THE FRENCH HUGUENOTS - written by Icle (Johnson) Smith
The Protestants of France were called "Huguenots" during the period from 1640 to 1700, whether from one of their obscure religious or from one Hugh, King of France, is uncertain. This period was one of the bloodiest ages for France. Many of them were punished for their religious beliefs, many Kings were dethroned and the kingdom taken by imposters.
In 1584, Henry of Navarre became heir to the throne of France. He soon formed a league with the Pope of Spain with avowed intention of exterminating the Huguenot Heresy". This resulted in the "war of the Three Henries". After much fighting and the assassination of a number of the claimants to the Crown, Henry ascended to the throne as Henry IV.
The Edict of Nantes, issued on April 13, 1593, became one of the most important decrees ever issued by any member of the French Kings. By it religious freedom was guaranteed with certain limitations. In the mean time, Henry IV had gone over to the Catholics in order to maintain his hold on the French throne. Throughout the sixteenth century and until late in the seventeenth century there was continual conflict. Finally, on October 23, 1685, Louis XIV revoked the Edit of Nantes.
This act of revocation was followed by horrible persecutions, executions of the ministers, murdering of innocent women and children, and the closings of their convents. Many Protestants sought refuge in Germany, Holland, and England. Long before this many Huguenots had settled in America. Some in New York, a few Virginia and quite a few in the Carolinas.
Now with this group so badly scattered, it became necessary that an effort should be made to found a colony for themselves in the New World. With this in mind, a group organized at Littleberry, England, for the purpose of establishing a colony in Virginia. To this end, they petitioned the Crown of England for permission to settle in Virginia. The Crown readily gave them a charter.
Having perfected their organization they set about final preparations. Three vessels were chartered for trip. The following receipt, copied from the Douglas Registry will explain the movement.
Jamestown, Virginia July 31, 1700
Received of Marquis de LeMuce and Charles de Le Sailly ye sum of nine hundred forty five pounds in full for ye passage of two hundred five persons aboard the ship "Mary Ann" bound for Virginia. I say received this sum the 19th day of April, 1700.
Geo. Hawes. Witness Alexander Cleere.
This "Mary Ann" was the first of three ships. Following this receipt was a list of the families the number in each. Among was the following names: Chastaine, Tuly, LeVerne, Saye, Perry, Chambures, Ligon, Mullon, Debort, Bernard, Soblet, LeFavour, Aubry, before, Farcy, Remy, Boshard, Outartro, Dupu, Martin, Dibrell, Trabue, and Jordins.
Then group went on up the James River to the upper part of what was then Henrico County but soon became known as Goochland County and were settled "between the creeks". There they organized the village known as "Manakin Town". No doubt the name was chosen from the Indian tribe of Manaccins that occupied the region.
In this organization was Abraham Soblett, by now spelled sublet, and his son Jacque or James H. In the incorporation charter Abraham is named as one of the Parish vestrymen and J.H. as the clerk of the Parish.
Before any crops could be planted, the colony ran into a "Starving Time" similar to the John Smith starving time. The Colony of Virginia came to the rescue by furnishing foods for a time. The record shows that they were furnished "one Bu. Indian corn meal per head per month". Abraham Sublett was given supplies for "Himself, wife, and three male children". This establishes that his family consisted of only three sons in 1700.
Soon after this better days came and they began to be encouraged. The Virginia House of Burgesses granted them "The Full Rights of Citizenship". Since this narrative has to do only with the Subletts, we will now drop the others , try to tell only of the Subletts except where they are intermarried with the other French settlers.
Abraham resided at nearby Saint-Menges. He fled France by 1681 for Mannheim, Germany and by 1693 he was residing in Wesel where the family continued to grow. He took his family and migrated to Holland and then Littleberry, England where their youngest son, Littleberry, was born, and from there to Virginia in 1700. He and his wife Susanne traveled separately to the new world. Abraham made the trip first along with his two oldest sons while Susanne cared for their three youngest children.
From Ed Crabtree, "Thus, on a quiet summer's day, July 23, 1700, Capt. George Homes' ship the "Mary and Ann" dropped anchor at Kickotan, the harbor for colonial VA at the mouth of the James River. The vessel had left London on March 24th and after an uneventful passage of 13 weeks reached its destination. On board the "Mary and Ann" came the first contingent of America bound Huguenot refugees under the leadership of Oliver de la Muce and Charles d Sailly. The ship's complement consisted of 207 French exiles (the first muster accounted for 59 women, 38 children, 110 men. Brock, Huguenot Docts.. 12;; dat of departure from London is given in Mrs. H.D. Pittman, ed. American of Gentle Birth and Their Ancestors, 2 vols. St. Louis, 1903-07, 1, 181.) Among the passengers aboard the "Mary and Ann" who sought this New World domicile was one Abraham Soblet, accompanied by his two eldest sons, Abraham Jr., and Jacques. On the following September 20th, 1700, when Capt. Danew Perreau's ship "Peter and Anthony", disembarked it's company of refugees in the second emigrant expedition led by Claude Phillipe de Richebourg, came Susanne Soblet, his wife, with the other three children, Pierre Louis, Littlebury, and Anne. Happily, the family was then reunited at Manakin Town (Muster taken at Jamestown, July 31, 1700 R[obert] A. Brock, ed. Miscellaneous Papers, 1622-1865 (Collections of Virginia Historical Society, New Series) [Richmond, 1887], VI, 633-6; muster taken by Capt. Perreau, Jamestown, September 20, 1700 and by the Rev. Benjamin de Joux, December 1, 1700. Brock, Huguenot Docts. 14,24; Samuel A. Sublett, A Partial History of the French Huguenots by Name Soblets...(Richmond, 1896), t, 8. There is an error in an entry made by William Byrd November 10, 1701, wherein, he lists the entire Soblet family as coming in the first refugee ship. Brock, Huguenot Docts. 46; Pitman, 1, 181."
95+% of all Americans & Canadians are descendents of
Abraham Soblet...who arrived with his family in Virginia
in the year 1700
Source - The Huguenot Bartholomew Dupuy and His Descendants, Rev. B.H.Dupuy, (Louisville, KY: Courier-Journal Job Printing Co., 1908), p 263: Abraham and Susanna escaped from France to Germany, 1685, with their sons, Abraham and James, thence they went to Holland, where their daughter, Anne, was born, and thence to Littleberry, England, where their youngest son, Littleberry, was born. Abraham Sublett with his sons, Abraham and James, left London, March 24, 1700, on the ship, "Mary Ann", commanded by Capt. Homes, and arrived at Jamestown, VA, June 23, 1700. His wife and the other children, Peter Lewis, Littlebury, and Anne, whom he left in England, Arrived at Jamestown, VA., September 20, 1700, in the ship, "Ye Peter and Anthony", Galley of London, commanded by Capt. Daniel Perreau. They settled in King William Parish, VA. The land which they settled is still known as "Sublett's Post Office". Seven of the Virginia Subletts were in the Richmond Howitzers, CSA. Those descendants who went West were early pioneers of the country and became noted Indian Fighters.
Henrico County, Patent Book 10, p 267
March 23, 1715, Abraham Soblet, 88 acres in Henrico County, on S side of the James River being part of the 1st 5,000 acres of land surveyed for Franch refugees.
The Vestry Book of King WIlliam Parish, Goochland Co, Virginia, lists the following Tithable Persons:
Abraham Soblet, l'aine - 1709, 1710, 1711, 1712 (pere), 1713, 1714, 1715
Abraham listed as a Church Warden at the December 10, 1707 , vestry meeting
Henrico County, VA Court Records, June 6, 1720, p 26
Will of Abraham Soblet presented by Mary Soblet, executrix and proved by Thomas Brian and Peter David, witnessess and English translation sworn to by Daniel Duerrant; Thomas Brian and Peter David, Security