Benjamin Marion was a French Huguenot (Calvinist Protestant) from Chaunay, in the Poitou-Charentes region of western France.  Benjamin Marion left France for the English colony of South Carolina before 1690. This followed the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, guaranteeing French Huguenots a measure of toleration, by French King Louis XIV, in 1685. Benjamin Marion was the son of Jean Marion and his wife, Perinne Boutignon, of Poitou. Like many Huguenots, the family was of upper-middle-class origins and Benjamin was educated and literate.
His family have preserved the letter he received from a local Roman Catholic priest, apparently in 1688 or 1689, when he was already a young married man, ordering him to flee abroad on pain of death. A translation states (emphasis added):
Whether or not the text is 100% accurate, it reveals the spirit of the times and that Benjamin's "worthy connections" (i.e., his family's social status) led the local authorities to permit him and his wife to flee, no small feat as it was a crime to allow Huguenots to leave France. His village was called "Chaumé in Poitou," today it is spelled "Chaunay" in the Vienne departement. The area was known to favor the "Reformed Christian Religion" and its proximity to the port of La Rochelle allowed many Huguenots to escape by boat, first to England, and then on to English colonies in North America.
Benjamin and wife, Judith (Baluet) Marion, are said to have taken a ship at the "Ile de Ré," just off the coast at La Rochelle, most-likely in 1688 or 1689. Several months later, in 1690, they arrived at Charleston, South Carolina. They bought a plantation on Goose Creek in nearby Berkeley County, already home to several other Huguenot refugee families.
Benjamin and Judith (Baluet) Marion had 3 children who reached maturity.
Judith (Baluet) Marion passed away around 1708 at the family plantation by Goose Creek, Berkeley County, South Carolina. Benjamin Marion survived her death and remarried to a woman named Marie ("Mary"), whose surname remains Unknown. They had 8 children together:
Benjamin Marion wrote and signed his will on 13 January 1734 and it was proven on 2 May 1735. He died in the spring of 1735 at his plantation at the head of Goose Creek, Berkeley County, English Province of South Carolina. He is mentioned in the obituary for his great-granddaughter: Frances Porter Singleton. When his 2nd wife, Mary (Unknown) Marion died is not known.
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