My surname in real life is french. I wanted to know if it was French Canadian, Louisiana Cajun or “France” french. So I took to the internet to find out about my family. I looked up my father's father and his father and continued like this until the trail went cold. I ended up with a man named Guillaume born in 1580 in France. He grew mulberry trees to get the leaves to feed to his silk worms. He then unwound the single silk fiber that made up the silk worm's cocoon and spun 10 of these fiber strands to make a single silk thread. He then wove these silk threads into cloth and eventually he had made a bolt of silk. He would sell these bolts of silk to the local tailors who would make silk shirts and dresses and such. It turns out the earliest known member of my father's family was a silk weaver, a craftsman.
Guillaume had a son named Mathurin who was born in France in 1600. Mathurin, like his father was a silk weaver. Mathurin had a son named Pierre who was born in France in 1642. Pierre made silk stockings for a living. Mathurin and Pierre left France and went to the east end of London to live. Pierre paid five pounds to be admitted into the Silk Weaver's Guild of London as a foreign master. He was later to renounce his french citizenship and became naturalized. He became a master weaver in the guild. The guild members built him a 2 story 4 bedroom house and gave it to him to live in and train the apprentices of the guild.
The Silk Weaver's Guild was also responsible for creating the dyes and dying the silk. They constantly experimented by boiling, mashing and powdering all of the various plants and minerals being shipped to England from all over the world. (They were trying to come up with new colors for sizzling summer collection.)
In the east end of London the Tailor's Guild was in the center and handled taking measurements and orders and making the clothes. Situated around the Tailor's guild in a circle were the weaver's guilds. The tailors told the weavers how much cloth and what color it should be dyed. The silk weavers, linen weavers, wool weavers and cotton weavers all supplied their dyed cloth to the tailor's guild. The tailors made the garments, fitted them to the customers and collected the money. They then paid the weavers who had made and dyed the cloth. The silk weavers were paid the most because of the labor intensive process required to make silk thread. (This is why a bolt of silk costs more than a bolt of any other cloth.)
Pierre's son was the first member of the family to sail to the new world. He arrived in 1740, 26 years before the United States of America was formed. Pierre's grandson was the first of my family to be born in the new world in 1745.
In 1970 my father took me to a garden center to buy 3 small trees. He asked me what kind we should buy. I said, “Get the mulberry trees that way you can have your trees and I can eat the mulberries.” He checked with the garden center guy about how close together to plant them, their root spread and depth, the eventual height of the trees and then we took them home. We were planting mulberry trees, the same thing our ancestor did in France, 370 years earlier. They still grow in the front yard between our house and the house next door.