I have been researching the family history of my wife and I, and whilst researching my wife’s family history, it appears that her mother was descended from Huguenots.

My wife's mother's maiden name was Hoste and her lineage involves people such as Sir William Hoste who fought alongside Admiral Nelson. Sir William Hoste mentions the Flemish ancestry in his memoirs however he didn't give much information on them. He mentions that he descended from Jacques Hoost, governor of Bruges, in Flanders, whose son, Jacques Hoost, of Middelburg, in Zeeland, was driven from there due to the persecution raised against the Protestants by the Duke of Alva.

He fled to England in 1569, married Barbara Henricks and died in 1604. It is believed Jacques Hoost, governor of Bruges was driven from Bruges to Middelburg where he had his son also Jacques Hoost who in turn was driven from Middleburg to England.

An old book called Sandringham Past and Present written by Mrs Herbert Jones, says the following....

The name of Hoste takes us away to the country to which the family belonged, and from whence it originally came to England, and brings us once more to Bruges, where, for nearly two centuries, beginning from 1294, members of the family of Hoost are mentioned in the records of the Town Hall, as taking a prominent part in the affairs of the municipality.
When the Anglo-Flemish alliance was at its height, in 1345, Jacques Hoost was a sheriff of Bruges, and was succeeded in that office during the subsequent seventy years by six of his name.

Bearing in mind this book was published in 1888, the records mentioned may no longer be at the Town Hall of Bruges. I have been able to trace my wife's lineage back to Jacques Hoost of Middleburg using what is available in Sir William Hoste's memoirs and records from the Dutch Reformed Church in Austin Friars, however I have hit a brick wall with regards to Jacques Hoost of Middleburg and Jacques Hoost governor/sheriff of Bruges.

The name Hoste has been spelt in many different ways over the years, such as Host, Hoste, Hoost, L'oost, and even 'van Oste' or just Oste.

I am planning on travelling to Bruges in the near future and would like to be able to make the most of my time there. What I am wondering is where in Bruges I should head for to obtain any records of Jacques Hoost, governor of Bruges which are helpful for genealogy? I have tried emailing the record office at the State Archives in Belgium but I have not got any response.

Edit: I have exhausted all the records available at the Huguenots Society as suggested by @Colin below with regards immigration to the UK etc. I am still at a brick wall on sources of information with regard to Jacques Hoost of Middleburg and Jacques Hoost governor/sheriff of Bruges.. I have tried the State Archives again and still got no response.

  • Can you tell us more about your research efforts? Writing to an archive (or writing a question here) which says "I'm looking for anything you have about x" is not research. See How can I determine what records are available in a particular locale? for ideas.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 21:05
  • I know that asking an archive what info they have on the Hoste family would not be research but to ask if they have records on who was governor or sheriff during a certain time frame will help with research in order for research plans to be formulated. Being that I would have to travel to another country to obtain any records, info on where to go will go far as this enables research to be more fruitful Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 22:40

3 Answers 3


Not a specific answer to your trip question but this may assist.

You could try contacting the Huguenot Society to see if they have anything on the arrival of your Jacques's in the UK. Their records may be able to help formulate a plan for your research trip.

  • I have records of the arrival in UK to present day. I am looking further back. I am looking for records of Jacques Hoost who was governor/sheriff of Bruges, as it was his son who fled, and if possible, further back still. Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 16:11
  • Chris, they may have more that you currently have which may help. It is worth a try surely?
    – Colin
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 7:53
  • It is definitely worth a try which is why I voted your response up as useful. I have not discounted your answer. Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 23:40

I've done research on Jacques Hoste from Middelburg, see https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Hoste-114. Didn't find much about his father. I'm interested in him since I was born in Middelburg and my name is Hoste. My ancestors are from Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, not far from Middelburg.

  • I don't know why this was not pinged to me and I only saw this when I was reviewing my question. Looking at the WikiTree link has me excited as there are a few things there which may help me. Commented May 5, 2018 at 9:38

This is not a direct answer, but this is the distribution of the Hoste family in Belgium (clearly in West-Flanders) : https://familienaam.be/Hoste Also, there might be some info here, but not sure about the sources: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Hoste-116

  • Interesting to see the Hoste distribution in West Flanders. The wikitree link was found when following the link provided by @JorrisHoste :-) In fact he is the profile manager for the page you linked Commented Apr 11, 2019 at 18:02

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