Early in May 1664, Louis XIV pampered 600 guests, faithful and privileged minions in Versailles for one week with music, dance, theatre and culinary menus. He celebrated his power and his wealth with lots of luxury. The same year in August, 51 families moved from France to Palatinate. Their family names were noted(1). Among them were André Herpin and his wife Francoise Salomé (original notation Sallomme). His brothers Antoine Herpin and Pierre Herpin followed them some time later with their wives Catharine Pionnier and Marie Jeanne le Mair.
In an edict of 1664, Palatinate’s elector Karl Ludwig, Protestant himself, provided refuge to protestant Walloon religious refugees from the region L’Alloeu, called Huguenots, in Billigheim and surrounding places. This did not happen without self-interest as the Thirty Years’ War had strongly reduced the population in Palatinate. The region L’Alloeu is provided to the west of Lille. Its capital Laventie (la Venthie, old notation) is 23 kilometres off Lille and is positioned in the department Pas-de-Calais. In 1643 Antoine Herpin was born in Lavantie. (map of L'Alloeu) As the church registers of this region have been destroyed in World War I it would be a stroke of luck to find the ancestors of the three brothers.

It cannot be proved if there is a kinship to Jean Herpin(2) and his wife Marie Le Grain, who lived in the neighbouring place La Gorgue at the same time. Their four sons were born between 1662 and 1672.
Just as little is known if there is a kinship to the ten Herpins(3), who lived 1569 in the surrounding villages of Arras (Artois), or to Jeanne Herpin(4), who had married Matthieu Si on August 7th, 1629 in Lille.


(1) Hugenotten in der Pfalz (Festschrift zum Deutschen Hugenottentag in Landau in der Pfalz 1973)
(2) M. Alain Fruchart & M. F. Dancoisne, La Gorgue, Naissances de 1605 à 1792, Département Du Nord, Archives
(3) Roger Berger, Patrick Warin, Jean Pierre Pélissier, Répertoire Des Noms De Personnes Artésiens en 1569, Tome 1 / 2, Département Du Nord, Archives
(4) Familysearch