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Colonial Ancestors And Allied Families
ANNETTE FLEMING BEAUCHAMP
Printed in the U.S.A.
Mitchell-Fleming Printing Company, Inc
ANNETTE FLEMING BEAUCHAMP
The history of the Fleming family begins in the Eleventh century on the mainland of Europe. Inhabitants of Flanders were designated as the Flandrensis, and the name Fleming means “native of Flanders.” The Queen of Willian the Conqueror was Matilda a Flemish princess. Tradition is that Tunstan Flandrensis was one of the knights of the Norman Army and a relative of the Queen of William the Conqueror. At Furness Abbey, Lancashire, are two effigies of a Norman Knight of the 12th century, said to be the only one of the kind in England; one represents Sir John LeFleming who was a crusader.
During the middle ages, LeFleming was the usual designation of the name, variations Flemming, Flemans, Fleminge, Flemyuge and Phlemming.
In the 10th and 12th centuries, persecution of Protestant French and Dutch people by the Catholics became unbearable and after some of the massacres described in history of that period the ones who survived the punishment began their flight to England, Scotland and Ireland. They could only flee with the clothing they wore.
When they landed in a strange country their language was a mixture of French and low German and was called the Flemish language, the people being called Flemings. In Flanders the persecutions continued and massacres were not stopped, the most horrible was the St. Bartholmew in Paris in 1572. After this the refugees left in greater numbers taking with them skilled and intelligent persons and the countries who received them were greatly profited by their coming. They established dye works in England, manufactured felts, plates of brass for culinary utensil:introduced Dutch clocks, tapestry, the art of printing paper, mathematical instruments and in Scotland introduced manufacturing of serges and broadcloth. In some areas they showed the natives how to cultivate and raise more vegetables, thus making themselves useful and not a burden.
After they had become establish in their adopted land , many obtained grants of naturalization and by the beginning of the 16th
and 17th centuries they had heard of America and began to emigrate to America. During the years since they left Flanders they had changed the spelling of their names, or dropped a prefix, married into families of their accepted land, also some for their outstanding work had been given titles, as Earls, Barons and Lords. We find in 1228 a Charter dated February 14, bears the name of William Fleming. Stephen Flandrensis lived in England in the time of William the Conqueror. In Scotland, James Fleming son of the Earl of Wigton.
The ancient Flemings of Scotland lived in Biggar on the Clyde, an ancient town still existing. Consequently we can see that the Fleming name has come down through many years of changing, but all we descendants of the Huguenots who were refugees to these other countries. In over four hundred years we find that the change of home, change of names and employment has not changed the fact that many outstanding families are direct descendants of the Huguenots who came to America in early colonial days.
According to historians, there were four brothers who came to America before or early in 1700, name Flemans or Fleming. Samuel settled in Hunterdon County, New Jersey; Stephen settled in Monmouth County, New Jersey; Thomas Perth Amboy, New Jersey and John went to Virginia.
In my search for facts, find that Stephen (Flemans) Fleming, a farmer who lived in Monmouth County, New Jersey, was the progenitor of my father’s line and from records and history have established the fact that he came from Tyrone County, Ireland. I have not tried to connect my line with titles or any of the nobility of England, Ireland or Scotland but as one writer has said: “Generosity is a characteristic of the Flemings, of whom it may be said they know no such word as fail. They are men who hold on when others let go, who advance when others retreat, they are those who win in the end.”
The Slogan of the Huguenots from the beginning “An open Bible, freedom of conscience, political and religious liberty.”
They like the Quakers, came to America for religious freedom and throughout the United States you will find them in all denominations and churches.
Smiles – History of Huguenots
Baird – History of Huguenots
Monette – History of Picataway and Woodridge, New Jersey.
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