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Egidius, waer bestu bleven?

The title of this post (Egidius, where are you?) is the first line of a poem in Middle Dutch in which Egidius’ friend is lamenting his death.

The past few days I’ve been trying to find an other Egidius in online registers, without succes. He is supposed to be born in the middle of the 17th century but all that remains of the registers of his supposed birth place are a couple torn illegible pages. There is something off with the information about him that I found online so I wanted to check for myself. The major hurdles I encountered so far are a) When the subjects are simple people from simple places, most traces end around 1580-1600. b) When their last names are not very common, there are less chances of confusing them with someone else which is a plus, but it also means less research was done by other people which I could start from c) The data in the parish registers are sometimes very vague when they’re from a small village: e.g. “The second daughter of Martin died today” d) There are people with clear handwriting and then there are the cases in which the church cat probably filled out the register. e) When the register is from the first days of the French Republic, about 1800, they used this weird calender system with odd years and month names (the flower month and other rather hipster names) which require converting. f) Spelling variants of last names through the ages, not to mention all the illegitimate children g) First name variants. There are usually three official variants: Latin, French and Dutch. But because there was only a limited choice of approved names, many people were baptised Mary, Joseph, John or Peter but they would be known under another first name, a short form or just a different name alltogether. Eg Someone baptised Ioannis but called Jacques in daily life. Egidius may have been Gilles in this case.

I did find the real identity of my unknown jouster in Olivier’s chronicles but that was 200 years earlier and not a relative. I have also gathered more Burgundian info but that’s for another post.

The rest of the time I was covered in glue and paint trying to finish the little book project. I needed some medievalish fabric for the cover so I went to retrieve a box in the parental attic. I hate going up in that attic because the access goes via a rickety ladder, the attic is very old, very dusty and very spooky, full of strange objects from previous inhabitants, with a good chance of dead pigeons and mummified bats.

Mmm, a box of legs, wings, liver, hearts, stomachs….

There are some pieces of fabric in this box that are quite, ahm, interesting. They originally came from the attic of my grandmother. I was a bit wary to open the box because the first and last time I unrolled a roll of fabric from my grandmother’s home it contained the corpse of a mouse.

These are all bits and pieces from priest robes. Not sure if my grandmother cosplayed as a priest or anything. It will forever remain a mystery. The pieces are all very soiled and frayed but I guess I can find something suitable in it. And some cockroaches no doubt. Maybe I should nuke them first.