The Frenchman

The Frenchman

My ancestors mostly came from the British Isles to the new world. However, there was a Frenchman [and woman of course] in there.

Francois Lucas, son of Jean Lucas and Elizabeth Rollaire, was born August 8, 1663, and baptised in the French Reform Church in Otterberg, Germany, on August 12. The church, many of whose records survived to be filmed by the LDS, was comprised of French Huguenot refugees. On November 9, 1688, in that church, he married Marie Baudouin, daughter of Arnolt Baudouin and Marie Menton.

The religious freedom began slipping away during the Palatinate War of Succession and subsequent wars which ravaged the country and left hunger and destruction in the wake of the invading armies. In 1709 residents of the Palatinate began fleeing up the Rhine. The first group arrived in Rotterdam April 19. We don’t know if Francois and his family were in that group but we do know that Francis Lucas, age 46, cloth & linen weaver, his wife, sons aged 17 and 11 and five daughters aged 19, 8, 6, 3 and 3 were in the first party to arrive in London by May 3, 1709. Also in those earliest refugees were ancestors of Elvis Presley and Jimmy Carter.

About 3,200 Palatine refugees boarded 12 ships in the Thames which left London in December 1709 for New York. About 470 died on the voyages. Whether Marie Baudouin died in London or on the voyage is not known. The twin girls and the eldest son also did not arrive in the new world. We do not know their names.

The refugees were bound for New Rochelle, New York, courtesy of Queen Anne of England. Francois, however, ended up in New York City where, on August 9, 1711, he married a widow named Elisabeth Engeler. By July 29, 1718, his son Franz was in Raritan, Somerset County, New Jersey. Franz married Jannetje Aten and on February 20, 1723, their daughter Maria was baptised in the Reformed Dutch Church [later First Reformed Church] in Raritan. Records of Francois after his marriage disappear until November 1741 when he is Somerset County, New Jersey, presumably with Franz. There is no more.

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