Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Landscapes and farm vistas near Neuvier, Doubs, Franche-Comté, France

During our very brief drive through the hameau of Neuvier (in the département du Doubs in eastern France) we were unable to park within the very busy tiny collection of several farm homes and barns but needed to drive just beyond the buildings to the north.  We parked on a very narrow dirt country road and admired the peaceful expanses of fields, herds of Montbéliardes grazing on the idyllic hillsides partially covered with forest.

This was the landscape enjoyed by Janice's great-great-great grandmother, Mary Graber, who gave birth to Verena Graber (who then married into the Aeschliman family) in her parental home on the Graber family farm, Montprevoir, in the Neuvier area.

The Grabers left Switzerland due to religious persecution, sought refuge in Ste-Marie-aux-Mines in the Alsace.  However, they were later expelled by Louis XIV, and moved to the Montbéliard area in 1715.  In 1835 they joined other Swiss-French Anabaptists in migrating to Ohio, first to Wayne County, then on to work in the black swamps of NE Ohio, giving up centuries of unbelievably beautiful Swiss-French scenery.  While this change of scenery in Ohio must have been disheartening, being able to purchase land and have religious freedom was a dream come true.