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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Howard Family and The Huguenots

Huguenot Cross
The Huguenot Cross

In my short time of conducting our family tree(s), I've come across some interesting branching that not only links our heritage to Scotland, England, Wales, and Ireland but go to other shores.  The Oklahoma Howard lineage also has some connections to German (Trout) and French ancestry.  The Huguenot Society of the Founders of Manakin in the Colony of Virginia is the standard bearer in America for helping us understand the history of the people of France who had escaped the worst kinds of religious persecution.  

The family ties to the Huguenots includes five generations of Allegre's:

HOWARD - Monroe Howard - David Charles Howard - Helen WARHURST - Rufina VINCENT - Elizabeth ALLEGRE - Giles Allegre - Matthew Andrew Allegre - James Giles Allegre - GILES ALLEGRE.

Who were the Huguenots? The Society provides details and resources to help learn more about them.  

"In France as early as 1522 certain clergy and laity became so concerned with the worldliness within the Established Church of France that they sought reforms. This having failed, they began to withdraw and form congregations which they felt adhered more closely to the Bible. The French Court and the Church were allies and considered the Reformers heretics, calling them Huguenots in ridicule. Persecutions became so severe that hundreds fled to other countries rather than give up their new faith. After two tragic massacres King Henry IV granted them the Edict of Nantes in 1598. This Edict gave them limited religious and civic privileges. Afters his death in 1610 the extreme persecutions were renewed. In 1685 Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes thus outlawing the Reformers. Hundreds of thousands escaped under drastic circumstances to friendly countries, many of whom reached the American Colonies.
In 1700 King William III, and other prominent leaders of London, concerned with the welfare of the Huguenots who reached England, made possible the emigraiton to manakintown. The first settlers came on the "Mary and Ann" and "Ye Peter and Anthony." Some who came on the "Nassau" and two other ships also settled at Manakintown.
The Virginia House of Burgesses granted them 10,000 acres for homes and farms on the south side of the James River west of subsequent Richmond. On December 5, 1700 the House of Burgesses established King William Parish and the church which became manakin Episcopal Church. The first church building was erected in 1701 on glebe land granted for that purpose. The present brick building, the fifth church building, is modeled after Col. William Byrd's Church at Westover. The Parish House is nearby. manakin Church is the only congregation in King William Parish."

Giles Allegree is listed as a 'qualified Huguenot ancestor' for purposes of tracing a connection to the Virginia colony and is important for seeking membership into the society. I have yet to pursue the question of membership qualifications for members from our family, but this will be a matter for consideration once I can provide confirmations of my research to date. Membership is not my goal but I am looking to learn more of a bit of history of America that I have never explored.  I also wish to learn more about Giles and his parentage, and the region of France (Lyons) from which he originated. 

Before this is over, I may wish I would have learned French.

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