Huguenot sources

Started by George J. Homs on Saturday, December 24, 2011


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12/24/2011 at 2:15 AM

I had an hour and a half to 'kill', yesterday in Colchester, UK. So, I went to the town hall, and then to the library. And, guess what, in the library, they had excellent copies of records on the early 'Dutch' settlers in Colchester (around 1600). Most of these settlers where actually not 'Dutch' but Walloon and Flemish Huguenots.
From a historical perspective, large groups of Huguenots settled in Sandwich first (1561), then Norwich (1564), and then Colchester (1565). Many ended up in other towns nearby such as Ipswich... To give you an idea of numbers: Colchester had 178 'Dutch' in 1571 - but already 1,297 in 1586. Many of them went back to Holland later on (especially Leiden), others stayed, or moved on (probably including Ireland, America, Africa...). The Leiden records, for instance, show many returning Huguenots, but also English people who married Huguenots and moved to Holland.
I'm saying all this just because I believe that we'll need a few people to dig into the libraries. I'm sure I could need many hours in Colchester, but we'd need also focus on a few other towns.
Having said that, if we could have a team working in the archives at the Huguenot Society in London, we'd achieve a great deal.
FYI, all the original archives in Essex are stored at Chelmsford.
I'm going to try and process what I pulled together in a mere 90 minutes time yesterday, but it may already be helpful.

Private User
12/24/2011 at 3:28 AM

see also for names in Baptist-registers.

12/24/2011 at 9:03 AM

Fascinating, George!

Were there Huguenots in Ireland? I have an Irish friend with a French surname and always wondered.

Private User
12/24/2011 at 9:07 AM

Good job, George!

Private User
12/24/2011 at 9:29 AM

George J. Homs we need far more English~BRITTISCH geni-users and curatores to help us find the relatives of European families, don't you think? How can we achieve that in an Americas-focused platform, do you have an idea about that? I am doing my -stinkende- best to get more German-speaking people in the arena, but that is also a hell of a job, so maybe we should try to get more Brittish natives around? Good Christmas for all and a peaceful new year, jeannette.

Private User
12/24/2011 at 10:12 AM

Yes there were Hugenots in Ireland, there is a Hugenot cemetery in the middle of Cork city amazing to visit

12/24/2011 at 10:59 AM

Great Britain and Ireland

12/24/2011 at 11:11 AM

If I remember from earlier reading, about 10,000 French Huguenots have ended up in Ireland after St Bartholomew's Night (after going through London first. The Essex Huguenots (French, Walloons, Flemish and Dutch) came essentially through Zeeland ports (Middelburg etc), and arrived in Essex ports. Elisabeth I gave a special status to these Essex Huguenots because they brought immense weaving skills to the country - and the whole of Essex seemed to have revived because of these 'aliens'.
I have a 'feeling' that the early days of the Huguenots in England revolved around a London axis (people arriving by boat from French ports such as Dieppe, Cherbourg, Honfleur... And an Essex axis which came through Dutch ports (hence why they call these Huguenots in Essex 'Dutch').
Walking around in Colchester yesterday, I also walked the 'Quaker Way'. There was a significant Quaker 'off-spring' of these 'Dutch'.
It seems to me that there is a lot to be discovered here - but the online sources seem only to touch the surface of it.
I think we could do ground-breaking work about the 'Huguenot diaspora' if we'de really connect to the London Huguenot Society and search their records for all those missing links.
As said, I think this requires a team effort. I'm very happy to spend a day in the archives when I can (perhaps as early as the week after next). If anyone has introductions into the London Huguenot society, please tell me? In addition, if you know of any English Geni users that might help us in digging into the archives, that would be great! (thanks for your appeal, Jeannette ! )
Perhaps we should launch a broad appeal for collaboration on this topic, beyond the curator group. We know this touches New Amsterdam, New England, Virginia, South Africa, the Low Countries... and it's at the heart of major cultural and societal upheavals around 1600. So many things tie together around this topic!

12/24/2011 at 3:08 PM

Do we have a "Notables of Huguenot descent" project yet? Celebrities always motivate the masses.

12/24/2011 at 10:16 PM

Hey Erica... I think the challenge we have on our hands is huge. Not in the least because surnames have bastardized quite a lot.
I just found out that there are some notables under the name of Godshall. Sounds very English, right? Well, this is derived from Flemish huguenots that went by the name of Godtschalck. It's the London records of the Huguenots that can provide us this sort of clues, I think. So many descendants must have 'morphed' into established churches. Big puzzle! :-)

Private User
12/25/2011 at 12:13 AM

In the project I documented something about the upcoming Textile-industry in Twente, the Netherlands by the influence of 1795-1841 who came from England. His relations with the first 'textiel-baronnen' van Twente, gives us focus on a big interference between the continent and the countries of Europe by migration in that time. Also the upcoming textile-industry in Leiden -the laken-wevers-, Tilburg -wool- and ofcourse Flanders offers also a huge sources of knowledge about religion-problems at that time and far earlier like between the Huguenots and the early Catholic church. Later is was of influence on the roots of big Multinationals nowadays, for as the Dutch had so many possibilities to trade with 'family-members' in Ned. Indie and other countries far abroad and with their inheritance of banking-experience of compagnies like the VOC European got great chances to bring richness also to the poverty.... In Twente the owners of industries where known to be very good bosses for there people --Ten Cate f.i. is to be said he treated his personal like family-- and lots of families got chances to pay for education of theire offspring. Also Philips -later- in Eindhoven was -before it went to stock-exchange- beloved by the people who worked for him. So I think it's also a good idea not to focus on celebrities, but on the average people who got chances to evoluate to the more educated and hopeful also conscious election masses of today.

Private User
12/25/2011 at 12:15 AM

sorry, my english is not accurate enough for discussions like this, i ment interference between the Island and the Continent ofcourse.

Private User
12/25/2011 at 12:19 AM

and where I wrote Ten Cate it was Van Heek, also one of the famous 'textile-baronnen.

12/25/2011 at 12:24 AM

To follow up on the link given by Eldon Clark (Geni volunteer curator), the following link takes you straight to a summary of major Huguenot concentrations and sources (available through the Huguenot Society):

Private User
12/25/2011 at 12:55 AM

Begrijp ik goed dat die nog niet digitaal zijn?

Private User
12/25/2011 at 12:57 AM

Zou me niet verbazen als de textiel-industie historie en de ontwikkeling van weef- en spintechnieken aan Hugenoten te danken is, weet jij hiervoor goede digitale bronnen, George J. Homs

Private User
12/25/2011 at 1:05 AM

Maybe we should find geni-users who got this on CD-ROM and like to become 'specialists' on Huguenot Settlements outside London in England, Scotland, Ireland and the Channel Islands. Maybe it give a chance to find the connection with the Textiel-industry in Twente, Leiden: and Overseas families like Thomas AINSWORTH UK-Bolton.

12/25/2011 at 1:29 AM

Yes, Jeannette, the sources are not online. (But you can consult them at the Huguenot library in London). You can order the CDs - but a quick calculation tells me that a full collection probably costs over £300 :-( That's not very interesting, because there's no way that a single person could ever put all this information together on Geni.
We need a big team discussion on how we can progress with this in a structured manner.

Private User
12/25/2011 at 2:00 AM

I think we need a collaboration with a faculty of a University in Europe that has investigation-interests in these matters. I just got a change to co-operate with some-one on a Belgian university to get help on the Rederijkers-aspects and he asked me whether i would be interested in documenting the Rederijkers in 's-Hertogenbosch. I'm sure there must be a change to get a settlement on this topic too, maybe you have the relations in Brussels or maybe we should ask Private User to look in his network?

Private User
12/25/2011 at 2:02 AM

and when we get a professor interested he can manage a class of students to get all the Hugenots in geni.... but then we must pay them in Euro's and that not geni-like, is it?

Private User
12/25/2011 at 5:03 AM

Try the Meertens Institute at the University of Amsterdam. I used to hang out with a guy working there. It was in my folk club de Draailier in Diemen when I was studying in Amsterdam. Talking about ca. 1980. I will try to find him and contact him.

12/25/2011 at 12:22 PM

Jeannette, yes I agree, the Rederijker kamers are a most interesting angle - not in the least because they where a catalyst for cultural developments. Of what I know, I don't see many links into the Huguenot diaspora, though. I do think that we see in the Rederijkers some mennonite presence. And, Vondel by himself is an interesting topic, from the religion pespective.
But, let's try to keep our Huguenot focus here.This is a HUGE topic. Like you said earlier, the Huguenots have played in immense role in the weaving industry, and the whole England-Holland angle of the Huguenots is a vast topic. When you look at the ministers of the London and Essex Huguenot churches in the 17th century, you'll see that a vast majority of them carry true Dutch names, and that many of them studied in Leiden. It looks to me that they were excellent church administrators, too. So, the clue to the Huguenot diaspora may be largely in Holland, even if it concerns a lot of people from what is currently France.
We really need a strategy around logging the London records of the Huguenots. This would be a major breakthrough!

Private User
12/25/2011 at 2:50 PM

sorry, i didn't explain myself enough. The Rederijkers is another example of a topic where some universities are doing historical and genealogical research about and I got in email-contact with a researcher on that. So if we can find a university department that is interested in the Hugenot-migrations between the continent and f.i. London and students can work with the information of the London Huguenot society would be great. Sometimes I realize my english is rather simple and I only use it in geni. But in the time I work in geni now I got a lot more experience with this language I hope.

Private User
12/25/2011 at 2:54 PM

In contacts about the Twente textiel-industrie the Ten Cate firm has sent me a book about the history of that company. Maybe i can find some clues in that direction too.

12/25/2011 at 3:53 PM

Great wok and ideas, JMu. I can't help on the Europe side so much but at least I can search academic databases again, as I am carrying a student card.

Perhaps we need to construct some bibliographies as a next step. In fact I can do that on a Huguenot sub topic for my class! I am interested in the weaving and clothing industry, particularly trade from the Americas of their exports such as furs. I think the Dutch, French and Jews were instrumental in this.

Let's set up a Project for bibliographies

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