The Groeniers were originally French Huguenot refugees who settled in the eastern part of Friesland. The name was probably originally Granier.
The Huguenots were Protestants in predominantly Catholic France. After a period of strife in the 1570s, during which several thousand Protestants were killed, King Henry 1V issued the Edict of Nantes which granted them political and religious freedom within 100 specified communities. Many Huguenots moved to such communities particularly in out-of-the-way towns in the south of France. Members of the Garnier family settled in Gignac in the Herault region near Montpellier.
In 1685, Louis X1V repealed the Edict of Nantes and thousands of Huguenots fled the country to England, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa and America. The Groeniers are thought to have moved to Ostfriesland (Germany) and then settled in Friesland in the Netherlands.
Many of the Huguenots were craftsmen or textile workers. They were generally hard working and frugal people who played a large part in building the textile industry in England and the lace making industry in the Belgium and Holland.
(The Huguenot Cross is shown.)