Huguenots in Canada

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Brief History

From 1577 on, many Huguenots became traders or merchants in Canada. In November 1603, Huguenot  Pierre de Monts was given a royal commission to settle what is now Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The right to settle in Canada (New France) went back and forth between Protestants and Catholics. However on May 23, 1633, the Catholics gained control, and Canada was closed to Huguenots.[1] However at least 1,450 Huguenots settled in Canada during French rule.[2] 

After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, Huguenots were barred from Canada, though some stayed in small groups in Quebec. Since Canada under the French government was against them, most Huguenots preferred to go to Protestant countries, such as Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, England, Scotland, Ireland, South Africa, and the British colonies in America.

After the British came to power in Canada in 1763, more Huguenots went to Canada. Some came from New England. Others came from Germany, Switzerland, and even France. They settled early in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec.

The Huguenots merged with the Presbyterian Church before 1800 since both followed the reformed teachings of John Calvin and John Knox.

Finding Huguenots

Usually Huguenots went to a European country first, and often stayed there for one to three generations before immigrating to Canada. Often their names changed to reflect the language of that country, so their names may no longer seem French today.


The Huguenot Society of Canada (probably no longer exists)
10 Adelaide Street East
Toronto, Ontario

Ontario Genealogical Society
102 – 40 Orchard View Blvd.
Toronto, Ontario
M4R 1B9
Phone: 416-489-0734
Fax: 416-489-9803


Charles Baird
Dr. Reaman

The Early Acadians, from History and Genealogy, by Vona Arsenault


The Reformed Church of Québec site gives a timeline with explanations of the role of Huguenots in Québec.


  1. Lucian John Fosdick, The French blood in America, (New York, New York : F.H. Revell Co., c1906), p. 114-120,
  2. Canadian Encyclopedia, Huguenots, at, accessed 13 June 2013.