Monday, December 12, 2011

Breaking News! Ruel Rulon Escapes from France!

[Warning, there might be sarcasm.]  Anonymous sources tell us that the Huguenot Ruel Rulon has escaped from France by hiding on board a ship in a hogshead (kind of like a wine barrel for those more familiar with such things).  Alleged accomplices are his two brothers (who are Catholic) who it is believed helped him escape.  If the Catholic Rulon brothers are found guilty of aiding and abetting the Huguenot Rulon, they will be dealt with!  Actions like this will not be tolerated!  The ship is believed to be heading for America, possibly New York.  If anyone has any information about this escapee-from-religious-persecution, please alert your local authorities!  Do not approach him yourselves.  A reward for information leading to his capture is being offered (but only if you are Catholic)!

The Rulons in America

Ruel Rulon, my maternal 7th great grandfather, was a Huguenot (Protestant) who left France sometime between 1684 and 1704 during the persecution of the Huguenots [1].  The above paragraph about his escape is based on family lore written about in The Rulon Family and Their Descendants by John C. Rulon [2].  (This book is free on Google Books.)  The story goes that Ruel’s brothers (who were Catholic) hid him in a hogshead and put him on board a ship bound for America so that he could escape the persecution.  Once he was a safe distance from France, he got out of the hogshead.  I wonder how he explained his sudden appearance on the ship if this story is true! 

It is thought that Ruel landed in New York [3].  He settled in Monmouth, New Jersey, at least by 1704 [4].  He is apparently mentioned in some documents from that year, and his son David, my maternal 6th great grandfather, was born around that time [5].  Several family trees (including mine) on list Ruel’s wife as Margaret Paulding.  I haven’t confirmed this. 

How I Connect to the Rulon Line

Rulon Family Tree reducedBelow is my descent from Ruel Rulon down to my mother.  The family tree on the left that I scanned from a copy of the original was drawn by my maternal grandfather William Liming Redles.  It begins with Ruel’s son David Rulon and includes the Redles line.  I haven’t confirmed all of the information below.  Some of it is from John C. Rulon’s book mentioned above and from the tree my grandfather drew. 
1. David Rulon (1704-1778), son of Ruel Rulon and Margaret Paulding, married Exercise Allen (1705-?), daughter of Henry and Hannah Allen. 
2. Henry Rulon (1732-18100), son of David Rulon and Exercise Allen, married Theodosa Robbins.
3. John Rulon (1758-1833), son of Henry Rulon and Theodosa Robbins, married Sarah Burt.
4. Sarah Sallie Rulon (1785-1851), daughter of John Rulon and Sarah Burt, married Johan Adam Rodelsperger/Redles (1781-1869).
5. John Adam Redles (1817-?), son of Sarah Sallie Rulon and Johan Adam Rodelsperger/Redles, married Jane Eliza Meyers (1818-1885).
6. George Albert Redles (1843-1912), son of John Adam Redles and Jane Eliza Meyers, married Isabella Liming (1844-?)
7. William Liming Redles (1873-1932), son of George Albert Redles and Isabella Liming, married Martha Leona Roberts (1895-1955).
8. Leona Roberts Redles (1925), daughter of William Liming Redles and Martha Leona Roberts, married Albert Sidney Pendleton, Jr. (1925-2006).

For a history of the French Huguenots see The National Huguenot Society

We’ll probably never know if  the above account of Ruel Rulon’s escape from France is truth or fiction, but it sure makes a good story. 

Any family legends in your family?  I’d love to hear about them!

[1] John C. Rulon.  The Rulon Family and Their Descendants.  (Lineaweaver & Wallace, Philadelphia, 1870).
[2] See footnote 1 above.
[3] Albert F. Koehler.  The Huguenots or Early French in New Jersey. (Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, reprinted 2007).
[4] See footnote 1 above.
[5] See footnotes 1 and 3 above.


  1. Lisha (aka BlogandRetire)December 13, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    I have to say, this is a very intriguing blog :) Found you on Twitter :) Cool blog


  2. Thanks Lisha! I just paid a visit to your blog. I'm always keen to learn new things about blogging. I'll visit again and read some more of your posts :)

  3. Hi Catherine. The information I have is that Pierre Ruel Rulon was from La Tremblade, Charente-Maritime Poitou-Charentes, France. As that was a Western France seaport, that would have been his starting point. He married Margriet JE Paulding (1682-1714 - New Jersey). I've also heard the folklore. My pedigree tracks from Ruel to his son Joel (1707-1773) who was David's little brother. Ahh, the good old days.

    Keith Rulon

  4. Catherine PendletonJune 3, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Hello Rulon Cousin Keith! Thanks for the info. I need to fill in your branch on my tree. Unfortunately, I only have David listed but would like to add his siblings :)

  5. I have several photo copies, a piece here and there, of this story in my Ancestry tree. They are Notarized, typed document from DAR Library, Rulon Family File, Washington, DC. So they do look legit! ;)

  6. Hi Bobbi,

    Awesome! I haven't checked in with my Rulon branch on in a while. I looked after I saw your comment and found some of these files. Thanks for letting me know :)


  7. Hello,

    I'm a Redles, wonder how we are related? My family is from Philadelphia.

    1. I tried to reply via my email notification but not sure it went through.

      I'd love to figure out how we're related. Please let me know your Redles family line (father, grandfather, etc.). My grandfather William Liming Redles was born in Mt. Holly New Jersey but grew up in Philadelphia.