Saturday, June 13, 2015

Lonely No More - The Life and Trials of Stanislas Besin

After two years of researching the life of Stanislas Besin, I have been able to piece together most of his life.


Stanislas Besin was born May 9, 1807 in Viesly, France, to a young woman named Rosalie Villette.  When he was born he was given the last name of Villette indicating that she was not married.  Both his grandfathers, Valentin Besin and Jean Baptiste Villette signed as witnesses of the birth.  Most likely his father, Stanislas Besin, was also present.  However, it was customary not to mention the father's name when the birth is illegitimate.

Special thanks to Geoffrey Derone for translating this document for me.
Less than a month later, his 19-year-old mother dies on June 4, 1807.


His father marries Marie Angelique Lienard on November 3, 1813.  Stanislas was six years old and most likely was adopted by his father making his name Stanislas Besin.

When Stanislas was 18 years old, he married a young woman close to his age named Antoinette Degravelle.  Antoinette was born in Paris although she didn't know that at the time.  This is most likely because her parents were arrested by the King of France for making counterfeit money.

Special thanks to Kristy Kohlert for translating this document for me.

The Constitutional: Log trade, political and literary, page 2

Somehow she ended up in Viesly.

At their wedding, Baudouin Villette, Rosalie's brother, was one of the witnesses.

The following year Stanislas and Antoinette had their first baby.

They named him Baudouin.

He died two months later.

They had two more boys, Jean Baptiste and Stanislas named after their grandfathers.

They then had two little girls and another little boy: Sophie, Suzanne, and Elisha.


Stanislas Besin was baptized on Bastille Day, July 14, 1839,  into the Baptist Church.  This decision would ultimately separate the family.

Stanislas is imprisoned several times for peddling Bibles.

Jean Baptiste is 19 when he dies of cholera on June 6, 1849, his mother Antoinette dies 5 days later also of cholera.  She is 43.

A year later, 10-year old Suzanne is smuggled onto a ship, the Charles Hill, and arrives in New Orleans on November 27, 1850.  She marries in 1860, and dies in 1871 two months after giving birth to her sixth child who also dies.  Her fifth child is my great grandfather, John Buchanan.

The  now oldest son, Stanislas Besin, Jr., becomes a tailor apprentice.  He dies at the age of 17 outside of Paris in 1851.

Now completely alone, Stanislas dies at the age of 53, August 1, 1859 under the care of hospice in Reims, France.  He has no family to sign as witnesses for his death, so the administrator, Francis Auguste LeGrand signs as witness.  

Special thanks to Catherine Cox, friend of Melanie Parish, for translating this document for me. 


or is it?

In Doctrine and Covenants 130:2 we read:

"And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy."

How does this happen?  How is it that Stanislas can be with his family after he dies?  It's because the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored on the earth, and with it the keys of the Priesthood that seals families together in temples.

This popular children's LDS song has a deeper meaning for me now.

Families Can Be Together Forever

To learn more about Stanislas' Baptist ministry, click here.

To learn more about John Buchanan, click here.

To learn more about the teachings of the Mormon faith, click here. 

To read about my experience in Viesly, click here. 

This blog features:


My third great grandfather

me-->Bruce Albert Buchanan-->Robert Amos Buchanan-->John Buchanan-->Suzanne Besin-->Stanislas Besin

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