The Plot Thickens

Pierre in Frankfurt

Pierre Chastain’s Huguenot Assistance Record. Photo courtesy of Institut fuer Stadtgeschichte Frankfurt a. M., Franzoesisch-reformierte Gemeinde 78, p. 57 (fol. 31r). (The Archives of the Frankfurt Institute of City History, French Reformed Church.)

The above is a photo of Pierre Chastain’s assistance record from Frankfurt, Germany in 1688 (click image to see full size). I would like to thank the good folks at The Archives of The Frankfurt Institute of City History for providing me with this photo and for allowing me to share it online.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I initially overlooked this rogue record because Chastain was misspelled. Well, as you can see, it was the original clerk in 1688 who misspelled the name. Seeing the actual record also clarifies one of the mysteries I was contemplating in that post. In August of 1688, Pierre had indeed left Marburg, Germany and was headed back to Geneva, Switzerland. Thousands of French refugees were continuing to pour into Germany via Switzerland in 1688, but Pierre, after arriving in Schwabendorf, Germany in July of 1687, turned around and headed in the opposite direction. Why? (Update December 2016: It turns out that some of my earlier speculation was correct. Pierre was returning to Geneva to retrieve his mother, Lucrèce Brottier (Dubrottier, Brotier), and bring her into Hesse. Lucrèce had initially stayed behind in France with her ailing husband, Elie Chastain, and two of her daughters. Once Elie died in December of 1686, she began her journey to join Pierre and her other children in Germany.)

Pierre Chastain

Pierre Chastain in Frankfurt, Germany in 1688. Photo courtesy of Institut fuer Stadtgeschichte Frankfurt a. M., Franzoesisch-reformierte Gemeinde 78, p. 57 (fol. 31r). (The Archives of the Frankfurt Institute of City History, French Reformed Church.)

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