Pierre Chastain Sr.

Pierre Chastain Sr. (1659 - 1728)

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Dr. Pierre "Peter" Chastain Sr.
Born in Chârost, Province de Berry (Indre), Francemap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 28 Jan 1687 (to 1701) in Issoudun, Province de Berry, Francemap
Husband of — married 1 Nov 1701 (to 3 Apr 1723) in Manakin-Town, Goochland, Colony of Virginiamap
Husband of — married after 3 Apr 1723 in Colony of Virginiamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Manakin, Goochland County, Colony of Virginiamap
Profile last modified 18 Aug 2019 | Created 14 Sep 2010 | Last significant change: 18 Aug 2019
00:13: Gordon Warder Jr answered a question about Pierre Chastain Sr. (1659-1728) [Thank Gordon for this | 1 thank-you received]
This page has been accessed 12,182 times.

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Pierre Chastain Sr. was a Huguenot emigrant.
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Pierre Chastain Sr. migrated from France to Jamestown, Virginia Colony.
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Chastain Spurious Genealogy



"Pierre Chastain immigrated to the colonies from France in 1700, and is the father of most Chastains and Chasteens in America. Pierre was born into a Huguenot (French Protestant) family in 1659 near the village of Chârost in central France. The Chastain family had fled to this rural area from the city of Bourges when French Catholics massacred Protestants on St. Bartholomew's Day (August 24, 1572). After French King Louis XIV revoked the edict of Nantes, which had offered Protestants limited toleration since 1598, Pierre, his wife, Susanne, and their five children fled France completely, emigrating to the Protestant-run British Colony of Virginia in 1700. Today, Pierre Chastain's American descendants number in the tens of thousands. For further details, see Pierre Chastain."[1] Information provided by Chastain Family Association.

Pierre Louis Chastain was baptized on April 7, 1659 at Issoudun, Province de Berry (Indre), France, the son of Estienne Chastain[2] and Jeanne Laurent. The family were residents of the city of Bourges (Cher) with a country home near Chârost, just 12 kilometers (8 miles) from Issoudun.


For centuries the Chasteigner family had lived in the province of Béarn (Pyrénées-Atlantiques/Gers) in southwestern France. Their name indicated that they were chestnut-farmers & millers. Chestnut flour was widely used in France during the Middle Ages. During the 100 Years War (1337-1453) between France and England, which devastated the area, they became scattered around France. Some went to Province de Dauphiné in the southeast. This is where Pierre's family, whose name evolved into "Chastain," originated. His great-grandfather eventually settled in Bourges, capital of the Province de Berry in central France. He was a notaire, or legal official, in a nearly-hereditary post, there. In the early 1500s, the family converted from Roman Catholicism to the "religion chrétienne réformée" (Reformed Christian religion) as preached by Jean Calvin, a French-born theologian who lived in Protestant-run Geneva, Switzerland.
After French King Louis XIV revoked the 1598 "Edict of Nantes" that guaranteed limited religious tolerance to French Protestants in 1685, three of the Chastain family: Pierre, Estienne and Jean (Peter, Stephen & John) fled the country, seeking religious freedom, taking their families with them. They had crossed the Jura mountains into French-speaking Switzerland, where Protestants were in power, by 1696. Then they continued north to the Netherlands, a leading power run by Reformed or Presbyterian Protestants. [3]From there, after September 1698, they emigrated to London, England, where Pierre helped organize a large group of French Reformed Protestants, now called "Huguenots," to found a new settlement in the British Royal Colony of Virginia. Their first ship, "Mary and Ann," set sail from Gravesend, Kent, England, bound for America, in April 1700. It arrived at Jamestown, Virginia in late July, the same year.
Among the 207 passengers listed aboard that first Huguenot ship:
  • Dr. Pierre (the immigrant) Chastain, his wife and 5 children.
  • Jean Chastain, wife and four children.
  • Dr. Estienne (Stephen) Chastian and wife.
  • John Chastain (maybe a cousin or a younger brother of Pierre ?).

Disputed Wife

Some 20th Century researchers have suggested that a woman named "Magdalene de la Rochefoucauld" was Pierre's first wife. This has been disproven. Descendant Tim Chastain examined the registers of Vevey at the cantonal archives in Lausanne, Switzerland. Vevey is the town Pierre stayed in Switzerland after his initial escape from France before 1696. Secondly, Tim Chastain consulted the original French Huguenot registers of the town of Issoudun (Indre), France in 1985.
From these primary sources, Tim found considerable information on Pierre Chastain and his ancestors. Pierre's parents were Estienne Chastain (1625-aft 1694) and Jeanne Laurent (aka Laurante). Estienne's parents were Jacques Chastain (ca. 1599-bef 1675) and Jeanne Audet. Jacques' father (or grandfather) was Estienne Chastain. Cameron Allen states categorically that Pierre's first wife was Susanne Reynaud (aka Renaud), not the mythical "Marie-Madeleine de la Rochefoucauld" foisted on the Rev. James Garvin Chastain by an unscrupulous French entrepreneur and so-called "genealogist," seeking to curry favor by linking the Chastain family, who were of the bourgeoisie, to a well-known noble aristocratic family, who included several notable Huguenots, but who were never related to Pierre Chastain. [4]


Marriage #1

Susanne Reynaud (aka Renaud) was Pierre Chastain's first wife. She was born ca. 1665 in Issoudun, Province de Berry, France. They were married at Issoudun Saint-Cyr on 28 January 1687[5].
Sussanne and Pierre had 5 children:
  1. Jean Chastain, born before 1690, in France; d. 1701 in Virginia
  2. Pierre Louis Chastain, born ca. 1690, in France - m. Mildred Archer
  3. René Chastain, born 1692 (in Vevey, Switzerland); d. 1701
  4. Judith Chastain, born 1696 in Vevey - married Mr. Ballew in Virginia
  5. Susanne Chastain, born ca. 1698 in Holland or England; d. 1701
Susanne (Reynaud) Chastain and her children, some still quite young, sailed to Virginia with Pierre-Louis and the other Huguenots in 1700. On arrival, they were taken to an abandoned Indian village called Manakintown, 25 miles into the wilderness beyond the nearest English settlement, and told this was where they had to settle. Alas, it was already too late in the season to plant staple food crops, plus the group were more bourgeois city-dwellers than rural farmers. Thus, many starved or became very weak during their first winter in America. Susanne Chastain and 3 of her 5 children were among the victims, all dying at Manakintown before November 1701. New arrivals from France in 1701-02 helped the settlement to survive.

Marriage #2

Pierre's second marriage was to immigrant Ann Soblet who died in April 1723 at Manakintown, Goochland, Virginia.
They married about November 1701 in Manakintown, Goochland County, Virginia.[6]
Pierre and Ann (Soblet) Chastain had 8 children, all born in Virginia:
  1. Pierre Chastain
  2. Rene Chastain
  3. Judith Chastain
  4. Mary Chastain
  5. Susanna Chastain
  6. Janne Chastain
  7. Elizabeth Chastain
  8. Marie-Mary Magdalene Chastain

Marriage #3

Pierre's third marriage was to Marie Madeleine Verrueil, the widow of Manakin immigrant, Antoine Trabue. They had no children together. [citation needed]


Pierre was trained as a Physician and Surgeon in France.[7][7][8]
As the British government sponsored the French Huguenots to settle in Goochland County, Virginia, mainly to grow grapes for wine, to begin silk-worm cultivation and silk-production, and to see if the local soil was suitable for growing rice, Pierre was expected to be a farmer as well as being the settlement's doctor and a civic leader. The new settlement was also expected to be mostly self-sufficient.
Pierre was granted 111, acs. (N.L.), Henrico Co., on the South side of the James River, adj. Anthony Maloone, his own land, and the widow Gory's line, [recorded as of 23 March 1715, p. 266]. This was part of the first 5,000 acres surveyed for the French refugees. [9]
Monacan Farm - Pierre's home
The Monacan farm was once the site of an abandoned Monacan Indian village (Manakin). It was the first tract of land surveyed by the Huguenot settlers. This may be the oldest house in the county. Huguenot settler Peter Chastain received a patent here in the early 1700's. The frame part of today's main house was built in 1720 by Peter Chastain.


"Will of Peter Chastain, the Emigrant, made Oct. 3, 1728, and preserved in the archives of Goochland Co., VA."[10]
Family named in the will of "Peter Chastain of the County of Goochland and Parish of King William":[10]
  • son John Chastain[10]
  • son Peter Chastain[10]
  • son René Chastain[10]

Death & Legacy

Dr. Pierre Louis Chastain died on October 3, 1728 in Manakintown, King William Parish, Goochland County, British Province of Virginia[12][7][7][13][14] He was buried in the family cemetery near his home and adjacent to the Manakintown Anglican Church. His surviving 3rd wife, Marie Madeleine (Verreuil) Chastain, died in the late spring of 1731 and was buried nearby. In 1982, Lowell Chastain, then President of the Pierre Chastain Family Association, erected a grave marker for Pierre Chastain and constructed a chain-link fence around his grave.[15]

Inscription Peter Chastain, the emigrant, born ca. 1663 France, escaped to Switzerland 1696 - in England 1699 - Arrived in Virginia w/wife & 5 children July 23, 1700, on ship, Mary & Ann - Died 1728 - Children - Judith, John & 3 unknown. 2nd wife Anne Sobet - D. Apr. 3 1723 - Children Susanna, Peter, Jr., Mary, Elizabeth, Rene, Jeanne, Mary M. 3rd wife Madeleine De La Rochefoucauld - children of Peter, Jr. & wife Mildred Archer - James, John, Rene, Abraham, Martha, Archer.[16]

Medical Anomaly

A significant number of members of the Chastain family have developed dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. There’s no explanation why, but scientists at Emory University are studying the family to try to find the defective genome in their DNA. [17]


  • 1659 Pierre was baptised 7 April in Issoudun (Indre), Province de Berry, France[18][19][7][20] [21][16]
  • 1687Marriage to first wife Susanne Reynaud.
  • 1696 By 1696 Pierre had fled from Charost across the Jura Mountains to Vevey, Canton Vaud, Switzerland.[21]
  • 1698 Sep 1696 the family departed Vevey and was found at The Hague in The Netherlands.
  • 1698-1700 Arrived in Gravesend, England after Sep 1698 and before Apr 19, 1700
  • 1700 April 19, 1700 embarked from Gravesend, England to Jamestown Settlement.
  • 1700 July 12, 1700 arrived at the mouth of the James River near the Jameston settlement in the Virginia Colony after a voyage of almost three months on the London ship Mary and Ann.[22] Didn't stay in the settlement but continued on to the new Huguenot settlement called Manakintown.
  • 1701 Death of first wife Susanne (Renaud) Chastain and 3 of their 5 children after Feb 1701 and before Nov 1701
  • 1701 ca. Nov -Married second wife Ann Soblet
  • 1703 Manakin Town Grant for French Refugees 3 May 1704[23][24]
  • 1707 Son Peter born
  • 1723 Pierre's second wife Anne (Soblet) died April 3, 1723.[25]
  • 1723Married third wife Marie Madeleine (Verrueil) Trabue 1723 (no children). She was the daughter of Moise and Madelene Verrueil and the widow of Antonie Trabue.
  • 1728 Pierre died 3 Oct 1728 Manakintowne, King William Parish, Henrico County, Colony of Virginia (age 69)[16]
  • 1728 Pierre died 3 Nov 1728 and is buried at Manakin Farms, Goochland County[26][27] burial at [28], Manakin Farms, Goochland County, Virginia, USA.
  • 1731 Death of third wife Marie Madeleine in the Spring of 1731.


  1. Chastain Central Website
  2. Family Data Collection - Births
  3. They were found at 'The Hague in The Netherlands.
  4. Submitted by Tim Chastain of Chastain Central
  5. Société Généalogique du Bas-Berry Relevés des registres paroissiaux et d'état civil effectués par la Société Généalogique du Bas-Berry. Accessed Oct 14, 2017 via Geneanet
  6. World Family Tree Vol. 2, Ed. 1 Title: World Family Tree Vol. 2, Ed. 1 Author: Brøderbund Software, Inc. Publication: Release date: November 29, 1995 Note: ABBR World Family Tree Vol. 2, Ed. 1 Customer pedigree. Family Archive CD
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Pierre Chastain And His Descendants Volume I Title: Pierre Chastain and His Descendants, Volume I, First Five Generations in America Author: Robert W. Leishman
  8. An Interesting story about Pierre's sword
  9. Early Virginia Families Along the James River: Their Deep Roots and Tangled Branches. Vol. I Abstracts of Land Patents - Henrico County pg 48
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 Chastain, James Garvin, A Brief History of the Huguenots : and Three Family Trees: Chastain-Lochridge-Stockton (Pages 262-67) Shaw, MS : The author, 1933, HathiTrust.org
  11. Not "Magdalene de la Rochefoucauld" - see "Disputed Wife" (above).
  12. Source: #S5 Page: Tree #4407 Quality or Certainty of Data: 3
  13. Ancestral File (R) Author: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Publication: Copyright (c) 1987, June 1998, data as of 5 January 1998; Repository-Family History Library Address: 35 N West Temple Street CONT Salt Lake City, Utah 84150 USA
  14. Pierre's Will
  15. Pierre Chastain on Pierrechastain.com. Website of the Family Association.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Find a Grave Memorial# 20353590
  17. Article in Lebanondemocrat.
  18. Family Bible - Mary Pauline Johnson-Monroe’s Genealogical Papers - Research Papers; owned by Mary Pauline Johnson-Monroe in Kensington, Maryland, USA.
  19. Source: #S5 Page: Tree #4407 Quality or Certainty of Data: 3
  20. this record was located in the "Registre d'Issoudun," now located in the "Archives departementales de l'Indre" at Chateauroux, France. [This record was located in the "Register of Issoudun," now located in the Departmental Archives de l'Indre at Chateauroux, France]
  21. 21.0 21.1 1693 Swiss Census of Refugees for Baillage de Vevey.
  22. Manakintown Huguenot Ship Lists, Huguenot Society
  23. The original is in the Edwin Markham Archives, Horrmann Library, Wagner College, Staten Island NY.
  24. Map image
  25. Brock, R. A. Documents, chiefly unpublished, relating to the Huguenot emigration to Virginia and to the settlement at Manakin-Town, with an appendix of genealogies, presenting data of the Fontaine, Maury, Dupuy, Trabue, Marye, Chastain, Cocke, and other families. "Fragment of a Register of Deaths" p 110. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1962.
  26. Web: Virginia, Find A Grave Index, 1607-2012. Note that the memorial stone includes what appears to be information about Madaline of la Rochefaucald - I can't quite make it out - but she was not his wife (see #Disputed_Wife, above).
  27. Pierre Chastain,
  28. Monacan Farm Cemetery
  • Goochland County, Virginia, Deeds, Wills 1:43
  • Henricho County, Virginia, Deeds and wills 1725-2737 pg 180
  • Chastain History at www.deaver-chastain.org
  • Huguenot Families 1699 Virginia Some Records Relating to Huguenot Families - The Chastain Family.
  • The French Huguenot Frontier Settlement of Manakin Town. Published in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 61:4, October 1953, pp. 359-392. Put online by the Huguenot Society of the Founders of Manakin in Colonial Virginia.
  • Early Virginia Families Along the James River: Their Deep Roots and Tangled Branches. Vol. I
  • Abstracts of Land Patents - Henrico County pg 48
  • A brief history of the Huguenots : and three family trees, Chastain-Lochridge-Stockton
  • U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970. Name:Pierra Chastain, Birth Place:In, France,Death Date:1728,Death Place:Manikintown, Virginia. SAR Membership 92163.
  • JONES, WILLIAM MAC FARLANE, transcriber and editor. "Liste Generalle de Tous les Francois Protestants Refugies Etablys dans la Paroisse du Roy Guillaume d'Henrico en Virginia, y compres les Femmes, Enfans, Veuves, et Orphelins." In The Douglas Register...Kept by the Rev. William Douglas, from 1750 to 1797. Richmond [VA]: J.W. Fergusson & Sons, 1928, pp. 372-374. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1966. Page 372
  • Family Bible - Mary Pauline Johnson-Monroe’s Genealogical Papers - Research Papers; owned by Mary Pauline Johnson-Monroe in Kensington, Maryland, USA.
  • Barck and Lefler, Colonial America, 2nd
  • Chastain, Lowell, Virginia Chastains Genealogy
  • Pierre Chastain Family Association Website
  • Reid, et al, Dictionary of Christianity in America
  • Wallbank, et al, Civilization Past & Present, 4th
  • Reid, et al, Dictionary of Christianity in America



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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Pierre by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Pierre:

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Images: 5
Pierre Chastain
Pierre Chastain

Tombstone for Pierre Chastain Sr
Tombstone for Pierre Chastain Sr

Pierre Chastain Image 4
Pierre Chastain Image 4

Corn crib
Corn crib

Pierre Chastain's home
Pierre Chastain's home


On 27 Feb 2018 at 14:00 GMT Mary (Weston) Jenkins wrote:

Getting there step by step...

The last merge resulted in two duplicates in the profile that also need to be merged - Ann Soblet is listed twice Pierre Jr is listed twice Thank you.

On 25 Feb 2018 at 19:32 GMT Mary (Weston) Jenkins wrote:

Chastain-1496 and Chastain-69 appear to represent the same person because: Date of death and FAG source are the same. Corrections need to be made to bring both profiles into agreement. One is well referenced and the other is not.

On 11 Dec 2015 at 14:25 GMT Michelle (Gerard) Hartley wrote:

Sorry I put the template on the wrong man. I meant to place on one of his descendants.

On 11 Dec 2015 at 14:24 GMT Michelle (Gerard) Hartley wrote:

Corrected the date. Good catch Stephanie.

On 11 Dec 2015 at 14:09 GMT Stephanie (Duncan) Robinson wrote:

He was born April 9 but in the timeline it states he was baptized April 7.

On 11 Dec 2015 at 12:09 GMT Anne B wrote:

? SAR Sons of the American Revolution. He died in 1728, long before the Revolution.

On 7 Dec 2015 at 17:11 GMT Anne B wrote:

The Collaborative Profile of the Week Question has been posted. Please join the fun. Thank you

On 5 Dec 2015 at 22:12 GMT Michelle (Gerard) Hartley wrote:

Removing copy and paste info and will add in appropriately with sources for that info.

On 5 Dec 2015 at 20:47 GMT Michelle (Gerard) Hartley wrote:

Yes, I'd love to know all the info you have.

Thanks a bunch!

On 29 Nov 2015 at 09:43 GMT D (Hoskins) H wrote:

I found a family heirloom that was passed down. It was a sword. Didn't know if you wanted that information here or not on who inherited and who will inherit it next. Please let me know.

more comments

Pierre is 20 degrees from Tanya Lowry, 15 degrees from Charles Tiffany and 13 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.