Almost every family has an oral history, the stories of ancestors to use as a starting point for genealogical research. With a little digging, you’ll find some stories turn out to be true, many have a grain of truth that’s been distorted over time, and some are complete fabrications. Proving or disproving family stories is one of my favorite parts of researching my family history. I think of it as Mythbusters, Family Edition.
My father’s paternal grandparents Adraste Lafleur (1874-1951) and Elodie Marthe Lafleur (1880-1965) were both born with the surname Lafleur, and grew up in the same locale in Louisiana. So close that in the 1880 census, their families were recorded only two pages apart in the 7th Ward of St. Landry Parish.
Many decades ago, when my mother asked my father’s relatives for names and birth dates for the family tree in our Bible, they were quick to point out that Adraste (Pépère) and Elodie Marthe (Mémère) were not cousins, and that Pépère’s Lafleur ancestors had come to Louisiana by way of Canada, while Mémère’s Lafleur ancestors had come directly from France. The family tree in Momma’s Bible records just one more generation back, with a father of Ulysse Lafleur for Pépère and Benjamin Lafleur for Mémère. Is this “Canadian French vs French” distinction accurate? Or were they actually related and if so, how closely? Continue reading “Mythbusters: Lafleur Family Origins”