Filed under: S. Carolina Families
Religious persecution in the past caused many people to leave their homes for other lands where they could worship in peace and freedom. This caused the Robert family, who were Huguenots, to immigrate from Wales to Switzerland. This was about 1600. Switzerland then, as now, was liberty-minded. Many early South Carolina settlers immigrated from that staunch little mountain country. "Henry Martyn Robert "was the author of "Robert’s Rules of Order." He was born at Robert-ville, South Carolina, on May 2, 1837.
The first Robert of whom we have record was Daniel.
DANIEL ROBERT, bora at Basle, Switzerland, in 1625. Little is known about him except that he lived at St. Imier in that country; that he married Marie (surname unknown); and they had one son, Pierre Robert.
PIERRE ROBERT, born at St. Imier in 1656. Pierre Robert was pastor of a Waldensian Church in the Piedmont Valley in Switzerland. It is said that the Waldenses were the ancestors of the present day Baptists. Pierre Robert married Jeanne Braye in 1674. She was the daughter of Jehu and Susanne Braye. Jeanne was born at Basle, Switzerland, in 1660. He was nineteen and she was not quite fifteen. They were happy in that beautiful Piedmont Valley until Louis XIV, King of France, revoked the Edict of Nantes (1685), and subjected these poor innocents to the bitter attacks of their enemies. There was no hope except immigration to the New World, across the ocean. In 1686, Captain Phillip Gendron, under the direction of their beloved pastor, Rev. Pierre Robert, led a large group of Huguenots to the friendly shores of South Carolina where they found peace and security in the wilderness among the savages. In September, 1705, the Lords Proprietors ceded a large tract of land on the Santee River to the French-Swiss inhabitants for a town or plantation. The following January, a town called Jamestown was established, some 60 miles north of Charleston. Jamestown never prospered as the river overflowed and the climate was not salubrious. This settlement was known as "French Santee" to distinguish it from English Santee, nearby. By 1712, the people of French Santee began to migrate to other parts of the colony, and the site where Jamestown stood was eventually abandoned. Today it is but a memory, and the section where it was located is almost a wilderness. Here and there an old ruin marks the spot where a plantation home once stood, and the river flows on through miles of waste area, desolate and lonely.
Rev. Pierre Robert continued at the head of the church at French Santee until 1715, when he resigned because of infirmities of age. He died later that year and was buried in the Santee locality. There is no record of his wife’s death.
The earliest Huguenot church in Charleston is in a good state of preservation today, though more than two centuries old, and on one of its inner walls may be seen a tablet placed there by some of the descendants of Pierre Robert with the following inscription:
Pasteur Pierre Robert
French Santee, So. Ca.
Pierre Robert and Jeanne Braye had three children: Pierre, Jr., Jean (John) and Elias.
PIERRE ROBERT, JR., born at Basle, Switzerland, in 1675. He was eleven when his parents moved to South Carolina. In 1701, he married Anne le Grande, in South Carolina. She died in about 1704. Pierre, Jr. married Judith Videaul in 1706. Pierre Robert, Jr. died in 1731. Among the children of Pierre Robert, Jr., and Judith Videaul was Jacques Robert.
JACQUES ROBERT, born at French Santee on April 3, 1711. Jacques
married Sarah Jaudon on August 26, 1735. She was the daughter of Daniel Jaudon, II, and his wife, Elizabeth Jaudon, of Craven County, South Carolina, early Huguenot pioneers of that state. Jacques Robert was well educated. He engaged in the mercantile business and farming, owning four large plantations near French Santee. In later life, Jacques moved with his family to Colleton District, South Carolina. He died there in November, 1774, and was buried in Stoney Creek church yard, near Yamasee, South Carolina. After her husband’s death, Sarah Jaudon Robert moved with her children and other members of her family to Black Swamp, near the Savannah River, where they founded the town of Robertville. She died there on April 26, 1779. Jacques Robert and Sarah Jaudon had seven children, one of whom was Elizabeth Robert.
ELIZABETH ROBERT, born at French Santee about 1750. She married John Grimball in 1772. He was the son of Paul Grimball, II, and Mary Samms. After her husband’s death, she married A. H. Scott and moved with him to the Woodville area of Mississippi, and later, to Rapides Parish, Louisiana.
The Robert family thus merges into the Grimball family.
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