Born: 1543, Avesnes, Hainaut, France
Married 5 JUN 1570, Avesnes, France , to Anne MAILLARD
Died: 1620, Vosmeer, Holland
Jean de Forest, son of Melchoir de Forest III, was born 1543. He married Anne Maillard. Jean¹s brother Gilles was a prominent Canon of the Catholic Church. Jean left Avesnes around 1598, at the time of the Edict of Nantes, and moved to
Sedan. Jean was a cloth merchant and spent much time in the Avesnes area. He oversaw the extensive property of his father at Guersighies known as "As vignes". Calvin was making more and more inroads. Jean's sons Jesse and Gerard converted
to Protestantism as did several families of Avesnes at the time of the Reformation. Although Jean remained firm in his religious convictions since he had his daughter Anne baptised in Avesnes in 1578, he was not without fear of the religious
persecution of the french nation. He therefore prepared his departure from Avesnes by liquidating some of his assets little by little. Around 1600, Jean's family scattered to different locations. Melchoir was at Lille. Gearard at Leyden in
Holland, Jesse was with his father at Sedan and Montcornet, and Anne was with her mother at Amsterdam. The gravitation of people to Leyden in Holland is explained by the fact that Calvin had an important church there where numerous Protestants
from different countries took refuge. In 1609, we relocate Jean at Capelle-en-Thiérche. At this time, Jean is still paying rental on his house at Guersignies in the region of Avesnes. Around 1615, the family is reunited again in Leyden.
Although all of Jean's children converted to Calvinism, it seems unlikely that Jean had opted to convert to that religion since he never declared himself one and had not undergonea confiscation of his possessions. He returned therefore to
Avesnes where he died in1620. Some authors claim Jean died in Holland and was the first to convert to Calvinism.