An important thing to point out about Bodine genealogy is that there is a fraudulent genealogy going around that links the American Bodines to other famous Bodine-like names in France running back into the 1300's or so. There is absolutely no evidence behind this information. It appears to be the work of a 20th Century genealogist named Gustave Anjou (1863-1942). He was a Swede whose real name was Gustaf Ludvig Ljungberg. He fabricated pedigrees to please those who paid for his expensive services. Trustworthy genealogical research on the American Bodines can really only be traced back, so far, to the Jean Bodines who came to America in the late 1600's. Anything before that is still uncertain.
THE FOUR JEAN BODINs OF STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK
Many of the Bodines in America have come from two to four Jean/Jan/John Bodins who came to America in the latter part of the 1600's. (Jean is the French spelling for John and Jan is the Dutch spelling.) Despite much research, the facts involving these John Bodins are still subject to controversy. At this point, Ronny Bodine says the research tends to point to a pair of Jean Bodins who came from near Medis, France and another one or two Jean Bodins from near Bethune in the former Southern Netherlands (now located in France).
Historical Background: Flanders
Jean Bodin II, from Bethune, and his father, possibly named Jean Bodin, also, may have come to America together. Before 1667, when King Louis XIV of France conquered that area, Bethune was actually a part of the Southern Netherlands, not France. (This was also called the Spanish Netherlands since Spain controlled the area at that time.) The Southern Netherlands overlapped an older political area that was known as Flanders. Flanders was the name of a medieval kingdom that was once more a patchwork of fortified city-states than a real country. It was comprised of part of the present-day French Department du Nord, the Belgian provinces of East and West Flanders, and the southern part of the Dutch province of Zeeland. This "kingdom" no longer exists today. The language the people of Flanders spoke was a dialect of French in Southern Flanders. These were the Walloons. The people in the Northern part of Flanders spoke a dialect of Dutch. They were called Flemings. Jean Bodin would have been born in or near Bethune when it was a part of the Southern Netherlands. It might be best to consider him a Walloon and not a Huguenot as has been reported. However, this depends on what one's definition of a Huguenot is. Some define Huguenots as French Protestants. Others define Huguenots as any Christians from any country in Europe who followed John Calvin's type of Protestantism. Therefore, the most practical term to use for Jean might be to call him a "Huguenot"; however, officially, he was really a Walloon.
There is no official term for a Protestant Walloon. Walloons could have been Catholic or Protestant. The majority were Catholic. Protestant Walloons faced the same persecutions in the Catholic Southern Netherlands as the "Huguenots" faced in Catholic France. Many fugitives from Flanders fled to England where they set up churches. The Dutch speaking churches in England were comprised of Flemings. Many of the French speaking churches were made up of Walloons. There were Walloon churches in Norwich, Canterbury, Southampton, and London. The Walloon church in London is very famous. It was called the Threadneedle Street Church, but it most often referred to as the "French Church."
The Relationship between the Jean Bodins
The other set of Bodins came from Medis, France. Jean Bodin of Medis fled from Soubize, France in September of 1681 for England with his wife, Esther Bridon, and possibly (or possibly not) two children (Hands, A.P. and Irene Scouloudi. French Protestant Refugees Relieved Through the Threadneedle Street Church, London, 1681-1687. Huguenot Society of London Quarto Series, v. 49, London, 1971). They, including a son named Jean, eventually settled on Staten Island. The controversy surrounding the early Jean Bodins still needs to be worked out to a satisfactory conclusion. These two families of Bodins were in the Staten Island, New York area at roughly the same time. They do not seem to have been related by blood, but from the evidence of the relationship between these two Jean's, Ronny Bodine says it appears as though the Jean Bodin from Bethune, once widowed from his first wife (Maria Crocheron) may have later married Esther Bridon, the widow of the Jean Bodin from Medis. This might seem strange, but it could be true. Ronny Bodine has done a lot of research into this question. He says, "There is no direct evidence of the marriage (between the widower, Jean of Bethune, and Jean of Medis' widow, Esther Bridon), but it becomes clear when following the trail of ownership of the land that Jean of Medis purchased in 1701, coming into possession of the Bridon family (Jean of Medis' wife's family), then being devised through several wills and deeds to Esther and Jean Bodin of Bethune." (No new children would have come from this second marriage, though.) The children of these two families are the beginning of many of the Bodines in America.
.....There are also some Bodines who came from Ulster County, New York. They may have come from Holland or Germany. The earliest documentation on these is from the 1750's. A connection to the Bodines from France has not been proven or disproven but they do appear to be linked through the DNA studies Ronny Bodine has carried out.
.....There are also some Bodines that moved from Sweden to Minnesota in the mid 1800's. These may also have a French origin, but they would not be related to the Jean Bodin mentioned here.
.....And there are some Bodines of Italian origin. The ancestor of these Bodines originally spelled his name differently, but eventually changed it to Bodine. There are some other Bodines of different origins as well.
Much of the earlier research into the Bodine family has made the claim that there was only one Jean Bodin who married both Maria Crocheron and Esther Bridon. However, this would have been impossible. The marriage of Jean Bodin and Maria Crocheron took place on January 11, 1680 on Staten Island. The other Jean, the one from Medis who married Esther Bridon, was naturalized with her in London, England on October 14, 1681 (Letters of Denization and Acts of Naturalization for Aliens in England and Ireland, 1603-1700. Huguenot Society of London, v. 19, London, 1911, pp. 128-129). That leaves less than two years between these marriages. The main problem with this timeline is that Nicholas Crocheron, the brother of Maria, made a bequest to "the children of John Bodine of his first wife, my nieces and nephews." The phrase "nieces and nephews" means at least four children. Jean and Maria surely did not have two sets of twins in two years. This would have been the only way to have four children in that short of a time span. Neither does it take into account the fact that Jean Bodin would have had to travel back to England to be married (which would have taken at least three months by ship). That leaves even less time for all this to happen. In addition, records from the Threadneedle Church in London, England appear to prove that the Jean Bodin of Medis fled France no earlier than September 13, 1681 (see info below on this).
As a point of interest, my
wife and I visited Medis, France in early September of 1995. We paid a quick
visit to the regional archives and looked through microfilm of the records of
the Protestant churches of the area of Medis. The regional archives are
located in La Rochelle. The address is Archives départementales, 17000 La
Rochelle, 35 rue de vaux de Foletier. I believe there was a Bridon listed in
the Protestant records in La Rochelle (p. 112?) with a baptismal date of 1640.
Unfortunately, I didn't have time to see if this person was related to
François Bridon. And we visited the Genealogical Circle of Saintonge. The
Circle's address is Cercle Géneálogique de Saintonge, 17100 Saintes, 8 rue
Mauny. This circle is very organized, helpful, and has a lot of information on
computer. There are many Bodins in their databases. Nothing was found on Jean
Bodin of Medis, but there could be something there.
Tom and Kathy Bodine sent me some information on a visit Kathy made to Medis in 2009. Go to the "Archives Room" at this site and look under "Research in France" for more on that. There is some very interesting information that has to do with this Jean Bodin.
Protestants Flee Persecution
Jean Bodin was a Huguenot who fled the Medis area with his family (probably just his wife, though) due to religious persecution by the Catholic government. Thousands of Protestants were put in prison or chained as galley slaves in the holds of ships. Many more were killed in massacres by the French government and populace. The Protestants themselves were not innocent of bloodletting, but by far they suffered the most. In Charles Baird's well-known book about Huguenot immigrants to America, he has this to say of the French Protestants killed during that time:
"...France was deluged in blood; and among the thousands who were butchered in cold blood, or in the frenzy of fanatical zeal, many of the noblest and purest of her sons perished" (Huguenot Immigrants to America, by Charles Baird, v. 1, p. 148).
To avoid this "Inquisition," many Protestants fled to places where there was more religious freedom: Holland, England, and later, America.
Jean Bodin Comes to America
The first ships to America loaded with the Puritans (also called Pilgrims) were sailing around the early 1600's to America from England. From the early 1600's until 1664, the Dutch government was in the process of settling people in the New York area (called New Netherlands then), including Staten Island. The Dutch government had formed an organization called the West India Company for "the development of traffic with America, the humbling of Spain, the conversion of the Indians and colonization in general" (Corwin, p. 16). It was an armed commercial organization with almost limitless powers. It brought many Dutch, Walloon and Huguenot immigrants to the New World. In return for their services as colonists, the West India Company paid for their passage to America. However, the company eventually headed toward bankruptcy and ceased operations after the British took control of New Netherlands in 1664. It was then the British who continued bringing in new settlers, including Huguenots and Walloons. Jean Bodin must have heard of this land of opportunity called America and hoped to start a new life there with his family. They were on one of these ships that went to America in the late 1600's or early 1700's.
My thanks to Ronny Bodine for the well-researched information that follows. He is a descendant of this Jean Bodin:
Jean Bodin was born, it is said, in Medis, a village in the
Canton of Saujon, District of Saintes, then located in the former French
province of Saintonge, on May 9, 1645, based upon "a tradition universal in
the family." This "traditional" statement is set forth by Mary Elisabeth
Sinnott in her genealogical work, Annals of the Sinnott, Rogers, Coffin,
Corlies, Reeves, Bodine and Allied Families (Philadelphia: J. B.
Lippincott Co., 1905), p. 154. She does not state how this tradition came
about. The year 1645 was noted earlier in E. P. Bodine's History of the
Branch of the Bodine Family Founded by Cornelius Bodine, (Buffalo, 1897),
p. 6 and in Biographical, Genealogical and descriptive History of the First
Congressional District of New Jersey (New York: Lewis Publishing Company,
1900), ii, p. 283. The date May 9, 1645 was repeated, subsequent to Sinnott's
publication, in Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New
Jersey (Lee, Francis Bazely, New York: Lewis Historical Publishing
Company, 1910), iv, p. 1368, all of whom cited no references. No original
source for this claim has yet been found. The location of his birth, Medis,
appears to have some basis in fact. Upon having fled France, the French
authorities noted his escape as "Boudin, fugitif de Medit, Election de
Saintes" (Archives Nationales, Paris, TT No. 259).
Jean and Esther Bodin first removed to Soubize, a small village in the
Canton of St. Agnant, District of Rochefort-sur-Mer. Accompanied by his wife,
Esther, he fled his native country on Saturday, September 13, 1681, a date
noted in the financial aid records of the Threadneedle Street Church in
Ronny Bodine has in the past had a researcher in France look for the
reference above in TT No. 259, but that researcher could not find it. It also
talks, I guess, about him fleeing from Port-des-Barques which is on the coast
from Soubize (now called Soubise). I see that TT No. 259 (or even No. 260)
does include the parish of Niort. That is only 20 miles from Port-des-Barques.
I wonder if that Baird found is actually somewhere in the Niort records. Worth
I recently did some research myself at the National Archives in Paris,
France and found another reference to this Jean Bodin fleeing France. It is on
page 1105 of TT No. 267 (microfiche reel #2). The TT No. 267 records are on
microfiche at the Paris National Archives in two reels. They discuss various
issues from Catholic parishes in France beginning with the letter S. There are
many many pages about Soubize on reel 2 of TT No. 267. I would say there are
well over 100 pages. Pages 1104-1106 (an unofficial page numbering system
someone seems to have written on the originals) discuss Huguenots who fled
from the Soubize parish between 1681 and March 20, 1685 when this list was
made. This is mentioned in the introduction about this list on page 1104. I am
going by memory since the Archives closed just as I found this and I was not
able to make a copy. So I think the date of the list was March 20, 1685, but
it was definitely 1685. Then there are three pages of names. On page 1105 are
the names of both Francois Bridon and Jean Bodin. The information on Francois
Bridon, Sr. says he came back to France and left his family in England.
However, I do need to see that original again to make sure of things. It
definitely talked about Francois Bridon, Sr., though (called l'année). I
forget what exactly it mentioned about family members or if it just said "his
family." His name is toward the top of page 1105. And in the middle of page
1105 is clearly written the entry "Jean Bodin et sa famille." I think the "et
sa famille" may mean either Jean Bodin and his wife or more than just his
wife. I say that because almost all, if not all, of the entries have some man
"et sa famille." If a man left with just his wife, that doesn't seem to be
mentioned in the list. But I did see that in other lists of fugitives in the
TT No. 267 records where often it would say "some man et sa femme" (and his
wife). If there were children, those were mentioned separately in those other
Ronny may have someone do some research on these Soubize records since there is a lot more. During a very quick scan I made of this difficult-to-read French, I did not see Jean Bodin mentioned again, but I easily could have missed that. I was under the gun with the Archives soon closing that one day I could be there, so I had to rush through things. I did see that starting around page 1210 there are quite a few pages about some of these Huguenots. I think there is some interesting personal information there. Those would be important to look at carefully. And there is a lot on the destruction of the Protestant Temple in Soubize by the French government. That happened in 1681 which seems to be when persecution of the Huguenots really got into full swing. It would be very interesting to get a good summary of what happened and when regarding the destruction of the Protestant church. This really seemed to precipitate that many Huguenots then fled the area. I think it was the straw that broke the camel's back for Jean Bodin. They had to flee then or permanently accept Catholicism as their religion.
By order of Council July 28, 1681, King Charles II of England authorised the granting of free denizations to the "distressed Protestants" fleeing for safety to his realm. Denization was the process of granting a foreign resident a subject's rights--except the rights to inherit property or hold public office, and was generally granted only to adult males. The only requirement placed upon them as new subjects of the crown was in these terms:--"Provided they live and continue with their families (such as have any) in this our kingdom of England, or elsewhere within our dominions." Among the first free grants of Letters of Denization entered in S. P. Dom., Car. II (Special Patents, King Charles II), Entry Book 67, on October 14, 1681, were those to John Boudin and Ester, his wife, as well as Francis Bridon (spelled Bridan), junior, Suzannah, his wife, Francis Bridon, his son, and Elias Vallet, his servant, (Letters of Denization and Acts of Naturalization for Aliens in England and Ireland, 1603-1700, Huguenot Society of London, xix: London, 1911, p. 128-129). The date of their naturalization given by Sinnott in her Annals (p. 154) as being March 21, 1682, citing Agnew, ii, 45, comes from the subsequent entry in the British Patent Rolls bearing that date. Agnew was apparently unaware of the existance of the Entry Books.
A document related to his information is the will of Suzannah Bridon, widow of Francis Bridon, Jr. See below (Abstracts of Wills Vol II 1708-1728, pages 304 & 305):
Page 5.--In the name of God, Amen, November 10, 1724, I, SUSANAH BRIDON, of Staten Island, widow, being in good health, I leave to my well-beloved cousin John Bodin, all that certain messuage, or Point of land on Staten Island on the north side of the Fresh Kill in Charles Neck, between the land of said John Bodin and the land of Teunis Griggs, containing 10 acres, with all the salt meadow, house, barn, and other buildings, Also Å"175 which he oweth me. All this to him for life, and then it shall come into the hands of my well-beloved cousin Esther Bodin, wife of said John Bodin, for life, and then to their children. I leave to my niece Judith, wife of John Chadine Å"50, and a feather bed and bedstead, and a rug and blanket. I give to Judith Chadine, Elizabeth Tillon and Ann Tillon all my linen, brass and pewter vessels, and other household goods. I leave all the rest to John Tillon, Peter Tillon, Elizabeth Tillon, and Anne Tillon. I make my friend John Casson, executor (a John Casson was the husband of Esther Bodine, daughter of John and Esther Bodine).
Witnesses, Daniel Low, Engelbart Van Sane, Abraham Cole. Proved, December 5, 1724.
The arrival in America of Jean Bodin can be ascertained only by June 19, 1701, when Jean Bodin, as a resident of Middlesex County, in the Province of East Jersey, purchased an 80 acre tract of land on Staten Island, New York from Johannes and Neeltje Messereau. Middlesex County was situated just across Hudson Bay from Staten Island.
Ronny Bodine said that this Jean Bodin (of Medis, France) purchased the land mentioned above in 1701 (Richmond Co. Deeds, B: 402). He died probably shortly before the probate of his will 24 March 1708 (NY County Wills, File No. 234). This land that John had acquired in 1701 came into possession of his brother-in-law Francis Bridon via an unrecorded transaction. On 8 May 1722 Francis Bridon sold 70 acres of this land to John Bodine (probably John of Bethune, France), but retained 10 acres for himself (Richmond Co. Deeds, C: 299-302). Francis Bridon died in Boston in 1723, as is evident from letters of administration issued to his widow, Susanna Bridon on 1 Aug 1723 (NY Wills, ix, 398). Francis' will of 16 Dec 1702 was proved in Boston on 22 Oct 1723 and named his widow as sole heiress (NY Wills, ix, 412). Thus Susanna Bridon was now in possession of the 10 acres. By her own will of 10 Nov 1724, proved 5 Dec 1724 (NY Wills, x, 5) she devised the 10 acres to John Bodine (probably John of Bethune) for life and upon his death to go to "my well beloved cousin Esther Bodine, wife of John Bodine, for life, then to their children." John Casson was appointed executor of the will, he being the son-in-law of Esther Bodine and her first husband.
In 1737, John Bodine wanted to sell the full 80 acres to Joseph Bedell, but was precluded from doing so under the terms of Susannah Bridon's will which stipulated he had possession of the land only during his lifetime after which it went to his wife Esther, then to her children. To clear the way for the sale, the children had to give up their right, which they did, and finally on 7 March 1736/7 John and Hester Bodine sold the land to Joseph Bedell, with Esther's son, Francis Bodine (francois bodin), serving as witness (Richmond Co. Deeds D: 131-134).
The short of it is this: An 80 acre tract was bought in 1701 by John Bodine I; it was sold to Francis Bridon; he sold 70 acres to John Bodine II keeping 10 acres for himself; these 10 acres went to his widow Susanna Bridon; she devised them to John Bodine II in her will; he was now in possession of all 80 acres; he obtained release from children and sold the land in 1736/7.
On December 1, 1702, Jean Bodin, now 57 years old, if the date of his birth can be trusted, found reason to compose his last will and testament. This will was not available to early family historians as is evident by the preface to an article in the October 1949 (p. 216) issue of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record entitled Three Early New York Wills. (The following transcription of that will is by Ronny Bodine and a little different from the published transcription.)
THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF JOHN BODINE, 1702
In the name of god amen the first day of December in the year of our Lord god 1702 I John Bodine of Staten Island in the County of Richmond yeoman being very sick and weak of body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be to god hereof calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men to die do make and ordain this my Last will and testament that is to say prinsapally and first of all I give and Recommend my soul into the hand of god that gave it and for my body I Command it to the Earth to be buried in a Christianlike and desent manner at the discretion of my Executors nothing douting but at the generall resurrection I shall reseve the samee againe by the mighty power of god and as touching such worldly Estate as hath pleased god to bless me in this life I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form.
Impris - I make my well beloved wife Ester mistress and dame of all my hole Effects moveable and unmoveable whatsoever freely to be possessed and enjoyed during her widowhood without any cost or bond whatsoever and if she shall come to marry againe the Estate to fall to my Children and then to be divided amongst all my Children Excepting seven pounds which I give to my son John Bodine and one mare with the proviso that my son John doe Live with his mother to help bring up the rest of the Children, Also not to have no more than his Equall share with the rest of his brothers and sisters.
Furthermore my will and desire is that if my wife shall marry again that I appoint Denis Rishe and fransis Bridon my administrators of my Estate so long that my Children Come of age and then to be Equally divided amongst my Children Excepting the seven pounds and a mare which have giving unto my son John with the proviso herein spesefied Restating and Confirming this and no other to be my Last will and Testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this day and year above written.
Jean Bodin (SEAL)
Signed Sealed Published Pronounced and Delivered by the said John Bodine as his Last will and testament in the presence of us the subscribers viz:
Desonrepos Jacob Cariot William Tillyer
New York March 24th 1707/8
Then appeared before me Edward Viscount Cornbury, Cap Gen & Gov in Chief & David Bourepos & made oath upon holy Evangelists of Almighty God & he did see the testator John Bodin sign seal publish & declare the within writing to be his Last will & Testament & at the time of his doing thereof he was of Sound & perfect mind & Memory to the Best of this Deposes & Knowlege and he ______ ______ ______ that he did see Jacob Cariot & William Tillyer the other two witnesses to the said Will Sign as witnesses in the presence of the Testator.
(New York County Wills, File No. 234)
It would appear from the above probate that Jean Bodin, now better known as John Bodine, died shortly before March 24, 1708. His death likely occured shortly before January 3, 1708 when his will was noted in New York Calendar of Land Papers, iv (1704-1709), p. 81. A census taken of the inhabitants of Staten Island and usually assigned the date of 1706 seems, on the surface, to have overlooked Jean Bodine, yet recording his wife and three children:
(Stillwell, John E. Historical and Genealogical Miscellany: Data Relating to the Settlement and Settlers of New York and New Jersey, New York, 1903, i, 150-156)
End of information from Ronny Bodine.
Other information says that Jean was the youngest child of Daniel and Marie Croise Bodin. However, this is probably not correct. At least, it is not substantiated. There is a 1943 update to the article A History of the Branch of the Bodine Family Founded by Cornelius Bodine, by E.P. Bodine, published in 1897. This update was written by George F. Bodine. He states, "Gulliamo Le Baudain of Cambray, whose son Daniel Bodin, went to Medis, in the ancient province of Saintonage, whose son, Daniel Bodin, born at Medis, went to London, England and married there, July 30, 1637, and returned with his wife to Medis and dies there. His son Jean Bodin, was born in 1645." This information is something to think about, but again it has no documentation or evidence to back it up. I have a feeling it is from the fraudulent Bodin genealogy written by Gustave Anjou in 1902, but I need to verify that idea.
His wife, Esther, was the daughter of Francois Bridon and Jeanne Susanne Bridon. She was the executrix of her father's will. She made an inventory of his estate on May 22, 1704 (NY Wills, Book 5/6, p. 385). They were all naturalized in London on October 14, 1681 and must have stayed there a number of years. (Besides the earlier reference, also see Agnew's French Protestant Exiles, ii, p. 45; Frelinghuysen ?; and C. Baird, v. 2, p. 39.) They then came to America around 1701. On June 19, 1701, he bought 80 acres of land on the west side of Staten Island at Charles Neck in Richmond County (Richmond Co. Deeds, B, p. 402). As mentioned before, this is the earliest record that we have of this Jean Bodin. At the time, he was a resident of Middlesex County, Province of East New Jersey. Robert Moore of Lexington, Kentucky, says that the two Jean Bodin families can be distinguished by how close one lived to the Poillons and the other to the Bridons. The Jean Bodins from Bethune lived south of Fresh Kill near the Poillons. The ones from Medis lived north of that area. Jean of Medis' cattle mark was registered on December 1, 1702 (Richmond Co. Court Records ?; Stillwell, v. 1, p. 30).
Note on the above: There is a Jean Bodin mentioned in the "Livre des Tésmoignage de l'Eglise de Threadneedle Street, London, ENG" (v. 21 of the Quarto series of Huguenot Society of London publications, also on LDS film # 0962137). Here are two entries. There may be more information in the actual book. I'm not sure if these are abstracts or not. I believe I may have seen these entries in the Huguenot Society publications when I was in Paris. Several Jean Bodin's were mentioned, but there was no way to tell which Jean Bodin it was. A Suzanne Boudin is also mentioned.
BODIN, Jean.....T. Mr. LORTIE.....5 Nov 1681
BODIN, Jean.....T. Harlem.....25 Oct 1702
BOUDIN, Susanne: fem. de Mause TEBAN.....T. Canterbury.....23 Oct 1692
His wife, Esther, was listed in
the 1707 Census. This could mean that Jean of Medis was dead by that time, or
that he had been overlooked in the Census, or that the Jean Bodin, age 45,
listed somewhat later in that Census is actually her husband. Not all families
in that Staten Island Census line up with one another in the original columns.
Some people have put the real date of the 1706 Staten Island Census at about
1708 based on the known birthdays of some people and their ages as listed in
that Census. I think the latest thinking is that it was done in the fall of
1707. Also check NY Wills 7, p. 312. His entire will appeared in
NYGBR, v. 80 (1949), p. 216. Esther continued to live past March 7,
1736/1737. A Bodine Branches article lists the following reference for
Esther having survived Jean: NY Wills, 6, p. 88; 7, p. 147.
For reference, here is a message from Ronny Bodine:
From: RBodine996 at aol.com
Sent: Friday, April 09, 2004
Subject: Re: Bodine paper - records searched
It has been many years since I did this. But I do recall reading through
the Rye Registers page by page. They weren't indexed and the writing was
legible as I recall. I became rather disappointed that I did not find the
names during the time the family came to America.
You are correct of course in your statement that they remained a long
while, accepting that Jean and Hester Bodin with their daughter are the same
persons as our Bodine family.
Whatever other records I looked through I don't recall, but they would have
been primaryily those published by the Huguenot Society of London.
Sorry I can't be more specific.
Ronny Bodine (descendant of Francis Bodine) has matched up with William Hubbard Bodine (descendant of Vincent Bodine). This would show that John and Esther's sons Francis and Vincent are related. Ronny has also matched up with Jerry Lee Bodine who descends from Vincent's grandson, James Bodine (1747).
Below is some important information from Tom Bodine. I have inserted some
pictures below and some emails which give details of his wife Kathy Bodine's
trip to Medis in 2009. Tom Bodine is the son of George Willis Bodine. I should
say that all of this information is based purely on what the locals said
there. I think we need to wait for more proof that this street or those fields
actually have to do with the John Bodine (Jean Bodin) who fled France and
ended up the ancestor to thousands of Bodines in America. The things Kathy
found out and saw there are really interesting, but I always like to have
actual proof, more than just what locals might say, to back up something so
important as this information.
Here are some pictures from Kathy's trip. Kathy may have more to send
later. If so, I will add those as I get them.
Here is a sign for the street. This must be up where the street begins.
Literally it means "Street of the Field of the Bodins." The sign below it "La
Botterie" is something that must be down that street. It's not part of the
name of the street.
And here is the actual street in the picture below. It leads out into still
open fields as can be seen in the bird's eye further below.
Below is the bird's eye view of this street. The image comes from National
Geographic maps. If you are connected to the Internet, click
here to see the actual map. I have circled on the map below where the
street is. It seems to end in the those fields. I have also circled in red the
name of the town of Medis on the map.
Here are some emails from Tom and Kathy.
From: Tom Bodine [tebodine at gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Subject: Re: Bodine Street in Medis
My wife talked with the local police chief who seemed to be familiar with
the Jean Bodine story. He even came up with the name of Jean's wife (Hester)
before my wife had a chance to mention it. I'll get more details from my wife
about what this guy seemed to know, but one thing he said was after Jean moved
out, no more Bodins had lived in the town. He knew about Jean having been a
miller and a farmer and said this reference to the Bodines' field (road name)
referred to Jean's land. My wife also went to visit the town Hester Pridon
came from (Port des Barques) and was given a book of records to look at from
the 1600's but she couldn't read the old style handwriting and didn't find out
anything. The material is there, however, if someone wants to go give it a
Attached are the photos of Bodine Street in Medis. One obviously is of the
street sign. The other is looking down the Rue du Champ des Bodins.
From: realtat at hotmail.com
Sent: Sunday, November 29, 2009
Subject: FW: Hello from Tom's wife Kathy, who recently visited Medis
I went to Medis only vaguely interested in Bodine history, and left quite
fascinated, since I seem to have hit pay dirt in terms of actual evidence. It
was such a strange feeling to stand in the field that likely belonged to Jean
Bodine. The past seems quite alive there and I only wish I had had more time
and skill to decode the surviving book of births and deaths which I found in
the mairie of the island of Oleron. (I don't know how to say mairie in
English, but I guess it would be city government records office or something.)
No Bodine was from there that I know of but I guessed that perhaps records
from the Port des Barques (where Ester, Jean's wife was from) could be there.
The island faces the mainland port where this ancestor (Ester) was apparently
from, and the island's mairie might possibly have records from the port area,
since Port des Barques seems even today to be little more than a port. I
simply couldn't find the mairie there at the port, and nobody I talked to at
the port seemed to be from there enough to know much about the port's birth
records from the 17th century. It's a great oyster and mussel area, so if you
like those, maybe you inherited that taste. Let me know if you want more
detail from Medis or Port des Barques, but I don't have any names to add, no
Bodines in the cemetery or current residents with the name.
Best wishes. Kathy B.
From: realtat at hotmail.com
Sent: Monday, November 30, 2009
Subject: RE: Hello from Tom's wife Kathy, who recently visited Medis
Hi again, I spent three days in the area around Médis (pronounced without
the -s) and Port des Barques. Will send photos as soon as I locate my camera
cable to connect to computer (lost on the trip). I can only report what people
told me. Xavier Reignier, who works in the mairie, seemed quite competent and
informed, having researched himself and written a report on the history of the
village that contained Jean Bodin's information. Xavier seemed to be a village
historian, although he didn't claim that title, just interest. According to
what he told me (I speak French.), records of births and deaths were
destroyed, some in World War II. The cemetery seemed to contain mostly people
from the 20th century and according to Xavier's lists no Bodin or Boudin or
any similar name is buried there. According to the police chief, with whom I
also talked, there are no Bodins in the area (including similar spellings). He
had a complete list of citizens living in the area and the closest name was
Botton. Xavier was certain that this family had no connection to the Bodins.
Xavier told me that Jean Bodin and his second wife Ester Bridon (spelling
uncertain) from le Port des Barques left with children from his first marriage
and all other family members in the period before the revocation of the Edict
of Nantes, when houses were being burned and people killed for holding
Protestant services in their homes. He told me that Jean was not one of those
who held services, but who left anyway. How Xavier knew this I can't say. His
data on Bodin agreed with what came from you (?) except for the date of death.
He belived it was in March of 1695. He told me that the Bodins were farmers
and had a mill for flour that ran on wind. (moulin à vent) He told me that
Jean Bodin was naturalized in London on 14 October 1681. He mentioned a book
on this man written in 1904 by Miss Mary Sinnolt or Sennolt. Xavier told me
about the street named "Champs des Bodins". Streets were named according to
where they led to, or to whose property they led, for the small country lanes.
I don't know what proof we have that the field here belonged to this Bodin. I
didn't ask Xavier for proof. It appears that Xavier's family name Reigner is
on a section not far from the Bodin area.
Médis is now a town of 2700 people, a suburb of Royan really. When were you
there? Did you meet Xavier?
Incidentally, some of the notes I saw (possibly from you) mentioned the
town of Soubise where the Bodins first went after leaving home. It says,
"Soubise is so obscure it does not appear on any current atlas available to
the author." Soubise is not small or obscure. It is thriving and easy to find,
bigger than Médis or Port des Barques.
Xavier showed me the Catholic church from the 12th century and the
Protestant temple from the 18th, which was built long after the conflicts
between the French Catholics and the Protestants, and so has no connection to
Bodin. He told me that about a third of the town is now Protestant.
On one set of notes I got from Tom (from you?) it says that Médis is
located in the "District of Saintes". Xavier said that this is wrong and never
was correct, even in the 17th century.
Two American women whose fathers' plane crashed near Médis in the Second
World War recently visited the village and held a meeting with village
officials and flew the American flag at the mairie. Just a note of interest
I enjoyed this visit to Médis, even though I realize that the historical
information may be shaky. It seemed credible to me. Something about the
survival of tastes, like Tom's Dad's fishing on the sea and liking to stay
near it and just details that seemed familiar or reminded me of his family.
Best wishes, Kathy
Here is something to note below concerning research:
From: miss missy [funmissy2003 at yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010
Subject: genealology Bodin
I was looking for some huguenots in england and found your site. To help you, I did a quick search for Bodin or bodine in the Rotterdam (archives), the place where a lot of english huguenots went to for some reason. The name did not come up with any hits, so Rotterdam is out :-). Have you tried 'family search', a mormon site, and very good if you are stuck?
Good luck with finding answers.
Friendly greetings from Mariska Dumas, Zwolle, Netherlands
NOTES FROM RONNY BODINE (JUNE 2017 with some additional info from
January 20, 2017):
1645, 9 May. Jean Bodin is said to have been born on this date in
Medis, a village in the Canton of Saujon, District of Saintes, province of
Saintonge. This date first appeared in print in 1897 in E. P. Bodine's
History of the Branch of the Bodine Family Founded by Cornelius Bodine,
(Buffalo, 1897). The location of his birth, Medis, appears in records of the
French authorities who noted his escape as "Boudin, fugitif de Medit, Election
de Saintes" (Archives Nationales, Paris, TT No. 259).
1681, 13 Sept. "Jean Bodine, farrier, with his wife" are among 22
persons who flee by boat for England from the town of Soubise, near the mouth
of the Charente. The date of their escape and the names of those who
accompanied them are noted in the records of the Threadneedle Street Church of
London. Jean and Esther had no children as their presence was not noted as
were other children in the group who accompanied their parents. (Hands, A. P.
and Irene Scouloudi, French Protestant Refugees Relieved Through the
Threadneedle Street Church, London, 1681-1687, Huguenot Society of London
Quarto Series, xlix, London, 1971)
[Note (December 24, 2020) on the above from Dave Bodine: In some Geneanet scans from the French Archives. I found what is titled on Geneanet as something like "The Liquidation of the goods left by those of RPR (Religion Pretended Reformed) in some places near La Rochelle." It seems to be a list from November 1689 of the value of property or goods that some Protestants left behind. It is in TT No. 232-19-5. It says something about Françoise (female name) Bridon from the, I think, Consistoire of Saint-Nazaire-sur-Charente (Port-des-Barques was maybe a part of that Consistoire I imagine) and maybe 2300 something (pounds?). There is more on his line than just his name, but I can't make it out. This would be good to have your researcher check if I can't figure it out. Her or his name is listed twice in the same line for some reason.
Ronny then commented on the above: Dave-- The fourth name on the list from St. Nazaire is Elie & Suzanne Dupoux. The folks I had identified as accompanying Jean Bodin included:
Jean Bodin, accompanied by his wife, Esther, fled his native country on Saturday, 13 September 1681, a date noted in the financial aid records of the Threadneedle Street Church in London. Not being a seaman it would have been a very dangerous undertaking to escape under the watchful eyes of those guarding the ports and successfully navigate the Charente and make their way to England. To overcome this handicap, the couple joined a group of other refugees who did possess the know how to safely make this journey. Again, the records of the Threadneedle Street Church show the following refugees first receiving aid 14-16 September 1681 and all having arrived from Soubise the previous Saturday. Clearly, Jean and Esther Bodin had chosen their companions well:
Jean Bodin, farrier, with his wife; Etienne Bourru, seaman; Vincent Bourru, ship's carpenter, with his wife and 4 daughters; Antoine Le Roy, seaman, and his bethrothed Isabelle Du Pas; Elie Du Pus, seaman and ship's carpenter, with his wife and 3 children; and Francois Gaultier, seaman, with his wife, 3 daughters, and a niece. (Hands, A. P. and Irene Scouloudi, French Protestant Refugees Relieved Through the Threadneedle Street Church, London, 1681-1687, Huguenot Society of London Quarto Series, xlix, London, 1971)]
1681, 14 Oct. "John Boudin and Ester, his wife" are granted Letters
of Denization which granted a foreign resident a subject's rights, except to
hold public office or inherit property. (Letters of Denization and Acts of
Naturalization for Aliens in England and Ireland, 1603-1700, Huguenot Society
of London, xix: London, 1911, p. 128-129).
1681, 10 Dec. Jean Bodine receives his 13th and final financial
grant from Threadneedle Street Church. He had received a total of 3.16.2
Pounds which has a value of about $721 in today's currency.
1682. Birth of son Jean (John), probably his eldest child. He was
aged 26 in the Staten Island census of 1708.
1696, 12 June. Mary Ann, daughter of John Bodin & Hester, his wife,
French Protestants (Rye Parish Register of Baptisms, Burials and Marriages,
1682-1727, p. 15.). See more notes below on this.
1701, 12 May. Jean Bodin of Middlesex County, Province of East
Jersey, purchased an 80-acre tract of land on Staten Island. The Province of
East Jersey comprised the counties of Bergen, Essex, Middlesex and Monmouth
with the capital at Perth Amboy in Middlesex County and were governed by
English Lord Proprietors. On 17 April 1702, the Provinces of East and West
Jersey were amalgamated into the Province of New Jersey as a British royal
colony with Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury as the first royal governor until his
recall in 1708. (Richmond County, New York Deed Book B, pg. 402)
1702, 1 Dec. “John Bodine of Staten Island in the County of
Richmond yeoman” composes his last will and testament. He names his wife
Ester. He makes reference to “all my children” but names only his son John,
clearly his eldest, and refers to John's “brothers and sisters.” (New York
County Wills, File No. 234)
1704, 22 May. Hester Bodine submits an inventory of the estate of
her late father, Francis Bridon, which is valued at £19.15.00. (NY Wills,
v-vi, 385; vii, 168)
1708, 3 Jan. His death likely occurred shortly before this date
when his will was noted in New York Calendar of Land Papers, iv [1704-1709],
If he was born in May 1645 and died in December 1707 he was 62 years
JEAN BODINE was last recorded in England on 10 December 1681 and first appears in records in America on 12 May 1701, a span of nearly 20 years. English law prevented him from acquiring any land and if he chose to live in England with his family he did so as a tenant. His occupation was that of a farrier which is one who shoes horses, mules, donkeys, etc. It is a trade that could be pursued both in a urban or rural environment. Many Huguenots settled in and around Rye where they were welcomed and afforded use of the parish church. The parish registers recorded the baptism on 12 June 1696 for:
Mary Ann, daughter of John Bodin & Hester, his wife, French
(Rye Parish Register of Baptisms, Burials and Marriages, 1682-1727, p. 15)
It is difficult to simply overlook this as a random coincidence. The Rye
registers contained baptismal records for numerous French Protestants. John
Bodine's daughter is variously recorded as Marianna, Mary Ann and Marie. She
is first mentioned in the 1707 will of her brother John Bodine and, as Marie
Ann Bodin, was a baptismal witness on 6 May 1716 at the French Church of New
York. Thus in 1716 she would have been 20 years old and yet unmarried.
Within the next two years she married Jean Abelin. If one accepted that
Marianna was in fact born in 1696, then she was likely among the younger
children of John and Esther and her presence reduces the unaccounted for
period for the family to a 5-year span, 1696 to 1701. Yet, one can assume
that neither John nor Esther wished to make the transatlantic journey with a
newborn so it is reasonable to believe they ultimately did so between 1698
Whereas John Bodine was a resident of Middlesex County, Province of East
Jersey in May 1701 when he bought the land on Staten Island, there is not a
single reference to him in the voluminous land records of East Jersey. Taking
into account the relative small population there at the time it would seem he
would have become a landowner or at least be mentioned as a witness had he
come to the area in the 1680s or 1690s and so, being absent therefrom further
supports the contention that he did not arrive until a much later date.
1708. The Staten Island census lists Hester Bodine with children
Francis, Jacob and Jane. No husband is named as by this time as she was a
After 1708. Esther Bridon Bodine, widow of John Bodine, marries
John Bodine, widower of Maria Crocheron Bodine.
1722, 8 May. Francis Bridon, brother of Esther Bridon Bodine, sold
to John Bodine (second husband of Esther) 70 acres of the original 80 acre
tract of land burchased in 1701 by John Bodine of Medis, first husband of
Esther. Bridon retained 10 acres for himself to live on. (Richmond Co., NY
Deeds, C, p. 299-302).
1723, 1 Aug. Susanna Bridon is issued letters of administration on
the estate of her late husband Francis Bridon and comes into possession of the
10 acres of land he had retained for them to live on. (NY Wills, ix, 412)
1724, 5 Dec. The will of Susanna Bridon is proved. She devises the
10 acres to "my well beloved cousin Esther Bodine, wife of John Bodine, for
life, then to their children." John Casson was appointed executor of the
will, he being the son-in-law of Esther Bodine and her first husband, having
married their daughter, Esther (New York County Wills, File No. 756).
In 1737, John Bodine wanted to sell the 80 acres to Joseph Bedell,
but was precluded from doing so under the terms of Susannah Bridon's will
which stipulated that he had possession of the land only during his lifetime,
when it would revert to his widow, Esther, and following her death, to her
children by John Bodine, undoubtedly implying her first husband as there was
no issue by her second marriage. Thus, John and Esther Bodine could sell the
land only if her children gave up their interest in the 10 acres. On 2
February 1736/7, John and Esther Casson, as heirs in law of Francis Bridon,
sold their right and interest in the 10 acres to John Bodine (Richmond Co.
Deeds, D, 104-105). Finally, on 7 March 1736/7, John and Hester Bodine, sold
the land to Joseph Bedell, with Esther's son, Francis Bodine, serving as
witness. The deed constitutes the final known record of Esther Bodine and her
second husband. Similiar releases from the other surviving children are not a
matter of record, with the exception of Mary Ann Abelin (daughter of Jean and
Esther Bodine, and widow of Jean Abelin), who on 8 September 1743, per
memorandum in relation to the above deed, claimed that John Bodine was to pay
her the sum of seven pounds.