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While researching my family history, I discovered that on

both sides of the family there is Scottish, welsh, british,

French and Swedish blood. What interested me most,
however, was the French part of my history, specifically
the French Huguenots.
In france, in the 1950s, there was a large group of French
Protestants who were part of the Calvinism faith, lead by
Jean Calvin. The French Protestants had different beliefs
from the Catholics and the Catholics did not like this and
felt threatened.
They then started hunting down and persecuting or even
killing the French Protestants. Some of the protestants
converted to the catholic faith, while very few fled for
their lives to foreign countries, such as the cape colonies
in Cape Town south Africa. Among the families that fled,
was the deVilliers family.
Once in south Africa, they settled in Franschoek and
started a well known wine farm called boschendal. After
staying there for many years, in the early 1800s they
traveled by oxwagon to outside of beaufort west. They
bought a plot outside of beaufort west and called
Mamoza Lodge.
There they farmed sheep and the deVilliers family lived
there until the 1950s, when the last male member of the
family passed away.
Henri laPorte deVilliers, the last male member, had 5
daughters who could not keep the surname. However,
one of the daughters named one of her sons deVilliers, to

keep the name in the family. And this man is my



Research material
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see Huguenot

A Huguenot (/hjunt/ or /hu
no/; French: [yno], [yno]) is a member of
a French Protestant group descended from
16th and 17th century Protestant Reformed
Church of France. Historically, "Huguenots"
were French Protestants inspired by the
writings of John Calvin (Jean Calvin in French)
in the 1530s, who became known by that
originally derisive designation by the end of the
16th century.
Huguenot numbers peaked near an estimated
two million by 1562, concentrated mainly in the
southern and central parts of France, about
one-eighth the number of FrenchCatholics. As
Huguenots gained influence and more openly
displayed their faith, Catholic hostility grew, in
spite of increasingly liberal political
concessions and edicts of toleration from the
French crown, most notably the Edict of
A series of religious persecutions followed,
culminating in the Edict of
Fontainebleau revoking the Edict of Nantes and
pressuring Huguenots to convert. While nearly
three-quarters eventually submitted, roughly
500,000 Huguenots fled France by the late 17th
and early 18th centuries.

The bulk of Huguenot emigres relocated to Protestant European nations such

as England, Wales, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the Dutch Republic, the Electorate of
Brandenburg and Electorate of the Palatinate in the Holy Roman Empire, the Duchy of Prussia,

the Channel Islands, and Ireland. They also spread beyond the Old World to the Dutch Cape
Colony in South Africa, the Dutch East Indies, the Caribbean, and several of the English
colonies of North America, where they were accepted and allowed to worship freely.
Persecution of Protestants diminished in France after 1724, finally ending with the Edict of
Versailles, commonly called the Edict of Tolerance, signed by Louis XVI in 1787. Two years later,
with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789, Protestants gained equal rights as
Today, most Huguenots have been assimilated into various societies and cultures, but small remnant
communities in the Alsace and Cvennes, France, and a diaspora ofFrench Australians, still retain
their Huguenot religious tradition.


Huguenots building their homesteads

Even before the large scale arrival of the Huguenots at the Cape of Good Hope in the 17th century,
a small number of individual Huguenot refugees settled there. They included Francois Villion, later
known as Viljoen, and the Du Toit brothers. In fact, the first Huguenot to arrive at the Cape of Good
Hope was Maria de la Quellerie, the wife of governor Jan van Riebeeck, who started the settlement
at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652 on behalf of the Dutch East India Company; however, she and
her husband left for Batavia after ten years. After a commissioner was sent out from the Cape
Colony in 1685 to attract more settlers, a more dedicated group of immigrants began to arrive. A
larger number of French refugees began to arrive in the Cape after leaving their country as a result
of the Edict of Fontainebleau which revoked the Edict of Nantes grantingreligious
toleration of Protestants.
On 31 December 1687 a group of Huguenots set sail from France as the first of the large scale
emigration of Huguenots to the Cape of Good Hope, which took place during 1688 and 1689. In total
some 180 Huguenots from France, and 18 Walloons from the present-day Belgium, eventually
settled at the Cape of Good Hope. A notable example of this is the emigration of Huguenots from La
Motte d'Aigues in Provence, France. After this large scale emigration, individual Huguenot immigrant

families arrived at the Cape of Good Hope as late as the first quarter of the 18th century, and the
state-subsidised emigration of Huguenots was stopped in 1706.
This small body of immigrants had a marked influence on the character of the Dutch settlers. They
were purposely spread out and given farms amongst the Dutch farmers. Owing to the policy
instituted in 1701 of the Dutch East India Company which dictated that schools should teach
exclusively in Dutch, that all official correspondence had to be done in Dutch, and strict laws of
assembly, the Huguenots ceased by the middle of the 18th century to maintain a distinct identity, and
the knowledge of French diminished and eventually disappeared as a home language. [1] This
assimilation into the colonial population was also due to the fact that many Huguenot descendants
married individuals from the Dutch population.

Many of these settlers were allocated farms in an area later called Franschhoek, Dutch for "French
corner", in the present-day Western Cape province of South Africa. The valley was originally known
as Olifantshoek ("Elephant's Corner"), so named because of the vast herds of elephants that roamed
the area. The name of the area soon changed to le Coin Franais ("the French Corner"), and later to
Franschhoek, with many of the settlers naming their new farms after the areas in France from which
they came. La Motte, La Cotte, Cabriere, Provence, Chamonix, Dieu Donne and La Dauphine were
among some of the first established farms-most of which still retain their original farm houses


Surnames of Huguenot Families on the Huguenot Memorial in the Johannesburg Botanical Garden

There are many families, today mostly Afrikaans speaking, whose surnames bear witness to their
Huguenot ancestry. A comprehensive list of these surnames can be seen on the Huguenot Memorial
in the Johannesburg Botanical Garden. Examples of the more common names are Blignaut
(Blignault), Cronje (Cronier), de Klerk (Le Clercq), Visagie (Visage), de Villiers, du Preez, du Plessis,
du Toit, Fourie, Fouche, Giliomee (Guilliaume), Gous / Gouws (Gauch), Hugo, Joubert, Jordaan
(Jourdan), Labuschagne (la Buscagne), Lange, le Roux, Leonard,
Lombard, Malan, Michel, Malherbe, Marais, Nel, Nortje (Nourtier), Pienaar, Rossouw, Roux,

Terreblanche, Taljard, Theron and Viljoen (Villion).[3][4]

Some of the descendants of these original Huguenot families became prominent figures in South
African society, most notably F.W. de Klerk, the last State President of apartheid-era South Africa.[5][6]