Huguenots in Canada

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Canada Gotoarrow.png Church Records Gotoarrow.png Huguenots in Canada
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Brief History

From 1577 on, many Huguenots became traders or merchants in Canada. In November 1603, Huguenot  Pierre de Monts was given a royal commission to settle what is now Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The right to settle in Canada (New France) went back and forth between Protestants and Catholics. However on May 23, 1633, the Catholics gained control, and Canada was closed to Huguenots.[1] However at least 1,450 Huguenots settled in Canada during French rule.[2] 

After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, Huguenots were barred from Canada, though some stayed in small groups in Quebec. Since Canada under the French government was against them, most Huguenots preferred to go to Protestant countries, such as Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, England, Scotland, Ireland, South Africa, and the British colonies in America.

After the British came to power in Canada in 1763, more Huguenots went to Canada. Some came from New England. Others came from Germany, Switzerland, and even France. They settled early in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec.

The Huguenots merged with the Presbyterian Church before 1800 since both followed the reformed teachings of John Calvin and John Knox.

Finding Huguenots

Usually Huguenots went to a European country first, and often stayed there for one to three generations before immigrating to Canada. Often their names changed to reflect the language of that country, so their names may no longer seem French today. Over time, some Huguenots returned to the Catholic Church, while other became affiliated with other Protestant faiths and were no longer known as Huguenots. They and their descendants can be found using the records of the other faiths as well as the records for Canadians in the areas where they settled.


The Huguenot Society of Canada (no longer exists)

Ontario Genealogical Society
102 – 40 Orchard View Blvd.
Toronto, Ontario
M4R 1B9
Phone: 416-489-0734
Fax: 416-489-9803

Has the collection of the former Huguenot Society of Canada

Internet Sites

The Genealogy Forum, Huguenot Research Sources


  • Arsenault, Vona. The Early Acadians, from History and Genealogy

  • Huguenot trails, (Hamilton, Ontario) : Huguenot Society of Ontario, 1968-2003, 36 vols., partially indexed in:
- Annett, Kenneth H. and Lela F. Common. Index of family names appearing in Huguenot Trails, volumes I-XIV, (Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2002). FHL fiche 6004745


The Reformed Church of Québec site gives a timeline with explanations of the role of Huguenots in Québec.


  1. Lucian John Fosdick, The French blood in America, (New York, New York : F.H. Revell Co., c1906), p. 114-120. Internet Archive FHL book 973 F2hf
  2. Canadian Encyclopedia, Huguenots, accessed 13 June 2013.