For Elizabeth Hunter Vaughan
and her cousins
In the year 1033 Conrad II became King of Burgundy. One of Conrad's lieutenants during those times was Raphael Du Puy, your 25th great-grandfather, who was given an important post in the government.
In 1095 Pope Urban II proclaimed the First Crusade during the Council of Clermont. Raphael's son, Hugh Du Puy, went on the First Crusade with Godfrey of Bouillon in 1096. The Crusaders defeated the Turks at Dorylaeum, Nicaea, and Antioch, and in 1099, they conquered Jerusalem. Godfrey was appointed "Defender of the Holy Sepulcher," and they kept fighting the Egyptians and the Syrians. In 1104, the crusaders conquered St. Jean D'Acre, an important seaport city in Syria formerly called Ptolemais, which was on a promontory at the foot of Mount Carmel.
In recognition of his services during the First Crusade, Hugh Du Puy was appointed Governor of Acre, and he lived there for some years with his wife, Devrard DePoisseu, and their three children before returning to their castle in Pereins-Drome in France. This Hugh Du Puy is said to have built the Abbey of Aiquebelle of the Order of St. Bernard.
In 1187 Saladin defeated the Christians and retook Jerusalem, and Acre was recaptured by these Saracens. So in 1189, Pope Clement III declared a Second Crusade to win back this important land. King Richard I of England, who was known as "Richard the Lion-Hearted" (or "Coeur-de-Lion," in French) gathered up many noblemen from Europe and led these crusaders back to the Holy Lands, where they recaptured Acre in 1191 and gave that city into the care of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. The first Hugh Du Puy's great-grandson, also named Hugh (your 22nd great-grandfather), was in this Second Crusade. But it didn't last very long, and Hugh was soon at home again in France with his lovely wife, Floride Moiran.
The Du Puy's had many children and then those children had many children who had more children; the generations lived quietly on their lands in France, serving their King. Their sons and daughters married into the families of other noblemen, and some even married princesses with names like "Alix" or "Dauphne."
Hundreds of years after the Crusades, the first family member to come to America was the young Count Bartholomew Du Puy (your 11th great-grandfather), who was a friend of King Louis XIV. In 1685, King Louis declared that only Catholics could live in France, and any Protestants would have to give up their property, be tortured, or even be put to death. Count Bartholomew was a Protestant.
King Louis wrote a special letter of amnesty for his friend, and the Count and his beautiful young bride, Susanne Levillain, secretly escaped from their family home in Gabrielles (Susanne dressed up like a page boy to get past the guards), and they went to Germany. Then they went to Holland, then to England, and finally, in 1699, they took a sailing ship to Virginia with their children and many friends who were called "French Huguenots."