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

Thinking Like a Notary

May 20, 2012

Tags: notary public, French notary, Archives Nationals, French National Archives

I knew a lot about the artist Alexandre-Jean NoŽl, but still had lots of questions. I dragged my suitcase up to the third floor apartment and then headed over to the National Archives, a few blocks away. The Archives' reading room doesn't open on Sundays, but I thought I'd check out the building. Turned out, there was a special event going on! An exhibit of documents in the Archives, many of which were documents recorded by French notaries.
     Portraits and personal stories about these scribes of the law fascinated me, and I learned that when property traded hands, a court told a debtor to pay, or a person died, a notary made a record of that event for posterity. If you died without a will, a notary would come and place a value on your property. (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?