Roger Amadowne is believed to have been among the first French Huguenots to seek refuge in America. This project aims to clean up his profile as well as those of his descendants born before 1800.
The Lore of Roger Amadowne
Amadowne is believed to have been a Huguenot who escaped the persecution of his people in France by fleeing to England with his family right before the Siege of La Rochelle in 1628. After arriving in England, he joined John Endecott's advance company to explore the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Since Huguenots are rarely associated with Early New England, it is suspected he may have been the first in that part of America.
Amadowne started as a simple ship's carpenter who lived off a small plot of town-donated land in Salem, yet he eventually rose to be a large landowner. The modern-day towns of Attleboro, Rehoboth, Weymouth, and Warwick are all built partially upon lands he owned. He was known in both the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Rhode Island Colony and appears in records for having done everything from serving on juries to getting sued for neglect. He died under mysterious circumstances, leading to a long-time suspicion that he might have been murdered by his wife.
All of the above has contributed to Amadowne being one of the more interesting yet mysterious characters in Early New England. Although this is the common story of Amadowne, little documentation has even been provided. Through this project, we hope to separate fact from fiction while tidying up these profiles.
Spellings of Surname
"Amadowne" is the spelling by which Roger was referred to in virtually all contemporary records, while "Amidon" is the spelling that most modern descendants use. These are both the the names by which the family is best known historically, largely due to the 1907 book The Amidon Family: A Record of the Descendants of Roger Amadowne" by Frank Eugene Best.
Some of the other most common spellings are:
"Annadon" and other "n" variants also sometimes appear, likely due to misreading of records.
- Locate all profiles of Amadowne descendants born before 1800
- Complete all necessary associated merges (there are many!)
- Create Master Profiles to help avoid future duplication messes
- Try to determine which spellings of the name each individual Amadowne/Amidon used most
- Separate fact from fiction in the Roger Amadowne story
- Write strong, sourced "About Me" sketches for as many profiles as possible
- Shine some light on an overlooked ethnic group in Early New England
Familiarity with the Frank Eugene Best book is a good starting place for any Amadowne/Amidon research. It is available on Google Books.
General Huguenot text resources include:
- Dickerson, Melford S. Huguenot Lineage Research: A Bibliography Based on Migration Routes. Austin, TX: 1996.
- Finnell, Arthur Louis. The Huguenot Society of New England Roster of Members and Ancestors.
- -- . Register of Qualified Huguenot Ancestors of The National Huguenot Society. Updated regularly.
On-line Huguenot resources include:
- National Huguenot Society Bible Records (via Ancestry)
- Olive Tree Huguenot Links (including ship manifests)
- Huguenot Society of America
Interestingly enough, Amadowne does not appear on most major lists of Huguenot ancestors in America. This is largely due to the lack of documentation conclusively tying him to France. He is usually listed as a "possible" or "likely" Huguenot. Can we perhaps solve this mystery by providing documentation? Let's see what we can do, Geni!