Benoy Family

Most of the Huguenot Benoys who fled France during the persecutions went to Belgium. While I have found Huguenot Benoys in London in the late 17th century and early 18th, the earliest record that I have found of Benoys in England are in Werrington, Devon (now Cornwall) and I have found no actual evidence - yet - that they were Huguenots or even that they came from France.

The first legible page of the Werrington parish register contains an entry for the marriage of Modestie Benoy in 1682. It turned out that Modestie was the daughter of Isaac and Johan Benoy and I believe that this couple are the ancestors of all of the Cornish and Devonshire Benoys and, perhaps, most of the English Benoys.

My own earliest, proven, ancestor was also called Isaac Benoy. He and his wife, Mary, moved into the parish of St Stephen by Saltash with two grown sons, John and Isaac, in the late 1790s. I have been unable to determine where they came from. I'm pretty sure that they are descendants of Isaac and Johan Benoy of Werrington but have been unable to find the link yet.

Isaac and Johan had seven surviving children when Isaac wrote his will in 1691. These children were: Modestie, Anne, Elizabeth, Frances, John, Richard and Chariti. Since the girls assumed the names of their husbands when they married, this leaves Richard, John and Frances to pass down the Benoy name.

  • Richard had twin sons but they died soon after their birth in 1701 and I was unable to find any record of him having other children so it seems that his line ended.

  • John had seven children: Susanah, Sarah, Mary, Joan, Isaac, John and Charity. His son Isaac had five children (John, Mary, Isaac, Katharine and Elizabeth). John's grandson, Isaac, is about the right age for my own ancestor but he died as an infant so that rules out John as my ancestor.

  • Frances had two living children when Isaac wrote his will in 1691 but their names are not mentioned and there are no entries in the Werrington parish records which mention Frances so I must assume that he married and had his children in another parish. If I am, indeed, descended from the Werrington Benoys then it is likely that Frances was my ancestor.
If anyone can give me any information about Frances Benoy, who was born before 1670, I would be very interested!