Abraham Tourtellotte, Sr. (1655 - 1706) was the founder ancestor of the Tourtellotte family in America and a French Huguenot merchant from Bordeaux.

Life and Death Edit

Tourtellotte was born in 1655 in Bordeaux, Gironde, France. Following a gradual deprivation of Protestant civil rights in France through King Louis, the turning point was the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Indeed, between 1657 and 1685, seven hundred Protestant places of worship were demolished. As a result, thousads of French refugee Protestants escaped to Switzerland, the Netherlands, England, and Germany. Among them was Tourtellotte, a prosperous merchant and an expert shipmaster. In the summer of 1686, Tourtellotte was driven from France to Amsterdam. He took with him some of his things, but his brother, Benjamin Tourtellotte, who accompanied him on his escape, died on the subsequent voyage to America.

In his earlier life, he was an apprent widower, given that he had three listed children: Jacques Thomas, Jacques Moise, and Jean in the Letters Patent of Denization in July 1688. When he arrived in Holland, the refugees proceeded to England, where many of their fellow sufferers and countrymen already were. A determination to embark for the New World was finally made, and in 1687, the travelers, including Tourtellotte, arrived in Boston, Massachusetts, in the ship "Friendship." His brother Benjamin died on September 25 on the voyage over. When they arrived there, administration on his estate was granted to Abraham on February 23, 1688.

Life in the New World Edit

On first arriving to America, Tourtellotte joined the Narragansett colony and was among those victimized by the Atherton Company. The French settlers were finally forced to relinquish their holdings in the colony. The Huguenot families who had settled there had expended considerable money brought with them for barns, fences, and buildings, and thus lost everything they had invested in addition to their right to occupy the soil. Some removed to New Rochelle near Long Island; some to New York; others left completely. Tourtellotte and his family were among seven of the colonists with families who removed to Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1693, he married Marie Bernon, the daughter of Gabriel Bernon and Esther LeRoy, one of the founding ancestors in Rhode Island. The stay of the Tourtellotte family at Boston was not long, and they removed to Roxbury, Massachusetts, where Tourtellotte and his wife Marie had their first two children. In 1697, Tourtellotte, his wife, his children, and his father-in-law, Gabriel Bernon, removed to Newport, Rhode Island, where they had their third child, Abraham, Jr. The Tourtellottes had continued enterprises with the Huguenot family known as the Faneuils of Boston, Massachusetts. On June 1, 1699, there is record that Abraham Tourtellotte and wife and Gabriel Bernon and wife, with Andrew Faneuil, of Boston, sold their mansion and lands at Roxbury, Massachusetts to Prudence Thompson.

The fate of Abraham Tourtellotte is shrouded in mystery. It is believed that in 1706, he sailed on a voyage out of Newport, Rhode Island with his son, and the two were lost at sea. Gabriel, the son, left no descendants and never married.

Children Edit

  • Gabriel Tourtellotte (b. Sept. 24, 1694 - 1706) - lost at sea with his father, unmarried.
  • Esther Tourtellotte (b. Jun. 12, 1696) - m. Israel Harding
  • Abraham Tourtelotte, Jr. (b. Mar. 22, 1697) - m. (1) Lydia Ballard (2) Hannah Case
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