ORIGIN OF LARUE FAMILY NAME,
But before I get into listing things, I thought I'd pass along some background information.
WHERE DO THE LARUES REALLY COME FROM? As near as anybody can figure, the LaRues seem to come from a part of France called Picardy. Picardy was founded by the Picards, who, according to tradition, are descended from an ancient Celtic tribe. In the early 1600's, there was a family living in Picardy that went by the name of "de la Rue du Rozoy" which meant "of the Street of the Rozoy." Rozoy (pronounced "rah-zwah") is a town on the river Serre, 30 miles north of Reims and 35 miles west of Sedan. "The Street" is taken to mean not just any street, but an "important" street. One of these families did in fact have a coat of arms -- but whether or not any of us can lay claim to it is not too clear.
HOW DO YOU SPELL LARUE? Here are some samples: La Rue, Le Roux, Larew, Lerrew, Larrew, La Rew, Lerrue, Laroux, Roux, Rue, La Roue, Le Roy, and even Laraway. My great-grandmother, Mrs. Christopher Columbus LaRue, spelled her name sometimes with a small "r", sometimes with a capital "R." Abraham LaRue, the first one in the country, once made a will where he spelled his own name three different ways on the same page: La Rue, Larew, and Larowe. La Rue means "the Street," as I've said. Le Roux means "the Red" (someone with red hair, maybe). La Roue means "the wheel" (as in "roulette" or little wheel -- maybe La Roue was someone who made wheels for a living). Le Roy means "the King" -- usually someone who waited on the king. But like I say, seems like "the Street" is still the best.
I kept reading that the LaRues left France because they were Huguenots.
WHAT'S A HUGUENOT? Way back in 1517, a German named Martin Luther started raising big and little ruckuses, and eventually founded the Protestant religion (so-called because he was protesting some practices of the Catholic Church). John Calvin made what he thought were some improvements on Protestantism and in a burst of modesty called it Calvinism. Most of the kings and queens of that time were Catholics. When the French Calvinists (who called themselves Huguenots, meaning "oath-comrades") started talking about open rebellion against the royalty of France, the royalty got a little peeved. One time they got so irritated they engineered the "St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre" -- which was about as bad as it sounds. The Huguenots lost. Understandably, a lot of Huguenots started to think about maybe moving to a quieter neighborhood down the road. America, for instance.
THIRTEEN GENERATIONS OF LARUES
- Francois de la Rue (1606-1689) was born in about 1606, probably in La Rochelle, France. A Huguenot, he then moved to Picardy to escape Catholic persecution. Legend has it that he and his two brothers had done something that upset the King of France. Because they were about to be beheaded, they decided to leave the country, which strikes me as pretty smart. In approximately 1666 he fled to Mannheim-in-the-Palitinate. This was a Protestant province in Germany. He may have lived a while in Switzerland. He certainly lived for a time in Holland. Anyhow, he and some of his brothers -- some say three, some say four -- came to America around 1680. (There was a Matthew, a Reuben, and a Bartholomew in the same place at the same time. Who knows?) Anyhow, everybody moved on pretty quick. Francois died in Albany, New York, on June 22, 1689. Some people think this Francois character is our direct ancestor. In my opinion, Francois was the great-uncle of the man we'll get to later: Abraham the Immigrant.
- We know that someone called Anthoine Le Roux , "widower of La Leu in the Low country, and Marie Jery, widow of Jean Fremeau of Armentier, married in the French Church of Manheim 16 May 1655." [From French Reformed Church documents translated from the Old French, courtesy of James David Wood, who successfully got himself into the Huguenot Society of California with this documentation.] Myself, I think Anthoine is Francois' fourth brother. At any rate, Anthoine's story is pretty good: when the LaRues arrived in Germany, they were confronted with the "bitter winters of 1654 and 1658," and apparently some bad floodings of the "Rhein River." As if that weren't bad enough, apparently they had cause to fear the Inquisition. Their new city was attacked and laid waste by French Catholic, Bavarian, and Turkish armies. Anthoine went through three wives, then died himself, somewhere between 1665 and 1667. Get this: according to one story that I can't find any proof for, his son Abraham (apparently from a marriage before the one in the church records, which was his second) fell dead while pulling a wagon of bodies smitten by the Black Death, supposedly around 1666. That's probably a little too dramatic to be the truth. He probably died on the way to America.
- Abraham (d. 1680, but I still don't think he was hauling corpses at the time) is kind of troublesome. We know from Church records that Anthoine had a son named Abraham: on "the 6 December 1658 have been married in this church Abraham Roux young man, son of Anthoine Roux, Bourgeois of Manheim, and Jeanne Du Four, widow of Isaac Fremor, daughter of Jean Du Four Bourgeois of Manheim." (Obviously, either this Abraham was the child of a marriage preceding his father's marriage to Marie Jery Fremeau, or he was 3 years old at the time.) From this same source of records, we know that Abraham and Jeanne had a child also called Abraham, born on March 1, 1664, baptized March 1664 in Mannheim. From other sources [Otis Mather'six Generations of LaRue and Allied Families: containing sketch of Isaac La Rue, Senior, who died in Frederick County, Virginia, in 1795, and some account of his American ancestors and three generations of his descendants and families who were connected by intermarriage, Hodgenville, KY, 1921] we know that Abraham had a son named Peter. According to several sources, [as described in Karl Larew's book: Garret Larew, Civil War Soldier, Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1975.] this first Abraham died on the ship, some eight or nine years before his own father. Incidentally, Garret Larew looks a lot like my first cousin Kenny LaRue of Mountainburg, Arkansas.
- Abraham LaRue (1664-1712) is often called "The Immigrant" and he's the only one we know much about. Not long after he arrived, he owned land in Ulster County (often called Esopus or 'Supus), New York from 1688 to 1690. In 1690 he sold the land and moved to Staten Island. He was twice elected constable of the First (northern) Division of Richmond. Abraham had two wives. We're descended from the first one: Maria Magdaleine Uzille. She was baptized on December 3, 1662, and belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church. They were wed in 1687. Some people spell her name Gille -- a Dutch corruption of the original French. Abraham and Magdaleine had one child, Peter, baptized on March 25, 1688. Shortly after this, Magdaleine must have died, because Abraham married again in 1690, a woman named Olive Gerritszen Cresson, a widow with several children of her own. Abraham died in New Jersey in December 1711.
- Peter (1688-1783) was born in Kingston, New York, moved to Bucks County, Pennsylvania, then in 1749 followed his sons to Frederick County, Virginia, where he died in 1783. Other than that, we know only that he was a farmer, and when he went rafting on the river his voice was so powerful it could be heard for two miles. He married his step-sister, Elizabeth Cresson. (They were no blood to each other. She was the daughter of Olive and Olive's deceased husband.) Peter and Elizabeth had five children: Isaac, Abraham, Jacob, Elizabeth Pierson, and Anna Suber. [From "Baptismal and Marriage Registers of the Old Dutch Church of Kingston, Ulster County, New York," 1891.]
- Isaac LaRue, Sr. (1712-March 1795) married Phebe Carman. Isaac was born in Hopewell Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, in 1712. He lived there until 1743, when he moved to Orange County, Virginia. He is recorded as entering the Lower Shenandoah Valley, where he settled at a place called Long Marsh. He seems to have been quite prosperous. Although he started out with a simple log cabin, by 1779 he owned a total of 40,730 1/2 acres in Kentucky alone -- about 300 more in Virginia. He also had over 100 horses. Additional livestock included his ten children: Samuel, Elizabeth, Jacob, John, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, James, Jabez, and Mary. Interestingly, he voted in an election for the House of Burgesses of Virginia back in July 24, 1758. The list of voters is still around -- in George Washington's handwriting, who happened to have been one of the candidates.
- Jacob LaRue, Sr. (May 1, 1744-August 15, 1821). The oldest of his parents' ten children, he married Mary Frost, in 1765. He built a big stone house (as well as a barn and milk house) called "Bloomfield" in Virginia 1775. In the gable end of the house is a dressed stone with the inscription "Jacob and Mary 1775." In 1783 records show that he owned 18,000 acres in Jefferson County, Kentucky, and another 8,136 in a few other counties. Moved to Hardin County, Kentucky in 1798, mostly because of his wife's health. Mary had just lost a son. She lived only 6 years after arriving in Kentucky, dying in 1804. Together, they had 10 kids: John, Phebe, Hannah, Isaac, Mary, William, Jacob, Jr., Samuel, James, and one named Deidamia. In 1805, Jacob married again, and had three more kids: Morgan J., Sarah Jane, and one named Jesse V. We know that Jacob planted an orchard of 50 or 60 acres. The appraisement of the estate mentions 13 slaves and a distillery (supplied by the orchard). He planted an asparagus bed which his descendants used for 75 years after his death. After his second marriage, he was elected to Justice of the Peace of Hardin Co., a position he apparently held in good health for some time. He spent the evening of Sept. 14, 1821 teaching his young daughter Sarah (13 years old) how to mold pewter spoons -- before dawn of next day he passed away from an attack of "acute indigestion," probably a heart attack. Buried five miles north of Hodgenville in family burial grounds. [From Everhart - Miller and Allied Families, by Mrs. Allie Everhart Miller; West Point, Miss.: 1931, pp. 72-77.]
- Samuel (d.1826 -- or, Aunt Lula says, 1840) married Elizabeth Waters (or Dodge). According to Aunt Lula, he and Elizabeth left Virginia for Kentucky in 1806. We know for sure that the couple settled about a mile west of his father. Samuel was a major in the Kentucky State Militia. 6 children: Lucinda, Louisa, Josiah, Lydia, Mary, and James. Also buried in family burial grounds.
- Josiah (b. 1804-d. 1870?) Called "Si," he married Mary Castleman (b. 1810 in Hardin County) in Floyd County. They had 13 kids: Samuel, John, James C., William, Jacob, Squire, David, Benjamin Hardin, Sarah, Thomas, Elizabeth, Lydia, and Elvira. Si seems to be the one responsible for leaving Kentucky, no doubt because there wasn't enough room for all his children. He moved either to Arkansas or Missouri. William, incidentally, was a twin, but his brother died in infancy. [LaRue family Bible.]
- Samuel (b. 1830) married Mary Burdine (or Burding or Bodine, b. 1830 also) in 1851. Again according to Aunt Lula, Samuel had a limited education during his youth, and left Kentucky at the age of forty-one, bound for Arkansas. He apparently did all right -- he owned 300 acres of Ozark country, and cleared and planted about 110. Like his great-grandfather Jacob, he raised an orchard: 1,000 apple trees and "a large number" of peach and plum trees. Samuel and Mary had seven children: Letitia, Elvira, Frances, Grace, Christopher C., Elizabeth, and Martha or Maratha.
- Christopher Columbus (b. March 2, 1859, d. Aug 21, 1932.) married Margret Trentham (b. Sept. 14, 1865 and d. Apr. 22, 1961) on March 2, 1882. Both seem to have been very interested in family history. It was Christopher that drew up the family tree -- and probably Margret that maintained some of the family records. It was certainly she who was about to ship the family Bible off to a LaRue in Kentucky interested in geneology, when Walter (son of James C.) LaRue came along looking for the same kind of records. He was from Springfield, Illiois. She said to him: "I don't know you -- but I can tell by the ears you're a LaRue." [I'd always heard that there was a family Bible somewhere, but nobody could figure out what had happened to it. Now we know: Walter got it on account of his big ears.]
- Jesse James, Sr. (b. May 19, 1896. d. Dec. 11, 1962.) in 1913 married Etta Florina Nolan (b. 1897, d. 1918) with whom he had three children: Harrison (b. 1914, d. 1918), Bessie Florine (b. December 8, 1916, d. June 22, 1979) and Nellie Etta (b. November 9, 1918). Etta Florina died after giving birth to Nellie Etta in 1918, the same year the son Harrison died. Jesse's second marriage was to Mildred Arlington (b. Sept. 22, 1904, d. April 29, 2004) on September 19, 1922. They lived in both Chester and in Mountainburg, Arkansas. Jesse was a master stone-mason. His unusual diamond-groupings of rock can be seen throughout the Ft. Smith area, particularly in the Mountainburg school building. Mildred may have had mixed blood. Her mother, Grandma Barber (her second marriage -- Mildred was the only issue of her first) lived to be 80-odd years, and maintained on several occasions that her husband Leslie was a full-blooded Indian. The children of Jesse and Mildred were: Jesse James, Jr., Kenneth (also a stonemason), Joyce, and Keith.
- Jesse James, Jr . (b. October 11, 1924, died October 3, 1997) married Margaret Elizabeth Waack (b. July 5, 1925, d. June 7, 1985) on Jesse's 28th birthday, Oct. 11, 1952. When he was about 17 years old, Jesse left Arkansas for a job with Boeing Aircraft in Seattle Washington. When World War II broke out, he enlisted in the Navy, and served on the SS California. After his hitch was up, he and a friend worked the railroad from Arkansas to North Chicago. Here he met his wife-to-be, a nurse at Downey Veteran's Hospital. Their issue: James Howard, Suzanne Eileen, Todd Kevin, Mary Elizabeth, and Kathleen Anne.
- James Howard (b. July 13, 1954) married Suzanne Temple Galvin (b. March 27, 1956) on April 16, 1983, and was lucky at that. It is he, it is I, who has assembled this chronicle. As of this writing (1996) we have two children: Madeleine Lee LaRue, b. September 6, 1987, and Max McLaren LaRue, born February 15, 1994. Despite my attempts to be thorough and accurate, I am solely responsible for any errors in the account.