Friday, December 18, 2009


Our great-grandmother's name was Laura Chevallier. She lived in Graffigny-Chemin, married, and raised two daughters one named Margureite, our grandmother. The picture to the left is of the house in Graffigny (picture from the collection of George Campbell). The lady to the left of the house is Laura Chevallier Meine.

"Chevalier" is translated literally from French as “horseman”. The French title is originally equivalent to the English knight.
Chevaliers of the French royal orders had some territorial title by which they were designated. After the revolution, Napoleon reserved the right to himself of appointing chevaliers of the empire.

French knights figured prominently in the history of France as is noted in the following excerpt from a wikipedia note on the History of France.

Les chevaliers francs jouent un rôle prépondérant dans la reconquista de l'Espagne musulmane dès le milieu du XIe siècle. Ils sont si nombreux à participer à la première croisade à la fin du XIe siècle, que les États créés après la prise de Jérusalem en 1099 sont appelés États francs d'Orient.

The cemetery in Graffigny contains a grave stone for the family Chevallier. There is also a beautiful stain glass window in the church across from the family house. The family owned portions of property in and near the village of Graffigny.