Discover Your Huguenot Heritage

In most instances, someone starting his or her family tree has no idea he or she has a Huguenot ancestor until research discloses a French name.

Finding Your Ancestor

Colonial Connections

A few beginning genealogists start with the name of their French ancestor, but may know very little about his or her origins. Most researchers who have a Huguenot lineage, encounter the first evidence of a French name in the time period before, during or following the American Revolutionary War. French immigrants readily volunteered for service in defense of their adopted homeland.

Tracing the name back through generations to the Huguenot immigrant is usually not a difficult task. In many cases, there are very well-documented published Huguenot family histories that can be of great help.  

Paul Revere, (1735 -1818), silversmith and patriot, came from a family of French Huguenot descent. His father changed the family name from Rivoire "merely on account that the Bumpkins should pronounce it easier."

Huguenot is the name given to Protestants in France. The Edict of Nantes (1598) granted them civil and religious liberties for nearly a century.

When they were driven from their homes by religious discrimination or overt persecution, their character and talents as artisans, craftsmen and professional people, were generally felt to have been a substantial loss to French society and a corresponding gain to the communities in various places of the world where they immigrated, including the American colonies.

General Henry Robert (1837 -1923) began writing his famous book of parliamentary procedure, Robert's Rules of Order, in Milwaukee during January 1874. His book guides clubs to Congress. As a distinguished river and harbor engineer, he designed the Galveston Sea Wall after a tragic 1900 hurricane.

After the Revolutionary War, their settlements along the East Coast generally ceased to exist as they were assimilated into the general population and joined in the westward movement.

Some other famous people with Huguenot ancestors

Presidents John Adams & John Quincy Adams

Priscilla & John Alden of the Plymouth Colony

Davy Crockett - frontier folk hero

Richard Henry Dana - Two Years before the Mast

President Dwight David Eisenhower

President Ulysses S. Grant

Alexander Hamilton- 1st Secretary of the Treasury

Julia Ward Howe - "Battle Hymn of the Republic"

John Jay - 1st Justice of the Supreme Court

Senator Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin

President Abraham Lincoln

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - popular 19th century American poet

Joel Poinsett - 1st U.S. Minister to Mexico: poinsettia plant named for him

Peter Mark Roget -Roget's Thesaurus

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

President Theodore Roosevelt

Pete Rozelle -N.F.L. Commissioner

Henry David Thoreau -Walden

President Harry S. Truman

President George Washington

The Huguenot Society of Wisconsin perpetuates the memory, spirit, and deeds of the men and women called Huguenots, who, because of their persecution in France on account of the basic tenets of their faith and their devotion to liberty, emigrated, either directly or through other countries, to North America and contributed by their character and abilities to the development of the United States. Our organization's goals are patriotic, religious, and educational.

Fill out the form below and send it to:

The Huguenot Society of Wisconsin
4529 W. Bonnie Ct.,
Mequon, WI 53092

or fax it to 414-238-9986:

Name_______________________ Address____________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ Phone______________________




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