Thursday, April 22, 2010

"Uh, Oh Dad...."

"Guess what? You and Mom are 7th cousins...twice!!" I still remember the twinkle in Dad's eye when I excitedly told him this news. Well, whoda thunk it? Dad's a Runyan! After all, there it was in black & white in my computer generated Kinship Report. And to be sure, Dad's more of a Runyan than Mom. Her maiden name may have been Runyan but Dad descends from Vincent Runyan of Poitiers, France through TWO of his offspring. Heh,, totally cool! That makes me and my brothers Runyan descendants thrice!

My mother Janet Eilene Runyan descends from Vincent's son Thomas. My Father Robert Leroy Wallen descends from Vincent's son Peter and his daughter Sarah.

A collection of genealogical notes for Vincent & Ann Rongnion:

Excerpted from: "First Settlers of Ye Plantations of Piscataway and Woodsridge Olde East New Jersey part 4"

VINCENT RUNYON the First of Elizabethtown and Piscataway

This was also spelled Runyan. Vincent RUNYON should be memorialized as the distinctive and illustrious "Head of the Race" in America. He originated in or near the city of Poitiers, in the Province of Ancienne Poitou, France, whence came from that and neighboring regions, MONNET, PILLOT, GRASSET, BRASSIEUR, CHABOUSSANT, STELLE, LE GEREAU, BRIDON, NOE, DU TREMBLEY, all who
came to Staten Island and New Jersey Settlers.

The surname was originally in several forms, notably, "Rongnion" the letter "g" before "n" and "i", in the French language, as phonetically sounded, becomes "y" in English. It also appeared before 1700 as "Rougnon", "Rognon", "Rognin" etc.

Vincent Runyon, patriarch and progenitor of the NJ Runyon Family, came to America before 1646, and first settled in Elizabeth Town, NJ. It is noticeable that many French Huguenots soon appeared in the colony. Of these PERRIN have been specifically noted, along with MONNET and many other Protestant surnames.

The first important record to be presented concerning Vincent Runyon is that of his marriage under special license issued by Governor Philip Carteret: to one Anne Boutcher, the daughter of John Boutcher of Hartford England to Solemnize Marriage together, for which they have requested my license. The couple were joined in marriage July 17, 1668 by Joseph Bollen.

On March 25, 1671, Vincent Runyon, carpenter, of Elizabeth Town, purchased of Francis Barber, planter, a home lot, which he sold before moving to the Baptist community at Piscataway, Middlesex Co., NJ. It is here he bought the family homestead on the Raritan river of 154.5 acres which he accuired in 1677.

                                                     Runyon House Circa 1775-1780

Vincent Runyon--his issue

1. John, b. 1669 d. before 1744, m. Elizabeth Dunn, daughter of Hugh DUNN and Elizabeth Drake . She was b. March 19, 1675, d. after 1756

2. Vincent b. 1670, d. March 1723, m. Dec. 2, 1691, Mary Hull, b. Aug. 10, 1670 d. Feb. 2, 1757 daughter of Hopewell Hull and wife Mary Martin of Piscataway

3. Derrick [Richard] b. 1672, (no further record)

4. Joseph b. 1674, an innkeeper in Franklin township

5. Reune, b. 1675

6. Ephraim b. 1676

7. Mary, b. July 2, 1677, m. Benjamin Drake

8. Thomas b. 1678 m. Martha Dunn b. July 13, 1681 d. after 1738, daughter of Hugh Dunn and Elizabeth Drake.

9. Peter b. 1680 July 1, d. Oct. 1755, m. Oct. 12, 1704 Providence Blackford, daughter of Samuel Blackford and wife Ann [Hannah] Smalley of Piscataway NJ

10 Jane b. Jan. 19, 1683

11. Anne b. 1684 m. Nathaniel Leonard,

12, Sarah, b. Oct. 30, 1686 d. after 1732, m. Jan. 25, 1702 Richard Sutton b. July 18, 1676, son of William Sutton and Damaris Bishop.

More notes of interest:

Family was originally seated near the city of Poitiers in the Province of Poitou, France. Arrived in New Jersey about 1665. The first record of his name occurred when he was issued a marriage license by Governor Philip Carteret.

*Pioneers of Old Hopewell*

"This Runyan family were among the earliest pioneers of Hopewell Township, and were descended from a distinguished and eminently pious French Huguenot family, who resided in the Province of Poitou, on the west coast of France, and were driven by fierce religious persecutions to seek refuge, first in the isle of Jersey and from thence emigrated to America. The first records we have of any of the family in New Jersey, is of Vincent Rougion of Portiers, France, Mariner, who in 1668 was granted a license by Philip Carteret, the young governor of East Jersey, to wed "Ann Boutcher, daughter of John Boutcher of Hartford, in England." [See genealogy of the Runyan family published by Henry Runyan, Esq., of Princeton, N. J.]

Thomas Runyan, doubtless a son of Vincent, of Piscataway Township, Middlesex Co., N. J., purchased in 1708, the farm on which Enoch A. Titus now resides, on the west side of Stony Brook, two miles south of our borough, where he lived many years and reared a family among whom were Vincent, Aaron, Ephraim and others."

He purchased a lot in Elizabethtown on March 25, 1971, but does not appear as a personage in that town. In 1678 he bought 44 acres of land on the Raritan River, Piscataway, Middlesex Co., New Jersey and added 70 acres to it in 1687 by purchase from Hopewell Hull. He was a carpenter.

*Somerset County Historical Quarterly Vol V* "RUNYON.--Vincent Rongnion, a Huguenot from Poictiers, France, came to America in 1665 and settled in Piscataway twsp., Middlesex co., in 1667. He m., 1668, Ann Boutcher, dau. of John Boutcher, of Hartford, England. Sons were Vincent, Derick, Joseph, Reune, Ephraim and Peter, and perhaps John. The Runyons of Somerset and Union counties, of whom the late Chancellor Theodore Runyon was a conspicuous member, all belong to the Piscataway line."

*The Story of an Old Farm or Life in New Jersey in the 18th Century*

"The historian of East Jersey, the late W. A. Whitehead, avers that Benjamin Hull was an inn-keeper in Piscataway in 1677, and that the name and business have continued connected up to the present day. Be this as it may, it is an extraordinary fact, and one well worthy of record that, with hardly an exception, each one of those early landowners has at the present time descendants living in the township. Those of  Vincent Rongnion seem to have been well contented with the location chosen by their Huguenot forefather; they have owned land in the vicinity of the village from that day to this, and at present persons of that name--since converted into Runyon--are in possession of over eight hundred acres, as follows: Mefford Runyon, 240; David D., 185; Peter A., 160; Noah D., 144; Isaac, 100.  Vincent Rongnion was the ancestor of the Honorable Theodore Runyon, New Jersey's recent chancellor. He came from Poitiers, France, and must have settled in New Jersey before 1668, as his marriage license, signed by Governor Philip Carteret, is dated in that year. His wife was Anna, daughter of John Boutcher, of Hartford, in England."

Another source: Runyon-Runyan Family (New Jersey) by Lt. Col. Calvin I. Kephart

Marriage license of Vincent Rongnion and Anne Boucher, transcribed from GIF of original photocopied and published by The Everton Publishers, Inc., Logan, UT, copyright 1963, publishers of The Genealogical Helper. GIF received 5/19/98 from Tom Runyon,

This document is on file in the office of the Secretary of State of New Jersey at Trenton.

"Whereas I have received information of a Mutuall Intent and Agreement betweene Vincent Rongnion of Poitiers in France and Anne Boucher the daughter of John Boucher of Hartford in England to Solemnise Marriage together, for which they have requested my Lycence, And here appearing no Lawful impedement for the obstruction thereof are to Require you or Eyther of you to Joyne the said Vincent Rongnion and Anne Boucher in Matrimony and then to pronounce Man and Wife and to make record thereof according to the Laws in that behalfe promised for the doing Whereof this shall be to you or Eyther of you a Sufficient Warrant given by my hand and seal of the province the 31st day of June, 1668 and in the sixth year of the Reigne of our Sovr'n Lord Charles the Second of England, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith.
                                                                                                                  Ph. Carteret

To any of the Justices of Peace or Ministers within the Province of New Jersey

This couple were Joyned in Matrimony the 17 July 1668 by me Jas. Bollen"

Pages 9-10 'OUTLINE OF THE PIONEER PROGENITORS OF THE PISCATAWAY PLANTERS 1666-1716' , by Oliver B. Leonard, which had the full 'lycense' and the following further notation:

'..."HUGUENOTS - In the list of the early Christians who made Piscataway Township (NJ) their abiding place and became identified with the mother church should be mentioned a few families of French ancestry. These embrace the names of Piatts, Boices, Lupardus', Coriells and Brokaws, who early joined the colony of industrious Baptists. Their forefathers endured hardships innumerable on account of religious beliefs in native France, and barbarous severities had been inflicted upon them because of their refusal to accept 'the King's religion'. Though the edict of Nantes, granted in 1598, gave religious freedom to the Huguenots, and the act was not legally revoked till 1685, the civil and religious liberty had been restricted, and opposition attended every movement of the conscientious disciples from the time Louis XIV came to the throne. His cruel persecutions caused the voluntary exile of hundreds of these Christians to America and other places of refuge from the tyranny of the Pope and his wicked cohorts.


Among the multitudes of Christian "exiles for conscience sake" from France was also the Huguenot family of the Runyons, transplanted to America about 1665. The founders of this large and influential line of pioneers, settled in East Jersey on the Elizabeth Town Grant as early as 1668-70. His name first appears as "Vincent Rongnion, mariner of Poitou". By modern orthography the name is now known as Runyon, with numerous representatives in every State of the Union. The district from which the progenitor of the Runyons of America came was one that experienced the most cruel desolation of property, and whose consecrated people endured more inhuman abuse than any other outraged province in the Empire. These devoted Protestants manifested the most devoted unexampled heroism under sufferings, and proved steadfast adherents to their religious convictions. The most popular and diabolical measure of the Papal authorities for intimidating these 'obdurate heretics' and securing enforced conversions among them in this Province of Poitou, was the military occupation by the Dragonades quartered upon their families.

This system of outrages impoverished the inhabitants, paralyzed all their industries and finally depopulated whole communities. For rather than bow the knee to Baal, from this stronghold of Calvinism emigrated thousands of the faithful to Holland and England and other islands of the sea. From thence multitudes sought a refuge in this country for permanent homes. It is a reliable tradition that the founder of the Runyon family in America escaped from these cruel persecutions in his native place, to the Isle of Jersey, off the coast of France, and from there took ship to this country. The first reference to his name on this side of the waters is seen AD 1668, in a 'marriage license given by Philip Carteret, the young Governor of East Jersey. The document is on file in the office of Secretary of State of New Jersey, at Trenton and reads as follows: (see above)

"Huguenot Refugees in the Settling of Colonial America," Peter StevenGannon, editor. Published by the Huguenot Society of America, NY.

p. 363

Among the Huguenot refugees were: Runyon (Rugnion), Vincent, Raritan River, Middlesex Co.. (d.c.1713)

p. 367

Runyon, Vincent: near Poitiers (Poitou); Isle of Jersey (1665); New York City (1668); Piscataway, Middlesex Co., NJ; Raritan River, NJ; d. 1713 Piscataway, NJ.

"History of the Huguenot Emigration to America," by Charles W. Baird, D.D., Genealogical Publishing CO, Inc.

Chapter II. 1657-1663, p. 182.

"The increasing harshness of the government (French) toward it's Protestant subjects, at this period, led many of them to remove from the kingdom. As in the case of the earlier emigrations, the greater number of these refugees made their way to Holland; and from Holland not a few, betwen the years 1657 and 1663, crossed over to America."

"Other French colonists, whose places of birth are not recorded, emigrated about this time to New Amsterdam, by way of Holland."

Chapter VI, p. 49.

"The province of Poitou (where Poitiers is located) sent many excellent Huguenot families to America."

Huguenot Cross


1 comment:

  1. Hi, Lisa!

    I know this post is several years old, but
    I am so glad I decided to scroll through one more google page while researching my mom's family. For the longest time I could not find anything about Frances Runyan's parents until this week. I've been looking all week for further information and found your site. Do you know who built the house in the picture?