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Judy, I have never stopped doing genealogy, but from time to time get onto different families. I am also, as you, I think, are aware a direct descendant of Pierre Berard dit Varanne (Lepine) born 1620 in St. Martin, Chateau-du-Loir, Maine,Sarth,France. I have been to Chateau-du-Loir a few years back. The Berard family were living in Carcasonne(hope I spelled this correct) in the 800's. There is a turret in the wall around the city called Berard and this is where the family lived along with their, soldiers, family, supplies, horses etc. The turrets could go up many levels and under ground as well. I am not sure if this was just in time of seige or not. We were shown the turret which was just starting to be restored when we were there by a guide. Exactly when they left to move northward to Chateau-du-loir I am not sure or why. (for me it would be the heat as we were there in the summer)I am sure that they were used to it and that was not the reason. Time, and not being able to speak French was a great hinderance for me. I will return to this area in a couple of years and hope to stay in Carcasonne for more than the 2 days that we were there before. Sorry to not really be able to tell you much more about this . Lena Gilchrist