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Fuqua, A Fight For Freedom

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Fuqua, A Fight For Freedom

Posted: 996202365000
Edited: 1039667267000
In view of the recent messages regarding this book, I am repeating a review which I publiished on FUQUA-L early last year. It is presented below.

A few words regarding "The Book", Fuqua A Fight For Freedom.........

For those who have not seen the book, it is NOT a book dedicated to the
Fuqua family. It is a book dedicated to the family of Alya Dean Smith
Irwin, and includes information on EIGHTY surnames. Of the 452 pages of the
book, only about 30% of them deal with "Fouquet" and "Fuqua".

Alya Dean Smith Irwin's lineage is presented below.
Guillaume Fouquet
William Fuqua
John Fuqua
Susannah Fuqua Jackson
William Jackson
Mary Jane Jackson Johnson
Bessie May Johnson Smith
Alya Dean Smith Irwin

As could be expected, the material presented subsequent to Susannah Fuqua's
marriage to Josiah Jackson does not deal with the Fuqua surname.

Mrs. Irwin was proud of her presumed Huguenot heritage, and applied a large
amount of time and resources to having the information which appears in the
book gathered and compiled. A full page of the book is devoted to
acknowledgements of the people who were involved with the project. It was
my good fortune to know several of them.

The book has become the accepted "Bible" of Fuqua genealogy. No other
publication has achieved that stature. Unfortunately, it is quoted far and
wide as the "source" of undisputed Fuqua genealogical information. Some of
what is quoted does not even appear in the book.

To be used properly, the book must be used carefully. In many cases, source
documentation is identified which validates the information presented. In
other cases, information is presented with no source identification. In
those cases the information can only be used as a working hypothesis which
needs to be proven before it can be claimed to be correct. There are a
number of cases where the lineage presented is completely and proveably

The first chapter is on "Guillaume Fouquet". It briefly describes some
Huguenot history, and quotes records which support the presence in Charles
City County, Virginia, of the gentleman who has become known as "Guillaume
Fouquet". These records all refer to "Gill" or "Gilly" as a given name, and
"Ffuiquitt", "Fuquitt", "Fuquett", "Fueque", "Foucque", "Ffueque" and
"Fouquette" as a surname. Other records, which are not referenced in the
book, include still different surname spellings. NONE of them say either
"Guillaume" or "Fouquet", although these were (and still are) traditional
French names. It was Mrs. Irwin (or an advisor to her) who assumed that
"Guillaume Fouqet" was correct. The relevant paragraph from Page 1 of the
book is quoted below.

"It will be noted, from records cited here, that the given name
"Guillaume," borne by some of the French settlers, was familiarly shortened
to "Gill" or "Gilly" by the Virginians. These records also reflect the
transformation of the French surname Fouquet through various spellings
"Ffuiquitt, Fuquitt, Fuquett, and Fueque" to its present anglicized
spellings of "Fuqua" and "Fuquay."

In the specific case of our ancestor, this may have been true, or it may
not have been true. Until it has been proven, it is a hypothesis which is
not true just because Mrs. Irwin put it in print.

The remainder of Chapter One presents some data on the William Humphreys,
Joseph Eyre, Maurice Floyd and Ralph Hudspeth families, and provides
evidence of the marriage of someone referred to in the record as "Gill
Fuquett" to Jane Eyre.

The remainder of the chapter deals with the children of "Guillaume Fouquet"
and Jane Eyre. Again, the relationships which are presented are probably
correct. However, it must be recognized that they are not PROVEN. Mrs.
Irwin presented a good deal of convincing circumstantial evidence, but not
a single source reference which states a relationship between parent and
child. She names four children, William, Joseph, Giles and Ralph. Two other
"probable" children are named, John and Jane. One could reasonably expect
that, unless Jane Eyre died too soon, there were probably several more
children. Large families were common at the time.

Chapter Two deals with William Fuqua, and is very well documented (as are
subsequent chapters).

Chapter Three presents the children of William Fuqua and Elizabeth ________.

Chapter Four presents the family of their son, John Fuqua.

Chapter Five presents the family of their daughter Susannah Fuqua, and the
beginning of the "non-Fuqua" remainder of the book.

Chapters Six, Seven and Eight present the Jackson, Johnson and Smith
branches of Mrs. Irwin's family tree.

This description of the book is not intended as a criticism of the work
that was done. The book is a monument to Mrs. Irwin's determination to
assemble and present her family tree. It is not surprising that it is the
most quoted source of Fuqua genealogical information, particularly where
"Guillaume Fouquet" is concerned.

As has recently been posted, the book was published by the D. Armstrong
Company, Houston, Texas, in 1974.

It was also "re-published" at a later date (which I cannot remember) by
another Texas company. This "republishing" was in the form of single-sided
photocopies of the original book pages. These single-sided pages were then
bound into book form. I was fortunate enough to hear about it, and obtained
a copy. I think the name of the company was Canyon Publishing or something
like that.

The original book is held by many major genealogical libraries. I have seen
it at the National Genealogical Society Library, the Denver Public Library,
and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, among others.

The point of these comments is to focus attention on the need to "prove"
one's genealogy. A string of names/dates/places is not a genealogy until it
is supported by documentation which "proves" that each item is correct.
Undocumented information copied from someone's web site or out of a book is
not a genealogy. Information exchanged on the Internet or provided from our
database is not a genealogy. It is, at best, an indication of a trail to
follow in the search for supporting documentation.

I highly recommend that those who are interested in the subject of
documentation read the following two books.

Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian
by Elizabeth Shown Mills
Published by the Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland, 1997

Cite Your Sources: A Manual for Documenting Family Records and Genealogical
by Richard S. Lackey
Published by University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 1980

In the meantime, if there is anyone out there who can identify source
documents which would "prove" claims regarding "Guillaume Fouquet" and his
children, the Fuqua community awaits the opportunity to rejoice.

I hereby relinquish the soap box.
Frank Fuqua

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