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Optime Becnel/Mathilde Forstall Becnel

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Re: Optime Becnel/Mathilde Forstall Becnel

Darschnatz  (View posts) Posted: 5 Jun 2011 9:28AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 5 Jun 2011 10:29AM GMT
James, several descendants of Leo Becnel have tried for many years without any evidence to tie their family to Aimé Leopold "Leo" Becnel. I have corresponded with many of them and understand their frustration at not being able to identify this man with certainty. Simply choosing one of the many Leo Becnels with lifetime dates that might fit is not genealogical evidence of any sort. It is careless research to show lineage to someone based on his nickname and timeline.

In your query, you say that the Leo Becnel that fathered this group died before 1864, Aimé Leopold Becnel died in 1905. It is dangerous to assume he is the ancestor just because his nickname of Leo helps to close that hole in their family tree.

This particular Leo Becnel might very well be the ancestor they have been searching for - but then again - assuming it's so does not make it so.

About 20 years ago, I was able to examine the Forstall Papers. Those lineages were from the Forstall point of view and had very little about the Becnels other than their descendants in a tree diagram with a few dates here and there. There was nothing in those papers that tied Aimé Leopold Becnel in as the actual ancestor.

One of the only mentions of the father "Leo Becnel" is on the marriage certificate of one of his children where it asks for the name of the parent.

Some of my questions have always been -
If Olivia changed her name to distance herself from her slave owner co-parent - why not the names of her children.
If Olivia's original name was Marie Celestine Haydel, where did Brown come from? Was she married to someone else before LaPorte?
If these children were born on a Becnel Plantation, which was it? Who owned the plantation or property they were born on? (There were several Becnel Plantations: Evergreen, BessieK, a portion of Golden Star and Becnel Plantation

I noticed that you have published the family tree with Aimé Leopold "Leo" Becnel - not as a possible patriarch, but rather as the actual. I would suggest notating that his insertion was a "possible" link or even if you wish a "probable" and looking further in baptismal records, etc. rather than just taking the handy Leo. As more and more of the slave schedules are published, more information will become available. Hopefully this matter can be resolved. The many times I have corresponded with the members of this family, I have always encouraged they collect as much evidential data as possible, and not make assumptions. I also never found evidence that Olivia changed her name, or what she changed it from other than hear-say.

Better to have a blank than to have the wrong person inserted. That seems to throw off all the researchers who come after that assumption.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
eyesofmoonsto... 31 Dec 2009 6:04AM GMT 
james roussel 30 Jan 2010 8:33PM GMT 
eyesofmoonsto... 29 Mar 2010 4:34AM GMT 
eyesofmoonsto... 29 Mar 2010 4:35AM GMT 
LegauxK 2 Jul 2010 4:15PM GMT 
Darschnatz 5 Jun 2011 9:28AM GMT 
   

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