The basics

This guide was last updated in 2009

It is important to build the genealogical wall upon which your Huguenot ancestors stand, proving your links at every stage.

In Julia Sawalha’s case, talking to members of her family revealed that there might be Huguenot ancestry awaiting her, and some of the classic signs quickly began to appear on certificates and census returns. The French-sounding name of Dubock had been passed through the generations (but watch out for changes in spelling or Anglicisation of names, which may throw you off course, or makes census indexes difficult to search).

Several generations of Julia’s family lived in Spitalfields, one of well-known clusters of Huguenots, and they were engaged in the classic occupation which they brought with them from France: silk weaving.

It is very likely that you will have to pursue your research into the realms of parish records when you have traced your line to the period before the census and civil registration, but you may find that several generations stayed in the same place, making your life a little easier.

Basic genealogical sources, or indexes to them, are available at:,,

And a growing collection of parish records is available online at

Huguenot ancestors
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