My Ancestors (19) Louis Guion, Equyer, – 1654 – 1725

(1Louis Guion); (2) Isaac Guion; (3)John Guion; (4) Elijah Guion, Sr.; (5) Elijah Guion, Jr.;  (6) Alfred Beck Guion; (7) Alfred Duryee Guion; (8) Alfred Peabody Guion; (9) Judith Anne Guion

Louis and Thomasse Guion might have gone on to America had she not been with child. Some members of her family went immediately, establishing the Narragansett colony at Frenchtown, Rhode Island. Louis and Thomasse stayed in England. Within weeks, perhaps days, of arriving in Bristol, Thomasse gave birth to twins! We know this because on June 4, 1686, Louis traveled to London to receive a dispensation from the Royal Bounty. He declared himself as being married with two children. [Royal Bounty Record number 89010] The children were named Isaac and Suzanne.

Louis supported his wife and two babies by working as a blacksmith (forgeron) in Bristol, a trade that had a ready market since people in the growing city of Bristol needed tools, weapons, and building materials — a lucrative profession for the new world, as well. In fact, iron tools and plants for domestication on foreign soil were major commodities taken by passengers leaving the port en route to America.

In the fall of 1687, the family immigrated to America. The fare was 105 L (pounds) per adult. The ships to America left once a month. An allowance was given in messes, eight passengers to a mess. On Monday each adult received their weekly allotment: seven lbs. bread; two – two lb. Pieces of pork; two – 4 lb. Pieces of beef; 7 lbs. of cheese and an unknown quantity of butter. Children under the age of six years were given oatmeal, fresh fruit, figs or raisins, sugar and butter as the parents required. Sugar biscuits were available to help with seasickness. One-fourth of the hold of the ship was for emigrant passengers who slept on hammocks for their beds. They arrived at the Port of New York at the confluence of the Hudson River and Long Island Sound, probably late October or early November, before winter snows began.

A man named John Budd negotiated the purchase of land from the Mohegan Indians that constituted the area known as Rye. Both Connecticut and New York argued ownership of the territory that bordered the northwest side of Long Island Sound from Port Chester to Mamaroneck. In 1683 the boundary dispute was settled and the land ceded to New York.

Louis Guion purchased acreage that created a neck from the bay near Hen Island, reminiscent of the land along the Gironde in France. A beaver stream (Stony Brook) forms the western boundary. He felled trees for a cabin along the salt marsh — then winter set in. Temperatures are colder, more rain and larger snowfall, as much as 5 feet, occurs in this area than in New York City because of the lands exposure to the Atlantic Ocean. The climate would not be conducive to raising a vineyard. Thankfully Louis had his trade as a blacksmith to fall back on.

Jacob Leisler, a Huguenot fur and tobacco merchant in New York City, came from Frankfurt, Germany on “The Gilded Otter”, April 27, 1660. Leisler purchased 6,100 acres from John Pell in 1689 for French Huguenots who wished to sustain a settlement closely resembling La Rochelle from their native land. Among the first names of those who purchased land from Leisler was Louis Guion — 138 acres. From 1689 – 1691, Leisler was acting Governor of lower New York and implemented a de facto government by the people.

Louis Guion was the first blacksmith in a New Rochelle. The name, blacksmith, is derived from the fact that iron turns black when fired and the word, smite, which means “to hit”. The French used the name forgeron which comes from the process of forging or shaping iron by hammering. From Guion’s Forge, Louis hammered, punched, and chiseled all types of tools, plows, horseshoes, wheels, pots, knives, guns and swords. His son Lewis, who was born in 1888 in America before the move to New Rochelle (some sources say onboard the ship to America), and his son Aman (or Amount), who was the first child born in New Rochelle in 1691, both became blacksmiths as did some of Lewis’s grandsons and great grandsons for four generations.

Louis kept the Rye property with its salt marsh and fishing boats which produced income, especially under the supervision of his son, Isaac.

COLONIAL ORIGINS of the CALIFORNIA GUIONS, An Informal Genealogical Study by Ernest Jerome Hopkins, finished in 1952.

Descendants of Louis Guion,  Huguenot, of La Rochelle, France and New Rochelle, West Chester County, Provice of New York, A Guion Family Album, 1654 – 1976,Compiled by J. Marshall Guion IV, Edited by Violet H Guion, Olean, New York, 14760

A French Huguenot Legacy by Debra Guiou(n) Stufflebean, Expanded and Revised 2nd Edition, LuLu Enterprises, Inc, Morrisville, NC


Next Sunday, I will continue the story of Louis and Thomasse in New Rochelle, New York. 

Next week I’ll be posting letters written in the fall of 1946. Lad and Marian, Dick and Jean and Dave are all living in the Trumbull House with Grandpa and working in the area. Dave has been in charge of Guion Advertising while Grandpa took a much-needed vacation. Dan, Paulette (Chiche) and baby Arla are still in France, waiting to begin their voyage to America and their new home in Trumbull.

Judy Guion


9 thoughts on “My Ancestors (19) Louis Guion, Equyer, – 1654 – 1725

  1. […] Of such as this is history made . via My Ancestors (19) Louis Guion, Equyer, – 1654 – 1725 […]

  2. Reblogged this on Musings of a Penpusher and commented:
    This is history – and real.

  3. Gallivanta says:

    Fascinating account.

    • Judy Guion says:

      Gallivanta – And I regret that I have to do a tremendous amount of editing to keep the post as short as it is. There is such a wealth of information, especially in Debra’s book, A French Huguenot Legacy. I’m trying to keep the story about my direct ancestors but there is so much more history about the early settlers in the New York region.

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