Trabue #716

Antoine Trabue (1668-1724)

Born in France.  Arrived in Virginia in 1700 and

Magdalene Verrueil (1685-1731)

Born in Netherlands or France.  Arrived in Virginia in 1700.

Trabue #716

The most useful published materials that I have found in researching this family are the following books, none of which are in print at this time:

  • Harper, Lillie DuPuy VanCulin (ed.). Colonial Men and Times, containing the Journal of Daniel Trabue: Some Account of his Ancestry, Life and Travels in Virginia and the Present State of Kentucky during the Revolutionary Period, the Huguenots, Genealogy, with Brief Sketches of the Allied Families (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Innes & Sons) 1916.  This book contains infomation on both the Trabue family (Antoine Trabue, 1667-1724) and the Dupuy family (Bartholomew Dupuy, 1562-1743).  The manuscript was willed to the Wisconsin Historical Society by L. C. Draper, a grandson of Daniel Trabue.  The published manuscript was edited by Harper for spelling and punctuation.
  • Dupuy, B. H. (Rev.). The Huguenot Bartholomew Dupuy and His Descendants (Louisville, Kentucky: Courier-Journal Job Printing Co.) 1908.
  • Yates, Julie Trabue and Charles C. Trabue IV. The Trabue Family in America: 1700-1983 (Baltimore, Maryland: Gateway Press, Inc.) 1983, 515 pages, indexed. This volume lists over 7,000 direct descendants and also spouses. Included are pertinent dates and places of births, deaths, and marriages of both. Some biographical sketches are given when available. Some of the allied families are: Smith, Guerrant, Dupuy, Moseley, Bryant, Watkins, Haskins, Clay, Minter, Sublett, Wooldridge, Willson and Major.

Another helpful book is Westward into Kentucky, edited by Chester Raymond Young (The University Press of Kentucky, 1981), which is still available.

Map of France and surrounding countries

Antoine Trabue (Trabuc) was born about 1667/68 in Montauban, Haute-Garonne, Midi-Pyrénée, France.  There are several places named Montauban in France[1]Antoine was a native of the city situated on the Tarn River in Southern France, which is an important locale in the history of the French Huguenots (Protestants) around the time of the Reformation.  In 1560 the bishops and magistrates of this town embraced Protestantism, expelled the monks and demolished the cathedral.  Ten years later it became one of the four Huguenot strongholds under the Peace of Saint-Germain.  As such it formed a small independent republic that was granted certain special freedoms of religion when the Edict of Nantes was enacted.  It was the headquarters of the Huguenot rebellion of 1621 and successfully withstood an 86-day siege by Louis XIII.  It did not submit to royal authority until after the fall of La Rochelle in 1629, when its fortifications were destroyed by Cardinal Richelieu[2].  After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, the Huguenots again suffered persecution.

City view: Montauban, Haute-Garonne, Midi-Pyrénée, France

City view: Montauban, Haute-Garonne, Midi-Pyrénée, France

For Antoine, as a young man of seventeen or eighteen years, the Revocation meant that he would have no religious or civic freedom so long as he remained in France.  Since the Huguenots who remained in France were subject to arrest and persecution, it is probable that he took flight as soon as possible, and since he was being sought be agents of both the king and the Catholic Church, he would have had to travel in great secrecy.  The closest French border to freedom would have been the frontier with Switzerland.  Both the Spanish and Italian borders are closer to Montbautan, but both of these countries were strongly Catholic.  It was over three hundred miles from Montbautan to the Swiss border and it is likely that there were certain established routes with some “safe houses” along the way, secured by Frenchmen who were sympathetic to the Reformers.  Many years later, Daniel Trabue, a grandson of Antoine, wrote in his Journal:

I understand that my grandfather, Anthony Trabue, had an estate, but concluded he would leave it if he could possibly make his escape. He was a very young man, and he and a nother young man took a cart and loaded it with wine and went on to sell it to the furthermost Guard. And when night came they left their horses and Cart and made their escape to an Inglish ship, which took them in. And they went over to ingland, leaving their estates, native country, their relations, and everything for the sake of Jesus who Died for them.

It is unlikely that Antoine went immediately to England as Daniel states, and the first record of his travels is in Berne, Switzerland, on 19 Jul 1687, almost two years after the Revocation.  While in Switzerland, Antoine was given a document that was a certificate or letter of introduction testifying as to his good character.  It was given to him at Lausanne, Switzerland on 15 Sep 1687 and finally attests to his presence at The Hague, Holland, in April 1688.

The document that Antoine carried was written in ink on parchment or vellum, and apparently Antoine carried it until he arrived in America.  Antoine’s his 2nd great grandson, Macon Trabue, eventually inherited the document, and it is now preserved in the Battle Abbey Museum of the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, Virginia[3].  Julie Yates, during the course of reseaching her book on the Trabue family (cited above), was able to obtain a copy of the document, with the admonition that she could quote from it but not publish it in its entirety.  She reports that it is about about 4 by 8 inches and is crowded with fine script with several gaps where it is worn through, but the ink was not as faded as one would expect.  It is written in 17th century French, and the various signatures seem to have been added at random on the page.   Yates summarizes the contents of the document as follows:

“It states that Antoine _______uc, a saddler nineteen years of age and a native of Montbautan, of good appearance with chestnut hair obscuring a small scar over his left eye, has always professed the Reformed religion, as do his parents, and that he has not commited any known scandal.  It concludes, We recommend him to divine providence and to the cordial charity of our brothers.  It was signed and probably written by Vernhess, former minister of the church at Montbautan, doubtless an old friend of the Trabuc family, and now as much an exile as was Antoine.  It was also signed by J Combe, minister at Lausanne.  The next signature is that of Bevin, pastor of the church of _______ in Languedoc, southern France, who was no doubt another refugee.  Antoine was seen at Berne the 19th of July 1687 by Nicholas, min., and was seen at Zurich, Switzerland on the 29th of July, 1687 by Pelorie, pastor at Montjoux in Dauphine.  He was assisted at Shaffhausen, about ten miles from Zurich, on the 30th of July, 1687, but the signature is obliterated by one of the worn spots in the parchment.  He was next assisted on the 17th of March, 1688 by David Viem Desire and finally Johann Pastor _______ assisted at The Hague, Holland, in April 1688.” (p. 8)

Antoine probably spent several years in Holland before eventually migrating to England and then to the Virginia frontier in 1700.  He may have married his first wife while in Holland.  There are confusing contradictions among various sources on the timing of Antoine’s marriage(s) and the name(s) of his wives.  According to some sources, Antoine Trabue married Magdalene Verrueil in Holland in 1699, the year prior to their departure for Virginia, although documentary sources to substantiate this theory are lacking.  Some previous accounts have also identified his wife as Magdalene Flournoy, daughter of Jacob Flournoy[4].  This supposition has been disproved, and it is now unacceptable to the Huguenot Society[5].  The most probable scenario is that Antoine was married in Holland prior to his arrival in Virginia, but not to Magdalene.  Many researchers suppose that his first wife’s name was Katherine [surname unknown], and that she died shortly after their arrival in Virginia.  This theory is supported by the land records in Virginia, which include a grant to Antoine dated 18 Mar 1717 of 522 acres on Swift Creek under the headrights of 11 persons, including Katherine Trabue, who is presumed to be his first wife[6].  After Katherine died, Antoine and Magdalene Verrueil were likely married around 1703 in Virginia.

Magdalene‘s father, Moise Verrueil, was a French merchant at Rouen and his wife, Magdalene Prodhomme, was born at The Hague in about 1663.  Magdalene’s mother was Dutch.  Her father was from the canton of Berne, Switzerland, and her grandfather was a minister of Lausanne.  Moise Verrueil (1651-about 1701) was the tenth child of Jean Vereul (1606/7-about 1691) and Madeleine Du Fay of Rouen (1612-1688).  They were married in 1633.  Magdalene‘s mother, Magdalene Prodhomme (Prodon), was born between 1650-1660 at The Hague, daughter of Magdalene Tevening (about 1633-1721) and Nicolas Louis Prud-‘Homme (1620-before 1662), who were married on 18 Sep 1653 (Walloon Church, Den Haag, Zuid) and Nicolas Louis Prud-‘Homme (Prodon, 1620 Berne-before 1662) and died after 1722.  She married Jacob Flournoy on 19 Dec 1703 after Moise had died.  Moise and Magdalene had arrived in Virginia on the Peter and Anthony in 1700 with their five children.

Therefore, the connection between Magdalene Verrueil and Jacob Flournoy is that after Moise Verrueil died in about 1701, Magdalene Prodhomme married Jacob Flournoy in 1703, making Magdalene Verrueil the step-daughter of Jacob, and she may in fact have adopted the Flournoy name prior to her marriage to Antoine Trabue.  Some sources report that Magdalene was the child of Jacob Flournoy’s first marriage and that she married Antoine Trabue before coming to Virginia (1699?), and that is why she was not listed with Flournoy’s wife and children when they emigrated.  However, that would mean that Magdalene married Antoine at the age of 14 or so.  This is not impossible, but it is more likely that she adopted her step-father’s name after his marriage to her mother and married Antoine as his second wife at closer to 19 years of age.

Manakin Episcopal Church is located at 985 Huguenot Trail. This congregation’s history dates back to 1701 when the French Huguenots first settled in the area after fleeing persecution from their country. On the property, you will find the church in use today, the old church dating back to 1895 made out of salvaged materials of a church built in 1789, and a monument in dedication to the original French Huguenots that settled in the area. This property is on the National Register of Historic Places listed as Huguenot Memorial Chapel and Monument. Today, Route 288 and Route 711 run about a mile east of the former town. In that location, the Huguenot Society maintains the 1895 Huguenot Memorial Chapel and Monument (the fourth church building constructed on the site). It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Manakin Episcopal Church is located at 985 Huguenot Trail. This congregation’s history dates back to 1701 when the French Huguenots first settled in the area after fleeing persecution from their country. On the property, you will find the church in use today, the old church dating back to 1895 made out of salvaged materials of a church built in 1789, and a monument in dedication to the original French Huguenots that settled in the area. This property is on the National Register of Historic Places listed as Huguenot Memorial Chapel and Monument. Today, Route 288 and Route 711 run about a mile east of the former town. In that location, the Huguenot Society maintains the 1895 Huguenot Memorial Chapel and Monument (the fourth church building constructed on the site). It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1700, about 700-800 French Huguenot religious refugees on four ships arrived at Jamestown from London, where many Huguenots had settled as refugees.  Among these were several interconnected families from whom we are descended (including the Trabue, Dupuy, Levillaine and Verrueil families).  These religious and political refugees who had sacrificed and endured so much to gain freedom of worship lost no time in establishing their own church at the spot where they settled, Manakintown.  In order to aid these Manakintown Huguenots, on 5 Dec 1700 the Virginia House of Burgesses passed:

An act making the French refugees inhabiting at Manikin towne and the parts adjacent a distinct parish by themselves, and exempting them from the payment of publick and county levyes for seaven year[7].

In early 1701, under the leadership of Benjamin de Joux, who had been ordained by the Bishop of London and sent as minister to the Manakintown Huguenots, they built the first church at Manakintown.  The church was probably located near the river about half-way between the two creeks now known as Bernard’s Creek and Norwood Creek, which formed the boundaries of the Huguenot grant.  It was reported to have been a small octagonally shaped building, and at the time £200 was set aside to construct a larger building.  This original church was replaced by the larger building in 1710.

Manakin Town, upstream of Richmond (Source: Library of Congress, 1751 Fry-Jefferson Map)

Manakin Town, upstream of Richmond (Source: Library of Congress, 1751 Fry-Jefferson Map)

In general, these refugees were merchants and artisans without farming and other skills that would have been useful on the Virginia frontier of the early 18th century.  Although the Crown had offered the French land in Lower Norfolk County (the region around Jamestown), the governor of the colony and William Byrd[8] instead offered them a site around the abandoned settlement of the Monacan Indians.  The site was located about 15 miles above the falls of the James in the Piedmont region of Virginia (present-day Richmond, Virginia).  There a colony was formed on a grant of ten thousand acres of land, stretching for five miles along the south side of the river.  Byrd and the governor intended to use the French settlement as a buffer, and they thought they would be easier to control apart from the English.  The terrain was hilly and largely wooded, and shipping of agricultural products, such as tobacco, was impractical.  About 10 miles west of the fall line of the James River at present-day Richmond is a basin of coal, which was one of the earliest mined in the Virginia Colony, and many Scots settlers with mining skills began to mine this resource in the 18th century.  This coal (which was mined up until the early 20th century) turned out to be the greater natural resource of the region, and the area was ultimately developed through coal mining and railroads.  The falls area subsequently developed into the settlement of Richmond, Virginia and capital of the state.

The site of the Huguenot settlement at Manakintown is located west of Richmond in what is today Powhatan County, Virginia.  The first years on the frontier were harsh.  Of the 390 French who settled at Manakintown, only 150 still lived there by 1705.  They were extremely isolated, short of supplies and initially ill-suited to carve an agricultural settlement from the frontier.  Many of them died in the first year.  By 1750 the Huguenots had deserted Manakintown.

Huguenot Bridge over James River, upstream of Richmond and downstream from Manakin-Sabot Source: Virgina Department of Transportation, Huguenot Bridge reconstruction (photo by Trevor Wrayton, VDOT)

Huguenot Bridge over James River, upstream of Richmond and downstream from Manakin-Sabot (Virginia Department of Transportation, Huguenot Bridge reconstruction – photo by Trevor Wrayton, VDOT)

By 1705 many French settlers lived on farms outside town in the English manner or had migrated to other parts of Virginia.  The French became quickly established and assimilated in colonial Virginia.  Within a generation they adopted the English language, purchased Negro slaves (when they could afford it) and intermarried with many planter families of English descent in the area and to the west.  Many of the Huguenot descendants migrated west into the Piedmont and across the Appalachian Mountains through Kentucky and Tennessee into the west, as did English and other European settlers, as well as south along the coast, with some ultimately settling in Texas.

"Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers through the Cumberland Gap" (George Caleb Bingham, oil on canvas, 1851–52)

“Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers through the Cumberland Gap” (George Caleb Bingham, oil on canvas, 1851–52)

My French Huguenot ancestors followed this general pattern of migration from Virginia, and they were among the earliest settlers of Kentucky (then a part of Virginia) in the 1780s and later were early settlers of Missouri.  In the 1780s, many of these families crossed the mountains and joined the historic migration through the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky on the Wilderness Road blazed by the frontiersman Daniel Boone in 1775.  The migrants were drawn west by the promise of rich soil, and Virginians and others poured through the passes in such numbers that by 1800 the population of Kentucky had jumped in a mere quarter century from almost nothing to 220,000.  Within another generation it was clear that Kentucky itself was not enough to hold the land-hungry farmers, and with hardly a pause many of them moved to Missouri and then spread throughout the West.  This diaspora exemplifies one of the most important trends in American history, and our ancestors were very much a part of the prevailing trends.

Westward into Kentucky: The Narrative of Daniel Trabue (cover)

Westward into Kentucky: The Narrative of Daniel Trabue (cover)

The descendants of Antoine Trabue are fortunate in that one of his grandsons, Daniel Trabue (1760-1840), at the end of his life, wrote a journal recalling (sometimes imperfectly) his life and times as an early Kentucky settler.  He also recorded from memory a bit of what he had heard about how his grandfather and grandmother escaped France (two separate incidents).  The following passage from the Journal of Daniel Trabue (grandson of Antoine Trabue) recounts early family traditions regarding Antoine and his escape from France (all the original misspellings and grammatical mistakes are left intact):

Memorandum made by me D[aniel] Trabue in the year of 1827 of a Jurnal of events from memory and Tradition

I was born March 31, 1760, as per Register, in chesterfield county, Virginia, 15 miles from the city of Richmond. My Progenitors was from France. My Grandfather Anthony Trabue Fled from France in the year of our lord 1687 at a time of a bloody persicution against the Desenters by the Roman Catholicks…

The law against the Desenters was very Rigid at that time. Who Ever was known to be one, or Evin suspected-if they would not swear to suite [visit] the priest-their lives and estates was forfited, and they put to the most shameful. and cruel Tortue and Death. And worse than all, they would not let any One move from the kingdom. Guards and troops was stationed all over the kingdom to stop and ketch any that might run away.

At Every place where they would expect those persons might pass, there were Guards fixed and companys of Inquisetors and patrolers going on every road, and every other place, Hunting for these Hereticks, as they called them.

And where their was one that made their escape, perhaps their was hundreds put to the most shamefull Tortue and Death and their estates confiscated. When the Decree was first passed, a number of the people thougt it would not be put in execution so very hastely; but the priests, Friers and Inquseters was very intent for their estates, and they rushed quick…

My Mother was a Daughter of John Jams Dupuy. His father left France about the same time. The circumstance was he was an officer in the army and he went home. And before he got home he had heard that his wife was turned Herriteck and when he got home she] told him all a bout the matter. She said she believed that [th]e catholicks was rong and that she had experienced the true [re]ligion of Jesus christ and she could not renunce it. She said the priest had been to see her and threattened her very sverly and told her he would be their again the next Day and if she Did not renounce her sentement and swear thus and so they would put her to the cruelest Death that they could think off.

That night she thought she was in a Dreadfull condition. She was looking for her husband at home but was not certain he would come and if he Did come she Did not know how he would act with her as he was a Catholick himself. She fasted that day and prayed to god almighty to Direct her what to Do. She did not ceace to pray all night.

The next day she saw the priest and the inquisitors coming. She had time to fall on her knees a minute or two before they entered her house. She prayed to jesus christ the might God to be with her in this time of great need and strengthen her and Direct her what to Do. She said it came to her not to Deny her saviour.

She Jumpt up and meet them at the Door and told them to come in. They asked her if she would now Do what the wanted her to Do yesterday. She said she had not altered her oppinion. They told her she was a fool, she was Deluded by the Devil, and they would kill her as she was not fit to live any longer, and she would go to the Devil instantly. She said if they despised her and Cast her off and put her to Death her Dependence was in Jesus her saviour, who would receive her soul in heavin.

They told her again she was a fool and a herytick (and many other names they called her), and that the way they was a going to serve her was to pull off all her finger nails with pinchers. And they said, “Look out at the door,” that their was a big fat wild horse. “We will tye your hair of your head to that horse’s tail and let him go. And then what will become of you?”

She said, “I am a lone woman. You can Do so if you plese. I cannot help myself.”

One of them said, “Let her alone to Day. It is thought her husband will come home to Day and he will tell her better.” So they went away and left her.

The same Day her Husband came home. She told him all that had passed. He loved her much. She was a hansom young woman-newly marryed and no child. My g-grandfather Dupuy was a strict Catholick but thought this persecution was rong, and that he would take her over to ingland and leave her their untill times would alter, and he himself would come back and enjoy his estate as he was rich. It was said their petitions going Every Day to the king to alter the Decree. My g-grandfather thought the Decree would be altered. He imediately got a suit [of] men’s cloaths that would fit his wife, give her a sword; and she passed as his servant in a man’s regimental cloathing a sword by her side.

So they went to ingland.

Daniel Trabue may not have been unaware of the fact that Antoine Trabue traveled first to Switzerland and Holland before finally arriving in England.  He wrote his journal in the 1820s, while living in the house he built in Columbia, Kentucky (the town he founded), and he was in his sixties at the time.  When Daniel was born in 1760, his grandfather Antoine had been dead for thirty-six years.  Daniel’s father, John James Trabue, was only two years old when his father Antoine Trabue died, and Daniel was only 15 years old when his father died.  It is likely, therefore, that some of Daniel’s recollections or recollections of his father that were passed on by word of mouth could be faulty.  However, many of the stories are generally are supported by the facts we have from other sources.

Daniel Trabue also recounts the story, which must have been a family legend of sorts, that the family’s name was “Straboo” prior to their migration to Virginia, and that the name stuck after it was incorrectly transcribed by an official who recorded the details of the settlers and their lands.  According to his Journal:

My Grand Father’s name was Anthony Straboo, but Colonel Byrd [of Virginia], set in [it] Down Anthony Trabue, and so we write our names to this day.  My Grandfather brought a certificate with him wrote on parchment from France that was spelt Straboo as well as I can recolect.

These words of Daniel Trabue concerning the spelling of the family name in France have been quoted in many genealogical books and journals over the intervening decades and are now deeply imbedded in family lore.  Their accuracy is subject to question.  In 1980, the Directeur des Services d’Archives de Tarn at Garonne furnished several photocopies to George O’Bryan Trabue[9] of the alphabetic lists of marriages and baptisms in Protestant parishes of Montbautan, including several references to the “Trabuc” families in the 17th century.  The documents are incomplete and give only reference numbers to more detailed information[10].  However, Julie Trabue Yates was able to obtain verbatim records and found eight items related to the families of Andre and Antoine Trabuc.  The following was reproduced in her book in French and English:

5 juillet 1657. Un fils de Andre TRABUC brassier de Barres et de Jeanne SEMAINE maries ne le 5e juillet dernier parrin Antoine ALQUINE marine Anne de CALBET.  Impose nom Antoine. (5 Jul 1657. A son of Andre Trabuc, brewer from Barres, and Jean Semaine, married.  Born the 5th of July.  Godfather, Antoine Alquie, Godmother, Anne de Calbet.  Name given, Anthony).

Yates points out that this is not necessarily the record of our ancestor (the date seems to be off by about a decade), and should not be considered as such unless further documentation is found.  In any case, it is clear from this record (and others) that the original name in France was “Trabuc”, not “Straboo”.  The names of Trabuc and Trabue have the same pronunciation (the final “c” being silent in the French language), and it is understandable that Antoine’s name was registered as “Trabue” upon his arrival in Virginia.

Antoine Trabue died 29 Jan 1724 at Manakintown, Henrico County, Virginia.  A record of his death is contained in the register of the Huguenot Church at Manakintown, King William Parish.  His will was presented in court by Magdalene Verrueil (Trabue) on 4 May 1724[11], but the will and the will book in which it was recorded have not survived.

The children of Antoine Trabue and Magdalene Verrueil (those who lived to maturity) are listed as follows:

  1. Jacob (about 1705) and died about Sep 1767.  In 1731/32 he married Mary Wooldridge (1712-1789), daughter of John Woodridge (1678-1757) and his wife, Martha:  Joseph, John, David, William, Elizabeth, Marie, Joshua and Daniel.  Jacob built Trabue Tavern in 1730 (later Trabue Plantation), an historic landmark now located at 11940 Old Buckingham Road in Midlothian, Chesterfield County, Virginia.  Descendants of Jacob owned and occupied the home for more than two centuries before it was sold out of the Trabue family in 1956.
  2. Anthony (Jr.) (1708/9-1743) married Clark [surname unknown] (Vermeil?)[12] in 1736.  Children: Anne Caroline and John.  After Anthony’s death, Clark had three more children with James Bryant: Marie, Thomas and Martha.
  3. Magdalene (1715-1787) married (1st) Pierre Guerrant (1697-1750), son of Daniel Guerrant and Marie L’Orange. Children of Magdalene and Pierre: John, Esther, Peter, Magdalene, Jane, Judith and Daniel.  In 1756 she married (2nd) Thomas Smith.  Children of Magdalene and Thomas: James and Martha.
  4. Judith, (1717/8-1809) married (1st) Stephen Watkins, son of Henry and Mary Watkins.  Children: Marie, Judith, Joseph, Benjamin, John and David.  Judith married (2nd) [given name unknown] Dupuy (no children from this marriage).
  5. John James Trabue, see below.

After Antoine’s death, Magdalene Verrueil married Pierre Chastain and had no other children.  In her will dated 2 Jun 1729 (proved May 1731), which survives, she distributed many pieces of jewelry, silk clothing, furniture and other articles to her daughters, Magdalene and Judith and her estate, Negroes, stock and other articles to her sons, Jacob, Anthony and John James.  Her will displayed substantial wealth for the early eighteenth century.

The Will of Magdalene Verrueil Trabue Chastain is transcribed as follows (recorded in the Will Book from 1725-1738):

First, I resign my soul to God Almighty, from where it came, in hopes of a forgiveness of all my sins, and a joyful resurrection; and secondly, my body to be decently buried after my decease, as my executor shall see fit.  Item: I leave and bequeath unto my well beloved son, Anthony Trabue, my negro woman, Betty, and her child, Jenny, for him and his heirs, forever; my riding horse called Spark with a man saddle and bridle belonging to it; one of my gold rings marked “M.C.” the large Psalm Book, a silver seal, and ten barrels of corn, and my desire is, that he may be freely virtue of this my present will and testament.  Item: To my well beloved daughter, Magdalene Trabue, I leave and bequeath my cupboard, my side saddle, one box, iron, my black silk suit of clothes, and my calico, which is not yet made up, one gold ring with red stones, one pair of gold bobs, my small Psalm Book, my silver girt buckle, one silver bodkin, and thimble with my spectacles.

Item: To my well beloved daughter, Judith Trabue, I leave and bequeath my chest, my red suit of clothes, my striped silk lined with red silk, a Dutch iron, one gold ring marked “M.T”, one pair of gold bobs with small red stones, one pair of silver buckles, and one bodkin.  Item: To my well beloved son, John James Trabue, I leave and bequeath one chain, gold ring, and a silver teaspoon.

Item: I will and bequeath the remainder part of my clothes to be equally divided betwixt my two mentioned daughters.  Item: I will and desire that my daughter Magdalene be boarded at my son, Jacob Trabue’s, her brother, or at her godmother’s, Elizabeth Dutois, which herself shall like best. And I will and desire that my daughter, Judith, be placed or boarded with her brother Jacob, he being willing to it; if not, with her Aunt Mary Flournoy.  Item: I will and bequeath the remainder part of my estate after debts and other demands are paid and satisfied, to my son Jacob Trabue.  Item: I will and ordain and constitute my beloved brother Francis Flournoy to be executor and administrator of this my present last will and testament. In witness thereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this second day of June, 1729.

John James Trabue, born in 1722 and died in 1775[13], both in Chesterfield County, Virginia.  His father, Antoine, died when he was two years old, and his mother died when he was nine years old.  We have no record of who raised him between about 1731 and the date of his marriage.  In 1744 in Chesterfield County, he married Olympia Dupuy, who was born 12 Nov 1729 and died in 1822 at Woodford, Kentucky at the home of their son, Edward Trabue.  She is the daughter of James Dupuy and Susanna Levilain.  After the death of her husband, Olympia and quite a number of the large Trabue and Dupuy families moved from Chesterfield County, Virginia, to Kentucky.

The children of John James Trabue and Olympia Dupuy are listed as follows[14] (all born in Chesterfield County, Virginia):

  • James, born 29 Jan 1746 and died 23 Dec 1803 in Kentucky.  In 1782 he married Jane Porter.  According to family tradition, James was a surveyor with Daniel Boone[15].  He later served in Lord Dunmore’s War[16] as a Lieutenant under Col. George Rogers Clark[17] (the brother of William Clark of the “Lewis & Clark Expedition” of 1803-06).  In Jun 1780, he was captured when Ruddles Fort was taken by the English and Indians under Colonel Byrd, and according to family legend, he was imprisoned by the British at Montreal, but afterwards made his escape.  James Trabue and Jane Porter had six children: Robert, James, Elizabeth, Martha, Mary and Judith.
  • Magdelene (1748-1815) married Edward Clay, who was uncle of Henry Clay.  They moved to North Carolina, where Edward was a large landowner and owned a considerable number of slaves.  In North Carolina, Edward Clay served in the legislature, but was expelled for a crime for which he may have been “framed”.  Children: Sarah, John, Samuel, Mary, Phoebe, Edward, Judith, Frances, Martha and James.
  • Phoebe Trabue (1750-1767)
  • Jane (1752-1802) married Joseph Minter (1754-1814).  14 children: James (died young), Nancy, Elizabeth, Judith, Jane, Sarah, John, William, Martha, Joseph, Tabitha, Anthony, James and Jeremiah.
  • John (1754-1780) married Margaret Pierce.  John served in the Revolutionary War and was a deputy surveyor of Kentucky lands under John May.  He died of an illness at Logan’s Fort, now Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky.  They had no children.
  • William (1756-86) married Elizabeth Haskins (1759-1825).  He served in the Revolutionary War as a Sergeant in the Virginia Line and was captured at Charleston, South Carolina, but escaped.  Children: Nancy Ann and Phoebe.
  • Mary (1758-1792) married Lewis Sublett (III).  Lewis served in the Revolutionary War and was at the siege of Yorktown and the surrender of Lord Cornwallis.  Lewis and Mary moved to Fayette (now Woodford) County, Kentucky in 1783.  Shortly after their arrival, he, with thirty other men, went to the relief of the inmates of Bryant’s Station[18], which was attacked by the Indians.  On their arrival the Indians had retreated, whom they pursued, and gaining the first sight of them on the opposite bank of Licking River, they crossed the stream, dismounted and attacked them, but were badly defeated.  In their flight they lost their horses, several officers and a number of men.  Their children were William, James, Lewis (IV), John T. and Frances.  All four sons served in the War of 1812, and the youngest, John, died in battle.  After Mary died, Lewis married Sarah Samuel (1794) was had four more children: Abraham, Ann Maria and Elizabeth and Samuel.
  • Daniel (1760-1840) married Mary (“Polly”) Haskins.  As a result of his journal[19], his life and times are probably familiar to a larger number of Trabues than any other member of the clan.  Daniel served in the Kentucky expedition under Col. George Rogers Clark (see footnote under the heading of his brother James (above).  At only seventeen years of age, he joined the Virginia militia commanded by Col. George Rogers Clark and joined an expedition to capture the British fort, Kaskaskia, on the Mississippi River.  After that, Daniel served in units commanded by Col. Robert Haskins[20] and Gen Lafayette.  Daniel was at the surrender of Yorktown on 19 Oct 1781 and gives a graphic account of the battle and surrender, together with a description of the fort there, in his journal (discussed above).  After the Revolution, in 1785, Daniel moved his family to Kentucky, where he settled on Greer’s Creek, Fayette County.  Children: Robert, John, Sallie, Mary (“Polly”), Judith, Daniel, James, Martha and Presley.
  • Edward (1762-1814) married (1st) Martha (“Patsy”) Haskins (children: Mary, Elizabeth, Nancy and George Washington) and (2nd) Jane E. Clay (children: Charles Clay, John E., Martha Green, Jane E., Cynthia Ann, Matilda Olymphia, Prince Edward and Susanna Dupuy).  He enlisted at the age of sixteen and was a soldier in the Revolution.  He fought at the battle of Guilford Court House in North Carolina.  After the war, he and his wife relocated from Virginia to Kentucky, and they there built for themselves a handsome home in Woodford County, near the Kentucky River, which still stands.  Edward’s mother, Olympia, died there at the age of 93 years.
  • Martha (“Patsy”) (1764) married Josiah Woolridge.  Children: Samuel, Mary (“Polly”), Martha (“Patsy”), Daniel, Seth, Levi, Claiborne, Chastain, Edward, Josiah, Stephen and Livingston.
  • Stephen (1766-1833) married Jane Haskins (1767-1833).  Children: Rebecca, Haskins Dupuy, Aaron, William, Chastain Haskins, Edward, Frances, Elizabeth and John James.
  • Elizabeth (1768-1835) married Fenelon Willson (1768-1838).  Children: John Slater, Leatilia and Olympia.
  • Judith (1769-1817) married John Major (Jr.) (1764-1821).  The descendants of Judith and John (Jr.) moved to Illinois.  Children: William, John, Joseph, Benjamin, Chastine and Elizabeth Ann.
  • Samuel (1770-77)
  • Susanna Trabue (1772-1862) married Oliver Thomas Major; 3 children (see below).

In case you missed it: four sons of John James Trabue and Olympia Dupuy: William, Daniel, Edward, and Stephen, married four daughters of Robert Haskins and his wife Elizabeth Hill: Elizabeth, Mary, Martha (or Patsy), and Jane Haskins.  The families of John James Trabue and Robert Haskins had a close relationship over a period of many years.

Also, two daughters: Susanna and Judith, married two sons of John Major[21]: Oliver Thomas and John (Jr.).

Also, five sons of John James Trabue and Olympia Dupuy: James, John, William, Daniel and Edward – fought in the Revolutionary War.

The following link will take you to the nomination form, dated 18 Feb 1975, which contains much background on the Trabue Tavern.

Trabue monument at the private family cemetery in Tyrone, Kentucky (at the home of Edward Trabue, son of Olympia Dupuy)

Trabue monument at the private family cemetery in Tyrone, Kentucky (at the home of Edward Trabue, son of Olympia Dupuy)

Edward’s son George W. Trabue ordered a monument on 1 Nov 1830 to be placed in the family’s cemetery at Tyrone, Kentucky for Edward and Edward’s mother, Olympia Dupuy (Trabue).

The inscription reads as follows:

In Memory of Edward Trabue who Died July 6th 1814 Aged 52 years He was the son of John James and Grand Son of Anthony Trabue who came from France and Settled at James Town [sic[22]] Virginia on the left rest his 1st wife Martha Haskins and Mother Olympia Dupuy.

Olympia Dupuy Trabue House (listed 23 Jun 1983 on the National Register of Historic Places as the “Dupuy, Joel House”, also known as “Stanley Lonesome”), 640 Griers Creek Road, Tyrone, Kentucky; lat/long coordinates: 38° 0′ 52″ N, 84° 47′ 49″ W (photo provided by Marcia Dale-LeWinter, owner of original image is unknown)

Olympia Dupuy Trabue House (listed 23 Jun 1983 on the National Register of Historic Places as the “Dupuy, Joel House”, also known as “Stanley Lonesome”), 640 Griers Creek Road, Tyrone, Kentucky; lat/long coordinates: 38° 0′ 52″ N, 84° 47′ 49″ W (photo provided by Marcia Dale-LeWinter, owner of original image is unknown)

Olympia Du Puy Trabue House, Griers Creek Road (photo 2005)

Olympia Du Puy Trabue House, Griers Creek Road (photo 2005)

John James Trabue and Olympia Dupuy built a large limestone home on Griers Creek in Woodford County near Tyrone, Kentucky.  The house has a long history and is still standing as of 2012.

The lineage of Susanna Trabue (1772-1862) and Oliver Thomas Major (1769-1846) is continued under the heading of Richard Major (1601-1676).


[1] For example, there are towns of the same name in Brittany, Champagne-Ardenne, Picardie and Rhone-Alpes, and some sources incorrectly list one of these locations as the place of Antoine’s origin.

[2] Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu et de Fronsac (1585-1642) was a French clergyman, noble and statesman. Consecrated as a bishop in 1608, he later entered politics, becoming a Secretary of State in 1616. Richelieu soon rose in both the Catholic Church and the French government, becoming a Cardinal in 1622, and King Louis XIII’s chief minister in 1624. He remained in office until his death in 1642; he was succeeded by Cardinal Mazarin, whose career he had fostered. The Cardinal de Richelieu was often known by the title of the King’s “Chief Minister” or “First Minister”. As a result, he is considered to be the world’s first Prime Minister, in the modern sense of the term. He sought to consolidate royal power and crush domestic factions. By restraining the power of the nobility, he transformed France into a strong, centralized state. His chief foreign policy objective was to check the power of the Austro-Spanish Habsburg dynasty, and to ensure French dominance in the Thirty Years’ War that engulfed Europe. Although he was a cardinal, he did not hesitate to make alliances with Protestant rulers in attempting to achieve his goals. Richelieu was also famous for his patronage of the arts; most notably, he founded the Académie Française, the learned society responsible for matters pertaining to the French language. Richelieu is also known by the sobriquet l’Éminence rouge (“the Red Eminence”), from the red shade of a cardinal’s clerical dress and the style “eminence” as a cardinal. As an advocate for Samuel de Champlain and of the retention of Quebec, he founded the Compagnie des Cent-Associés and saw the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye return Quebec City to French rule under Champlain, after the settlement had been captured by the Kirkes in 1629. This in part allowed the colony to eventually develop into the heartland of Francophone culture in North America. He is also a leading character in The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, père and its subsequent film adaptations, portrayed as a main antagonist, and a powerful ruler, even more powerful than the King himself, though events like the Day of the Dupes show that in fact he very much depended on the King’s confidence to keep this power.

[3] One source claims it was burned in a fire. According to Harper (cited above), in 1889 the original letter was in the hands of A. E. Trabue of Hannibal, Missouri, whose residence and contents were burned at that time. It is possible that copies of this treasured document may have been made for family members over the years, so that more than one copy was in existence.

[4] Jacob Flournoy was born 5 Jan 1663 in Geneva, Switzerland and died 1721/22 in Virginia.  On 24 Feb 1685, he married (1st) Martha Morel.  Their first child, Francis, was born 31 Jan 1687 and was the father of Mary Flournoy who married Edward Wooldridge.  Their son, Josiah, married Antoine Trabue’s daughter Martha (Patsy).  Jacob Flournoy and Martha Morel has four additional children: Jacques, Marie, Jeanne-Marie and Jeanne-Francoise.  After 1695 in London Jacob married (2nd) to to woman whose name is not known to us.  They had a daughter born in London who died on the voyage to America.  Jacob, his seond wife and his four surviving children from his first marriage arrived in Virginia in 1700 aboard the Peter and Anthony.  Jacob’s second wife died about 1701, he he married (3rd) Madgadele Prohomme Verrueil, the widow of Moise Verrueil and our 8th g-grandmother.

[5] The Huguenot Society. The Huguenot, Publication #24 (1969-1971).

[6] The Huguenot Society. The Huguenot, Publication #24 (1969-1971).

[7] The Huguenots Society of the Founders of Manakin in the Colony of Virginia.  Manikin Episcopal Church. “A Brief History of Manakin Church”, no date.

Colonel William Byrd II (1674-1744) was a planter, slave-owner and author from Charles City County, Virginia. He is considered the founder of Richmond, Virginia.

Colonel William Byrd II (1674-1744) was a planter, slave-owner and author from Charles City County, Virginia. He is considered the founder of Richmond, Virginia.

[8] Colonel William Byrd II (1674-1744) was a planter, slave-owner and author from Charles City County, Virginia. He is considered the founder of Richmond, Virginia.  Byrd’s life showed aspects of both British colonial gentry and an emerging American identity. His education included classics, apprenticeship with London global business agents, and legal studies. He was admitted to the bar and served for years as Virginia’s official agent in London where he opposed increasing power of royal governors. A member of the Royal Society, he was an early advocate of smallpox inoculation. On his return to Virginia, he expanded his plantation holdings, was elected to the House of Burgesses and served on Virginia’s Council of State from 1709 until his death in 1744. He commanded local County militias, and led surveying expeditions along the Virginia-Carolina border and the Northern Neck. In addition to his historical ties to the French Huguenots, his enterprises included promoting Swiss settlement in mountainous southwest Virginia and iron mining ventures in Germanna and Fredericksburg, Virginia.

[9] He was an executive with Eastman Chemical Company who lived in Europe for many years and there conducted research on the family’s origins.

[10] Julie Yates includes a reproduction of one of the documents by way of illustration.

[11] The Huguenot Society. The Huguenot, Publication #5 (1931).

[12] Perhaps a cousin of some sort: Harper claims “Clere” is a daughter of Moyse Verrueil. This could not be Moise Verrueil (father of Magdalene) who died in 1701.

[13] John James Trabue died between the Date of his Will, which was 10 Oct 1775 and the date the inventory of his estate was taken, which was 21 Dec 1775.

[14] Somewhat remarkably, four sons of John James Trabue and Olympia Dupuy: William, Col Daniel, Edward, and Stephen, married four daughters of Robert Haskins and his wife Elizabeth Hill: Elizabeth, Mary, Martha (or Patsy), and Jane Haskins. Also, two daughters: Susanna and Judith, married two sons of John Major: Thomas and John (Jr.).

[15] In Sep 1773, Daniel Boone (1734-1820)  led a group of about 50 emigrants in the first attempt by British colonists to establish a settlement in Kentucky County, Virginia. On 9 Oct 1773, Boone’s oldest son James and a small group of men and boys who were retrieving supplies were attacked by a band of Delawares, Shawnees and Cherokees. They had decided to send a message of their opposition to settlement…  James Boone and another boy were captured and tortured to death. The brutality of the killings shocked the erstwhile settlers along the frontier, and Boone’s party abandoned their expedition. The deaths among Boone’s party were among the first events in Dunmore’s War.

Lord Dunmore's War plaque in Gallipolis, Ohio

Lord Dunmore’s War plaque in Gallipolis, Ohio

[16] Lord Dunmore’s War was a 1774 conflict between the Colony of Virginia and the Shawnee and Mingo American Indian nations. The Governor of Virginia was John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore (Lord Dunmore). He asked the Virginia House of Burgesses to declare a state of war with the hostile Indian nations and order up an elite volunteer militia force for the campaign. The conflict resulted from escalating violence between British colonists, who in accordance with previous treaties were exploring and moving into land south of the Ohio River (modern West Virginia and Kentucky), and American Indians, who held treaty rights to hunt there. Of the upper Ohio Valley, assessing the Allegheny, George Washington writes in his journal for Saturday, 17 Nov 1770, The Indians who are very dexterous, even their women, in the Management of Canoes, have there Hunting Camps & Cabins all along the River for the convenience of Transporting their Skins by Water to Market. As a result of successive attacks by Indian hunting and war bands upon the settlers, war was declared to pacify the hostile Indian war bands. The war ended soon after Virginia’s victory in the Battle of Point Pleasant on 10 Oct 1774. As a result of this victory, the Indians lost the right to hunt in the area and agreed to recognize the Ohio River as the boundary between Indian lands and the British colonies. Although the Indian national chieftains signed the treaty, conflict within the Indian nations soon broke out. Some tribesmen felt the treaty sold out their claims and opposed it, and others believed that another war would mean only further losses of territory to the more powerful British colonists. When war broke out between the colonists and the British government, the war parties of the Indian nations quickly gained power. They mobilized the various Indian nations to attack the colonists during the Revolutionary War.

Clark's march to Vincennes—the most celebrated event of his career—depicted in this illustration by F. C. Yohn

Clark’s march to Vincennes—the most celebrated event of his career—depicted in this illustration by F. C. Yohn

[17] George Rogers Clark (1752-1818) was a soldier from Virginia and the highest-ranking American military officer on the northwestern frontier during the American War of Independence. At age nineteen, Clark left his home on his first surveying trip into western Virginia. In 1772, as a twenty-year-old surveyor, Clark made his first trip into Kentucky via the Ohio River at Pittsburgh. Thousands of settlers were entering the area as a result of the Treaty of Fort Stanwix of 1768. In 1774, Clark was preparing to lead an expedition of ninety men down the Ohio River when war broke out with the American Indians. Although most of Kentucky was not inhabited by Indians, several tribes used the area for hunting. The tribes living in the Ohio country had not been party to the treaty signed with the Cherokee, which ceded the Kentucky hunting grounds to Britain for settlement. They attacked the European-American settlers to try to push them out of the area, conflicts that eventually culminated in Lord Dunmore’s War. Clark served in the war as a captain in the Virginia militia. During the Revolutionary War, Clark served as leader of the Kentucky (then part of Virginia) militia throughout much of the war. Clark is best known for his celebrated captures of Kaskaskia (1778) and Vincennes (1779), which greatly weakened British influence in the Northwest Territory. Because the British ceded the entire Northwest Territory to the United States in the 1783 Treaty of Paris, Clark has often been hailed as the “Conqueror of the Old Northwest.”

[18] My 5th g-grandparents, John Suggett (1751-1834) and Mildred Davis (1758-1834) were among the defenders of Bryant’s Station in 1782.  Their interesting story is told under the heading of John Suggett (1645-1690) and Sarah Edgecombe (1635-1694) (#1456 & #1457).

[19] Daniel and his Journal have been the subject of two genealogical books which have been published.   The first was Colonial Men and Times, published in 1916 by Lillie DuPuy VanCullin Harper.  She devoted the greater part of her book to extensive, though not verbatim quotations from the journal.  She undertook a great deal of editing to make the language of the journal conform to accepted proper standards of her time.  The remainder of the book contains valuable data on other members of the Trabue family.  In 1981, the second book dealing with Daniel’s journal Westward into Kentucky, was edited by Chester Raymond Young, Professor of History and Chairman of the Department of History and Political Science at Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky (published by the University Press of Kentucky).  Professor Young maintained all of Daniel’s fascinating dialect, his phonetic spelling far different from modern correct form, his random use of capital letters for no obvious reason (often occurring in the middle of a word and not even consistent from one sentence to the next) and colloquial words and expressions whose meanings require a little imagination for modern readers.

[20] His future father-in-law

[21] My 6th g-grandfather, John Major (1740-1808) is discussed under the heading of Richard Major (1601-1676).

[22] We know from other sources that he settled at Manakintown, Virginia.  He undoubtedly arrived by ship at Jamestown or its environs, but he did not linger there.



  • Jane Peterson

    My g-grandmother was a Trabue and lived in Missouri. Several of my aunts and my sisters were graduates of William Woods College.

  • Joe Chambers

    Hello, I just found your site. My G.G.Gm. was Georgeannor Trabue Chambers she married Rowland R. Chambers, Woodford Co. Ky. The eldest daughter of, John(1814) & Caroline Fish Trabue, G.Gradnddaughter of Daniel and Mary Haskins.
    Georgeannor was not listed in the Journal, Colonial Men and Times ( of which my great Aunt had an Original copy. So the family line is not complete.
    I also have a Picture book from my great Aunt, with a lot of old Trabue family? I don’t know who they are except the ones named. If any one may want to see who they are???

  • Marilynn Davis

    My grandmother was a Trabue. She talked about the Trabue Tavern and how it was still standing. She was born in 1888 and lived to be 102 yrs. old. She married Don Elliot when she was 27 yrs. old, I think in Kansas City, MO. She graduated from William Woods College.

Your comments are welcome. Keep in mind, however, all comments are moderated, and please no off-topic links.