The Huguenots were oppressed by the French government. On one day, August 24, 1572, an estimated 50,000 Protestants were slaughtered during what history records as The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. This dramatic event was only one incident of recurring religious persecutions that occurred in France for nearly a century despite the provisions of the Edict of Nantes (1599), which granted certain freedoms to Protestant French citizens. The Edict was of little influence and was repudiated in 1685.
Refuge was given to French protestants in England in the late 1600s and in 1700 a land grant in Virginia for the Huguenots opened the door to America.
Huguenot refugees came to America on the “Peter and Anthony” which landed in the Virginia Colony in 1700. They were granted land south of the James River at a place called Manakintown. One of the immigrants was a lone young man by the name of Pierre Prevot. He married and settled at Manakintown. The Prevatt(e) Historical Society is dedicated to finding the branches of the family who can trace their lineage to Pierre Prevot, the French Huguenot from whom we are descended. While Prevatt and Prevatte are the most prominent spellings today, variant spellings exist among the progeny of Pierre Prevot. Spellings include Privette, Preval, Prevol, Presol, Presal, and perhaps others as yet not linked in to our family records. For simplicity, the Society chose Prevatt(e) to represent the family at large.
Pierre Prevot had a son named Peter who migrated to Craven County, N.C. and settled on the Neuse River not far from New Bern. Peter and his wife had several children. We have record of a daughter, Elizabeth who married Moses Taylor and migrated to Kentucky, a son, James who migrated to South Carolina, and fought in the Revolutionary War. His descendants migrated to Georgia and finally to Florida. Another son, Thomas lived and died in Craven, and he had three sons: Thomas Jr., Peter and James. It was Thomas Jr. and Peter who moved to Robeson County.
Thomas Prevatt married Sally West and came to Robeson County in 1797 from Craven County N.C. His brother Peter Prevatt and wife Eleanor Clements came at the same time or soon thereafter. Evidence shows that Peter was in Robeson as early as 1802 by his signature on a land deed. Thomas had six boys and three girls, and Peter had five boys and three girls. Most of the Prevattes in Robeson County today are descendants of these two families. When they came to this area, they settled northeast of Old Field Swamp near Fairmont, N.C.
Two Baptist ministers from the Prevattes had a profound influence on this community and surrounding areas. Rev. Furney Prevatt and his son Rev. F. A. Prevatt were responsible for starting several churches in Robeson County such as Raft Swamp, Centerville, Clybourne, and Zion's Tabernacle. Sons of these two families served in the Confederate Army during the War Between the States. At least fifteen went to war from Robeson and five lost their lives in the cause of the South.
Prevattes have served in every war beginning with the Revolutionary War to the present time. Many from these families migrated to other states--some in Marlboro County, S.C., Southwest Georgia near Thomasville, Florida, and Mississippi. The Prevattes of Florida are among the pioneer families of the state.
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Elizabeth - b. March 14, 1791
Thomas - b. June 15, 1793
Polly - b. March 12, 1795
James - b. Nov. 2, 1798
Sally - b. Sept. 2, 1800
Nancy - b. Feb. 6, 1803
Hellen - b. Jan. 12, 1805
Furney - b. June 30, 1808
John - b. Nov. 20, 1810
William - b. May 25, 1814
Elias - b. Jan. 16, 1817
Known Children of Peter Prevatt and Eleaner Clements:
Wright - b. Nov. 9, 1800
Peter Jr. - b. abt. 1806
The 1810 census list Peter as head of household with wife, three boys and three girls.