Notes for Pierre (Rev.) de RIVASSON

Pastor of the Bergerac France Huguenot Church.
Note: de Rivasson family journal states that Pierre refused to sign abjuration after being tortured & made to listen to youngest daughter's screams while 20 dragoons raped her. He died from the torture. The de Rivasson's that survived became Catholic and have remained so until this day (2004).

The Bergerac church was destroyed in 1682. After the French revolution, the Catholic Church sold their old church to the Huguenots and it is presently used by the protestants.

Sources for this family include the Bergrac registers as read by Elizabeth Thomas and confirmed by Lionel de Rivasson.
The name Bergerac originally comes from the Gallo-Roman town, Bracarius.
From as early as the 12th century the town of Bergerac was something of an intellectual and commercial crossroads. With the Dordogne River crossing the town, commercial links were rapidly established with other regions, particularly Limousin and Bordeaux.
During the Wars of Religion, Bergerac became the intellectual capital of the Protestant movement and, nicknamed ±the little Geneva», benefited in no inconsiderable way from the Nantes Edict.

Associated with Bergerac is La Force and Limonzie. Pays de la Force (the 12 communes which make up the canton of La Force plus the communes of Lamonzie St Martin and Gardonne which are linked to La Force).
The ± Pays de la Force » is situated along the Dordogne River between Bergerac and St Foy la Grande. It is bordered to the north by the canton of Mussidan and the Landais forest. In 420 the Visigoths settled in the region and ruled until Clovis’ conquest in 507. In the 8th century Dagobert brought the ± Pays de la Force » under the wing of the kingdom of Toulouse whereupon it was administered by Charlemagne and his descendants.

In the 10th century the ± Pays de la Force » passed into the hands of Adalbert of Périgord renowned for his rebellious attitude towards Hugues Capet. In 1131, following the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Henry Plantagenet, the English took possession of the area. The Prévôt family first appears in the 12th century, following the First Holy Crusade. The Caumont family came to La Force in 1554 with the marriage of François de Caumont with Philippine de Beaupoil, a direct descendant of the Prévôts. These seigneurs were to become marquis, barons, dukes and peers of the crown (in 1637).

The land was ravaged umpteen times by the Black Prince during the Hundred Years War and only became French soil again following the 1453 Battle of Castillon.

During the Reformation the House of Caumont-La Force joined the House of Navarre in the Huguenot’s fight against the Catholics. Jacques Nompar de Caumont, Duke of La Force and a great friend of Henry IV, defended Montauban against Louis XIII in 1631 before fighting - in his role as field-marshal - in the Thirty Years War.

The fifth duke of Caumont, raised by the Jesuits, renounced his faith in 1683 and persecuted the Protestants of his duchy.

Bergerac is Cyrano’s hometown.

Sources for this web site are many, including:
Ola Cook Timmons, Captain John Timmons and his Descendants by Kathy Dodge Loyd, H. F. Prioleau, Happy Heritage by Cannon,
Sermons in Stone by Jason Cockfield, Minute Books of the Hebron Baptist Church, Our Kin by Bernice McCutcheon,
Three Rivers Historical Society, Old Darlington District Genealogy Chapter,
Berkeley County Historical Society, Huguenot Settlers in North America, and the US Census.

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