Fuqua ancestor was originally from France

Published 2:30 am Saturday, September 5, 2009

It is believed that Guillaume Fouquet was the first Fuqua ancestor to arrive in America. It appears that Guillaume was born circa 1667 in France. He and his relatives were most likely among the French Huguenots who left France during the late 1600s in an effort to escape the religious persecutions they were experiencing. The Huguenots were Protestants in France whose churches had been outlawed, so they had been suffering for about 100 years.

Guillaume and some of his relatives settled in England for a time before making their way to America. He came as a headright to Thomas Cock, Sr., who was granted a land patent in Varina Parish, Henrico County, Virginia, to transport 17 headrights from England to the Colony of Virginia. On October 20, 1689, Thomas Cock, Sr. was granted 816 acres on the south side of Chickahaniny Main Southwest.

Guillaume arrived circa 1685 and was most likely a part of the large exodus of French Huguenots migrating from the British countries. He was soon married in 1685 in Charles City County, Virginia, to Jane Eyre, daughter of Joseph and Margaret (Humphreys) Eyre. William Humphreys was her maternal grandfather. All of Guillaume and Jane’s children were born in Charles City County.

It is a challenge to track Guillaume through local records due to the various spellings of his names. The traditional spelling of Guillaume Fouquet is generally not recorded, but it is listed as Gill, Gillo and Gille and the last name as Fuquett, Fueque Ffuckett. The most common spelling used was Gill Fuquett.

Most of Guillaume’s sons, with the exception of Giles, soon changed the spelling of their name to Fuqua. Giles, who was most likely his father’s namesake, used the “Fewqua” spelling. He was married to Elizabeth, and he moved his family from Henrico County to Charles City County where they settled. He died there in 1771 and left a will in which he named his children: Samuel, William, John, Joseph, Hanna Rock, Elizabeth Johnson, and Dina.

Giles’s son, Samuel, used the Fewqua spelling as his father. He and his wife, Mary, moved across the James River and settled in Prince George County. No record of his children’s names has been located, but the Personal Property Tax Lists of Prince George County offer some clues as to possible sons.

Randolph Fewqua was one of Samuel’s possible sons. He also used the same spelling as Samuel and Giles, Samuel’s father. He followed the usual pattern of naming two of his children Samuel and Mary after their grandparents. Randolph was married to Lydia, and they resided in Prince George County where he died in 1802. From that date, his wife, Lydia’s, name replaced his on the tax lists until her death in 1812. Their children were named in the settlement of Lydia’s estate.

One of their children, Randolph R. Fuqua, used the common form of the name. He was born circa 1770 and was one of the first in this family to begin the southerly migration. By 1800, he had reached North Carolina where at least one of his sons, Absalom Fuqua, was born. The family had moved to Washington County, Georgia, by 1805 and was listed as a participant in the 1805 Georgia Land Lottery. Although he received a prize of land, he did not pay the fee and actually claim the land.

Randolph R. finally settled in Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, where his youngest children were born. In 1814, he was listed on the tax lists for that county. He had two sons, Absalom and Randal III, and it is believed that Amos, John M., Sterling and Cornelius were also his sons.

In 1821, Absalom Fuqua was living in Early County, Georgia, when he drew land in Monroe County, Georgia. He was still in Early County six years later when in 1827, his father, Randolph, had joined him. In March 1827, both were drawn to serve jury duty. In October 1827, Absalom sold his land in Early County to Jeremiah Fowler, and moved his family to Walton County, Florida.

It appears that the father, Randolph R. Fuqua, followed his sons into new territory again in Walton County. He, Absalom and Randal Jr. all signed a petition in which the settlers in Walton County requested the U.S. Government to provide funds for clearing the snags and sunken logs in the Yellow River in 1839. Prior to this time, only Absalom’s name showed up on the census and other records.

An aged Randolph R. Fuqua was last found in the 1840 census records for the western area of Walton County, which is now a part of Okaloosa County. He was residing between his son, Absalom Fuqua, and who appears to be Absalom’s father-in-law, John Barrow. It is most likely that he died and was buried in that vicinity.

Absalom Fuqua appears to have arrived in Walton County prior to 1829 when he was still single. Records show he sold two pieces of property in Early County, Georgia, in 1827. His first noted appearance in Walton County was in 1829 when his name was recorded on the voting list for electing a delegate to Congress from the Yellow River precinct. A voter was required to have lived in the voting district for two years. He would have married about this time, since his first child was born there in 1832.

Absalom was married to Tabitha Barrow, who is believed to have been the daughter of John and Elizabeth Barrow of the Yellow River community. This has not been documented, but all available records strongly suggest it. Absalom and Tabitha had moved into Covington County by the 1830 census. However, they were there only a short time, because Absalom voted at Almarante, Florida, in the 1831 election. He continued to be found on Florida election records and petitions in 1832, 1839 and 1842.

Absalom’s father and brother, Randal III, joined him in the 1830s. Some voting records list them during the late 1830s. In 1840, Absalom and Tabitha were living next door to the John Barrow family, and Absalom’s father, Randolph R. Fuqua, was on the other side of the Barrows in Walton County.

Absalom and Tabitha made their final move to an area in Conecuh County that later became a part of Escambia County, Alabama, when it was formed. They were enumerated there in the 1850 census. Some reports suggest he died in 1855 when he was about 55 years of age and was buried in the area near Sepulga, but this has not been confirmed. In 1860, Tabitha was residing with here son, James, and daughter, Elizabeth. Her younger children were living next door with her son, John.

It has been reported that Tabitha gave birth to 13 children in 14 years, which is quite a record. She and Absalom Fuqua reared the following children: William Wesley, b. 1832, d.1897, m. Nancy Caroline Archilus; Henry Morton, b. 1834, d. 1917; John, b. 1835, d. 1921, m. (1) Esther ? (2) Roxie Susan King; twins, Nancy J. and Elizabeth, b. 1836; James F., b. 1835, d. 1917, m. Elizabeth “Babe” Haveard; Sarah A., b. 1840; Minerva, b. 1841, m. George Nieser; Reuben, b. 1842, d. 1932, m. Lottie Cincinatti Adkinson; George, b. 1843, d. before 1870, m. Elizabeth ?; Wealthy, b. 1844; Mary Pollyanna, b. 1845, d. 1904, m. William Henry Barneycastle; and Samuel, b. 1846.

Considerable research had been done on this family by a number of Fuqua descendants. The sources for the above writing include records from The Fuqua Family Foundation files by Frank and Claire Fuqua and family records of several Fuqua descendants including Barbara Martin of Baker, Florida.

Anyone who might have a correction to the above or additional information on this family is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson by writing to 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; calling 334-222-6467; or e-mailing cthomasson@centurytel.net.