had a walk up the road as I wanted to browse the cemetery, this was about 15 minutes walk past the train station the area has had a great deal of work done on it in the last couple of years, and more is planned with a large centre being built in the centre square. I found the cemetery that was like many not well signposted, not sure if it is taken for granted that people know where cemeteries are or that they are not thought to be of interest to visitors. The cemetery was very well kept and the graves had been well tended with numerous flowers to be seen, the paths were well maintained with a covering of beach sand including maerl this is a valuable habitat and the year before I had attended a conference here discussing the Parc marin and the importance of the biodiversity of the area and how maerl extraction had stopped (although a large pile was actually on the nearby commercial docks!) and that it deserved a high protection status, I informed the Jersey authorities on my return as they are regulary involved in discussions in this area with their French counterparts at great expense no doubt. I got the usual blank response and no acknowledgement of the matter, I do question why we pay these people and what they actual acheive as our marine life and habitats continues to decline.

"Protected maerl beds"

“Protected maerl beds”

Fuentes & Samson family grave

Fuentes & Samson family grave

There were a number of surnames that I was interested in to be seen including Gautier, Lemaitre, and Samson, but many of the graves had just the family name and not a great deal of detail, as I was coming to the end I did stumble upon a Jouault grave which was a pleasant surprise the only clue was the person had a link to Railways as there was a plaque from former colleagues (Cheminot) on the grave, I scrawled a note on a piece of paper and placed it underneath on of the flower pots in the hope that it might be picked up and that I may contact someone with an interest in Jouault’s, as we are not that far away from where my family originated from at Mesnil le Thebault which is only just across the Breton border in Normandy.

Jouault & Fresne Grave

Jouault & Fresne Grave

On my travels not far from the cemetery I came across the Saint-Malo archives which I was totally unaware of so the following day I headed there and spent the day recording Samson records from the resources which were a combination of original and modern typed indexes, because I did not have my Samson details I was not entirely sure what and whom I was looking for, and as it happens I do not appear to have linked into these records yet, the archive also has a good selection of books and research papers on matters pertaining to the area and Brittany, I found some interesting bits of work which linked into some research we are doing in Jersey, most notable the sea level rises over the last 10,000 years and storm surges, this outlined how the area had evolved from an island that had been connected by reclaimation.

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