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Huguenots in the United States

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Brief History[edit | edit source]

The Huguenot Church (French Reformed Church) began in France and eventually faced fierce persecution there. The first large migration of French Protestants (Huguenots) began after the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in 1572. A more peaceful time started in 1598 when the Edict of Nantes granted religious freedom. Unfortunately in 1685, the Edict of Nantes was revoked removing all religious freedom. About 200,000 Huguenots fled to foreign nations, including Germany, the Netherlands, England, and America.  Often Huguenot families would settle in one country, then move to another.

In America, many Huguenots went to New Amesterdam (now New York City), northern New Jersey, and western Connecticut. Others went to Chesterfield and Powhatan County, Virginia (1620); Charleston SC (before 1685); Manakintown, Virginia (1700), and Bath, North Carolina (1704).

Huguenots were called Strangers in England. The Mayflower had Strangers and Quakers when it finally sailed.

For additional early history, see:

General Records[edit | edit source]

  • Gannon, Peter Steven, ed. Huguenot Refugees in the Settling of Colonial America. (Huguenot Society of America, 1985). 973 F2hug
  • Giuseppi, Montague S . Naturalizations of Foreign Protestants in the American and West Indian Colonies (Pursuant to Statute 13 George II, c. 7). London: Huguenot Society Publishing , 1921 . Free Name Search[1]; publisher's bookstore: ; FHL book 972.92 P4gm 1964 Digital version accessible through FamilySearch Catalog entry and at Ancestry ($).

Often the best information can be found in small sources, such as town, county, or family histories.

Internet Sites[edit | edit source]

History in the United States[edit | edit source]

In what is now the United States, Huguenots settled in:

Florida[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: René Goulaine de Laudonnière

From South Carolina French Huguenots led by Laudonnière settled in Florida in 1564. An initial plantation of 300 established Fort Caroline now part of present day Jacksonville. By 1565, Spanish military efforts had wiped out the colony martyring many Huguenot settlers.

In 1562 a French Huguenot colony was established in the present site of Astor on the St Johns River. The entire colony was wiped out by the Spanish, in 1566.

In 1564 the French Protestants (Huguenots) attempted to colonize North America, building a colony nearby the modern day Jacksonville, Florida. The Spanish had already staked claim in that locality and soon rid the area of the French

Kentucky[edit | edit source]

  • Original Papers Concerning the Huguenot and Walloon Lines. Frankfort, KY: Historical Society, [196–?]. (Family History Library FHL film 551317.) About half of the early pioneers of Kentucky were descended from French-speaking Protestants, including the Huguenots from southern France and the Walloons from southern Belgium. These unindexed papers contain the history of these two groups of people.

Massachusetts[edit | edit source]

See Boston Massachusetts Churches for information about the French Huguenot Church in Boston, 1686-1748/1764.  Unfortunately no records of this church survive.

Michigan[edit | edit source]

  • Huguenot Society of Michigan, Applications for membership in the Huguenot Society of Michigan, abt. 1937-1942. Each application gives a genealogy of the applicant. FHL film 860658 Item 2

New Jersey[edit | edit source]

Between 1677 and the early 1700s, Dutch-speaking French Huguenots from Harlem and Staten Island, New York, settled at Schraalenburgh (now Bergenfield) in the Hackensack Valley of Bergen County. Other Huguenots settled in Monmouth County.

Hudson County. Henry Hudson, for whom the county and river on which it sits is named, established a claim for the area in 1609 when anchoring his ship the Halve Maen (Half Moon) at Harsimus Cove and Weehawken Cove. The west bank of the North River (as it was called) and the cliffs, hills, and marshlands abutting and beyond it, were settled by Europeans (Dutch, Flemish, Walloon, Huguenot) from the Lowlands around the same time as New Amsterdam.

New York[edit | edit source]


One of the important legacies of the New Netherland colony was religious tolerance. The Dutch Reformed Church, a Calvinist denomination, was predominant at first. However, from the beginning the colony was also a haven for religious minorities such as Huguenots (French Protestants), and Jews.[2]

Huguenots settled on Staten Island and in New Harlem, Bushwick, and Flushing in 1657 and 1658. New Paltz, Ulster County, was founded in 1677 by Huguenots. In 1688 the Huguenots established New Rochelle in Westchester County.

New York Societies[edit | edit source]
  • Huguenot Historical Society. Site details objective of the Society, as well as current projects, and research facilities. New Paltz, New York
  • Huguenot and Historical Association of New Rochelle (New York)
  • The New Rochelle Historical Society
    983 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10804
    Phone: 914-632-5376
  • Huguenot Historical Society Library
    88 Huguenot Street, New Paltz, NY (in Ulster County)
New York Sources[edit | edit source]
  • ___. Life in New Rochelle, America's city of the Huguenots. (New Rochelle, NY: New Rochelle Trust Co., 1953),
  • Carlo, Paula Wheeler. Huguenot Refugees in Colonial New York: Becoming American in the Hudson Valley. (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2005).
  • Darlington, Henry, Jr. "The Significance of New Rochelle as a Huguenot Settlement", from Huguenot Refugees in the Settling of Colonial America, edited by Peter Steven Gannon. (Huguenot Society of America, 1985).
  • Seacord, Morgan Horton. Biographical sketches and index of the Huguenot settlers of New Rochelle, 1687-1776. (New Rochelle, New York : Huguenot and Historical Association of New Rochelle, c1941) FHL book 974.7277/N1 D3s

North Carolina[edit | edit source]

In the early 1700s, small groups of French Huguenot, German Palatine, and Swiss immigrants founded towns on the coast.

Pennsylvania[edit | edit source]

French Huguenot and Swiss families mingled with the Germans. Some Huguenots from New York migrated to Pennsylvania and settled in Berks and Lancaster counties.

  • Stapleton, Ammon. Memorials of the Huguenots in America, With Special Reference to Their Emigration [sic] to Pennsylvania. 1901; Reprint: Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1969. FHL film 1321463 item 16.

Rhode Island[edit | edit source]

The liberal religious culture, laws, and policies in colonial Rhode Island created a wonderful location for French Huguenots.

South Carolina[edit | edit source]

Jean Ribault established a French Huguenot colony in South Carolina in 1562. American Presbyterianism can trace its origins to this foundation.

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Jean Ribault

A group was of French origin, mostly descendants of Huguenots, came to the area beginning in 1680.

Huguenots made settlements in Colonial South Carolina at Goose Creek, Orange Quarter, St. John's Berkeley, French Santee, New Bordeaux, and Purrysburgh.[3]

St. Johns Berkeley Parish, South Carolina Huguenots were the bulk of the earliest St. John's Berkeley parishioners. (abt 1701)

The Huguenot Society of South Carolina was formed in 1885 "to preserve the memory of the Huguenots who left France prior to the promulgation of the Edict of Toleration, November 28, 1787. Today, the Society has nearly 2,000 members who are descendants of those Huguenots."

  • Many French Huguenots made South Carolina their home. The 114+ volume Transactions of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina is a great starting point for research: FHL book 975.7 C4h. Google books has several volumes.
  • 1750-1797 - Douglas, William and William Mcfarlane Jones. The Douglas Register: Being a Detailed Record of Births, Marriages and Deaths Together with Other Interesting Notes, As Kept by the Rev. William Douglas, from 1750 to 1797: An Index of Goochland Wills, Notes on the French-Huguenot Refugees Who Lived in Manakin-town. 1928; reprint, Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1977, c1966. Digital versions at Ancestry ($); World Vital Records ($). FHL Book 975.5455 V2d 1977.
  • Rowland, Lawrence S.  The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina  (Columbia, South Carolina : University of S.C., c1996), 521 pages. Three historians of the Palmetto State recount more that three centuries of Spanish and French exploration, English and Huguenot agriculture and African slave labor. Book (Vol.1) at FHL 975.799 H2rand Other Libraries.
  • Dubose, Samuel, and Frederick A. Porcher. A Contribution to the History of the Huguenots of South Carolina, Consisting of Pamphlets ([S.l.]: T. Gaillard Thomas, c1972), 48 pages. Historical sketches of the Huguenot families which settled in the alluvial regions within fifty miles of Charleston. FHL book at FHL 975.7 F2dWorldCat 70262880. Digital copies at Google Books and Internet Archives.
  • Van Ruymbeke, Bertrand. From New Babylon to Eden: The Huguenots and their Migration to Colonial South Carolina. (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2006).

The Huguenots had their beginnings in Charleston in 1681. In 1687 a second church was built along the Cooper River. Both of these structures fell victim to fire, but they were rebuilt. By 1686 Huguenot settlements existed in Charleston, Santee River, St. John's Berkeley and Cooper River. Rev. Elias Prioleau was the first recoginzed and regular pastor of the French church.FHL book 975.7915 D3l or FHL film 1598278 item 2[4]

  • The Liturgy, or Forms of Divine Service, of The French Protestant Church, of Charleston, S.C. Charleston, S.C.: James S. Burges, 1836. Digital version of 1836 edition at Google Books; digital version of 1853 edition at Google Books; digital version of 1869 edition at Google Books.

See St. Stephens Parish, South Carolina

See St. James Santee Parish, South Carolina

See St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish, South Carolina

Huguenot Society of South Carolina

The purpose of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina is to preserve the memory of the Huguenots who left France prior to 1787.  They have a research library containing over 4,500 books, journals, and files covering the history of French Protestants and on South Carolina history and families. The library is open to non-members for a research fee of $10. It is suggested to contact the library so materials will be available.  The society also provides research for a fee.  Research Form

Huguenot Society of South Carolina
138 Logan Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Fax: 843-853-8476

The Huguenot Society's publication is Transactions of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina and they began publishing in 1888.  For publication information, see South Carolina Periodicals.  The Huguenot Society also has a newsletter with some of them available online.

Virginia[edit | edit source]

Huguenots came in 1700. Their settlement, in King William Parish, near Richmond on the James River, was known as Manakin Town.[5] They and many of their descendants lived in Henrico, Goochland, Cumberland, and Powhatan counties.

Virginia Societies[edit | edit source]
The society's website has a list of the Huguenot founders of Manakin and links to related websites.
Virginia Sources[edit | edit source]
  • The Huguenot. 1924-. Published by the Huguenot Society of the Founders of Manakin in the Colony of Virginia, Inc., 981 Huguenot Trail, Midlothian, Virginia 23113, Telephone: 804-794-5702. 975.5 B2hm. Indexed in Master Index to The Huguenot (Bryan, Texas: Family History Foundation, 1986; FHL Book 975.5 B2hm index; Film 1697534.

Huguenot Church Records[edit | edit source]

Where they are Located[edit | edit source]

Huguenots often merged with other Protestant religious groups. Records for Huguenots can be found in the records of these churches.

State Church
Kentucky   Presbyterian
New Jersey   Dutch Reformed Church
New York
New Amsterdam (now New York City)
  Dutch Reformed Church
North Carolina   Presbyterian
Pennsylvania   Presbyterian
  Protestant Episcopal
Rhode Island   Protestant Episcopal
South Carolina   Congregational
  Protestant Episcopal
Virginia   Anglican

Books about Huguenot Families[edit | edit source]

General[edit | edit source]

  • Baird, Charles W. History of the Huguenot emigration to America.[6]
volume 1 Internet Archive
volume 2 Internet Achive
  • Lart, Charles E. Huguenot pedigrees. (vols. 1-2).[6]
  • Lawton, Mrs. James M., comp. Family names of Huguenot refugees to America.[6]
  • Reaman, G. Elmore. The Trail of the Huguenots in Europe, the U.S., South Africa and Canada.[6]
  • Reeve, Vera. compiler. Register of Qualified Huguenot Ancestors: The National Huguenot Society. Third Edition, Washington, DC: the Society, 1983. (Family History Library book 973 D2rq.) Genealogies and sources. See also the 1995 supplement (Family History Library book 973 D2rq 1992 suppl.)

New Jersey[edit | edit source]

  • Koehler, Albert F. The Huguenots, or the early French in New Jersey.[6]

New York[edit | edit source]

  • Le Fevre, Ralph. History of New Pfalz, New York, and it's old families (from 1678 to 1820).[6]

Pennsylvania[edit | edit source]

  • Stapleton, A. Memorials of the Huguenots in America with special reference to their emigration to Pennsylvania.[6] Internet Archive

Rhode Island[edit | edit source]

  • Potter, Elisha R. Memoir concerning the French settlements and French settlers in the colony of Rhode Island.[6] Internet Archive

South Carolina[edit | edit source]

  • Clut, Robert F. The Annals and parish register of St. Thomas and St. Denis parish in South Carolina, from 1680-1884.[6] Internet Archive
  • Hirsch, Arthur Henry. The Huguenots in colonial South Carolina, by Hirsch.[6]
  • Liste des Francois et Suisses from an old manuscript list of French and Swiss protestants settled in Charleston on the Santee and at the Orange quarter in Carolina who desired naturalization prepared probably about 1695-6.[6] (List starts on page 20.) Internet Archive

Virginia[edit | edit source]

  • Harper, Lillie DuPuy VanCulin. Colonial Men and Times: Containing the Journal of Col. Daniel Trabue, Some Account of His Ancestry, Life and Travels in Virginia and the Present State of Kentucky During the Revolutionary Period; the Huguenots, Genealogy, with Brief Sketches of the Allied Families. Philadelphia, Pa.: Innes and Sons, 1916. Digital version at Internet Archive; FHL Film 1421709 Item 2.

See also, Henrico County, Virginia Genealogy.

Societies[edit | edit source]

  • Huguenot Historical Society
    Blanco Road, Suite 104
    San Antonio, TX 78216-4970
    Telephone: (210)366-9995
    Education section of web site includes Who were the Huguenots, Important dates in history, and bibliography Resources section includes Huguenot ancestral name listings, Selected publication for Huguenot reseach, Other Huguenot specific web sites
This society published the periodical, The Huguenot. A full index to The Huguenot is available online.
  • The Huguenot Society of Pennsylvania has as it's purpose to perpetuate the memory of the Huguenots. Members of the society include descendants of Huguenot families immigrating to America before November 1787 and anyone who has made the Huguenots a subject of research papers, etc. The society was organized in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1918. They published: Huguenot Society of Pennsylvania, (series) vols. 1- 15 (Norristown, PA.: The Society, 1918-1939) and the continuation Proceedings of the Huguenot Society of Pennsylvania, v. 16-39 (Norristown, PA.: The Society, 1942-1967; Family History Library FHL book 974.8 C4h; film for v. 1-3 and 7-9 is FHL film 1697274 item 5-6).

Name Changes[edit | edit source]

French names were often changed when people moved to other countries.

The following give ideas of what the names may become in different countries:

  • Morlet, Marie-Thérèse. Dictionnaire étymologique des noms de famille (Etymological dictionary of surnames). (Paris, France: Perrin, 1991). FHL book 944 D46m.

Other Information[edit | edit source]

France Church Records - Protestants (Huguenots and others) has ideas about finding migration paths of the Huguenots who came to America.

There is a centre of genealogy in Holland with “millions of feet of microfilms on various family names. If your family, at any time, went through Holland or Belgium in the course of their travels, be sure to look up their records of that Bureau.” (p. 8, Canada’s Huguenot Heritage, FHL book 971 F2ch and digitized) 970 W2hm or 971 W2hes, Alberta Genealogical Society Seminar ’86, Migrations Europe + North America
The Huguenots who came to North America usually had lived in other countries instead of coming directly from France. They could be the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generations from the French immigrant. (p. 8, Canada’s Huguenot Heritage)
Early Huguenots in Nova Scotia, Ontario, New Brunswick, Quebec. Check Huguenot Trails
French names were usually changed over the years, example Duvall – of the valley of and Le Blanc to White. In France, Huguenots were called R.P.R. (Religion pretender Reformed).

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Name Search at is a comprehensive name index to 638 books and CDs published or reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Company (now For a complete list of the works included, see Publications in Name Search at
  2. "New Netherland" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 4 November 2008).
  3. Mary LeRoy Upshaw Pike and J. Sanders Pike. The Huguenot Crosses of South Carolina. Charleston, S.C.: Huguenot Society of South Carolina, 2001. FHL book 975.7 H2p
  4. Thomas Petigru Lesesne. History of Charleston County, South Carolina. Charleston, S.C.: A.H. Cawston
  5. "Manakin Town: The French Huguenot Settlement in Virginia 1700-ca. 1750," National Humanities Center Resource Toolbox. Becoming American: The British Atlantic Colonies, 1690-1763,, accessed 23 June 2012.
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 Huguenot settlers in North America and Europe, 1600s-1900s, ([S.l.]: Brøderbund, c1998). FHL CD-ROM no. 9 pt. 600