Friday, April 30, 2010

The Melville Scots

The Melville Scots of Fife

The Melvilles, originally from Normandy, settled in 12th century Scotland and gave their name to the lands of Midlothian and Fife.

The name originated from the barony of Malaville or Malleville in the Pays de Caux in Normandy. Guillame (William) de Malleville accompanied William the Conqueror to England and fought at the Battle of Hastings. Like many of major Scottish families, the de Mallevilles came to Scotland with King David I when he returned in 1124 after 30 years spent at the English court. They were granted lands in Midlothian, outside Edinburgh by King David.

Read more of this fascinating history:

The family seat is Glenferness in Nairn. Melville Castle in Lothian, the original family home, was rebuilt by the Dundas family who took the title "Viscount Melville" although they have no connection with the Melville line.

The castle is now Melville Castle Hotel

Clan crest over the entryway of the castle

The Descendants of John Melville (Melvin) of Leuchers Parish, Fifeshire, Scotland

First Generation:

John Melvin was born in 1652 in Leuchers Parish, Fifeshire, Scotland. About 1675 he married Hanna Lewis in Malden, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Hannah was the daughter of John Lewis and Mary Browne and was born in 1655 in Malden, Massachusetts.

John Melvin is first mentioned in Charlestown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, recorded as a "taylor". He served as a private under Captain Joseph Sill in the company which joined that of Captain Thomas Henchman and marched to Patchouge (now the southeasterly part of the town of Worcester, Massachusetts), and camped for a night in a large wigwam which had been very recently occupied by a band of hostile Indians. The next morning the companies marched back to Hassanamisco and there separated, the captain and part of the men tramping on to Marlborough, and then on November 16 to Springfield, where 39 of the men were left as guards.

As John Melvin's receipt was dated November 30, 1676, he must have quitted his company at that date. On September 23, 1676, he signed another receipt for pay for services under Captain John Cutler whose company had served under Captain Thomas Henchman at Hassanamisco. January 3, 1681, John Melvin, "taylor", bought from Matthew Smith, for 38 pounds, a house and land in Charlestown, Massachusetts. On October 25, 1684, John Melvin, "taylor," and Robert Melvin, carpenter, each paid his first rate as a member of the Scots Charitable Society of Boston, a charitable organization founded for the purpose of assisting distressed prisoners who were shipped by the English government to America after the disastrous battle of Dunbar, Scotland, where the Scotch were defeated. John Melvin's subscriptions to this Society went on until May 4, 1696.

In 1691 John Melvin made another purchase of lands, and later bought or sold other lands. About 1696 he removed to Concord, Massachusetts and on April 3, June 3, and July 3, 1701, he sold lands in Charlestown, Concord, and Malden. Later John deeded thirty acres of meadow and upland in Concord to his son David. In one of the deeds the name is spelled Melville. John Melvin's will was drawn August 18, 1726, in Concord.

John Melvin died in Concord, Middlesex Co., Massechusetts on August 21, 1726, "in the 74th year of his age," as stated on his gravestone. .....Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire, Stearns, Whitcher and Parker, Vol. II, Lewis Publishing, New York, 1908. p. 667. He was buried in Charleston, Middlesex Co., Massechusetts.

Hannah Lewis was admitted to full communion in First Church, Charlestown, MA 30 Jan 1680. (NEGHR vol 23 pg 438 ) "January 30, 1681: Hannah Melvyn, ye wife of Jno. Melvyn, admitted to full communion in this church." (First Church was the State Church, or the Congregational Church, now the United Church of Christ.) Hannah died on 23 May 1696 in Charlestown, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.

John, Hannah and son Jonathan are buried in
 Old Hill Burying Ground in Concord.

Second Generation:

Jonathan Melvin, (John) was born 29 May 1688 in Charlestown, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, and on 28 Feb 1714 in Concord, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, married Sarah Hartwell, daughter of Ebenezer Hartwell and Sarah Smedley. Sarah was born 28 Jul 1694 in Concord, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Jonathan died on 13 Feb 1737 in Concord, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Sarah died before 26 Jan 1769 in Worcester, Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Sarah was also married to Elisha Smith.

Here lies the Body of Mr. Jonathan Melven who died February 13th 1737 in the ___ year of his age. Job XIV 12: So man lieth down, and riseth not till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be railed out of their sleep.

Third Generation:

Ebenezer Melvin, Capt. (Rev War), (Jonathan, John) was born 10 Nov 1725 in Concord, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, and in 1751, married Susanna Densmore, daughter of Thomas Dinsmore. Susanna was born 8 Jul 1727 in Bedford, Massachusetts. Ebenezer died after 1790 in Hollis, Groton Co., New Hampshire and was buried in Hollis, Groton Co., New Hampshire.

Ebenezer served in the French War, 1757, was a captain in Hollis and removed 1770 from Hollis to Groton. He removed from Groton to Plymouth 1790. 

Fourth Generation:

Ebenezer Melvin, Jr., (Ebenezer, Jonathan, John) was born 28 Dec 1752 in Hollis, Hillsboro Co., New Hampshire, and on 20 Feb 1777 in Hollis, Hillsboro Co., New Hampshire, married Joanna Bayley, daughter of David Bailey and Rebecca. Joanna was born 30 Jan 1758 in Hollis, Hillsdale Co., New Hampshire. Ebenezer Jr died on 16 May 1825 in Groton, Grafton Co., New Hampshire and was buried in Groton, Grafton Co., New Hampshire. Joanna died on 22 Feb 1820 in Hollis, New Hampshire and was buried in Old Graveyard, Groton Co., New Hampshire.

Excerpt from "Palmer Groups", by Leavitt:

" Ebenezer Melvin resided on his father's homestead farm and owned and managed a saw mill in Groton, Grafton Co., New Hampshire. A granddaughter now living (1901 5) in Plymouth, New Hampshire, says that her grandfather was a very devout and religious man and that, when a little child and he was living at her father's home, she used to stand by his door where she was attracted by the sound of his voice as he poured forth such fervid prayers, long and marked by such beauty of faith as to deeply impress her childish mind, as he plead for the spiritual welfare of his children in the home of her mother, where his last years were passed."

Fifth Generation:

Nathan Melvin, (Ebenezer, Ebenezer, Jonathan, John) was born 26 Oct 1779 in Groton, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, and married Sukey Jones. According to census records, Nathan was in Groton Twp, Grafton Co., New Hampshire in 1810; Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky in 1820 and 1830. He does not appear in an 1840 census; however his widow Margaret Melvin is listed in Jefferson Co., Kentucky (Louisville). He also married on 26 Apr 1827 in Jefferson Co., Kentucky, Margaret Erwin, Mrs.. Bond states Mrs. Margaret Erwin is widow of ____ Erwin, and of lawful age. Married to Nathan Melvin by MG of the Presbyterian Church, Blackburn VDM . No children of this marriage in these records.

Sixth Generation:

Lucius Melvin, (Nathan, Ebenezer, Ebenezer, Jonathan, John) was born 8 Jul 1809 in Groton, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, and on 10 May 1833 in Nelson Co., Kentucky, married Catherine Rentch, daughter of Michael Rench and Mary (Polly) Patrick. Catherine was born in 1810 in Kentucky. Lucius died about 1858 in Nelson Co., Kentucky. Catherine died after 1870 in Kentucky.

Seventh Generation:

Nathan L. R. Melvin, (Lucius, Nathan, Ebenezer, Ebenezer, Jonathan, John) was born 18 Sep. 1835 in Bardstown, Nelson Co., Kentucky, and on 13 Jan. 1861 in Hodgenville, LaRue Co., Kentucky, married Elizabeth Gollaher, daughter of Benjamin Austin Gollaher and Mary "Polly" Price. Elizabeth was born 14 Jan. 1831 in LaRue Co., Kentucky. Nathan L. R. died in Nov. 1908 in LaRue Co., Kentucky and was buried in Pleasant Grove Cemetery, LaRue Co., Kentucky. Elizabeth died on 4 Jun. 1898 in LaRue Co., Kentucky and was also buried in Pleasant Grove Cemetery, LaRue Co., Kentucky. Elizabeth had a prior marriage to George P. Redman who died in 1860.

Notes for Nathan L. R. Melvin:

Birth and death dates: Civil War Pension Record, National Archives. Marriage: Pension Record, LaRue Co. Kentucky. Married in presence of T. Price and J. Barnett. George Price signed as security. Burial: Tombstone in Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Larue Co., Kentucky; Military: Civil War Union Sgt. Co E 37th KY, Vol. Mounted Inf. Religion: Received by experience at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in 1860. Residence: 1850 Nelson Co., 1860 Larue Co., 1861 4 miles from New Haven. Occupation: Farmer

From Civil War Pension record: Occupation: Laborer in 1904. Description: Height: 5'7", florid complexion, dark hair, hazel eyes. Enlisted at Hodgenville 10 Aug 1863, in the Union Army, at Lebanon. He was a Corporal in Co. E, 37th Ky. Infantry and was promoted to Sergeant. Nathan contracted cold from exposure while in the service, which was followed by fever and then chronic diarrhea. He was honorably discharged on December 29, 1864. He returned home to farm near White City. He was treated for his physical problems by Dr. Jesse Rodman until the doctor died in 1875. He was then treated by Dr. M. Wilkinson of New Haven, Dr. Hugh Rodman of New Haven, and Dr. J. M. Young of Hodgenville. He filed for pension, and obtained his pension in the early 1880's. He signed his name to his pension papers. Prior to service: resided on head waters of Knob Creek in Larue Co near N. A. Rapier's, four miles from New Haven for 22 years. Nathan L. R. Melvin drew a pension of $6 and $12 a month for military service.

Eighth Generation:

Michael R. Melvin, (Nathan, Lucius, Nathan, Ebenezer, Ebenezer, Jonathan, John) was born 6 Jun 1871 in LaRue Co., Kentucky, and on 24 Dec 1892 in LaRue Co., Kentucky, married Edna A. "Eddy" Metcalf, daughter of Silas Jefferson Metcalf, (Civil War Veteran) and Mary E. Cundiff. Edna was born 28 May 1874 in Athertonville, LaRue Co., Kentucky. Michael died after 25 Oct 1914 in Jefferson Co., Kentucky at the age of 42 years. Edna was also married to Albert Smithson and Thomas Jesse Price. No children from those marriages.

Children of Mike and Edna Melvin:

Bessie Elizabeth, Charles Walter "Bud", Ruth Bell, Susan Marie, Florence Polly, William (died in infancy), and Myrtle Maxine.

Notes on Mike and Eddy, what we know.....

On June 19, 1908 all the children from this marriage, except Bessie, William (deceased) and Myrtle, were removed from the home by juvenile court and placed in the Louisville Industrial School to be cared for. Myrtle was placed there on November 29, 1913. Mike deserted the family and Edna did not have sufficient means of support. Later, in 1913, Mike, who could not be kept away, was put in jail for drunkeness and beating his wife. Edna was in the hospital, because of these injuries, when Myrtle was taken from the home and placed in the School. Bessie, the oldest, was working at a tobacco factory. Susan had been discharged in August 1912 to the care of her mother. She also returned on Nov. 29, 1913 and remained there until January 1919, when she contracted Influenza and then Pneumonia. Susan died 21 Jan. 1919 while still in the care of the School.

Microfilm roll #7018153 Series L 2938 & L 2935 - Jefferson Co. State Archives Center Department of Human Services - Accession No. M1994-605. "Individual History Book Index - White Females #5 1903 - 1911" pages 136, 137, 138 and "Individual History Book - White Females #6 1911 -1921" pages 39, 40, 41, and 74.

Ninth Generation:

Florence Polly Melvin (Michael, Nathan, Lucius, Nathan, Ebenezer, Ebenezer, Jonathan, John) was born 12 Jun 1903 in Larue Co., Kentucky, and died 12 Mar 1989 in Ocala, Florida. She married (1) Harvey J. Moore, 10 Oct 1922 in Larue County, Kentucky, son of Cornelius Moore and Emily Farmer. He was born 28 Oct 1903 in Jackson County, Kentucky, and died 23 Jan 1930 in Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky. She married (2) Elza Chandler Scott, 11 Apr 1931 in Hamilton, Ohio, adopted son of Ottway Scott and Mary Arnold. He was born 14 Sep 1895 in Grant Co., and died 01 Jun 1969 in Tampa, Hillsborough Co., Florida and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Jefferson Co., KY. She married (3) Louis George Hartwein, 11 Nov 1972 in Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky, son of Louis Hartwein and Anna Planje. He was born 12 Nov 1897 in Missouri, and died 21 Mar 1979 in Fort Myers, Lee Co., Florida.

With Florence Polly the Melvin name "daughters out" for our family. Mike Logsdon, her grandson and the father of my children, is the handsome guy to the right sporting the Melville Tartan Kilt and the Prince Charlie jacket. -------->

The Melville clan has two mottoes - "Pro rege et patria" which means "For king and country" and "Denique coelum" which means "Heaven at last".

The names Melvin and Melville are one in the same; as is Robert and Bob, or Jim and James. The name Melville was vulgerized during the Scottish Reformation period. The Scottish Reformer Andrew Melville wrote his name as Melvin and Melville on the same piece of paper.


Friday, April 23, 2010

The "Saga" of Oliver's Diary

In my very first blog post I said I would tell about the saga of the original Diary of Oliver Morton Wallen, my paternal great Grandfather. Rather than tell the story myself I will relate the story that my Dad's first cousin told me, in his own words. Charlie gave me permission back in 1999 to post the following as I saw fit. It is a revision of Charlie's first efforts. He and I worked on it together to make it more readable. This "History" in it's entirety was to be included with the newly completed transcription of the Diary when I was finished with it. I have omitted here most of the full names to help protect the privacy of the living.

As told by Charles Homer Wallen Jr.

"When Oliver died in January 1907 his diary remained in the possession of his Widow Sarah until her death in August 1939. I don’t know the details of why, but when Sarah died the diary went to her youngest son Hobart, where it remained until his death in June 1987.

When Hobart died his second son David acted as the executor of his father’s estate. For reasons known only to him, David gave the diary to Debra, the oldest child of Darrell. Darrell is Hobart's fourth and youngest son.

I first became acquainted with the existence of Oliver’s diary in 1982 when I received a condensed version of it from my aunt, Sula. Sula had transcribed this copy from the original diary, omitting parts of it at her discretion. (I credit this copy of the diary from Sula as the beginning of two things: my interest in the genealogy of my family and my interest in locating the whereabouts of the original, handwritten diary.) Hobart, I was to discover later, made a second, fully complete transcription of the diary.

So, I began my hunt. Sula told me the diary was still in Hobart's possession so I made requests by mail and telephone asking him if he would mail it to me that I might copy and return it. These requests were refused, no reason given. Years passed and so did Hobart.

During a telephone conversation with David in March 1999 I learned how he had given the diary to Debra after his father died. At my request David gave me Debra’s address and telephone number. In the meantime Dale, Hobarts’s third son graciously sent me the transcription of the diary done by his dad to copy and return at my leisure.

I called Debra and talked to her about giving me the opportunity to make a photocopy of the diary. Debbie made it very clear that she would not allow the diary to leave her possession. After a number of telephone calls, covering a period of about three months, Debbie agreed to go to a professional copying business and have a copy made provided I would send her the money to cover all expenses. I agreed and on June 22, 1999 my quest was ended with a photocopy of the original, handwritten diary in the mail from Debra."

Charles Homer Wallen, Jr.
June 25, 1999

The original diary was contained in four separate “books”. These books consisted of three English composition books and a small ledger style book. 

As family research colleague of Charlie Wallen (now deceased), I am presently working on a new transcription of Oliver's diary. Nothing will be omitted. All wording and spelling will be left as they were written and it will be fully indexed. The first three "books" are completed and were done with Charlie's help. I have the fourth book, the book that includes Oliver's move to Texas to complete and the index will be done after that. This has been a slow and painstaking effort. Each new person mentioned has been fully investigated to see what connections might be found, friend or family. This practice has led to many discoveries of family connections that I might not have made otherwise. It is my hope to finish this diary in 2010 and to publish it in some way so that other researchers will have free access to it. The Diary contains hundreds of names from the Rockcastle and Pulaski county areas of Kentucky and the fourth book has many references to people from the Cooke, Denton and Sutton counties of Texas. 

I have been encouraged by some that I should make money from my work, but in the spirit of genealogists everywhere, and in the spirit of "what goes around comes around", I will resist that temptation even though times are hard. I feel certain Oliver would have wanted it that way.


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