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Ancient History

 As you delve back into the Fuess family history you find a rich history of early settlement of America by German immigrants escaping religious persecution in the Palatanate. But how did they come to be there and who were these people? I recently received documents tracing the origin of one of those refugees, our many times great grandmother Catharine Laucks (Laux) and thought you might find it fun and interesting.

 The family of du Laux is one of the most ancient in France. It is of French Huguenot ancestry. The origin of the family is recorded in ancient chronicles of the region on either side of the Pyrenees in the south west of France.

 According to ancient family records, Inigo Lope du Laux, the sixth Seigneur de Biscaye and Count of Alva, had two sons; Lope Sanche, Seigneur du Laux, seventh seigneur de Biscaye, and Guillaume Sanche du Laux, a younger son who had crossed the Pyrenees about the year 1075, and established himself in the Viscounty of Beam, near the city of Pac in what was later the Basses Pyrenees.

 This Guillaume Sanche du Laux became the founder of the family from whom all those having the name of Laux descend. He married Sancia Vaca, Souveraine of a little town near the Pyrenees. They had a younger son Raimond du Lain who established himself well in the region, • and where his grandson became the Baron of -lands of Labour and Arberae in 1151.

For many generations the family of duLaux prospered and played an active part in Beam and Navarre, which belonged to the Duchy of Aquitaine. All belonged to the Crown of England for over three hundred years (1152 — 1453).

 Records show about 1235 an Amnauld Guillaunie du Laux, Chevalier, and one Amagneux du Laux, also a Chevalier gave service to King Henry III itt Aquitaine., This Amagneux du Laux accompanied Louis IX in the Seventh Crusade against the Saracens, and in the disastrous battle of Mansoura in Egypt (1250) he was taken prisoner with King Louis. They won their freedom by paying a large ransom. He returned with the King to France, and died at the Chateau du Laux in Armagnac. He is buried in the church there. His tomb and effigy can be seen to the present time. He won great honors in this crusade, and his armorial bearings were enlarged. This heraldic insigna has been borne in the family ever since on the arms of the famille du Laux.

 His successor was Ponce du Laux, He married October 25, 1264, Jeanne de Cornellian. They had three sons, Pierre, another Geraud. Almost all of the men in the family were soldiers.

 At the beginning of the 15th Century there was another younger son, Carvon du Laux. He became Bishop of the Diocese of Bayonne. He had a brother Pierre (or Peter) who married Agnes de Guihan de Barbassan. Pierre and Agnes had several children, the oldest son was named Peter.

 Several Henry and Phillipe du Lain's came in the 17th Century. Amagneux, a son of Peter married Honorine de Sounier. His great grandson, Jean du Lain in 1575 married, Marie, the daughter of Francois III Comte de la Rochefoncault and his wife, the Comtesse de Roussy.

 Many of-the members of the several branches of the du Laux family, living as they did in different parts of France, became Protestants, and as a consequence, suffered greatly. Their names have been found in the list of exiles in foreign countries. In the Denization Roll of London for 1544 published by the Huguenot Society of London, we find the name of John Laux. In the baptismal records of a French church in England, we fine the name of Madeline Lain, daughter of Jacob Lain in 1567.

The methods employed by the successors of Henri IV to drive the Huguenots back into the fold of the Roman Church had the effect of thousands of them from France.

When the Edict of Nantes was revoked- in 1685, the villages in the German Palatine as well as other localities, were burned. There was persistent religious persecution. Many received letters from relatives or friends in America telling of their prosperity and urging others to join them. Thousands or refugees left by way of the Rhine for Rotterdam.

 Grandma Catharine's parents, Johann Dietrich Laucks and Maria Catherine Staring, lived in the German Palatine and migrated to America along with other families to escape the persecution. From here you can pickup the story in the Fuess genealogy section of Fuess.Net.