Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.

Huguenot Ancestors: Battaile,Bieber, Martiau, and Muse –52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, # 50



Huguenots, Emigration-Of-The-Huguenots-1566, public domain, wikimedia Commons

Huguenots prepare to emigrate-from Wikimedia Commons, public domain


This is my 50th post of 52 to complete this challenge to write  about family ancestors, at least once a week for a whole year! Great thanks are given to Amy Johnson Crow of the “No Story Too Small”  blog on WordPress for issuing and maintaining this callenge!  I started participating in the challenge last January, and will soon be finished! It is so hard to believe! I have been wondering for awhile what might be a good way to wrap up this wonderful adventure, and after much thought, decided that it might be fun to end this series (not that I won’t do other genealogical posts) with stories about some of our beginnings–the first of our ancestors in America! To that end, I have decided to write about our Huguenot Ancestors, our Jamestown Ancestors, and our Mayflower/Plymouth ancestors!  It is so amazing to me to know that we have members of our family from all of these groups! It also explains why I am kin to almost everyone! When your family is present in the beginning, there are fewer families, and at that time they tended to have huge families of ten and more children. All those children married others from their church and/or farming community generally, so it didn’t take long for everyone to be cousins! 

huguenot bridge, Huguenot Bridge over James River, upstream of Richmond and downstream from Manakin-Sabot, photo by Trevor Wrayton, VaDOT

The Huguenot Bridge over the James River in Richmond, Virginia, just a few miles south of Manakintown, the first settlement of Huguenots

You might wonder why I would even think to write about the Huguenots. As it turns out, I grew up only a few miles from the original Huguenot settlement in Manakintown, Virginia! I went to Huguenot High School and drove over the Huguenot Bridge almost every day. My own families were Methodists, not Huguenots, but as I began my genealogical research, I was pleased and surprised to find I had Huguenot ancestors and so did my husband! 

From the National Huguenot Society we learn this history about the Huguenots:  

“The Huguenots were French Protestants most of whom eventually came to follow the teachings of John Calvin, and who, due to religious persecution, were forced to flee France to other countries in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Some remained, practicing their Faith in secret.

The Protestant Reformation began by Martin Luther in Germany about 1517, spread rapidly in France, especially among those having grievances against the established order of government. As Protestantism grew and developed in France it generally abandoned the Lutheran form, and took the shape of Calvinism. The new “Reformed religion” practiced by many members of the French nobility and social middle-class, based on a belief in salvation through individual faith without the need for the intercession of a church hierarchy and on the belief in an individual’s right to interpret scriptures for themselves, placed these French Protestants in direct theological conflict with both the Catholic Church and the King of France in the theocratic system which prevailed at that time. Followers of this new Protestantism were soon accused of heresy against the Catholic government and the established religion of France, and a General Edict urging extermination of these heretics (Huguenots) was issued in 1536. Nevertheless, Protestantism continued to spread and grow, and about 1555 the first Huguenot church was founded in a home in Paris based upon the teachings of John Calvin. The number and influence of the French Reformers (Huguenots) continued to increase after this event, leading to an escalation in hostility and conflict between the Catholic Church/State and the Huguenots. Finally, in 1562, some 1200 Huguenots were slain at Vassey, France, thus igniting the French Wars of Religion which would devastate France for the next thirty-five years.

The Edict of Nantes, signed by Henry IV in April, 1598, ended the Wars of Religion, and allowed the Huguenots some religious freedoms, including free exercise of their religion in 20 specified towns of France.

The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV in October, 1685, began anew persecution of the Huguenots, and hundreds of thousands of Huguenots fled France to other countries. The Promulgation of the Edict of Toleration in November, 1787, partially restored the civil and religious rights of Huguenots in France.

Since the Huguenots of France were in large part artisans, craftsmen, and professional people, they were usually well-received in the countries to which they fled for refuge when religious discrimination or overt persecution caused them to leave France. Most of them went initially to Germany, the Netherlands, and England, although some found their way eventually to places as remote as South Africa. Considerable numbers of Huguenots migrated to British North America, especially to the Carolinas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. Their character and talents in the arts, sciences, and industry were such that they are generally felt to have been a substantial loss to the French society from which they had been forced to withdraw, and a corresponding gain to the communities and nations into which they settled.”

“Huguenot”, according to Frank Puaux, at one time President of the Socitie Francaise de l’Historie du Protestantisme Francais and author of the article about the Huguenots in the eleventh edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica:

“is the name given from about the middle of the sixteenth century to the Protestants of France. It was formerly explained as coming from the German Eldgenosen, the designation of the people of Geneva at the time when they were admitted to the Swiss Confederation. This explanation is now abandoned. The words Huguenot,Huguenots, are old French words, common in fourteenth and fifteenth-century charters. As the Protestants called the Catholics papistes, so the Catholics called the protestants Huguenots. The Protestants at Tours used to assemble by night near the gate of King Hugo, whom the people regarded as a spirit. A monk, therefore, in a sermon declared that the Lutherans ought to be called Huguenots, as kinsmen of King Hugo, inasmuch as they would only go out at night as he did. This nickname became popular from 1560 onwards, and for a long time the French Protestants were always known by it.”

There is a National Huguenot Society as mentioned above.  Apparently there is also The Huguenot Society of the Founders of Manakin in the Colony of Virginia. From them we learn some specific history of the Huguenots in Virginia. 

“Huguenots began coming to Virginia as early as 1620. In 1700-1701, five ships arrived at the mouth of the James River, then the York and the Rappahannock rivers, east of present-day Richmond, Virginia. French Huguenots, having fled religious persecution, had lived in England and Ireland and done military services for King William. They were granted lands in the New World for a permanent home where they had the freedom to worship as they pleased. West of Richmond, many founded a colony on the site of a village deserted by the Monacan Indians. This is a society of the descendants of that colony and French Protestants who came to Virginia before 1786 [see history of the society]. The society headquarters and library are located beside the Manakin Episcopal Church on the original King William Parish glebe land in Manakintown. The society convenes for a National Assembly annually (usually in June). For information on membership and branches, contact us by e-mail at manakintown @yahoo.com.

The next General Assembly of the society will be held June 18-20, 2015 in Richmond, VA.”

Perhaps this explains why I have found at least three different lists of registered lineages or ancestors  from the Colonial Huguenots in America.  If you are interested in joining one of these societies, be sure that  you check all of the different requirements for the one you are interested in joining. 

By far, my most famous Huguenot ancestor is Nicholas Martiau, my/our ninth great-grandfather and his children,,of whom Mary Martiau Scarsbrook is my/our 8th great-grandmother. The Martiaus are ancestors of George Washington, making us cousins.  There is a book written called  Nicholas Martiau: The Adventurous Huguenot by John Baer Stoudt.  You can read the blog post I wrote about Nicholas earlier at this link.  Nicholas was a French engineer who helped build the palisades around Jamestown Fort and the Fort at Yorktown.  He served as a Burgess from Jamestown and other places in Virginia. A bust of him, and a plaque to him can be seen in Yorktown , Virginia, today, honoring the gift of his land where the city of Yorktown stands today! 


 Another direct ancestor who was a Huguenot settler in the Colony of Virginia was my/our 7th great-grandfather, John Battaile-b.1658, his son Lawrence-b.1698 and his daughter Elizabeth Battaile-b. 1731 .  My/our 5th great grandmother. Elizabeth married George Muse, b. 1722, another Huguenot, and my /our 5th  great-grandfather as well! George Muse fought with George Washington in the Revolutionary War. 

Elizabeth Battaile, 1731-1786, granddaughter of John Battaile, daughter of Lawrence Battaile, and wife of George Muse, 1722-1784. -source sjwilson77 first shared this on ancestry.

Elizabeth Battaile, 1731-1786, granddaughter of John Battaile, daughter of Lawrence Battaile, and wife of George Muse, 1722-1784. -source sjwilson77 first shared this on ancestry.


 Dewalt Bieber is listed as an approved Huguenot ancestor under The Huguenot Society of America whose list you can find at the underlined link. He is my husband’s 6th great-grandfather, and my children’s 7th. This is a bit of interesting history about the Bieber/Beaver family in America.

  “The original family name for Bever/Bieber/Beaver was de Beauvoir. The name was taken by the family in the 10th century from the name of the little city in France where they lived  near Rouen in northeastern Normandy called Beauvais.  This town was known during the time of Caesar as Caesaromagnus.

 At the time of the French Church Reformation in the 1500’s, the Beauvoirs accepted the teachings of John Calvin and left the Catholic Church to become Huguenots. Huguenots were a group of Protestants who became the center of political and religious quarrels in France in the 1500 and 1600’s. The French Roman Catholics game them the name “Huguenots”. Most of them were craftsmen and textile workers. During the reign of Henry II (1547 – 1559) the Huguenots became strong in numbers and influence within France.  As they grew strong, the Catholic government persecuted them more and more.
Many Huguenots were murdered in the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew’s Day on Aug 24, 1572.   Michol de Beauvoir escaped from France with a group of Huguenot  as refugees and was received into Geneva, Switzerland as a “bourgeois” about one month later on 29 Sept 1572. In 1573 he crossed the frontier and was almost massacred. This obliged him to return to Switzerland.
Henry of Navarre became King of France and in 1598 he issued the Edict of Nantes. This law gave the Huguenots freedom of worship in about 75 town and cities. The edict also gave them complete political freedom. The Huguenots thus formed a sort of Protestant Republic within the Catholic Kingdom.
The Huguenots lost their political freedom during the reign of Louis XIII. They lost their freedom of worship in 16 85 when Louis XIV repealed the Edict of Nantes. They there were hunted like wild animals and slaughtered in their hiding places. “400,000 were driven out of France until there were no Huguenots left in the land.” Thousand of these fled France to find new homes in England, Germany, Holland and America.
Those Beauvoirs who fled to Germany found themselves a dismembered and fugitive family bearing a name which brought back only bitter recollections and burning recrimination. The name in Germany was pronounced “Bieber” and soon they were spelling it in the language of their adopted country. The name Bieber means “beaver catcher”. Some shortened their names to Beber and Bever.
Settling in Alsace-Lorraine, Germany brought no degree of peace to the misplaced French families.  There was a continual battle between Germany and France over the country and continual friction between the Protestants and the Catholics.  Perhaps this helped influence the Bieber/Bever family in their decision to seek a new life in America.
In the early 18th century when the shipping agents were working up immigration parties for America, Peter Bieber and his cousin Lorentz Biever, were among those who chose to immigrate to the new World.  Peter Bieber left his home in Saarbrucken, Alsace-Lorraine and went down the Rhine River to Rotterdam in the Netherlands where he set sail in 1739 on a ship called “Robert and Alice.” There were 78 men, 57 women and 88 Children on the ship that landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 3 Sep 1739.  This Peter Biever would have been our Peter Bever, Jr.  Ship records state these passengers came from Rotterdam via Dover from the Palatinate.  The Palatinate is a historic division of Germany. They settled in Pennsylvania.
 (SOUR CES:  World Book Encyclopedia: “Histyory & Genealogy of the Biever, Beaver, Biever, Beeber Family” by Rev. I> M> Beaver, 1939, Reading Pennsylvania (Mar 16, 1993)  “
 We have many Huguenots in our family who are only kin to us by marriage, or perhaps are distand cousins. These alone wouldn’t get you into a society, but it is interesting to know of our kinship!  Martha Patsy Demoss, b. 1787 in Virginia, wife of   Thomas Youngblood. Anne Beaufort, her daughter Mary Ragland, and her son Nathaniel Bowe Jr. are kin to us through marriage.   The DuBois family and the Vias are kin to us in multiple ways, but none very directly–mostly through marriage or distant cousinship.

Little did I know growing up that I was the descendant of at least three direct Huguenot ancestors, now my husband of at least one! That means my children could easily qualify for membership in a Huguenot Society I would think. It’s an amazing history!

Since I am feeling very French today, I will leave you with this: 



Theobald Dewalt Bieber (1690 – 1769)
is your 6th great grandfather
son of Theobald Dewalt Bieber
son of Laurentius Bieber
son of David A Beaver
daughter of Paul Beaver
son of Martha Lucinda Beaver
son of John Calvin Holshouser
You are the son of Henry Max Holshouser
John Battaile (1658 – 1707)
is your 7th great grandfather
son of John Battaile
daughter of Lawrence Battaile
daughter of Elizabeth Battaile
son of Elizabeth Muse
daughter of Ellis Putney Omohundro
daughter of Elizabeth Rachael Omohundro
daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne
daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins
You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse –
John Muse (1633 – 1723)
is your 7th great grandfather
son of John Muse
son of John Muse
daughter of George Muse
son of Elizabeth Muse
daughter of Ellis Putney Omohundro
daughter of Elizabeth Rachael Omohundro
daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne
daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins
You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse –
Nicholas Martiau (1591 – 1657)
is your 9th great grandfather
daughter of Nicholas Martiau
son of Mary Jane Martiau
son of John Scarsbrook
daughter of Col. Henry Scarsbrook
son of Elizabeth Cary Scarsbrook
son of Maj. John Scarsbrook Langhorne
son of Henry Scarsbrook Langhorne
daughter of James Steptoe (blind) Langhorne
daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne
daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins
You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse

Relationship Chart for James T. Fuller to Nicholas Martiau, Jamestown, Va, Burgess, Huguenot, French Engineer


Nicholas Martiau

Birth 2 Apr 1591 in Ile-de-France, France

Death 16 Apr 1657 in Yorktown, York County, Virginia, United States

9th Great-Grandfather of James T. Fuller


Sarah Martiau

Birth 1629 in Elizabeth City, Virginia, United States

Death 14 Mar 1695 in St Andrews, Berkeley, South Carolina, United States

8th Great Grandmother of James T. Fuller


Ezekiel Fuller

Birth 1650 in Newport, Isle of Wight, Virginia, United States

Death 24 Jun 1723 in Isle Of Wright, Virginia, United States

7th Great Grandfather of James T. Fuller

Solomon Fuller

Birth 1703 in Newport, Isle of Wight, Virginia, United States

Death 1 Feb 1777 in Granville, North Carolina, United States

6th Great -Grandfather of James T. Fuller


Jones R. Fuller

Birth 15 Sep 1735 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, USA

Death 15 Sep 1815 in Raleigh, Franklin, North Carolina, USA

5th Great Grandfather of James T. Fuller


Alsey Fuller

Birth 1777 in Granville County, North Carolina, USA

Death 11 August 1843 in York, South Carolina

4th Great Grandfather of James T. Fuller

George William Fuller

Birth 1813 in York County, South Carolina, USA

Death 1901 in Easonville, St Clair, Alabama, USA

3rd Great-Grandfather of James T. Fuller

James Dejarnette Fuller

Birth Aug 1851 in Alabama

Death Nov 1925 in Hartselle, Morgan, Alabama, USA

2nd Great-Grandfather of James T. Fuller


Linzey Thurmond Fuller

Birth 27 Aug 1888 in Alabama

Death 25 Oct 1954 in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina

Great- Grandfather of James T. Fuller


Leon Thurman Fuller

Birth August 8, 1918 in Columbia, South Carolina, United States

Death May 15, 1974 in Greensboro, Guilford, North Carolina

Grandfather of James Thurmond Fuller


James Richard Fuller

Birth April 3, 1946 in Columbia, South Carolina

Death Living

Father of James Thurmond Fuller


James Thurmond Fuller

Birth June 30, 1977 in Wilmington, New Hanover, North Carolina, USA

Death Living


Author: Helen Holshouser

Old enough to enjoy life, I am a Red Hatter, grandmother, gardener, and amateur genealogist. I am a retired clinical psychologist, master's level, who is disabled with heart disease, but having fun with family and friends. Married over 40 years, I have two grown daughters and three grandchildren. I have learned that grandchildren provide a joy one never knew existed---writing feeds my soul, gardening is therapy, and genealogy research makes me feel like a detective!

12 thoughts on “Huguenot Ancestors: Battaile,Bieber, Martiau, and Muse –52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, # 50

  1. Wow, you did a lot of work for this report! I think I’ll have some kind of withdrawal when your year finishes. Thanks, Helen. Anne

    Sent from my iPad


  2. You and me both darling! Love you for taking time to read and edit when I give you the chance! love you, Helen


  3. Very interesting reading. I’m going to miss your musings!

    Sent from my iPhone



  4. Thank you darling, i don’t plan to stop entirely, but i do hope to organize and reflect some. Love you, H


  5. All I can think to say is once more you have crafted a great post. Any plans for a book? Or in your case more than one book?


  6. LOL thank you Charles! I have thought about it mostly to organize these, but figure i might sell two books! L OL !one of those to myself! We’ll see, thanks for the encouragement. H


  7. I just found your blog through the Facebook group. Very enjoyable reading, thank you!


  8. Hello Vonda Heverly, thank you so very much for taking the time to read and comment! I look forward to getting to know you! H.


  9. Thank you for gathering the Huguenot history. That’s “my bridge” in the photo. My ancestors have been recorded as coming from the same region in France. There’s a nice story that my great aunt used to tell us about “The Little Nightcap.” One day I found her story on the internet! From Richmond, Powhatan, and Farmville, we’re all cousins now!
    Cheers, Nancy W. Miller

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this Nancy W. miller! I would love to hear that story! Want to write a guest post and share it? Let me know! All the best, Helen


  11. Great to see part on the Muse’s.


  12. Thank you Steve, are you a cousin through the Muse family? Thaks for leaving a comment! Helen


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