Pablo Briand is Argentinian by birth, now lives in the United States, and is of French descent. A link to his tri-lingual (English, Spanish, French) blog, Gen Briand, has been in the list Bloga Collectanea, to the left here, for some time. His blog is not only about his search for his ancestors, but about a great deal of French history as well. His historical articles are often lengthy and are always well researched. For some time, now, we have been planning to write a post on the foundlings, les enfants trouvés, but Pablo has stolen a march on us with an excellent post on their treatment in France. We present here his introduction, with a link to the post, which we highly recommend.
"They might have been our ancestors. But they had neither a name nor a family. They are the enfants trouvés, the foundlings. The heirs of oblivion. A story of love and missed encounters. The missed encounter of a society with itself, after turning its back to reality so many times. After having, whether conciously or not, created the conditions for the abandonment, and in some moments of illumination, waking up after a long nap, realizing that they have their streets plentiful with a horrendous scenario: hundreds of newborns abandoned on the sidewalks, at the thresholds of the churches, carrying a quick travel ticket to death within their swaddling clothes only few days after being born. They are that "other side" of the genealogy about coats of arms and noble ancestors. They are a real story about human beings, left to the side of civilization. We, the genealogical researchers, must not forget them. Their heritage is oblivion; their hope is the love of the society. They are the heirs of oblivion, but they shouldn't be heirs of our obliviscence.
Thank you, Pablo
©2010 Anne Morddel