Friday, December 2, 2011

Dung, Doubs, France

The village of Dung is in the département of Doubs in the Franche-Comté region not far from the border with Switzerland.  The census in 2007 reported 648 people living in the village.  A brief stroll through Dung shows that its citizens are carefully maintaining their residences nestled in this gentle valley.

Janice's Aeschliman ancestors farmed near Dung in the mid 1820's after fleeing Switzerland as Anabaptists. They left France in 1834.  The quality of land always varies, but some fields certainly look fertile.   

Field along the road from Dung to Blamont

If you stack your firewood next to a public road, I supposed it is best to know when it has been disturbed. 

There are many well-tended garden plots in this rural area.

This was possibly one of several wells in Dung.  It is now covered for safety, but the wrought iron decoration remains. 

I assume this wonderful collection of bird houses was once used by pigeons, some of which can be a delicacy.

The cemetery on the other side of the valley is now being hemmed in by new homes.

As it expands, the cemetery has been built in tiers, slowly climbing out of the valley.  From here, you get a good view of the village and its prominent church (which was closed when we visited).

The name "Goll" means something to people living in Fulton County, Ohio near Archbold and Lockport, because they enjoy the Goll Woods, a State Nature Preserve of 321 acres which shows how the Black Swamp used to look with its old growth trees and variety of bushes and shrubs.  This fertile land was once a lake bottom.

The Golls were one of the first families to move into that part of Fulton County.  Some of their descendants are buried in the Goll cemetery in that preserve.  The grave stone in Dung (France, shown below) possibly commemorates a distant relative of the Ohio Golls.  The inscription begins, "Here lies the body of Emile Georges Frederick Goll" (a combination of both French and German names).

I included this photo to show yet another possible variant for Lugbill:  Lugenbuhler.

In order that some cemeteries in France continue to receive funding as the decades slip by, their plots are treated as concessions which are rented, rather than purchased.  You occasionally see signs which warn unnamed descendents of the deceased that they are urgently requested to go to City Hall because their concession has now expired.  In other words, they need to pay to renew the concession, or, out come the shovels and someone else gets the spot.  I think this is yet another reason some former burial plots for immigrate ancestors have long since disappeared; once descendants emigrate, they no longer think of renewing the concessions in the cemetery.  (Of course in those days, the Anabaptists would not have been granted the right to be buried in either the Catholic or Lutheran cemeteries; even after death, there are standards to be upheld.)