French Huguenots some made their way to Beaufort.
This etching shows how French Huguenots fled from Brittany and Normandy in small boats across the English Channel to England. (Image from

When Louis XIV began a policy of une foi, un loi, un roi - one faith, one law, one king - and revoked the Edict of Nantes on 22 October 1685, the large scale persecution of the Huguenots resumed. At least 250,000 French Huguenots fled to countries such as Switzerland, Germany, England, America, the Netherlands, Poland and South Africa, where they could enjoy religious freedom. Between 1618 and 1725, some 5000 to 7000 Huguenots reached the shores of America.

Besides those who settled in Florida in 1564 and South Carolina in 1679, about 1705 small French Huguenot colonies settled on the Pamlico River and on the Trent River, where Baron DeGraffenried’s colony found them in 1710 when he founded New Bern. 


Though it has been written, French Huguenots were not the first settlers of Beaufort. Carteret County and Beaufort settlers with roots in France, included Piver, Paquinet, Noe, Manney, Delamar, Midyette and Geffroy—all likely descendants of French Huguenots:

Piver: Though not documented, Peter Piver circa 1690-1758 may have been the first Piver to come to the Core Sound area. Over the generations, he, son Peter and grandson Peter acquired various plots of land including acreage west of what is now Moore Street. Peter Piver, Jr. (1717-1795) served under the command of Colonel Thomas Lovick during the 1747 Spanish attacks. Peter III was born about 1740. In 1795, Carteret County court minutes note that Peter Piver and wife Lydia sold half of Piver’s Island (seven acres) to Elijah Bell. Peter Piver and his descendants built many houses in Beaufort.

Paquinet: Michael Paquinet (1690-1772) was born in Paris, and died in Carteret County. Married in Carteret County about 1740, Michael and Mary Powell became parents of Mary, James, John, Charity, Isaiah, Jacob, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Rebecca  Paquinet. The 1772 Will of Michael Paquinet left his sons James, John and Isaiah his plantation, 100 acres on Cane Creek and 200 acres on Broad Creek. The Paquinet House circa 1769 (plaque), 221 Front Street, was likely built the first quarter of the 19th century (Early Domestic Architecture in Beaufort, NC, Summer Field Study 2011.)

Noe: In the early 1800s there were two Noe families - James Noe and Peter Noe, sons of Mary Cocks and James Noe, born in North Carolina about 1777. James G. Noe (1807-1868) married Mary "Polly" Paquinet in 1829; they were parents of Sarah H. Rachael James, John West, and Thomas D. Noe. 

In 1825, Peter (c.1800-c.1850) married Mary Dennis; they were parents of Mary Margaret, Isaac H., Peter, Isaiah Benjamin, and Charity Jane Noe. The James Noe House circa 1828 is located on 112 Moore Street; the first recorded deed for this lot sold at public auction, conveying the home to "James Noe, deceased."

Manney: Jean Magny left France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. He first settled in Rhode Island in 1686. About 1691 most of the Huguenots were forced to leave. Jean Magny settled briefly in Oxford, Mass, but soon moved to New York City. Magny, Manee, and Maney evolved to Manney. James Manney came to Beaufort from Poughkeepsie, NY. The Dr. James Manney House circa 1812 is located at the corner of Craven and Ann Streets. In 1848, Dr. Manney's son, Dr. James Lente Manney, married William Fulford's daughter, Julia Ann.

Delamar: 1663 Francois De Lamar, or De la Mar, born in Vignoc, Ille-et-Vilaine, Bretagne, France, immigrated about 1690, died in 1713 in Pasquotank County, NC. Some of his descendants came to Beaufort from New Bern. Thomas Delamar (1794-1863) married Hannah Longest; their son Christopher Francis Delamar was born in Beaufort in 1823. The Gibble-Delamar House, circa 1866, at 217 Turner Street, built by Jacob Lyon Gibble, was inherited by daughter Helen Hughes Gibble, who married William Thomas Delamar in 1901. (W.T. Delamar was the son of Selden Dawson Delamar and Cora Nelson Dickenson.)

Midyett: Midyett families, originally from Normandy, France, were early inhabitants of Bodie Island and the Outer Banks in the late 1600s. "Many Midyett girls married sailors off Black Beard's three ships. The name was spelled different ways: Midyett, Midyette, Midgett, Midgette, but no matter how you spell it, they all came from Matthew Midyett who landed at Bodie Island, NC around 1600. He was a ship captain and was shipwrecked off the coast of the outer banks."--Donald Midyett. Midyetts helped start the US Coast Guard by establishing life-saving stations on the Outer Banks. Some of the family found their way to Beaufort by 1850.

Geffroy: Malachi R. Geffroy, husband of Nannie Pasteur Davis, had roots back to France then Canada. The M.R. Geffroy House circa 1885 is located in the third block of Ann Street.


Beaufort resident David DuBuisson* wrote: 
"The Huguenots in the U.S. quickly dispersed and assimilated. Many of them had already assimilated in English or Dutch or German societies before crossing the Atlantic. As a religious denomination, the Huguenot church essentially disappeared under the relentless persecution of Rome. So, with a few exceptions, by the time they reached America Huguenots were generally affiliated with the Dutch Reformed (NY), Presbyterian or Anglican (VA, SC) churches. As they spread out through the colonies, they did not do so as a coherent group, but rather as individual families colonizing mainly with the English. This would explain why there would be no recognizable 'Huguenot colonies' in, say, North Carolina, though there would be individual families."

*David DuBuisson is an indirect descendant of brothers Henry Martyn Baird and Charles Washington Baird - both Huguenot historians. In 1885 Charles W. Baird, D.D. (1828-1887), Presbyterian minister and historian, wrote the History of the Huguenot Emigration to America. The Baird brothers contributed perhaps two-thirds of the Huguenot scholarship in English that exist today. Their mother was Fermine Amaryllis Ophelia DuBuisson Baird. Fermine was David DuBuisson's great-great aunt, the older sister of his great-great grandfather, George Washington DuBuisson.