Back in August 2003 I wrote the letter below, to be forwarded by a Cemetery in Louisiana to the MICHEL family concerned.
Very sadly I have had no reply. Does anyone reading this know this family - and could they pass me their contact details privately?
Best regards . . Don Montague, whose great-grandmother was a MEUGENS
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
5 August 2003
Dear Michel Family,
I have asked the Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery Records people if they would have the great kindness to forward this letter to you, and I very much hope you will not mind me writing in this way. The Records people very properly declined to tell me your address, and so this is the only way I can hope to contact you.
Why am I trying to make contact? Well, it's a long but simple story. My great grandmother was Nancy Regina Emily MEUGENS, daughter of Jean Joseph MEUGENS, a Belgian banker who emigrated to England about 1825-35, and whose family and descendants subsequently spread all over the world. Over the last year I've been trying to find out more about the MEUGENS family, and have had the huge good fortune to find three living cousins all descended from Jean Joseph, and now living in Australia, South Africa and Canada.
We four have "put our heads together" and found that each of us has different parts of the great MEUGENS jigsaw puzzle. It has been great fun finding out more about our shared inheritance, and we're now working hard to try to find out about Jean Joseph's Belgian ancestors.
During our research we discovered that Jean Joseph MEUGENS apparently died in New Orleans in 1845 or 1854, and that a certain Michel Hubert MEUGENS, described as "un négociant belge établi à New-Orleans depuis environ 1850" (a Belgian merchant established in New Orleans since about 1850) was nominated Belgian Consul in New Orleans, Louisiana, on 15 June 1853.
We then found that Anne Hermine MEUGENS, daughter of Huebert MEUGENS and Josephine CHAUSARD was born in New Orleans on 13 July 1852, and that she married Ernest Amédée MICHEL on 15 May 1873 and sadly died in 1875 - as recorded on the MICHEL family vault at Metairie - and that subsequently Ernest married Louise Marie MEUGENS and had several children with her.
We also discovered, by chance, from the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, that Ernest J. MICHEL was, in 1973, the owner of a portrait of Delphonsus MEUGENS - an uncle of our Jean Joseph!
So you see we strongly suspect that there is a very close connection between your MICHEL family and our MEUGENS - and we would very much like to exchange and share information with you. Is there someone in your clan who is keen on family history - we'd very much like to hear from you or them.
If no-one in your family wants to get involved in our project, I would appreciate it enormously if you would say just that. There is no way I want to embarrass or bother anyone who is NOT interested in our family history, but until I hear from you, a welcoming YES or a simple NO, we shall be in great suspense!
*************end of original letter*************
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