Marc Chapelle:
In Search of Religious Freedom

    Finiels, France

Lodging and Camping at Finiels

Le Mont Lozere






Finiels, the home of Marc Chapelle until 1685, is a hamlet on the south slope of Mont-Lozére within the northern part of the Cevennes mountain range.  It has an altitude of 1200m and is about 5km from the market town of Pont de Montvert.  Finiels is near the Cevennes National Park, which features hiking trails and beautiful scenery.  In fact, author Robert Louis Stevenson hiked through the region for 12 days in 1879 and then wrote one of his earliest published works, Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes.  The trail he followed is still used today as a model for expeditions through these mountains.

The population of Finiels is now much less than when Marc Chapelle lived there in the 17th century.  The Cevennes region became one of the stronger Reformed Protestant areas following the Protestant Reformation, although Protestants still were in the minority.   During the reign of Louis XIV of France, many of these Protestants, known as Huguenots, fled the country in order to practice their religion elsewhere in peace.  The vast majority however, renounced their faith and became new Catholics.  New Catholics still did not have the same rights and privileges as born Catholics. 

Marc Chapelle was one of the Reformed Protestants who left about 1685, or within several years following.   He was born about 1660, the son of Isaac Chapelle.  Marc was a linen weaver, and his wife's name was Antoinette (although he may have married her after fleeing from France, as we do not have any exact information).

Entering Finiels
(Photographer unknown)

View of Finiels
(Photographer unknown)

View of Finiels
(Photographer unknown)

Old Protestant cemetery
near Finiels
(Photographer LM Désert)

Descending towards
(Photographer LM Désert)

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(1)  Bellon, Eugen.  Vertrieben, verweht, verwurzelt : die französisch-reformierten Einwanderer in Dürrmenz, 1699-1735.  (Sickte : Verlag des Deutschen Hugenotten-Vereins, 1987), 149.  Family History Library international book, no film copy.

(2)  Maurin, Isabelle.   Letter [from France] to Phyllis Schappell, dated 8 March 1987.   Provided information on the origins of the Chapelles, much the same as Eugen Bellon published (1). 



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