An American Family History

The Runyan Family

  also spelled Runian, Runion, Runyon  

Vincent Runyan was born on March 2, 1645 in France.

He first lived in Elizabethtown, New Jersey.

He married Anne Bouchierre

John Runyon,
Vincent Runyon, 
Thomas Runyan, 
Mary Runyon Drake, 
Peter Runyon, 
Anne Elizabeth Runyon Leonard and 
Sarah Runyon Sutton

On March 20,1671-2 Vincent bought property from Francis Barber in Elizabethtown

Francis Barber of Elizabethtown, planter, sells to Vincent Ronyon, 40 rods long by 16 rods wide, on the south side of the house lot of George Pack, fronting on the highway ...

In 1677, he purchased a farm of 154 1/2 acres on the Raritan River.

Vincent died on November 111, 1713 in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey.


New Jersey's first permanent European settlement was in 1660.

Thomas Runyan was born about 1675 in Piscataway. Middlesex County, New Jersey. He was the son of Vincent Runyon.

His wife was named Martha. They married about 1698 in Piscataway. Some researchers believe that she is the daughter of Hugh Dunn and Elizabeth Drake.

Catherine Runyan (1700),
Vincent Runyan (1701),
Thomas Runyan, Jr. (1702, married Sarah Bonham),
Joseph Runyan (1704),
Martha Runyan (1706, married Hezekiah Bonham),
Anne Runyan (1707),
Aaron Runyan (1709, married Sarah Hyde),
Ephraim Runyan (1711),
Samuel Runyan (1715),
Elizabeth Runyan (1719),
Reuben Runyan (1721) and
John Runyan.

The family lived in Hopewell Township.

The Bonham family was closely associated with the Runyan family. They were all members of the First Baptist Church of Piscataway.

Martha died before her husband's will was probated on April 16, 1753.

Hopewell is currently in Mercer (formerly Hunterdon) County, New Jersey. Mercer County was formed in 1838 from portions of other counties including Hunterdon. Early settlers found that their deeds were worthless and they were forced to repurchase their land or relocate. On April 23, 1715 the settlers who stayed organized Hopewell Baptist Church.
Kingwood Township is on the western border of Hunterdon County, New Jersey. It was founded in 1798.

Lush forests in Colonial America allowed settlers to build wooden homes.




from Pioneers of Old Hopewell, by Ralph Ege

John Runyan was the son of Thomas Runyan [Sr.], who, in 1708, purchased of Daniel Coxe of Burlington, for thirty pounds, the tract now owned by Mr. Enoch A. Titus, adjoining the E. S. Wells farm on the south . . . A copy of the last will of Thomas Runyan, dated October 30, 1738, is on file in the office of the Secretary of State, at Trenton. He left the farm to his wife, Martha, and appointed his two eldest sons, Vincent and Thomas. executors. The witnesses to the will were his neighbors, Josiah and Elizabeth Furman and Roger Wolverton.

The wife of Adam Conrad of Kingwood, and mother of Judge Conrad, deceased, of Pennington, was Sarah [Runyan], daughter of Thomas Runyan, Jr., and she was left a legacy by the will of her father, dated January 23, 1770.

The Huguenots were 16th and 17th century French protestants. About 500,000 Huguenots fled France because of religious persecution. They relocated to Protestant nations.

from History of the First Baptist Church of Piscataway by Oliver B. Leonard, Esq.

Among the multitude 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 family is now known as Runyon, with numerous representatives in every State of the Union. . .

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 A. D. 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:

To any of the Justices of the Peace or Ministers of the Province of New Jersey :
Whereas. I have received information of a mutual agreement between Vincent Rongnion, of Portiers, in France, and Ann Boutcher, the daughter of John Boutcher, of Hartford, in England, to solemnize marriage together, for which they have requested my lycense, and then appearing no lawful impediment for the obstruction thereof, these are to require you or eyther of you, to joyne the said Vincent Rognion and Ann Boutcher in matrimony, and them to pronounce man and wife, and to make record thereof, according to the laws in that behalf provided, for the doing whereof this shall be to you or eyther of you a sufficient warrant.
Given under my hand and seal of the Province, the 28th of June, 1668, and the 20th year of the raigne of our Sovereign Lord Charles the Second, of England, Scotland and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, &c.

(Signed) Ph. Carteret.
This couple were joyned in matrimony by me the 17th of July, 1668.
(Signed) James Bolton.

Ann Boutcher, the newly wedded wife of Vincent Runyon, may have been a descendant of the same family as Joan Boutcher, of Kent, a lady of distinction and piety, who was a Baptist and was burned at the stake May 2, 1550, within sight of the Canterbury Cathedral.

The next public notice of Vincent Runyon's name is found as owner of a piece of ground at Elizabeth Town, which he bought March 20, 1671-2. He was probably induced to make his first settlement at that place because of the national affiinity of many of the early settlers. . .

Mr. Runyon did not remain long among that settlement, for the stern Puritan element predominated and rendered his relations unpleasant. Disposing of his town property as soon as possible the next public notice of him was in the Baptist community at Piscataway, where ever afterward he and his descendants have lived. Here on the Raritan River, in the spring of 1677, he purchased a farm of 154½ acres and from the homestead established there, went out the many children of this distinguished sire to become the founders of other large and influential lines of the Runyon family.

The sons and daughters of Vincent and Ann Boutcher Runyon were:
Jane and
all born several years before the public organization of the Piscataway Baptist Church. [Thomas?]

Vincent [Runyon], the oldest son, married Mary Hull 1691, and had children to the number of eleven:
and three dying in infancy.

Peter [Runyon], the youngest son, born 1680, married 1704, Providence Mackford (sic Blackford), and had five sons and four daughters: John, Joseph, Peter, Richard, Benjamin, Grace, Rosannah, Providence and Sarah.

The other sons and daughters married into the families of Randolph, Sutton, Holton, Webster, Cooper, Layton, Bray, Mollison, Martin and Mannings, and many of their descendants are here today at the roll call of their forefathers.

Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
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