Hugenot

In 1689 French state and
monarchy aligned with the
Catholic church yet to
their fury urban artisan
classes sought God and true
faith in their own beliefs
and own church worship.

These skilled tradesmen and
workers with no wealth or
power owed no allegiance to
landowners, living simply
off daily earnings from
their own tools and labour.

So soldiers and populace
were stirred up to slaughter
these simple folk living and
worshipping their own way
………… in a bloody massacre
on Sain Bartholomew’s day.

Some escaped over borders,
jumped aboad foreign ships.

Young Thomas the lamp maker
sole survivor of his family
sailed into Falmouth to
start life again, in Cornwall.

Hugenot

11 thoughts on “Hugenot

    1. Yes it is a bit, with likely bits added in. His French name became Anglicised in Cornwall, and he is the only person with that name in south Cornwall parish registers in the 17th century, first appearing when he married a local girl a year or two after 189. Family oral tradition tells us his original French name, and that he was Hugenot. There have been very few families with that name since then. which is how I believe that he was the sole survivor of his family from the masssacre.

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      1. Yes, it is not easy, especially when there is not a lot of information about the mere mortals of the working or unemployed classes. I have deduced a certain amount about some of my poorer ancestors, but often there is not much in the public records.

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    1. Thank you. I have done two more about one of the young lampmaker’s descendents and his young wife. I do not know much about the Hugenots, apart from what i learned at family History society meetings.

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    1. We and other people researching their family histories do that with the scraps of evidence that we find as we do our research step by step. A small proportion of the population had the leisure to write a lot. Occasionally there are journal entries, but very often there are not. Most people were ordinary folk who had to work long and hard to provide for themselves and their children, often elderly parents and relatives as well. We find evidence in parish registers, cemeteries, shipping records, books of local history, newspapers – mainly from the 19th century onwards. We piece those together with what we know of the history of the time and place where our ancestors lived. At high school I studied the history of the UK, and where relative the history of western Europe, so I put that together with the little I found out about our Hugenot ancestor. I also learned something of the history of the countries our New Zealand immigrant ancestors came from at Family History Society meetings.

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