Monday, July 8, 2013

Huguenot Church Records in Charleston, SC

The plaques of the Huguenots Buried in the Cemetery of The Huguenot Church of Charleston, South Carolina are photographed on South Carolina Pioneers

On 30 April 1680 the ship Richmond from London dropped anchor off of Oyster Point on the southern tip of the peninsula between the Ashley River and cooper Rivers. There were few settlers at a placed named Albemarle Point. The Richmond brought orders from King Charles II that the settledment was to be re-named Charles Town. Also onboard were forty-five Huguenots, escaping from the religious persecution in France. As most persecuted townspeople usually ended up in Protestant England awaiting transportation to a tolerant society, these French people also waited long months to go to America. King Charles had graciously subscribed 2,000 pounds for the voyage.

In 1687 a church was built on the present southeast corner of Queen and Church Streets in Charleston, and later supported other refugees arriving from 1680 to about 1763. Every Sabbath morning Huguenots who had taken up settlement on the Cooper River came to church on the ebb tide. The first two pastors were Rev. Florente Philippe Trouillard and Rev. Elias Prioleau. The first church building is believed to have burned during the fire of 1740, when its earliest records of baptisms, marriages and burials were lost.

The communion silver was given by Gabriel Manigault, a wealthy Charles Town merchant. A very ancient cemetery adjoins the church, however, visitors are not allowed inside. However, plaques are installed on the walls inside the building, thus perserving the earliest records.

Huguenot Church
Huguenot Church, Charleston, South Carolina, rebuilt ca 1740. Services have been held at this location since 1680 to the present day.

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