In 1964, I began to hear about genealogical researches…On that year I discovered at my parents’ home a genealogical board from my father Oscar Joseph ARNOLD to Clade ARNOLD born in 1623 in a little village of Lorraine near Lunéville.
The author of this board was Abbé Eugène ARNOLD, chaplain into the old people’s home of Oderen where he retired and was searching for all the ARNOLD descendants of the Valley of SAINT AMARIN.
Intrigued by this research, I put questions to my father in order to know more, but unhappily he didn’t know anymore than this document showed, and I had to wait 1977, when he died, to understand that we lived on this earth a very short time, and I decided in order to make him live again to make researches about our ancestors.
I began my researches at random, as I didn’t know how to organize them, but I learnt how to do with books and it was such interesting that I became a municipal archivist and paleographer until February the 1st of 2002 when I retired.
I found a very encouraging help with André GANTER, who became my friend and my mentor and who helped me in my researches. I thank him so much.
Then, after a long correspondence, we decided to ask to our cousins, also researchers about the descendants of Claude ARNOLD, and living in many different places of France, to meet.
On the 8th & 9th of November of 1980, when I lost my mother, we met on the land of our ancestors in KRUTH in order to learn all the information we had gathered about Claude ARNOLD and his wife Marie.
Michel SCHMITT, who is today a very important member of the Association GÉNÉALOGIE EN HAUTE ALSACE, received us with André GANTER at "RUNSCHE", the same place where Claude and Marie ARNOLD, bought some three centuries before some land to build their house.
We were eight during this first meeting determined to find all information about our family.
Sadly, on these eight people three of them died, Maurice SCHERMESSER, Lucienne LAPOINTE and Miss FERRER.
Then, after this first meeting, we went back to work as very busy worker bees, and we proceeded calmly and methodically.
André GANTER with other Alsatian researchers as Mister INGOLD from C.G.A., found the decisive key in the story of Claude and Marie ARNOLD.
They were living in MUNSTER, they worked hard in Munster, had an honourable life and five of their children where born in Munster, the eldest one, Jean-Jacques, was born in secret in another place.
We had to meet again in order to gather all the information we found.
We met on 1st – 2nd and 3rd of May of 1981, at our cousin’s home René ARNOLD who was the Mayor of the lovely town WITTELSHEIM and who received us in the big wedding town hall and we were 25. The family circle was beginning to enlarge…
We worked very hard during those three days. We discovered many news about the life of Claude and Marie ARNOLD. We could follow them day after day, in their Alsatian journey, from MUNSTER to KRUTH where they went after the death in 1658 of Barthélémy SEUFFERLIN, father of Marie and very strong Seigniorial Mayor of KRUTH. It seemed that he didn’t like very much his son in law as he was a Lorrain (Claude was born in Gerbéviller) and we have to remember that soldiers from Lorraine allied to Swedish soldiers sacked all the Valley of SAINT-AMRIN during the Thirty Years War.
Then we met in the farm ZIMETTE on Saturday the 14th of 1982 in VENTRON, the native place of Marie’s mother.
We worked very hard and many deeds were translated by our cousin Lucienne LAPOINTE, teacher and holder of the aggregation of old German, (sadly she is dead now). Our cousins Claude and Denise GEWISS from WATERLOO, worked also very hard about our family and they wrote a remarkable book about the ROOTS OF THE ARNOLDS FROM LORRAINE, after a summary of the ARNOLDS OF KRUTH.
André GANTER, searched into the Archives of MUNSTER all about the life of the cheese-makers, and about the job of a farmer working for the Abbey of MUNSTER and collected many deeds giving us information about Claude ARNOLD and his wife Marie who was a weaver for the religious community.
During this meeting, I announced the plan I wanted to make. Thanks to the family bulletin « BONJOUR LES COUSINS » that I set up some months before, I wanted to contact 120 families ARNOLD and Allied that I found through the phone book in order to organize a BIG COUSINADE GATHERING ALL THE DESCENDANTS OF OUR ANCESTORS for the next year.
And on the 15th of August of 1983 this dream became a reality!
310 COUSINS met on the land of our ancestors, KRUTH in the Valley of SAINT-AMARIN. All coming from Claude and Marie ARNOLD by the Three Principal Branches of this large family, by Three Sons who were married with Alsatian wives and who had sons and grandsons until us: THREE HUNDRED YEARS WERE BETWEEN CLAUDE ARNOLD AND US.
Another work meeting was on the 30th of April of 1984, and we found other information about the way of life of Claude. Thanks to Mrs. RATTAIRE, Mayor of GÉRARDMER we discovered Martin ARNOLD, another son of Claude and Marie, that we thought dead before 1659 but who lived in the Valley of La BRESSE and as he was back in Lorraine took the original name of ARNOULD.
Then we met again on 1985 and 1990 which was the last year of our meetings. I had good and bad news from our researchers but sadly some of them died.
I had also very serious problems of health and I had to work less for our genealogy. But now all is all right and I am pleased to go on.
On November the 18th of 2000 I set up the ASS.I.F.ARNOLD Association Internationale des Familles ARNOLD & Alliées which is registered in the sous-préfecture of Mantes la Jolie, and six members of our large family help me in this Association. On December the 31st of 2001 we had 41 family members.
Our biannual Bulletin BONJOUR LES COUSINS, is now enlarged with a quarterly Newsletter. – Our two family bulletins and newsletters are translated by our cousin Catherine MURA TOMAT.
In 2002 was our 4th COUSINADE in KRUTH gathering 115 cousins who were happy to meet.…
In 2005 our Family Association got several new members. We are now 140 families ARNOLD and allied- Our 5th COUSINADE was on the 7th and 8th of May on 2005 gathering 170 cousins who came from France and also from USA with 5 descendants of Claude and Marie ARNOLD living in TEXAS – MISSOURI –and FLORISSAN.
RENDEZ VOUS on 2008 to celebrate the 25 years of our family meetings which have been rewarded by the 4th prize of the ministry of the Family on December 2004 during the biennial genealogical event, prize that we received from the Chief of the minister’s cabinet and from our friend and cousin Jean Louis Beaucarnot organizer of the biennial event.
The web site notre famille.com explains that our name ARNOLD is the 1803rd name the most used in France and at present more than 3700 people have this name in France : as 5% in Haut Rhin and Bas Rhin, 3 to 5% in Moselle- then in Corrèze department ! – in the suburbs of PARIS (Essonne and Seine et Marne) –5% in Var department, then in Hérault and Alpes Maritimes departments!