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Huguenot Genealogy of the Reille aka Relyea aka Relje Family
Denis aka Dene Areyas Reille aka Relyea aka ReljeDenis aka Dene Areyas Reille aka Relyea aka Relje was born in 1674 or 1680. He resided first in 1690 in Marlboro in Ulster County. He was French Huguenot, later Dutch reformed Church as sponsor in 1693 in New Platz, Ulster County, New York. He resided at Old Man's Kil in 1697. He was on the tax roles in 1724/25 to Marlboro in Ulster County, New York. He died abt 1725 or 1765 in Marlboro, Ulster, New York.
Born and raised in a relatively safe period, because officially the French religious wars ended in 1598, when King Henry IV signed the Edict of Nantes. The edict granted the Huguenots the right to exist, to worship openly except within five leagues of Paris, to enter the universities. The edict was not motivated by any distaste for suffering. Rather, it was a sign of weakness. Henry IV could not possibly defeat the Huguenots, who had groomed themselves into a military force to reckon with. The Huguenots controlled much of Southwestern France; there they were the persecutors rather than the persecuted. And a lot of the educated men needed to run the country were Huguenots. Henry IV needed their support.
The atmosphere the Edict of Nantes fathered was that of an armed truce. The edict said that Huguenots could fortify 100 towns, and they did, they armed towns which by the nature of thier sites were natural fortresses--like Montauban and La Rochelle--to the teeth. Most towns, where Huguenots were a minority, had invisible yet clearly drawn lines. Protestants and Catholics stayed on their respective sides. Hotheads used the safety of their sides as a base for skirmishes. But it was possible, exercising a bit of caution, and swallowing some pride, for a Huguenot to live a normal life, and we may assume that Dene Reille did so.
Though most Huguenots were peasants, a large percentage of them were made up of the intelligentsia of the day--craftsmen, university-educated people, civil servants. The Huguenots were a repressed minority, but they were not underprivileged. Dene was very likely a cut above the norm of his day in skill or education (please do not infer from this, however, that all Ralyas were educated: Dene's grandson, David, the revolutionary war soldier, could neither read, write, nor sign his name).
We may assume that Dene led a comfortable life in France, which ended overnight. America at the time offered anything but comfort. Though a few people may have gone to America with visionary idealism, most went out of sheer desperation because they had to, and Dene would be one of these. The odds of surviving the ship passage and the first winter were about 50/50, and for an old man, worse. [Source: Jerry Ralya, Chez Jean Bouletin, Sablet, 84110 Vaison-la-romaine, France.]
Denis first appears in May 1693 in records of French Huguenot Church of New Paltz, New York at baptism of Isaac Frere, son of Hugo Frere and Marie Anne LeRoy. He is documented in the Relyea Family by Mary Knight Crane in New York GBR, Jan 1924, pp 62ff. and in the "Dutcher Family Records He settled on the grant of land given to Captain John Evans, patent dated 1695 in Ulster County, New York. He was the first settler of the Town of Marlboro and lived on the stream called Old Man's Kil in 1697. At one time he was supposed to have occupied the stone house on the Hudson just south of Juffrow's Hook, now called Blue Point. He paid taxes in Marlboro and Plattskill in 1714-15, 1718. He was a miller and lived to be very old and was called Old Denis. From him are descended the numerous families of Relyea's who have scattered all over the country.
...and it is quite certain that Dennis Ralje (Relyea), or as he was afterwards called "Old Dennis" was settled on a stream that is now called "Old Man's Kill" at the present village of Marlborough soon after Evans got his Patent (granted c1690). He was the first settler of the town of whom we have knowledge; and the stream or kill there was called after him. There is no record that any white man set foot in what is no the Town of Marlborough previous to 1684. It was originally a part of the "Paltz Patent" granted by the Colonial Governor in 1678. [ History of the town of Marlborough, Ulster Co., New York; C.M.Woolsey; Albany 1908, p.20 ]The first settler was Dennis Relje, sometimes called "Old Denis" and "The Old Man". His name appears in the precinct of Highland tax rolls as "Denis Relje" in the years 1714, 1715, and 1718. In the tax roll of 1724 adn 1725 it appears as "Old Denis". The Kill or Creek at Marlborough Landing is named after him. [ History of the town of Marlborough, Ulster Co., New York; C.M.Woolsey; Albany 1908, p.81 ]
Denis Relje (Relyea) was located on the Evan's Patent by Capt. John Evans in 1694 or 1695. [ History of the town of Marlborough, Ulster Co., New York; C.M.Woolsey; Albany 1908, p.261 ]
The first mention we find of any Relyea is when the name of Dennis Relji appears as godfather at the baptism of a child of Hugo Freer and his wife Mary LeRoy in 1693. Dennis' wife's name was Joanna (Jannetje) LeRoy. She and Hugo Freer's wife were sisters. Dennis Relji long occupied the house on the Hudson just south of Juffrow's Hook, as the point was caled where the south bounds of the patent struck the river. He adn his wife had several children baptized in the Kingston church - David in 1703, Claudina in 1706, and Hester in 1708. [From The History of New Paltz by Ralph LeFevre; 1903: The Relyea Family: pp502, 503 ]
Denis was married to Jeanne Elizabeth (Jannetje) Le Roy (daughter of Simeon Le Roy and Claudina Deschalets) about 1698 in Kingston, Dutchess, New York?. Jeanne Elizabeth (Jannetje) Le Roy was born on Mar 28 1679 in St. Joseph, Charlesbourg, Quebec, Canada. She was baptized on Mar 29 1679. She was admitted to the Dutch Church on Apr 3 1703/4 in Kingston, Dutchess, New York. She died after 1720. Admitted to the Dutch Church at Kingston, N.Y. April 3, 1703-4.
Jean Giron (uncle of the wives of Hugo Freer & Denis Ralji), came from France to Canada and bought a farm on the River St. Charles near Quebec. He married Madeleine Deschalets. He was from Creances, bishopric of Coutances, in Manche, the long finger with Cherbourg at the tip which points from the north of France into the English Channel.Denis Relyea and Jeanne Elizabeth (Jannetje) Le Roy had the following children:
* David Relyea b: 30 Dec 1699 in Kingston, Ulster Co. New York
* Mary Relyea b: 21 Feb 1702/03 in Kingston, Ulster Co. New York married Roelof Oosteroom b: 26 Jun 1678
* Claudina Relyea b: 17 Mar 1705/06 in Kingston, Ulster Co. New York
* Hester Relyea b: 24 Jan 1707/08 in Kingston, Ulster Co. New York married Cornelis Van Aken b: 28 Dec 1712 in Kingston, Ulster Co. New York
* David Relyea b: 24 Dec 1710 in Kingston, Ulster Co. New York married Annetje Reynerse
* Magalena Relyea b: 12 Apr 1713 in New York City, New York
* Simeon Relyea b: 25 Jan 1717/18 in Poughkeepsie, New York married Orseltjen Philips b: 03 Jan 1721/22 in Poughkeepsie, New York
* Denis Relyea b: 17 Apr 1723 in Poughkeepsie, New York married Maritie Van Vliet
* Jannetje Relyea married Johannes Oosterum
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