While on a family holiday in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France in the Summer of 2011, we spent a very pleasant and fascinating afternoon in the company of Henry Lincoln.
Henry Lincoln was the co author of the International Bestseller “The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail” and he was also the inspiration for the baddie in Dan Brown’s “The da Vinci Code” #spoileralert.
My husband and I had also just read “Rat Scabies and The Holy Grail” by Christopher Dawes, in which Henry features, so staying so close to Rennes le Chateau and knowing Henry was to be found, most afternoons throughout the summer, in the garden of the village cafe and that he could be persuaded to give you a tour of the village, our plan took shape…
Sure enough, there he was at 2pm in the garden and we plucked up the courage to approach him for a chat and ask him for a tour. It proved to be a truly unforgettable afternoon. He accompanied us on a tour of Rennes-le-Château, sharing with us his amazing knowledge and findings of the area. Too much information to go into here, but I recommend you have a look into it!
At one point we stood just outside the entrance to La tour de Magdala . We paused and we watched as Henry stood, looking down at the doorway.
“Here, is where Bérenger Saunière lay dying when Marie Dénarnaud found him. You are standing in their footsteps!”
That sentence ‘you are standing in their footsteps’ made such an impact on me.
That was it, walking where an ancestor would have been, wow, what a thought. I needed to find out all I could about my families’ lives. Where they lived, what they did and where they ended up.
Oh, and with all my research I was able to connect our family to the American. It was a pleasure to hear from his daughter, that she had been able to share this news with her father, after all these years.
Another thing Henry told us on the visit was that so much rubbish has been written about him and the area, that he said,
“Don’t believe anything you read, check it for yourself”.
This has now become another of my ‘mantra’. There is lots of information that other people have put on family tree websites and I’ve found that there are a lot of inaccuracies, so I never include any information in our tree, unless I have ‘checked it for myself!’