Huguenot Jo

Huguenot Jo uncovers some of the best-kept secrets of family history, and takes a look at the Huguenot contribution to world history and culture.  The website and blog analyse the role of religion in shaping society and the effect of religious doctrine on women in particular.  Fundamentalism and women is a burning issue in politics; but in the age of #Me Too, what does mainstream contemporary culture have to say about women?

Regular updates analyse how ideas, politics and world events shape a family, and how echoes of ancestral belief resonate through the centuries, profoundly affecting generations of descendants.

French names on the Huguenot Jo family tree include Bachelier, Duval, Finet, Godran, Honoré, Lessey, Rossignol, Saumon, Tillier and Vasseur.  These Huguenot families inter-married, and their commitment to Calvinism was distilled down into the Hall family. Reverend Alfred Barnabas Hall (1854-1947) was a Strict Baptist Minister in North Bedfordshire, and became my great-grandfather.

The Blog

The blog brings you regular updates from Huguenot Jo, and you can sign up to follow it by email (just enter your email address on the Blog page) or on Facebook.

New posts look at what our research reveals about genealogy, history, fundamentalism and the status of women - past and present.

Protestantism has a particular take on the role of women in society, and this stance has shaped our culture.  The "cast-out woman" is a recurrent theme in the blog - which explores what happened to my family within the wider story of the Huguenots, and teases out what our kind of religion did to us.



The About page tells you the origins of the blog, and highlights the Huguenot names of my ancestors.

The Bibliography offers links to any books or films I’ve mentioned in the blog - the links will take you on to detailed information about date of publication, publisher, summary of contents, and so on.  A separate section gives links to books which were essential to the background research.  The Resources section lists recommended websites and links to well-established organisations which can be of massive help to family historians.

Frequently Asked Questions has a stab at answering the most common questions about Huguenots, Strict Baptists and the blog.  The Gallery shows photos of locations around the UK with a Huguenot connection.


“…those electrifying moments in your blog posts when you bring personal experience to bear on an historical or cultural theme…”
~ Professor Jon Cook, University of East Anglia

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Recent posts

Egg hunt: seven Imperial Fabergé Eggs are missing

Russian master goldsmith Carl Fabergé (1846 – 1920) became a household name through his exquisite Easter eggs made of precious metals and opulent jewels. Fabergé was descended from Huguenots on his father’s side, and exemplified the Huguenot contribution to...

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How can I keep from singing?

Why they called me Joy I don’t know. When the midwife asked my mother for my name, she thought she heard the reply “Joey”.  If only.  They needed a boy, to inherit the family butcher business.  I was the last in a string of girls born to the extended family, six...

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“My two lovely girls”

February 22 is never a good day for me – it’s the anniversary of my mum’s death, and I ignore it at my peril. Better to acknowledge it than have things go wrong all day as the subconscious wreaks havoc. My mother’s was a life of anguish, but before her death –...

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Sanctuary – an ancient promise

Canterbury Cathedral is clearing its nave for a special contemplation of the meaning of Sanctuary. Such an event seldom happens in Canterbury Cathedral.  Churches and cathedrals have always been places of sanctuary, but it’s a particularly pertinent theme in...

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