Thursday, May 14, 2015

52 Ancestors Week 19-There's a Way~Benjamin Marion

 There's a Way-what ancestor found a way out of a sticky situation?   
 A fabulous prompt for week 19 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2015 by Amy Johnson Crow.

  According to family lore, my paternal 8th Great Grandfather, Benjamin Marion (Abt. 1670-1735) received the following letter:

 "Your damnable heresy will deserve more in this life than purgation by fire which awfully awaits you in the next-But in consideration of your youth and worthy connections, our mercy has condescended to commute your punishment to perpetual exile. You will, therefore, instantly prepare to quite your country forever, for if after 10 days from the date hereof, should you be found in any part of the Kingdom, your miserable body shall be consumed by fire, and your impious ashes scattered on the winds of Heaven.
 (Signed) Pere Rochelle"

 Benjamin and wife Judeth Baluet lived in Chaume, Poitou, France and were members of the French Protestant Church, known also as Huguenots. In 1685 Louis XIV declared Protestantism illegal and renounced the Edict of Nantes which had protected non-Catholics for many years.  Intense persecution began. It is said that over 400,000 French Protestants fled the country.

Emigration of the Huguenots
Public Domain-Wikimedia

 The Marions were among those who fled for their lives and their religion making their way from France to South Carolina. Records show that they arrived in about 1690 and the first record of Benjamin's many land purchases was in Goose Creek, South Carolina in 1704. Benjamin did well in his new country. By the time of his death in 1735 his estate including over 1,ooo acres of land was worth 6,851.75 pounds. 
 Not only did Benjamin Marion find a way to escape from persecution and make a new life of freedom for himself and his family, he paved the way for generations that followed him. Grandson, Francis Marion (1732-1795), better known as the "Swamp Fox" was a powerful leader in the Revolutionary War and helped pave the way for American Independence.

Are we kin? Please contact me. Together we can find our people.
Thanks so much for stopping by!


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