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How many of you would like to get together at the Salt Lake Family History Library with their Huguenot specialist before or during the National Genealogy Society meeting here in the Spring?

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I'd love to, Michael, but not possible. I'll be in Michigan for a wedding of my step daughter around May 1 and then visiting heavily with family, but traveling further won't be possible. But I'd like to be able to.

I do have a question though: My great uncle did a genealogy of my mother's side in the 1980s, spent quite some time on it. He claims Hugenot roots as they were and many still are, Calvinists, coming from Grafschaft Bentheim, province of Hanover, Prussia, emigrating to Michigan in the later 1800s. This small peninsula of Germany is surrounded on 3 sides by the Netherlands and, indeed, the area is still bilingual, but my family was primarily Dutch speaking. My father's side came from but 30 miles westwards in the Netherlands. Also Calvinist.

The family name is Masseling (Masselink is the Dutch variant) with several early references to Massel man, not untypical of names there. Yet my great uncle posited that the name is derived from Masselieu and that they came from around Lyon, France. I find no evidence to support this.

Long story short, he was quite inaccurate about many things, and names only a couple of general books as his sources. He had no documentation before they emigrated to the U.S.. His info came from the writing of letters, apparently to a genealogist where the family originated, but was obviously not first hand. Since then, the Masselings/Masselinks are nicely recorded by the Association for Computer Genealogy and trace back to 1660, and I've been at that place in Germany this past September. But I notice that many records I've seen on this site go back to about this date, no earlier. Whatever the reason, including migration from elsewhere, I've not seen church records earlier than this from that area.

Do you know of a way to determine whether a family can be traced back to possible Huguenot origins? The whole area there along the German-Dutch border is greatly Calvinistic, but that is most likely because their Landlords or Graffs or other ruling elite determined this, not that the people were of direct Huguenot descent. I see no direct connections on my father's side, either, and I know how their history and how the family name developed. There seems to be little or no documentation to for common people of the 1600s. Yet I do hold it as possible that they migrated with the Huguenots, since their religion (Reformed) was such an important part of their lives. The traditions support this possiblity, but there is no documentation.

Any suggestions?



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