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In 1980, I turned into a detective hunting down my ancestors since the young lady I had just married thought my name was strange. I first spent years in the fog, getting only a few pieces of information here and there... But the latter were so interesting that they led me on the other side of the Rhine, where I ran into a German who had gone back to the year one thousand and reconstituted a genealogical file made of nearly 300 pages. At last my wife knew where I came from !

Hence a new idea germinated in my mind : communication and data exchange were to be the two key words to enter the world of genealogy, a closed world till then. Convinced that a national family name file would be very much welcomed, I immediately started to fill the gap by creating, in 1986, the first network entirely dedicated to genealogy which, in fact, still exists (minitel in France).

People spontaneously sent me hundreds of genealogies, which made the genealogical database bigger and bigger and I noticed several branches were the same and a lot went back to Hugh Capet ! I thought we were probably all cousins. Why not choose Hugh Capet as the common ancestor as we happened to celebrate the Capetian millenium in 1996 ? I then launched the phrase "One European out of two is descended from Hugh Capet !" and the media immediately repeated it.

I supported my slogan by declaring that we all have two parents, four grandparents, eight great grandparents and so on as far as a thousand million ancestors in Capet's times. It was then known that the French population did not exceed ten millions inhabitants, hence the inevitable common descendants !

The famous "Cahiers de Saint Louis" as well as a selection of the best genealogical works helped me to build the "royal framework" of the census. A lot of people fascinated by history and genealogy spontaneously gave me lists of descendants belonging to all sorts of social backgrounds. The creation of the geneal.com site in 1996 has spread the exchanges on a worldwide scale : hundreds of genealogies are being recorded.

A lot of surprises made my work easier. I recorded two recent French Presidents : Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, François Mitterrand, and overseas the Capetians from the American continent : George Bush, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Audrey Hepburn, Celine Dion, etc...

In 2000, my work having developed so well, I decided to make a CD-ROM containing the whole Capetian database with updating every year. The 12th edition of the Capetian database CD-ROM has more than 175.000 individuals. Anybody that will give me a new lineage will be offered the next edition freely. I am attached to the idea of exchanging and I think this is the best way of satisfying genealogist's interests.