1/6/2020 – Monthly Articles for Members Commence

Message from Neil Renaud. The Committee held another meeting/conversation using “Zoom” technology on 20th May, and one of the outcomes was to confirm the intention of sending monthly articles, accessed from previous issues of “Huguenot Times”, to Society Members. The first one went out today – “The Silkweavers of Spitalfields”, by Robert Nash (from Huguenot Times, no. 6 (October 2005). Arrangements are being made to convey this to Members who do not have email. This is another great reason to become a Member of the Society. It’s also a good reason for Members to start receiving things by email – it makes things so much easier for us.

1/6/2020 – The Story of Europe (continued)

Message from Neil Renaud. Alas, the third and final part of this series on SBS last Saturday did not cover the Huguenots. It was nevertheless fascinating, and quite thought provoking in its conclusions regarding the underlying factors of European “greatness”.

28/5/2020 – “La Cevenole”, as you’ve never heard it before

Message from Neil Renaud. Click on the link below. Scroll down a bit, and click on the arrow after “Ecouter le morceau”. If it works, enjoy the song.

24/5/2020 – The Story of Europe

Message from Neil Renaud. I watched a very interesting programme on SBS on Saturday afternoon – episode 2 of The Story of Europe, presented by Dr Christopher Clark, an Australian. It covered the religious history of Europe from about 300AD to 1648AD – dealt with the late Roman Empire, the Catholic Church, the Jews, the Orthodox Church, Irish monasteries and missionaries, the mixing of Celtic and Christian traditions, the Muslim Caliphate in Spain, the Crusades, and the Protestant Reformation – Luther and Calvin. I hope that in episode 3, next Saturday afternoon, it may cover the Huguenots, but I don’t know. You can actually watch the previous episodes on SBS on Demand. You need to create a login, but it’s free.

24/5/2020 – Searching for Huguenots in Ireland?

Message from Robert Nash, passed on from Dr Matthew Glozier. Dr Matthew Glozier, who would have given us a talk on Marshal Schomberg at our postponed AGM on 9th May, has announced the setting up of his website This has full details of his books on Huguenot soldiers which will be of interest to many of our members, particularly those with Irish Huguenot ancestry. They are: War, Religion & Service – Huguenot Soldiering 1685-1713; The Huguenot Soldiers of William of Orange & the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and Marshal Schomberg, 1615-1690. This website is definitely worth checking out.

24/5/2020 – Reply to de Berry Family …

Reply from Bob Wilson. Peter, one of the questions that you asked was whether there were any of the Berry Huguenots in Australia. I cannot answer that fully, but can add to Robert’s reply. As far as I can determine, the name Berry in Australia comes from a pioneering Scottish family. That family does not have Huguenot ancestry. They were from Fife, Scotland and settled in the Shoalhaven District in the 1820s with land grants from the Colonial Governor. The New South Wales town Berry is named after the first settler Alexander Berry. The South Australian town Berry is derived from an aboriginal word. Best of luck in your research.

24/5/2020 – Reply to de Berry Family …

Reply from Robert Nash (Secretary, HSA). Hello Peter Holland. The problem with the name Berry is that it is one of those names which occur on both sides of the Channel – it can be a French name but it can also be an English name. So the only way you can solve this problem is to do some genealogical spadework, working back from what you know. The name does occur in the Huguenot records for London: the Huguenot Surname Index CD-ROM (purchasable from our website) has it in volumes 33, 5, 11, 18, 21, 26, 32, 39 & 10. Those are all London, except for 5 which is Canterbury. However, my surname dictionaries tell me it is also a fairly common English name in Lancashire, for example. What you need to do is work backwards from this Keith de Berry and see what you can find out. Websites like and could be useful here, though in these corona-virus times access to public libraries and your local genealogical society is not possible. I couldn’t find any instances of ‘de Berry’ or ‘Deberry’ in the Huguenot records, which tempts me to think this could have been added at a later date by someone wishing to ‘Frenchify’ their name. Remember that the English are terrible snobs, and moving to Australia in the 19th cent gave people a fine opportunity to create a genealogy which would enhance their social status. On the other hand, it may be genuine. As a paid-up member of our society you have the right to contact me directly on email ( and I can help you further. All the best.

18/5/2020 – Reply to de Berry Family …

Reply from Neil Renaud. Peter, if I were researching this, I would want some more information – what was Betty’s surname/maiden name, what was the year and place of her marriage to Keith, do you have the names of Keith’s parents, was this the Reverend Canon Keith de Berry? Here’s a link, which may or may not be relevant.

15/5/2020 – de Berry Family: Can you help?

Message from Peter Holland. My mother’s sister Betty married Keith de Berry just before WW2 I think & they had 4 (now adult) children, 2 male & 2 female. The cousins live in England, but the parents died years ago. I do believe that Keith de Berry was of Huguenot stock but have no way to prove it. I travelled on the French Huguenot tour of 2010, and if I remember rightly, I caught a glimpse of the name Berry in the Loire valley region. Of course, the name meant little to other travellers, and we did not stop there alas, from my perspective. Have you heard of anybody called de Berry or Berry in Australia? Is so, I would be interested to get into contact with him or her.

13/5/2020 – New picture – what is it?

Message from Neil Renaud. You may have noticed in the last week or two a new graphic at the top of our web page. What is it, you ask? It comes from an engraving titled French Huguenot refugees landing at Dover in 1685, after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. It was done by Godefroy Durand (1832-1896), an illustrator who worked in France and Great Britain. It was published in The Graphic, a British weekly illustrated newspaper, on 24 October 1885, on the occasion of the bicentenary of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Here is the full picture.

12/5/2020 – What are you researching?

Message from Neil Renaud/Bob Wilson. We have recently been reading stories in the Huguenot Times on some of the lesser-discussed places where we find Huguenots, such as Hungary, Germany, Surinam and Jamaica. At the same time, some of you may be researching other lesser-known areas, which you’d like to tell us about. Bob Wilson, for example, has been researching the Falmouth Parish Registers during the current lockdown, and is finding some fascinating things – Huguenot ministers, and a Huguenot congregation, in Falmouth. Bob will report on these discoveries once his research is completed.

Meanwhile, do you have some research you’d like to tell us about? We can put it on this “News” tab to share with other Members, giving them the opportunity to perhaps offer comments or advice. If you’ve got something to share, just submit your message to Bob Wilson at, or 405/93 Brompton Road, Kensington NSW 2033, and we will ensure that it appears on our web site.

11/5/2020 – Who Do You Think You Are?

Message from Neil Renaud. Many of you will be fans of the series “Who Do You Think You Are?” You’ll be thrilled to know that the new Australian series starts NEXT WEEK. Here is the programme timetable:

7/5/2020 – Question – Should I challenge the Huguenot Society of America?

Message from Neil Renaud. Those of you who saw or have viewed my presentation on 8 February may recall that I commented on the following graphic found on the internet. I argued that these people are NOT Huguenots – they were recruited by the Prussian king in 1766 to help reform the Prussian taxation system (the Regie). They were not religious refugees at all. Now, I have just noticed that this graphic is prominently on the home page of the Huguenot Society of America. Should I inform the Huguenot Society of America of this error, or just “let it be”? Your thoughts are welcome – email:

2/5/2020 – Huguenot Times

Message from Neil Renaud. I received my Huguenot Times (May 2020 issue) yesterday and it is a great read – fantastic articles by Robert Wilson, Anne Both and Robert Nash. The book review indicates a book well worth reading. I can personally support Robert’s tips on Geneanet and the French Archives-Departementales – I have used both resources extensively in my own family research.

28/4/2020 – Impact of COVID-19

Message from Neil Renaud. You will all be aware of the impacts of the current COVID-19 pandemic on the world. Our Society has of course been similarly impacted – events and meetings cancelled until further notice. I’m in the process of setting up a facility for Society members to communicate their experiences with fellow members, via a blog, or weblog. I’ll keep you up to date with progress. Meanwhile, please follow this “News” site.