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Poindexter Descendants Association Poindexter Descendants Association Screen readers, skip to the Table of Contents

Family History and Research

Huguenots in the Poingdestre Linage

The Huguenots were French Protestants who were members of the Reformed Church established in France by John Calvin in about 1555, and who, due to religious persecution, were forced to flee France to other countries in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. ( 4 )

Elizabeth Effard (b. 1597) and Thomas Poingdestre, are the parents of our immigrant George Poindexter. Elizabeth was the granddaughter on her mother's side of a refugee Huguenot Priest who had served in Ste-Mère Église in Normandy.1 )

The Effards of Guernsey:

Elizabeth's father was Rev. Nicholas Effard (1563-1638) and served the church in Guernsey prior to arriving to serve at St. Saviour in Jersey. 3 ) Nicholas' father was Jean Effard (a Jurat for the Court in Guernsey) and he mother was Elizabeth Perrin. ( 7 ) Elizabeth's brother Pierre (Peter) went to Virginia, possibly with George Poindexter.2 )

Rev. Nicholas Effard (1563-1638), who became Rector of St. Saviour on 25 March 1586 after serving as a minister on Guernsey. He has an interesting history that includes successful collection of past tithes owed to the church in Guernsey for colts, calves and lambs. In 1613 he was one of the ministers to appear to the Privy Council to defend the existing Prebyterian form of church government. He and his fellow ministers lost the arguement and the Anglican form of government was reestablished. ( 3 )

The Chaumont's or Caumonts of le Manche District of Normandy:

Elizabeth's mother was Sarah de Caumont or Caumont (b. 1570). Sarah's father was Rev. Pierre de Chaumont (b. 1544). We do not know his wife's name. Pierre was a Huguenot minister, raising his daughter the same. 1 )2 ) He was either serving his religion in Ste. Mere Eglise or Ste. Marie du Mont. The two are less than 10 miles apart near the northern coast of Normandy in the Manche Department (or district). At this time we two sources that disagree on which village.

Were the Poingdestre's Huguenots?

The family existed in Jersey and belonged to St. Saviour's Parish for many centuries and before the protestant reformation of the English church, and before the Huguenot movement began, since at least the mid-1300s with Jean Poingdestre (1367-68 Jurat of Royal Jersey Court). The family, following the changes of the Jersey churches from Roman Catholic to Anglican in the 1500's, would also have moved to the Anglican church. 5 )

We do know that immigrant George was a vestryman at Bruton Church (Episcapelian or American branch of the Church of England) in Williamsburg, VA. There is a plaque on the south wall inside the church, west nave, that lists the founding vestrymen. George is listed on this plaque. Therefore, George was probably not a Huguenot but was a protestant Anglican. He had many Huguenot friends, according to research by Doris Lucas. ( 6 ) Doris reported that George had been registered as a Huguenot by a Poindexter researcher a number of years ago, but she understands that had been rescinded by the National Huguenot Society. ( 4 )

So you decide. Are the Poingdestre's Huguenots? Very likely not. Do we descend from a Huguenot? Probably, as research indicates we do descend from Pierre Caumont, who was a Huguenot minister.

More will be added as readers forward additional material to the webmaster.


  1. Robert de Berardinis, professional genealogical researcher, from his email correspondence, 2008.
  2. PDA Genealogical Database
  3. Book: "The Parish Church of St. Saviour, Jersey" by F. De L. Bois, publisher Phillimore, London, 1976.
  4. National Huguenot Society
  5. Landers, page 24
  6. PDA Research Committee
  7. Compiler: Joseph Foster, London Marriages 1521-1869, Bernard Quaritch 1887.

Examples of research showing records where the family is said to be Huguenots.

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 09:00:23 -0700
Subject: [POINDEXTER-L] from

Search Results
Database: Full Context of Virginia Biographical Encyclopedia
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Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Volume II
VIII--Prominent Persons

son of Thomas Poindexter, born in Louisa county, Virginia, in 1799, of
Huguenot descent, was early orphaned, and became a lawyer. In 1802 he
removed to Mississippi territory, and became a leader of the Jefferson
party. He was appointed attorney-general of the territory in 1803, and
conducted the prosecution of Aaron Burr. His violent denunciations of
the Federalists resulted in a challenge from Abijah Hunt, whom he
killed in the duel that ensued. He was elected to the legislature in
1805, and in 1807 was a delegate to congress, serving until 1813, when
he was appointed United States judge for the territory of Mississippi,
and he so administered the law as to settle many conflicting land
grant titles, and repress the criminal classes. He aided in the
preparations for the war of 1812, and joined Gen. Jackson, to whom he
served as an aide at the battle of New Orleans. In the Mississippi
constitutional convention of 1817 he was chairman of the committee to
draft a state constitution, and when Mississippi was received into the
Union, he was its first representative in congress, and proved an able
defender of President Jackson. After serving one term in congress, he
was elected governor of Mississippi, and, under authority of the
legislature, he completed and published the "Revised Code of the Laws
of Mississippi," (Natchez, 1824). In 1821 he returned to the bar, and
continued practice until 1830, when he was appointed to the United
States senate to fill a vacancy, then being elected, and serving until
1835. During his senatorial service, became estranged from Jackson,
occupying ground midway between Clay and Calhoun, but leaning towards
the latter. He strenuously opposed the appointment of the president's
personal friends to office in Mississippi, and voted for Clay's
resolution of censure. In 1835 he located in Louisville, Kentucky, but
subsequently returned to Mississippi, and died at Jackson, that state,
September 5, 1853.

Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Volume II
VIII--Prominent Persons

Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2001 06:52:12 -0700
Message-ID: <002c01c11a91$2b7ee0c0$>
Subject: [POINDEXTER-L] Benjamin Haley Poindexter
Content-Type: text/plain;
MIME-Version: 1.0

Just in case some may not have seen this.

#6065: HISTORY OF KENTUCKY AND KENTUCKIANS, E. Polk Johnson, three volumes,
Lewis Publishing Co., New York & Chicago, 1912. Common version, Vol. III,
pp. 1197-98.   [Jefferson County]
BENJAMIN HALEY POINDEXTER--The lineage of the subject of this review, who
is secretary of the Southern National Life Insurance Company of Louisville,
bespeaks long and prominent identification with the annals of American
history, many representatives of the name showing that intrinsic loyalty
and patriotism which led them to take an active part in the great conflict
between the states, and others figuring conspicuously in the great
questions of the day as represented in political warfare.  Mr. Poindexter
has an exceptionally fine ancestry, which is always a good beginning for
any one, and a slight diversion in order to place a short sketch before the
reader will not prove uninteresting and will show the stock from which Mr.
Poindexter came and demonstrate some of the characteristics which often
descent from one generation to another.  The Poindexters are of French
Huguenot stock, who left France upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes,
going thence to the Isle of Jersey, where some of the family still live,
thence coming to the new world, settling in Louisa county, Virginia.  Among
the members of the family to become prominent in the United States are:
United States Senator Poindexter, from Mississippi, who was born in Louisa
county, Virginia; Colonel John A. Poindexter (an uncle of Benjamin H.), who
served as a colonel in the war with Mexico under his personal friend,
General Price, and who went to Missouri upon the breaking out of the war
between the states to join General Price, and fought all through the war in
Southern army as a colonel on General Price's staff, dying a few years
after the war closed.  He became prominent in Missouri politics and at the
time of his death was a prospective candidate for the Democratic nomination
for governor.  The Hon. Miles Poindexter, at present a member of Congress
from the state of Washington and an "Insurgent" candidate for the United
States Senate, is a cousin to our subject.  All the Poindexters still bear
the French Huguenot type of features and many characteristics, thus showing
the strong and persistent personality of the progenitors.  So far as the
record at hand shows the original Virginia Poindexter settler was John, the
father of David, and the grandfather of our subject, and the original
Kentucky settler, David Poindexter, was born in Louisa county, Virginia,
and there married Elizabeth Watts, of the old Virginia family of that name.
 Coming to Kentucky, he settled in Stamping Ground, where he lived the
remainder of his days.  He was engaged in the tanning business at Stamping
Ground for many years, and also owned an interest in a Louisville tannery.
The father of our subject is Richard Mentor Johnson Poindexter, who was
born on the old homestead at Stamping Ground on June 30, 1833, and is still
living.  He was engaged in merchandising at Stamping Ground for many years,
but for ten years has been retired from active business. He married Martha
Jane Haley, who was born in Fayette county, Kentucky, the daughter of
Benjamin Haley, a native of Kentucky, born of Virginia parents.  Her
brother, the Rev. T. P. Haley, has for many years been a minister of the
Christian church, was at one time pastor of the Broadway Christian church
at Louisville, was pastor of a St. Louis, Missouri, church and is now
honorary pastor of Haley's Memorial Christian church, named on his honor,
at Kansas City, Missouri.  He married Mary McGarvey, sister to the Rev.
McGarvey, for many years president of the Bible College at Lexington,
Kentucky.  Another brother of Mrs. Poindexter's, the Rev. Henry H. Haley,
deceased, was a leading minister of the Christian Church.      Benjamin H.
Poindexter was reared on the old Poindexter homestead at Stamping Ground,
Scott county.  He received his education at Georgetown (Kentucky) College
and in 1878 went to Missouri, where for five years he was engaged in lead
mining, and where he still holds important mining interests.  Returning to
Kentucky, he settled in Hawesville, where in 1890 he was elected county
clerk of Hancock county, serving five years. During that period he
organized the Bank of Lewisport, remaining the cashier of the same for five
years.  He then organized and was one of the incorporators of the
Mechanic's Bank and Trust Company of Owensboro, becoming cashier of the
institution and so continued until 1908, when he resigned to accept the
secretaryship of the Southern National Life Insurance Company and removed
to Louisville. Mr. Poindexter married Emma Mason Barron, who was born in
Owensboro, Kentucky, the daughter of Thomas Mason Barron and the
great-great-granddaughter of George Mason of Gunston Hall, Virginia, the
adjoining plantation to Mt. Vernon, Washington estate, on the Potomac.  He
was the author of the Virginia Bill of Rights, and was conspicuous in the
framing of the American Constitution.  He received grants from Virginia for
large tracts of Kentucky lands, and a tract of ten thousand acres lying in
Daviess county was among them.  The warrant for these lands is still held
by the family, and while much of the land has passed into other hands the
Mason claim is still valid and no deed has ever been, or can be made, to
them without consent of the Mason heirs.  Upon this tract of Daviess county
land, Thomas Mason Barron settled at an early date, coming from Virginia
and bringing his family and stores, making the entire trip in carriages.
Mrs. Poindexter, through her descent from George Mason, is a member of the
Daughters of the Revolution, in which she is active, having been twice a
delegate to the national meetings and served on different committees. Mr.
Poindexter takes an active interest in the Masonic Order and is a member of
the Owensboro Loges, No. 303, F. & A. M., Owensboro Chapter, R.A.M.,
Owensboro Commandery, K.T., and Kosair Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles
of the Mystic Shrine.  In person, in talents and in character Mr.
Poindexter is a worthy of his race, and he has attained to distinction in
various lines of life, which is indicative of great mental breadth and
superior business qualifications.


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Updated January 12, 2022

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