an explanation of the Huguenot cross (above) click HERE
The origin of the word Huguenot is uncertain. Several of the
sites linked at the foot of this page explore possible meanings. For
a summary of these, click HERE.
Huguenots were mostly French, Protestant, and
subjected on and off between the Reformation and the 18th Century to
appalling persecution for their beliefs. They were more often than
not in varying states of conflict with the Pope, the French crown,
with their neighbours and even among themselves. Many were talented,
some high-born, others wealthy. Those in northern France were
generally loyal to the crown and flourished accordingly, among them
the ancestors - lawyers to the French court - of John Isaac de la
Croissette, the de Croisettes family, whose descendants have put
together this site.
Huguenots were also noted not only for their
vision of Christianity - which corresponded in many respects to that
of Calvin - but for their industriousness. In response to persecution
over their unorthodox views on worship, they left France in waves to
settle all around Europe and even to the early colonies, although
most remained in France and some even converted to Roman Catholicism
to avoid conflict.
The final exodus, when the de Croisettes family
left France, came about when freedom of worship was finally withdrawn
under the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, leaving France
worse off, and the English, German and Swiss state coffers
considerably fuller. The New World and the British Colonies benefited
too from the migration of Huguenot skills, knowledge and shrewdness.
It is claimed that the
origin of Huguenot beliefs (and perhaps of some of the Huguenots
themselves) lies among the Cathars in the medieval past of the
eastern Mediterranean. The Cathars were the fundamentalists of their
days, some barely Christian, most agnostic, and all a thorn in the
side of the Roman Catholic church. They were mercilessly suppressed
in the 15th century until in any formal way they ceased to exist.
For a short history
of the Cathars, click HERE.
for a longer history of the Huguenots in
A time line of Huguenot history compiled by
Charles H. Bobo of California:
Other useful sites:
Roots Web Huguenot archived message list:
A family web page with a very short potted