Probably the largest concentration of Flory families in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries was in the Canton (state) of Solothurn in Switzerland nestled near the border with France. Here the name was spelled generally as "Fluri" (occasionally "Flurin" for both men and women), a spelling which later gave way to "Flori" in Germany. Especially rich in Fluri families in and around the Canton of Solothurn were the areas in and around Haegendorf, Aedermannsdorf, Herbetswil, Matzendorf, and the town of Solothurn. Even today, there is Fluri influence in the region as the Stadtpresident of Solothurn is Kurt Fluri. Solothurn was probably the geographical origin of many if not most of the Flory families in Germany. While the region is close to France, it is not clear what the relationship is between the French patronym of Fleury, which comes from "flower," and the Swiss Fluri, which may come from a German word meaning "of the land." There are records of Fluris migrating from Solothurn to France, where their name was most certainly spelled as "Fleury," but the Fluri bloodline of Switzerland may ultimately be independent of the Fleury bloodline of France.
What further complicates the issue is that to the west of the Canton of Solothurn was an area that was part of "The Bishop's Territory," a segment of which now forms the Canton of Jura. Several Fluris are known to have either migrated or fled to this area from Solothurn. Moreover, there are several towns and villages in this "Bishop's Territory" that contained Fluri families at an early date. Whether they all migrated from Solothurn is not known. During the "Napoleon Phase" from 1793 to 1815, the Bishop's Territory was occupied by French troops, and the entire area was named "Departement du Mont Terrible ["Department of the Terrible Mountain"]. In peripheral parts of the region, some Swiss-German traditions gave way to French language and education. For instance, in the parishes of Vermes and Montservelier, both close to the Canton of Solothurn, the name of "Fluri" was modified to the more French sounding "Fleury." It appears, then, that many families from the Bishop's territory, whose name is now "Fleury," may have evolved from the Fluris of Solothurn.
Most Flory families in America have assumed that they were descended from French Huguenots. However, it is apparent that most of the early Fluris of Solothurn were not Huguenots but were, instead, orthodox Catholic as was most of the region. Moreover, the Fluris of Solothurn seem to have been established in that Canton prior to the formation of the French Reformed Church (Huguenots) by John Calvin in 1550. The massacre of St. Bartholomew, which occurred in France on August 23/24th 1572, was the precipitating event that caused many French Protestants to flee the country. While church records in Solothurn generally go back only as early as 1626, they record the fact that a number of Fluri families were having children at this time indicating an earlier family presence in the region than 1572. In 1626, for example, the following Fluris had children: Johannes (Jacob), Niclaus (Jacob), Conrad (Melchior), Jacob (Anna), and another Johannes (Lauretig). The Kirchenbuch listings for the years of 1628 through 1632 refer to additional Fluri parents (Hans, Jacob, Heinrich, Ursus, and Arnold, among others).
There are so many Fluri families in the region that, according to James Flory who has visited the area, local genealogists have difficulty sorting them out. Because of the difficulties involved in preparing a family tree of all of the Fluri families of Solothurn, what is presented below is a small sampling only, and it is restricted to the parish of Matzendorf. There are four lines, not necessarily unrelated. They represent but a small percentage of Fluri names from the Canton from that index for the period covered. Our intent here is not to provide at the moment anywhere near a comprehensive genealogy. We hope, rather, that the information presented here will encourage others to come forward with more complete information.