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Descendants of Guillaume Tonnelier

Generation No. 1

1. GUILLAUME1 TONNELIER was born December 10, 1655 in Plelan Le Grand, Ille-et Vilaine, France, and died WFT Est. 1706-1766 in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England.

Notes for G
[Nancy Tunnell's Ancestors.FTW]

[Nancy Tunnell's Ancestors.GED]

Guillaume Tonnelier who was born in France was a maker of barrels and in that period of time, nearly 2 1/2 centuries ago, family names in France were derived from occupations and Tonnelier in French literally means "maker of barrels" or cooper. Many examples of this ancient practice, especially in France and England, are evident today in Europe. The Smith family from blacksmiths, the Fletchers from the families who fletched the arrows which were the weapons of that day. The Armstrongs because of their physical strength, etc.
Several years after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Guillaume Tonnelier and his family fled his native France and sought refuge in England. Kinsmen, who also fled their homeland to escape religious persecution, settled on the Elbe in Germany. There some assumed the spelling Tunell, while others changed The Kiecer, the German equivalent for the name. It is said that some to the German Tunnells went to Sweden and some of these changed to the spelling Thunnell. There are descendants of the German and Swedish branches in Minnesota and Illinois while there are people in Indiana and Florida who use the French spelling, Tonnelier.
The Edict of Nantes (April 13, 1598) during Henry IV reign (1589-1610) put an end to religious conflicts, as a result of long negotiations with the assemblies of the Protestant churches. Protestants (Huguenots) were given the right to live in the Kingdom and equality of citizenship; their worship could be celebrated privately in the houses of seingeurs haut-justiciers (greater nobles), and publicly in places where it was celebrated in 1576 or where its celebration had been permitted by edicts of 1557, 1579, and 1580. Whereas all these terms constituted a state of toleration rather than freedom of conscience, there were additional privileges as well, including the right to fortify the places they still held and the right to hold assemblies of the religion. Louis XIV (1661-1715), the "most Christian king and eldest son of the church," considered himself the ruler of the souls of his subjects. Thus he felt himself called upon to establish the unity of the faith (Catholicism) and to repress all dissenters, Huguenots, Jansenists or Quietists, whose independence was insupportable to him. Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes (1685), thinking that an act of authority would settle the matter. There followed a mass emigration and deprived France of some of its most valuable craftsmen, the Huguenots.
Guillaume Tonnelier, his wife and his first son, also named Guillaume fled to England in 1702. They settled near Scarbrough, North Riding, Yorkshire. There the name was anglicized to Tunnel, note the single (L) spelling. The second L was added later after the family moved on to the British Colonies in America. Guillaume, the first son was born in France, but his name was anglicized to William. Guillaume and his wife died in England. William married Lady Ann Howard of Yorkshire in England (date not known) and about 1736 they emigrated to the English Colonies in America and settled near Fredricksburg, Virginia.
Children of G
  i.   JOHN2 TUNNELL, b. WFT Est. 1681-1721, Scarborough, Yorkshire, England; d. WFT Est. 1694-1800; m. LADY SCARBOROUGH; b. WFT Est. 1682-1727; d. WFT Est. 1695-1807.
  Notes for JOHN TUNNELL:
[Nancy Tunnell's Ancestors.FTW]

[Nancy Tunnell's Ancestors.GED]

John with his brother, James, crossed to America in about 1740. John Tunnel, who lived in Accomac County, Virginia, and in Delaware, married a widow, "Lady Scarbrough."

  ii.   JAMES TUNNELL, b. WFT Est. 1681-1721; d. WFT Est. 1694-1800.
  Notes for JAMES TUNNELL:
[Nancy Tunnell's Ancestors.FTW]

[Nancy Tunnell's Ancestors.GED]

James Tunnel with his brother, John, came to America in about 1740. James Tunnel went to North Carolina.

2. iii.   WILLIAM TUNNELL, b. 1702, France; d. December 28, 1787, Loudon County, Virginia (buried in Fairfax County, Va).

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