Huguenot ancestry in England

I found the WDYTYA with Derek Jacobi very interesting even though as usual it brought up more questions than it answered.  There are a number of resources available if you have Huguenot ancestry in England.

The origin of the name Huguenot is obscure but it is generally held to be a generic term used to describe French speaking Protestants or Calvinists who fled religious persecution in France to neighbouring Protestant states.[1] There are two distinct phases of Huguenot immigration into England. The first began with the French Wars of Religion in the 16th Century which led to the St. Bartholomew’s day massacre in 1572 when over 100,000 Huguenots died.[2] The second phase began in 1685 when Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes.[3] The total number of refugees is uncertain as there are gaps and uncertainties in the sources. For example there are no registers of baptisms for London in the 16th century.[4] but it has been estimated that in late 17th century alone about 45,000 Huguenots settled in England[5] and it is calculated that about 20- 30% of today’s English population has some form of Huguenot ancestry.[6]

Due to the fact the Huguenots represented a relatively early immigration community, in the early 19th century explicitly Huguenot records become harder to locate as the descendants of the original refugees became assimilated into the native population and the French churches began to close.[7] Thus to begin your Huguenot search you will need to trace ancestors through civil registration records and census returns. Then it will be easier to identify and trace your Huguenot ancestor.

[1] State library of Queensland. (2012) Tracing Huguenot heritage. P.01. http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/180139/SLQ_Info_Guide_3_35_-Tracing_Huguenot_heritage_-_2012_06.pdf :accessed 22 March 2014.
[2] Herber, Mark. (2005) Ancestral Trails. 2nd edition. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. P.263.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Cottret, Bernard. (1991) Huguenots in England – immigration and settlement c1550 -1700. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. P.12.
[5] Herber, Mark. (2005) Ancestral Trails. 2nd edition. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. P.263.
[6] State library of Queensland. (2012) Tracing Huguenot heritage. P.01. http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/180139/SLQ_Info_Guide_3_35_-Tracing_Huguenot_heritage_-_2012_06.pdf :accessed 22 March 2014.
[7] Smiles, Samuel. (1869) The Huguenots, their settlements, churches, & industries in England and Ireland. New York: Harper & Brothers. P.273. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Po8BAAAAQAAJ&dq=huguenot+london&source=gbs_navlinks_s :accessed 20 March 2014.
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