Some coordination required between Huguenot migration and Québécois projects

+8 votes
I have just been working on the profile of my xxx great-uncle by marriage, and saw that there had been affixed to it the {{Huguenot}} category and sticker, as on his children.

There's a problem with this.  While he may have been baptized in a Calvinist church, not disputing this, his marriage contract clearly stipulates that he was getting married in a Catholic church, and his wife was Catholic to start with.  One of his daughters actually became a Catholic nun!

I believe my friends in Huguenot project may have gotten over-enthusiastic on the subject.  While there were religious wars and persecutions etc, this was certainly not the only reason people emigrated.  This man for instance is found here in 1647 already.  We have quite a number of people who came here as emigrants who were baptized as Calvinists.  Many of them came as contracted workers on 3 year contracts and decided to stay.  Others came as soldiers in various units, whether regular garrison soldiers or Marine companies.  

To classify these people as having left France due to religious persecution is drawing conclusions from insufficient data.  I think this needs to be reviewed.  My sample profile on the subject may have renounced Calvinism in France before ever setting sail;  the records of abjurations are haphazard in France.  I've found one man who abjured who actually bore the same name, it isn't the same man from all evidence, birth place is different and his abjuration is just a couple of months before my guy shows up in records here.  Not impossible, but no evidence to say it's the same man.

Discussion is in order.
in Genealogy Help by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (514k points)
Thank you so much, Danielle, for drawing attention to this problem.
Similar problem with a 17th-century English ancestress who someone from across the Atlantic, on no evidence, tagged as a Puritan. As you say, these religious labels could be fluid during a person's lifetime and in my view are rarely helpful.
Just found that the same had been done to Jacques Leneuf sieur de La Poterie.
and it appears the changes were done by someone who is no longer a member of WikiTree.
I noticed that the Huguenot sticker on Pierre Dandonneau was added by a former member who was known adding a lot of categories and not unfrequently, they were not appropriate.

3 Answers

+8 votes

Greetings Danielle .. Absolutely agree with your communication. Any category use requires the standards of sourced, evidence based assertions and factual identifications.

This profile clearly does not meet those standards. 

Thank you for your succinct clarity.  

I serve on the Huguenot project team and will alert its leadership with the opportunity. There have been improvements and updates as to the standards of using the Huguenot classifications and efforts made to correct profiles. 


Chet Snow

Miranda (Hollenbeck) Cartier

project updates:

by Stanley Baraboo G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
+4 votes
Danielle, thanks for bringing this up, and Gerald, thanks for bringing to Huguenot Leadership.

Perhaps it would be appropriate to include in the profile - a note that might say:

"While he might appear to fit the definition of Huguenot, he is not because..."

This might deter someone from adding the classification back in the future!
by Bartley McRorie G2G6 Pilot (122k points)
edited by Bartley McRorie

As Isabelle commented above, this got added by a former member who created and added categories tremendously, many inappropriately.  Guess I'm going hunting for what else he added where in this genre, already found one more.  sad

+5 votes
Thank you Danielle for bringing this to wider attention.  The problem seems to stem from at least one "former" member of WikiTree who apparently added a bunch of "Huguenot Emigrant" and associated Stickers to profiles without adequate sources; some were French Protestants who were forced to abjure their faith given the increasingly-restrictive French laws under the Louis XIV and XV monarchy.

I am open to any and all suggestions as to what you would like our Project to "advise" but, alas, adding Stickers is Not something "announced" anywhere except the Changes page (thank goodness for that!) and neither we nor any Project has control over them.

I do not know of any profiles where our Project has direct manager (co-manager) status of a French or Borderlands Protestant Christian who abjured (usually under pressure - political or economic: it was hard to loose your land and fortune!) either in Europe or Quebec.  If there are, please let me know immediately.

We do not have an "Abjured Huguenot" sticker as usually those who did so re-joined the Roman Catholic faith and lived "normal" lives in that religion from then on.  I think it would be counter-productive to create one but I am "open to suggestions".
by Chet Snow G2G6 Mach 6 (60.2k points)
oh dear!  No, not in the least interested in creating a category for those who abjured.  Just going to do it the hard way and find all the ones who came here that got labeled this way incorrectly.  There was actually an ordinance from the king that no protestants were to come here nor establish themselves here.  Obviously a lot came in ''under the wire'', but most of them appear to have been either economic migrants or soldiers.  

The whole area of La Rochelle went through wars and pestilence galore, and many left because of the subsequent devastation.  Hard to earn a living when you have battles going on around you.
Hi Again

The problem here has been compounded by the fact that this member has left WikiTree so now his WT profile is "Unlisted" and that means we cannot go and check his "contributions" any longer.  Hopefully, there will not be too many of these mistakes.  I do think on these 2 profiles that it might be good to add just 1 or 2 sentences that state that these were French Calvinist Protestants or Huguenots at birth but that they publicly abjured that faith so that they could colonize New France as only Roman Catholics were permitted in the colony - or words to that effect.  What do you think?  I think the only way is to go on a "case by case" basis.
I don't think the matter will come up again, this guy was rather willful in his actions, not too many like him around, fortunately.  I will be looking at the main category for Huguenots to locate any others that he messed with.  No sense in putting a note on the profiles, the Huguenot category states quite clearly who it applies to.

OK - I agree with you as we have not had this problem heretofore, at least not to my knowledge.  One of the "joys" of a Wiki site is that members are Free to use their judgment and sometimes it does not agree with common sense or what is seen by a different pair of eyes.  We are always happy to work with our "sister projects" to improve and verify information on all ancestor profiles, as always.
took a quick glance through the profiles in the category for Huguenots, found one only by that method, got him out of there and sources put on him and his ancestors, he was one of those who abjured in France.  Don't see any others from this neck of the woods offhand, too bad the death place doesn't show on those.  Would make things easier.

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