H-Line: Pierre Fleury, The Elusive Immigrant



     One of the most elusive of all of the Flory immigrants is Pierre Fleury, about whom very little is known. What is included here is an attempt to draw attention to him in an effort to tease out more information from genealogists on the World Wide Web and possible construct a descendant list.     PIERRE FLEURY  arrived in Philadelphia on the ship Mary of London on September 26, 1732 when he was 38 years of age.  His name is spelled as “Pere Flewies” on the A list and as “Pierre Fleury” on the B and C lists. Very little information about him after his arrival is available.  Walter Bunderman in his 1948 study of the Florys assumes that he went to York Co., Pennsylvania in 1738 and that he was the father of the B-Line of Florys, beginning with Abraham Flury.  However, a search of York County records does not show any presence of a Pierre Fleury in that area.  Moreover, a family Bible lists Abraham Flury’s  father as Jacob and not Pierre. Pierre is listed by Huguenot Societies as a Huguenot, but it is not clear that they base this on any evidence other than his name. Jeanne Flowers reports that  according to John T. Humphrey in his book Philadelphia County Births, 1644-1765, p. 155 a BENJAMIN FLEWRY, son of PETER FLEWRY and his wife, SARAH, was christened in Philadelphia in November of 1735. (Record of Christ Church, Philadelphia). Although we cannot be certain, it does seem probable that the name of Peter Flewry is the Americanized version of Pierre Fleury. At this point, no further descendants are known.

It is always difficult to speculate too much about spellings of immigrant names, because transcribers could often be rather creative in their renderings. Still, it does appear that Pierre’s name was originally “Fleury” and not some variant of “Flory.” Perhaps the fact that little else is known about him has to do with the fact that the “Fleury” name is often ignored by Flory researchers. One other curiosity about Pierre is what was a person with such an obvious French name doing aboard a ship filled with Palatine immigrants? He may very well have been a Huguenot, but most French Huguenots did not go to Germany because of the enmity between the two countries.

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