Friday, August 1, 2008

Jollie Huguenots

I spent a couple of days trying to find any evidence for the family story that the Jollies are descended from Huguenots who fled France: "The Edict of Nantes drove my progenitors out of France, and they settled in the North of Scotland. My grandfather, somewhere about the latter part of the last century, left the north of Scotland and settled in Carlisle....." (Edward Jollie, journal)

That isn't actually correct, the Edict of Nantes stopped the persecutions - Henry of Navarre was sympathetic to the Huguenots. But in 1685 came the
*Revocation* of the Edict of Nantes, and it all started up again. Apparently French Huguenots had been moving to England ever since the 1500s, and not just over one time period, so although there was a big influx around 1700, it wasn't the only place you would have to look to find French ancestors coming in.

The stuff I found said that at one point, there were more French in Berlin than
Germans - hard to believe!!

Anyway I found a cluster of French families who had their children christened in
the Huguenot areas of London in the 1600s but no obvious connections eg the same
first names as our lot or anything. They were all spelt Jolly, too, not Jollie.
I looked up some of their names eg "Etienne Jolly" in France, but there wasn't any obvious connection there either.

I did read that most Jollys come from Languedoc.

Then I find that plenty of them went straight to Scotland from France, it being
a protestant place, and they were welcomed by the Scots in the Edinburgh area
(ie Canongate) because they had good *skills* (as in Napoleon Dynamite).

So I looked at the baptisms for Canongate area but didn't see any obviously
French Jollies or Jollys. I will have a look in the North.

Its tough when people migrate as the connections are lost and there often
isn't anything to link them with the family they left behind unless they
have distinctive middle names or occupations.

It was interesting to note that France was impoverished after the Revocation
partly because the skilled craftsmen left in large numbers, and England
and Scotland were presumably enriched as a result. I wonder if that was
one of the causes of the French Revolution?

Anyway my conclusion: we may never know if the Huguenot connection is real, unless something new comes to light.