Huguenot Settlement
Outstanding Huguenots of St. John's, Berkeley
Information and Article from
"Historic Ramblin's Through Berkeley"
 written by and used with permission of
Mr. J. Russell Cross
      The 1711/12 will of Anthony Cordes, Physician, lists as executors his brother James Cordes, Rene Ravenel, Paul Peter LeBas, Esq., Peter de St. Julien, Esq., and was witnessed by John Perineau,  Moses Carion, James Dabor, and Moses Carion, Jr., indicating a close association with the Santee Settlement.  Anthony Cordes was not listed in the 1697 Act of Naturalization, but the Ravenel List of persons desiring naturalization lists him as Anthoine Cordes along with his wife, Ester Madeleine Balluet, and their children, Isaac, Madeleine, and Ester, who was born in Carolina.
     Jean Cordes, wife of James Cordes, Gent., made her will in 1715 and mentions only a few french names, including her granddaughters:  Judith, Ann, and Jane Gerard; her cousin Daniel Jahndine (Jaudon); and John Pereneau and Anthony Bonoe (Bonneau).
     Pierre De St. Julien, who was listed with his wife in 1696 in the Ravenel List, made his will on June 2, 1718 (written in French), leaving Wantoot plantation and other land to his eldest son Pierre, Aaron Springs and other land to his son James, land on the Santee to Paul, land at Half Way Swamp and other land to Henry, and other property to Joseph and Alexander and Daniel.  His daughters were Damaris Elizabeth and Jeanne Marie.  Other French mentioned were Gabrieie Pellet, Paul Trapier, Henry LeNoble, Emanuel Marquis, Paul Lescott (Minister), Isaac Mazyck, Mr. de la Consiliere, and Mr. Legare.  Requests were left to the poor of the Church of Charles Town and Mons. Claude Phillipe de Richebourg, minister.  Witnesses were Benj. Gourdin, Pierre Manigault, Jean Gendroon, Paul Douxsaint, and Henry Gignilliat.
     His son Paul de St. Julien is remembered as the builder of Hanover (1720).  This house was made entirely of cypress and was considered the most valuable of the house taken down when Santee-cooper project was developed.  It may now be seen at Clemson University where it has been reconstructed.
     The son Henry de St. Julien, who died in st. John's, Berkeley, was the possessor of the papers known as the St. Julien or Ravenel List Through his sister who lived at Wantoot the papers passed into the Ravenel Family.
     Catherine LeNoble, widow of Henry LeNoble, of Pooshee made h er will January 1725/6.  This will indicated the degree to which the French families married each other.  In this instance we find the name LeNoble, Ravenel, and Chastaigner.  She left bequests to the poor of St. John's Parish and to the poor of the French Church in Charles Town.  These bequests could indicate that the Huguenots of St. John's Berkeley no longer had a functioning Huguenot Church.
     Paul Trapier of St. John's made his will in January, 1726/7.  In addition to naming his family, he mentions his residence as Grande Fountaine. 
     In July 1736, Daniel Ravenel made his will, leaving to his wife Damaris Elizabeth the use of Somerton for life.  At her death it was to go to his son Daniel.  His daughter was to receive Somerset which he had inherited from his brother Paul.  Charlotte was to get land west of Somerton.  Mary, Ann, and Elizabeth were the youngest daughters.  Mentioned are his brother-in-law James and Paul de St. Julien, his brother Rene; and Joseph de St. Julien was a witness.
     The will of Damaris Elizabeth (Le Serrurier) de St. Julien , mother-in-law of Daniel Ravenel, explains early relationships of the St. Julien, Ravenel and Mazyck families.  She bequest to the French Church in Charles Town.
     Records of the French, especially before 1706, often do not indicate the part of Berkeley County in which they lived, but Peter Jacob Guerard was a resident in 1704/5, as was a Mr. LaSalle, Anthony Bonneau was listed in 1712 and by 1716 Paul LeBasse (LeBas) was here.  Gabriel Marion married Esther Cordes and Francis Marion was born in 1732 on Goatfield, which later became a part of Chachan.
     In 1686 James Le Bas bought 1500 acres from Landgrave Joseph West.  Most of this land became what we know as Epsom, Mitton and Keithfield.  James Le Bas and his son Jacque were in the Ravenel List.
     James Le Bas, grandson of the above-mentioned immigrant, made his will in 1737, leaving 100 pounds for the purchase of silver plate for the Parish Church.  At some time the Church of England Parish came into possession of the "French Chalice."  Dr. Dalcho is quoted as saying " A chalice of Silver gift, was presented the Parish.  It had been used by the protestants in France, before the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and brought to Carolina by the Rev. Mr. Lessou (L'Escot), formerly Minister of a French congregation in this Province."
     In 1865, Keating Simons Ball buried this silver under a barn at Comingtee.  Having been buried for 82 years, it was located by use of a mine detector in 1947.
     Huguenot culture is said to have flowered in St. John's Berkeley.  A Day On The Cooper River by Dr. John A. Irving gives some idea of the Huguenot families that moved into the lower part of St. John's Parish.
     The story of the Huguenot migration from France to Carolina is the story of an immigrant people who clung to their faith and religious practices through persecution in France, through the hardships of migration and temporary homes in England and the Low Countries, through indentured servitude and harsh living conditions upon arrival in Carolina, yet most of their descendants gave up the religious practices of the fathers for opportunities and preferment offered by the Establishment with the added inducement of wealth and social acceptance.  Many of their descendants are now found in most religious groups today and many do not know of the struggles of their French Ancestors to achieve religious, political and economic freedom.
 
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