Le site de la Communauté des Ginoux

Ancien régime

Back to historical background


The FABRE and DEYME have not arrived at La Roque yet and still live in Lambesc. Part of the GINOUX, the family of Jacques GINOUX and Marie SALENC left Lourmarin, a large Waldensian village * (likened to Protestants). They were born in Lourmarin of Waldensian religion probably baptized in Mérindol, a high place of this religion. They settled with their children in La Roque around the year 1640. The lord of La Roque, Jean-Baptiste de FORBIN (married to Diane de Simiane) and the parish priest of Silvacane Abbey still need famers to cultivate their land. They always accept the Vaudois from Lubéron, reputed to be good workers. Jean-Baptiste FORBIN, president of the Parliament of Aix is in favor of a better life for the inhabitants of La Roque, for his own interests. During this period, the inhabitants carried out, under the authority of their consuls, a very useful lands sharing and an expansion of paths.

The parish is still the one of Silvacane. The inhabitants of La Roque are therefore away from their church. The lord lives in the north of the village, in a small castle whose the chapel is located near the nave of the future church. The park of the castle exists since 1620, after destruction of the mill used by the inhabitants, a destruction which annoyed them a lot.

The Waldensian of La Roque, them, depend on the temple of Lourmarin.

At the national level and to put an end to the wars of religion, it is the Edict of Nantes signed by Henri IV in 1598, governs Protestantism. Protestants are subjects identical to the others but they must respect Catholic requirements (rules on marriage, paying tithing, respecting Catholic religious holidays, etc.).


The Lord of La Roque is now the son of Jean-Baptiste de FORBIN, Melchior. He becomes Marquis of La Roque. He is married to Françoise Armande d´Oraison. He is very Catholic. For the inhabitants of La Roque, he brought in white Penitents. They build the Saint-Joseph chapel next to the one of the castle.

During this period, the prohibitions against Protestants are growing. Pastors must not practice in episcopal cities and ecclesiastical lordships. They must preach only in temples and bury the dead outside Catholic cemeteries.


Louis XIV is consecrated as King. As a very Catholic king, he gave the order to chase the Protestants (of the so-called Reformed Religion) who were too many in the Kingdom, an unbearable presence for high Catholic leaders. The King will increase bullying and increase harassment of the Protestants.

In Provence, a decree orders the demolition of the temples of Lourmarin, Cabrières d’Aigues and its annex of the Motte d’Aigues is destroyed. In La Roque, it is forbidden to exercise this religion. The Saint Patron of La Roque is chosen in 1664: it is Saint-Louis.


The French state will use the law and money to convince the Vaudois to renounce.It is necessary to prevent this religion from developing, even if this religion has to hold back.
In La Roque, in 1676, 450 Catholics and 500 Protestants, including our GINOUX families, lived together.


The army, made up of numerous dragoons (cavalry soldiers), circulates in Provence. The army is lodged in villages, the inhabitants have the obligation of housing soldiers. This is called “Dragonnades”. Soldiers commit abuses (they steal, confiscate, …). The inhabitants are afraid of them and do not wish to lodge dragoons. Power banks on this fear to make the Waldensian renounce.

At La Roque, before the arrival of the troop, 400 to 500 Waldensian (about half the population) renounce on October 20, 1685 in Silvacane in front of Melchior de FORBIN and the Grand Vicar DUCHENE.

All about Waldensian


APPY Bernard – De père en fils une famille protestante du Lubéron 1598-1685 – éditions Ampelos 2007

Historian and genealogist, Bernard Appy gives us results of his research on his ancestors in Lacoste in the Luberon. At this time, the Ginoux family was in Lourmarin.

APPY Bernard – Les protestants de lourmarin Eglise et communauté de 1560 à 1685 – éditions Ampelos 2012

Results of a study on the baptists of Lourmarin where we can see a little of our ancestors.

APPY Françoise – Forcez- les d’entrer Abjurations des protestants de Basse Provence 1661-1685 – éditions Ampelos 2008

Master’s thesis defended in Aix-en-Provence in October 1993, where we can see our ancestors renouncing their religion by force. Two volumes. The second volume lists the abjurants. You will recognize our ancestors abjuring at Silvacane.

AUDISIO Gabriel – Migrants vaudois, Dauphiné, Piémont, Provence (1460-1560) – Claudiana Torino 2011 éditions Olivetan

From the archives of the time, Professor Audisio of the University of Provence reveals the fruit of his researches on the Waldensian from the Luberon, including the Ginoux family.

LECONTE Hubert – La croix des humiliés – Millepertuis-création 1990

A historical novel in three volumes from 1515 to 1578 in the Waldensian valleys of Piedmont and in the Luberon, in particularly at Lourmarin. The massacres of our ancestors are bluntly described.

LECONTE Hubert – Les larmes du Lubéron – Millepertuis-création 1992

LECONTE Hubert – Le glaive et l’évangile – Millepertuis-création 1995  site personnel de Hubert

GENEPROVENCE – Jean Maynier d’Oppède

The Généprovence website presents a biography of this sad character who led one of the largest massacres of Waldensian, especially at Lourmarin in 1545 where the Ginoux family lived.

PEZET Maurice – L’épopée des vaudois (Dauphiné, Provence, Languedoc, Piémont, Suisse) 1985 – Editions Fernand Lanore François Sorlot Editeur

History of Waldensian faith spreading in Europe.

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