French Huguenot Links?

A Page Focused on Listing Those Family History Related F/F/F Stories Making the Case for French Huguenot (or More General French Origins) of Various Lines

In the entry for Henry T. Florey, on the Civil War Page related to Illinois Veterans in that conflict, is the following obituary published in 1879.  Note the declaration of the French connection in the first paragraph.  It would be interesting to eventually see anything substantiating the validity of such statements.

“FLOREY, Henry T.  “DIED – In Santa Clara, Cal., of consumption, on Friday Jan 31, at 1 o’clock pm in the thirty first year of his age, Henry T. Florey.”  Henry T. Florey was the fifth son of the late Israel – or more correctly – Israel De Fleury, of the De Fleurys of France. His father, at one time was a wealthy land owner in this county, but through disastrous speculations his children were thrown upon their own resources, and at the age of twelve Henry entered the Gazette office, as an apprentice to the printing business. After staying in the office for about 2 yrs at the age of fourteen he enlisted as a recruit in the 21st Regiment Ill. Infantry, at that time under the command of Grant. Enduring all the privations and dangers of a soldier’s life without a murmer, he was with the regiment at the battle of Chickamauga, where, upon retreat of the regiment, he was urged to fly. “I’ll die first”, said this boy hero – and reloading and firing, he stood until surrounded and made prisoner. The admiration for his bravery was such that he was not harmed by his captors; he was sent with other prisoners to Richmond and from there, from prison to prison until he reached Andersonville, where for fifteen months he endured the horrible privations with which we are all too familiar.

“Towards the close of the war, through an exchange of prisoners, he was released with a constitution ruined forever. Upon his return home, being then but eighteen years old, he entered the land agency business in Vicksburg, Miss. in company with his brother, Robert, who died of consumption twelve years ago. After his brother’s death, Henry removed to Beulah, Miss., the town’s name being changed to Floreyville in his honor.

“There while applying himself to the study of law he was proprietor of the Floreyville Star, a weekly newspaper and for several years was clerk of the circuit and county courts, in the bitter political contest of 1876, being the only Republican elected to office on the entire ticket.

“His health failing after trying the southern climate, about two years ago he settled up his affairs in Miss. and went to Calif. From the first his health failed rapidly, and although he attempted to engage in business in San Francisco, he was obliged to resign all hope of health. Going to Santa Clara, where two of his sisters reside, he was watched over with all the tender solicitude of sisters who idolized him, and all that wealth and affection could be to turn aside death was done. But Andersonville had done its work.

“His last words to his sisters who were with him were: “Are you afraid?” Upon her reply, “No”, he turned, and looking from the window for the last time on earth, upon the pleasant world, he closed his eyes and without a struggle passed away. A truer gentleman, a kinder son or brother never closed his eyes upon earthly scenes. With a brilliant, well stored mind, with a kindly courtesy, and a gently reserve which made him thoughtfully regardful of others – while being intimate with few – he was loved and respected by all with whom he came in contact. “Brave and gentle always” writes his sister “he thought of others even in his last moment”.

“Thus passed away in early manhood one whose ambition even as a boy, aimed high, whose logical mind, trained by extensive reading and travel, together with his manners, full of dignity, fitted him for the highest positions in life. And the gentle breezes of Santa Clara valley sigh above the grave where lies buried the hopes of many loving hearts.”     Decatur Daily Republican, Nov., Feb. 17, 1879.

The following is from Eric Flora and is another example of a persistent aspect in F/F/F related genealogical research, that of the belief that there is a French Huguenot origin for the Flora or Flory family name.  In the family history he brings to the fore below, the fact that the immigrants noted eventually came to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania upon first arriving in America would (at least on the surface) seem to indicate a stronger Germanic connection as the majority of Germans in the 18th century came into America via Philadelphia, originally living in such counties as Lancaster.

“I don’t know that this directly relates to the Israel de Fleury and Macon County, Illinois post but I will share it any way. The following comes from a handwritten Flora family history that was written by Anna (Myer) Flora in 1943 near Flora, Indiana. Anna’s husband, Ezra, as well as Josiah Flora, Goldie (Flora) Harter, Henry Flora and John Flora Sr. are all descendants of the C-Line (Joseph). Anna incorrectly (I believe) associates her husband’s family with the Florey family in Illinois.
“The Flora family history as told by Uncle Josiah Flora and written by Goldie Flora Harter – 1943.
“My father knew Henry Flora (grandson of Jacob Flora, Sr.) and wife Marylis (Pagan) had visited in their home and received word of her death the year we moved to Indiana. A daughter wrote to him. We had a neighbor in Illinois, Mrs. Agnes Berry, who was raised by Henry & Marylis. She call them father and mother, considered them her family. Father learned lots of family history from her, also from Anna Florey, teacher at my school in Illinois when I was 9 years old. She was a descendant of the same family. Her great great grandfather was a brother of Henry Flora who located in Virginia. Anna Florey’s grandfather was an old man. Father and I went to see him. He told us he following as told him by his grandfather. It compared with our family records mostly obtained from Marylis Flora after father heard them from John Flora, Sr.
The Flora family originated in France. The name was de Flora. Pronunciation and spelling seems to be a matter of disagreement among the descendents. The Floras with other friends were driven from France by the persecution of the Huguenots. The Flora family consisted of father, mother, 3 boys and 1 girl (small children). They went first to Italy, lived for a time on the estate of an Italian nobleman, then to Germany where they first planned to stay. They lived on and farmed the land of a German baron. Learning that the boys would soon have to go into military training and fight for a country that was always an enemy of France, they decided to come to America. They went to Holland and got passage and arrived in Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania.
“The Old Mr. Florey at La Place, Illinois had come there with his father from Pennsylvania and he said his grandfather had a brother that went with his wife and small children to Virginia. This brother’s name was Henry and one child was named Abraham. They had not heard from them again.
“Father’s great Aunt Marylis said her husband Henry was named for his grandfather but she seemed confused. She was very old. (On the Flora side, Henry’s grandfather was actually Jacob Flora, Sr.)
“John Flora, Sr. was born in Botetourt Co., Virginia and at the age of 13 moved with his family to Montgomery Co., Ohio. My father said he had often heard John Flora, Sr. say he had lived in three states and his father had lived in three states. A record of a land sale made by Abraham Flora in 1814 in the Salem court house in Botetourt Co., Virginia seems to prove these facts.
“The Illinois Mr. Florey’s grandfather’s name was Abraham and about the time Henry went to Virginia another brother went west. Father thought perhaps the Florys at Logansport were of these descendants. They were from Pennsylvania.”

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