France

We have not come across any really positive evidence yet as to the thesis that our Family may have reached Spain through France in the 11th or 12th centuries but - in a few chapters of this survey reference is made to the fact that at least the medical dynasty of our name, - (see Dr. Benardout chapter), - began and quite definitely so in 12th century Navarre - Tudela, - which was then an independant Kingdom with closer connections culturally, ethnically and otherwise to Southern Fance than to Spain itself.


Not necessarily on the negative side, there is at least one firm determination, (Richard W. Emery:
The Jews in Perpignan in the Thirteenth Century : New York Columbia University Press 1959), that Jews were not active in that particular town as doctors, (which one would have thought they might well have been), even though there is one notarial reference there to the son of a Doctor from Perpignan having become physician to the King of Aragon........but this was at a much later time however and he was of the de Castlario family. Your collator feels that this could possibly strengthen the viiability of general movement into Aragon from the North.


In the modern era, our detailed knowledge is rather strangely sparse with the little we have coming from the Second World War period although there are some earlier 18th and 19th century references to the Family name, - without any hints as to where they may lead. Two examples are brought below :
"one-offs ", so to speak, - but not providing much direction.


The only remaining Families in France so-far known of to your collator are one that settled in Marseille, originally from Salonika, remaining there up to and during the Second World War. See
Jean Bandler and his entry on Facebook. Of that older generation only Jean's grandmother seems to have survived the War, remaining in Marseilles until her death. B
enardouth is the form that they adopted.


The other, (the two may yet turn out to be connected as one family branch), is represented by surviving heirs of Benardouts some of whom lived in France and survived the War......Raphaelle, now living in Paris, has been in touch and has promised document and detail next month, (February 2017). See the reference below to her Family under
genealogie.com

When you consider that some 15,000 Jews are historically recorded as having left Salonika for France in the 1930's, settling in Paris, Marseille and Lyons, - knowing of only two Benardout families at most in that country begs the simple conclusion that we know very little indeed. But to balance, we do know that the Family found its way in the main to England, - whether by accident or design one cannot say.


As mentioned elsewhere, it is a fact that much of our Family was French-speaking by the beginning of the 20th century through the adoption of a French-language education and culture as offered by the Alliance network in Salonika itself and one must ask why information more easily available in other countries, is so sparse in France ? Even lists of Holocaust victims from France have produced only a very few names - mercifully perhaps.


On Lists of Holocaust deportees directly from France, four Benardout names have been found, and these have appeared in more than one Record. The well-known and acknowledged source offered by Serge Klarsfeld in his Record on the expulsions from France to the Camps included only those same few names.


There is a relatively new edition of Klarsfeld's book today - Memorial de la Deportation des Juifs de France, - published by the Sons and Daughters Association - FFDJF, Paris, 2006. Those who understand French might find both great interest and more information in that work.


However, several Benardout names recently found by Marlene now allow us to begin some research, starting from long before the Second World War. But it is still all very patchy and relies only on Search engines for the moment, so a great deal of work will need to be done.


One site, - genealogie.com - has thrown up a group of naturalised Benardout's in France but without much detail : Albert naturalised between 1900 and 1963; Vital similarly; as also Floretta, Fortunee and the apparent couple of Alberto Beja Y
Cohen-Benardout and Sara Sarina Beja Y Cohen Benardout. No dates are made available.


In this connection and quite out of the blue Marlene received an approach from Raphaelle Benardout from Paris explaining that she was the grand-daughter of Albert and the daughter of Floretta......so a little bit more has been learned about us. Raphaelle can be found on the "Appreciation " Facebook pages and she has promised to let us have detail and documents next month, (February 2017).


Reference can also be found in genealogie.com to what are apparently West Yorkshire Parish records based upon documentation in French referring to Marie Anne Benardot, the daughter of Alphonse Benardot, whose daughter was married in 1826; Louis Benardot who died in 1814; Mathilde Marie Benardot who married in 1889, and Antoinette Benardot who was born in France..... but without obtaining copy documents from that source little more can be learnt.


Whether these Englishmen were Family or not, (and why not ?), whether they remained in the north of England, whether they were originally from France on their way west from Salonika, - all this is for future study. The question is also inevitable as to the possibility of their having adopted a new Faith. After the Revolution it was presumably quite possible for Jews to become Christians whilst retaining their original name......or to remain Jews still using it.


Fascinatingly however - a site devoted to the Chateaux d'Angers in Maine et Loire, discloses a list of persons condemned to death for Treason on the 6th February, 1794, by the Revolutionary Tribunal sitting there which includes these two names : Marie Benardot de la commune de Thouars, - Perine Benardot de la commune de Thouars.


Now, - that cannot be an accident. Whatever the relationship to us may have been, it would be no surprise if the rest of the Benardot Family from the district then fled for its Life, - and where did they all flee to ? History clearly records that victims of the Terror's first haven of choice was, of course, - Britain.


ALL THIS WOULD MEAN THAT OUR CURRENT TRIBE WAS NOT THE FIRST OF THE BENARDOUTS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.


Another "one-off " item was come across almost entirely by accident - an unusual item on a likely Family Member - an Article, seemingly written in Prague, concerning Postcards and their history. And there, as bright as day, is a section dedicated to the work of one Leon Besnardeuxe, "sometimes spelt as Leo Benardot ".


When during the Franco-Prussian War - 1870 - the Censor demanded that all letters sent by French troops had to be sent in open envelopes, they soon ran out of paper in the town of Sille le Guillaume, (south of Brittany), where some 40,000 men were based.
"A local stationer, Leon Besnardeux, - [the surname is spelt in differing French ways, but Benardot can hardly be an accident], - who was holding a stock of cardboard, cut it up into pre-printed postcards....... "and went down in history.

These surname variations have been followed-up without positive results, but their very existence is of interest and could be looked into locally by some-one.......they could explain a lot.......for he must have been related to some-body......Anybody ?


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