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June 19, 2020

Hi is For Huguenot

Olive Tree Genealogy is continuing a new Alphabet Genealogy series of blog posts. I'm not following the usual way of going A-Z surnames. Instead I will create a one word "tag". Then I will share an ancestor (mine, my husband's, an inlaw's or one of my children's) who fits the tag

Today's letter is H for Huguenot. What is a Huguenot ancestor?

Philippe Casier from Calais to New Netherland 1660
The Huguenots had long been persecuted in their homelands. Many families, in terror, fled for other lands after the fall of La Rochelle and Montauban. The West Indies, inviting because of its climate and fruitfulness, was becoming the refuge of many Huguenots for whom the cold region of Canada had no attractions. Removals to these islands had been going on under the direction of a company formed at Paris in 1626, under M. D'Enantbus, who the year before had visited the island of St. Christopher in a brigantine from Dieppe. There he planted the first colony in 1627. 

In 1635, Martinique was occupied by a hundred old and experienced settlers from St. Christopher, including Phillippe Casier and his wife Maria Taine. But D'Enambue died. In 1640 Jesuit missionaries arrived at Martinique where there were almost a thousand French, "without mass, without priest,". Having been reluctantly admitted by the governor and the people, the Jesuits heightened the public dissensions which broke out in the islands and which grew so violent five years later, especially in Martinique, that many of the Huguenots were glad to get back to Europe. 

Many of them went to the Netherlands, some of them, as the Casier family of Calais, eventually finding safe haven at Harlem, New York. Philippe Casier and David Uziele sailed on the Gilded Otter in 1662. They were listed on the manifest as:

  • Philip Cassier, farmer from Calais, wife and 4 children, 23, 16, 12 and 3 yrs
  • David Usilie, farmer from Calais wife and nursing child

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