Sunday, 20 March 2016

Looking Back


It's so easy these days using the internet to try and trace your family tree, as long as you have a few clues to get you started. An unusual surname also helps, having the same one as half the town doesn't and is really irritating!

I had a go a couple of years ago and found out that some ancestors lived in Windsor. I went to have a look at the house that they would have lived in during the 1850/60s. The house wasn't there, replaced by a modern building, but the neighbouring one was. I imagined the family living there in a different world. What would it have been like? What would have been going on at that time in Windsor?

In April 1855 Emperor Napoleon III and his wife Empress Eugenie of the French paid a State Visit to Windsor where he was made a member of the Order of the Garter. According to newspaper reports of the day, recorded by Bradford Timeline on Flickr - click on the photo to zoom in - it was quite an occasion. State rooms in Windsor Castle used for their stay were even especially decorated by Architect John Gregory Crace, who also designed the principal rooms at Tyntesfield.

It sounds like an exciting day for the town. I wonder if my family were watching. They might not have been there at all of course!

Napoleon III was the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte and had a very colourful life. Have a look here to find out about him.

Imagine my surprise to find out that he is buried in Farnborough Abbey, a stone's throw from where I live!  Napoleon I is, after all, buried at Les Invalides in Paris. We went to have a look at the extraordinary place with an extraordinary story.

Tune in next time to find out more!