There is always that one impossible ancestor. Well, at least one. Probably more like 10. For this week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, I’m going to tell you about Luc de Bie.
Luc de Bie flits across my pedigree, then he leaves as quickly as he came. He was my 5th great grandfather. He was from the village of Lescar in France. This is what Lescar looks like today…
He found his way to the neighboring town of Escout where he met Catherine Lassalle, my 5th great grandmother. He and Catherine were never married, but they had two children together. A practice that was not uncommon amongst the poor in France in the 1700s.
Then, Luc de Bie vanished. There is no trace of him in the records. No marriage to Catherine or anyone else. No death record. Nothing.
What happened to Luc? Did he die and leave Catherine a widow? Did he go back to his village or perhaps he left for some place new? Maybe he was a scoundrel on the run. He might have perished from illness.
The only clue I have that Luc’s parting was not amicable is a note in a death record. I’ve written a little about this in my article on Marie Lassalle, his mother-in-law “Marie Lassalle’s Long Life“. Luc was listed on the baptismal records of his sons, Augustin and Jean, as the father. But, when Jean died in 1796, the father is listed as unknown. I suspect that means he abandoned his family. If he died, I’m fairly sure he’d have been listed as the natural father of this child since I’ve seen it in the records for unmarried parents during this time period.
It may be possible to go through the records of neighboring villages to see if he shows up. It may be that he found a new lover, got married, and had children. If so, those records are out there waiting to be found.
For now, he is a drifter. Someone who passed through the village, stayed a couple of years, and then left. On my pedigree chart, he is only a name and birth place.
A historical note: Lescar was an important medieval town. In the 12th Century, the Cathedral shown in the photo above was built. This was the seat of the throne of the Kingdom of Navarre. King John III and Queen Catherine were buried at this Cathedral in the early 1500s.
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com