Marylee MacDonald

Award-winning author and writing coach


Jean NoŽl Turrelure, dit NoŽl, died on January 17, 1834, but the notaries didn't arrive till the 26th of March.

57 rue Menilmontant

A week into the trip, I've accumulated quite the stash of library cards.

In the Reading Room of the Archives nationales, you can examine the original records of quit claim deeds, property transfers, and death inventories. Here, I'm looking at the records for the carte de surete, a sort of internal passport all Frenchmen had to carry immediately after the Revolution.

With new information that NoŽl's name was actually Turelure, Dr. Emmanuel Schwartz, the Director of the art academy's library, turned to the records for 1766.

The light-filled atrium of the Academy of Beaux Arts

Documents from French notaries are in the Archives Nationales.

Chappe d'Autroche led a 1769 expedition to Baja California to study the Transit of Venus.



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The Vermillion Sea

Trolling the Archives of France

May 25, 2012

Tags: Archives, French archives, French genealogy, finding a French ancestor, art history

Besides doing research for my novel, I've had a great time learning the ins and outs of the French archival system. First off, each archive has its own, unique collection. Before asking to look at old documents, you must register yourself and obtain your reading card. Those reading cards allow you to enter collections that are closed to the general public, and they're well worth the users fees you'll need to pay to acquire one. Before I came over here, I tried to get a general idea of what each collection contained. I didn't expect to find original art at the Archives nationales, but I wanted a paper trail of the young artist. (more…)

The Archives of the City of Paris

May 21, 2012

Tags: Ville de Paris, Archives, geneology research in France

Shortly before I left for this trip, I made an earthshaking discovery about Alexandre-Jean NoŽl. That wasn't his real name! In a document in the Spanish Archives, I found a letter listing all the people in the French party heading off to Baja, and the young artist's name was Jean NoŽl Turelure. (more…)

Selected Works

FICTION
Prize-winning short stories for arm-chair travelers and readers willing to explore the intricacies of the human heart. For more about the book, click the title.
A wrongful arrest and a weekend in jail are a wake-up call for an African-American man who thought his education protected him from police brutality.
The Rug Bazaar features two unconventional love stories. Winner of the Jeanne M. Leiby Memorial Chapbook Contest.
A novel about a mid-life mom who would do anything to protect her children from harm.
CREATIVE NONFICTION
The true story of a fifteen-old girl's journey to motherhood.
A short personal essay about identity, writing, and adoption.
ESSAY
What does the world think about America in the aftermath of 9/11?