My link

My closest ancestor to bear the name was Mary Charrosin, a 6 x gt grandmother, baptised and probably born in Canterbury in 1750.

Charossins in England

The Charrosin family came to England as Huguenot refugees, probably in the early 1680s.

The first Huguenots arrived in the C16th but the Edict of Nantes gave French protestants some protection.  Its revocation, in October 1685, may have led to as many as 400 000 leaving France. The revocation did not come suddenly, and some left just before as life was becoming more difficult, and the Charrosins seem to have been amongst this category, as the earliest event I have seen involving them in England is 1684/5.

Four children of Hilaire and Marie (née Aubineau) married in Canterbury between 1684/5 and 1696 – I’m not sure if Hilaire and Marie came to England as well as their children but it seems to me most likely they would have.

I am descended from their son Isaac who married Jael Desfavarques in 1688 and then had 4 children who were all baptised in London, the last in 1703. The oldest of their children, David, my 7 x gt grandfather, married in Canterbury in 1717 and the whole of Isaac’s family would appear to have moved there: Isaac and Jael died there, and David’s sister also married there and his brother was clearly there too.

Although a Walloon Church existed in Canterbury (and still exists to this day), where at first the Charrosin children were baptised, by 1730 David and his wife had switched to having their children baptised in the local Anglican Church, St. Mary Northgate.

Silk weaving

Many of the Huguenots who came to England worked as silk weavers and this would seem to be true of the Charrosin family as “The roll of the freemen of the city of Canterbury from A.D. 1392-to 1800” has 2 members of the family listed (on p.168 – Peter, in 1760 and John, in 1780), who were entitled to become freeman through marriage to daughters of freemen. Both were listed as silk weavers.
(Peter was probably a first cousin of my 6xgt grandfather Thomas; I believe John was one of Thomas’s sons.)

A decline in the silk weaving trade may have been the reason why a number of the family were reduced to poverty, ending their lives in the workhouse. Times were hard for many, though, at the end of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. My ancestor, the Mary mentioned above, was most likely the wife of an agricultural labourer, probably the most common occupation in Bishopsbourne where they lived. Five of their nine children were born during the time when being a pauper was shown alongside Parish Register entries, and these show they were paupers at the time 2 of their children were baptised.

Of particular note

  • Pierre Charrosin – bedesman at Canterbury Cathedral
  • Mary (Marie) Charrosin – left a will which gives a small glimpse into her and her close relations lives
  • John Charrosin – left a will which shows he must have taken part in the Seven Years War and most likely was a casulty of it.

French ancestry

I have the names from another tree but I at present do not know about the sources, reliability etc. A message to the owner of a tree has not elicited a reply.

A Huguenot Society publication tells me of a Mr. Wrake who has investigated the Charrosin family, and the Cathedral Archives in Canterbury have deposited there with  Wrake family documentation “The Charrosin Family 1619-1919” which I hope to view on a future visit. The catalogue entry refers to the Charrosins of “north-east France” which does not agree with what is shown here, but the places here are those from the Walloon Church register.


Inevitably the name was spelt in a variety of ways. To make it simpler to find people on the tree I have shown all with the spelling Charrosin. (Sources do / will make it clear how the name was spelt on different occasions). By the C19th the name was becoming “anglicized” with the ‘o’ and ‘i’ switched. Where it is clear this had become the regular spelling and not just a one-off variation I will show the new spelling.


Charrosin — 1 Comment

  1. Hello Teresa, fantastic site i have just told my father, i too am related directly to Isaac and Jael, best wishes Louise Charrison

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