Located in present-day McCormick County, New Bordeaux was the last of seven French Huguenot colonies founded in South Carolina. The stone monument pictured below marks the site of the colony’s original Huguenot church.
The Huguenots, who fled Europe in search of religious freedom, settled the area – called Hillsborough Township – in 1764 and quickly established a community around the church. The were led by the Reverend Jean Louis Gibert of Lunes, Languedoc, France. Gibert petitioned the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1761, hoping to be granted land for a new colony of Huguenots. Though Gibert wanted land by the Ohio River for growing grapes, he was given land in the upcountry of South Carolina, a region that, despite several Huguenots settlements further south, lacked a Huguenot presence.
Gibert, who established nearby Badwell Plantation, called his settlement New Bordeaux and attempted – unsuccessfully – to grow grapes along the Savannah River. Nonetheless, by 1765 around 300 Huguenots populated the community, and by 1772 nearly 500 Huguenots had moved to New Bordeaux.
The Revolutionary War proved devastating to the town and its fledgling economy. The colonists dispersed in the years after the war, and while the town did not survive, descendants of the original French settlers are still found throughout western South Carolina. Gibert is interred in Badwell Cemetery.
Dan Vickers says
Starting to check this stuff out after Ancestry results and genealogy folder that I cleared out of my parents’ home.
My grandfather was a Salley who married a LeRoy. Past that, French names include:
Bellot, Guillebeau and Paschal…
All of these came through SC….
If you know any good sites outside of Ancestry and WikiTree, then let me know.
I can share what I have as well.
Lynn Della says
I was unaware of New Bordeaux until just finding a reference to it on MyHeritage. I am a direct descendant of Sarah (Roberson) Britt Dellechaux/Delachaux (wife of Jacob), who arrived in New Bordeaux in 1768 (and relocated to Abbeville, SC following the deaths of Jacob and their daughter Susanna in 1790).
The information here about them and their journey to New Bordeaux is a great addition to infromation we already had. Thanks!
Don Webb says
I found the corner markers for the one acre site. Would be interested in hearing how the site was deeded to the Huguenot Society. It must have been a daunting task.
Regina manley says
This is amazing information. It helped me out to find direction to graveyards I been looking for. I found it very interesting. Thanks for sharing it.