Hester Mahieu, a new ancestor

Membership in HSSC is open to descendants of all Huguenots, not only those who settled in South Carolina and it is always exciting to find an ancestor whom no one has used to join this Society.  A current applicant is completing work to document his lineage from Hester Mahieu, recognized as an ancestor, but never used for membership in HSSC.

Hester Mahieu was the daughter and Jacques and Jeanne Mahieu, Walloon refugees from the area near Lille, France.  She was born c. 1584 and was admitted to communion in the Walloon church in Leiden, Holland, 1 June 1603 about a month before her marriage to Francis Cooke.  She was listed as from Canterbury and was accompanied by her sister and her mother, both named Jeanne (Jennie).  Cooke, a wool comber, was accompanied by Philip De Veau and Raphael Roelandt. [Shaw, HK: Families of the Pilgrims 65]

Hester and her husband evidently left Holland and lived in England for a few years, but they returned to Holland and their children were baptized at the French Church in Leiden.

Hester Mahieu and four of her five children bid farewell to Francis Cooke and his eldest son John who left Delfshaven, Holland on board the Speedwell in July 1620.  Once the two had arrived in England, they joined a group of settlers who were sailing for the New World on a ship called the Mayflower.  After their arrival in what is now Massachusetts, lots were drawn for plots in the new town of Plymouth.  Cooke’s plot was located on the far side of the town square on First or Leyden Street which led from the harbor to Burial Hill.   The rest of the Cooke family, Hester and their children Jane, Jacob, Elizabeth and Hester, sailed to Plymouth in 1623 on the Anne. [Shaw, HK: Families of the Pilgrims 65]  A daughter Mary was born several years after their arrival.

Francis Cooke, born c. 1583, died 7 Apr 1663 and Hester died after 8 June 1668.  They were buried on Burial Hill in Plymouth Massachusetts

We are excited about having Hester Mahieu as a new (to HSSC) ancestor.

The staff of the Society will be glad to help you find out about your Huguenot ancestors and their stories.