Huguenot refugees in America

The mass exodus of Huguenot immigrants from France to Geneva, Amsterdam, London, and other places started in 1572 after the “St. Bartholemew’s Day Massacre” on 24 August.

The Huguenots began arriving in South Carolina in 1669.

The revocation of the “Edict of Nantes” was in 1685.

In 1699/1700 there were five embarkations from England to Virginia and Carolina. The names of 3 of the 5 ships which transported Huguenots were ‘Peter and Anthony,’ ‘Nassau’ and ‘Mary Ann.’ The ‘Mary Ann’ was the first ship to arrive in Virginia (at the mouth of the James River).

About five hundred Huguenots settled in Carolina by 1700. Many of these were artisans, following trades in the New World that they had learned in the Old: blacksmiths, coopers, gunsmiths, and clockmakers. And many were young and newly married, a younger population being more willing to undertake the long and dangerous ocean voyage. These French-speaking settlers quickly moved into the political life of the young colony, also quickly organized their own church in Charlestown. Source “A Religious History of America”, Gaustad, Edwin Scott. p. 100. Harper, SanFrancisco, 1990

In 1700-1701 over three hundred French Huguenot refugees were settled by the colonial authorities on the south bank of the James River in King William Parish (ten thousand acres donated by King William III), Manakin, Goochland County, Virginia.

Manakin is about 15 miles west of Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia on Rt 6 (Patterson Ave.) & River Road. A bridge across the James River on River Road in the West-End of Richmond is called the Huguenot Bridge.

Some Huguenots later moved to Colonial Williamsburg, James City County, Virginia (east of Richmond along I-64); Essex County, Virginia; and Hanover County, Virginia.

Source: Stephen Chinn, Kansas Historic Trails

See also: Huguenot Emigration to Virginia

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