Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Beeks line: Simon de Ruine 1615-1678

Simon de Ruine is one of those ancestors I'd just love to see, in person, and share a day in his life.  I'm not sure on which side of the ocean I'd like to be with him, but probably in the New World, since he was one of the first settlers of Harlem (yes, that Harlem) and had a fascinating set of neighbors. He was probably fascinating, too, although not a lot is known about him.

He referred to himself as a "Walloon", which means he was likely from the southern part of what is now Belgium or the northern part of France, not far from the German border.  He is reported to have come from Valenciennes, which is right on the border between Belgium and France, and this area did speak the language known as Walloons when Simon would have lived there.  Actually, Valenciennes would have been a good place for him to have lived, because he was a Protestant, a Huguenot, and they were persecuted in France.  Belgium wasn't much safer, so in his youth or early manhood he went to Holland, where he remained for 15 years and where he was permitted to practice his faith. 

He was born in 1631, with his father's name given as Jean de Ruine but no further information is known about him. It is possible that he lost his family in the persecutions, or in war, or due to disease.  He married twice in Holland.  His first wife, whose name has not been found, gave birth to two daughters who stayed in Simon's family.  His second wife was Magdalena Van der Straaten, who was from Hainault. 

The family was young when they emigrated from Amsterdam to New Amsterdam, in the New World, and three additional children were born to them here.  They settled first in New Amsterdam, then moved to help form the settlement of Harlem, and finally went to what is now Flushing, Queens County, New York.  To us, it would just be a crowded hour or so of travel to go from one location to another but these were wilderness areas and they would have needed to have started from scratch at every location.  From what I've read, though, they would not have built log cabins, but would have built homes in the Dutch tradition from the start. 

Simon died at Flushing on June 12, 1678 and his wife died at about the same time although I am not sure of the documentation for that statement.  He had certainly lived an interesting life!  He probably spoke at least two languages, Walloon and Dutch and perhaps more.  He had lived in France, Holland, and New Amsterdam, and helped found two settlements in the New World.  He probably was a member of the military, as there were Indian attacks during this time and he would have been needed to help protect the settlements.  By the time he died, the Dutch settlements were under English control, so here was another culture he had to learn, or at least learn to co-exist with them.  I think Simon was probably quite a flexible man.

The line of descent is:

Simon de Ruine-Magdalena van der Straten
Jacomina de Ruine-Jean Demarest
Maria Demariest-Jacobus Slot
Benjamin Slot-Sarah Demaree Demarest
William Lock-Elizabeth Teague
Sally Lock-Jeremiah Folsom
Leah Folsom-Darlington Aldridge
Harvey Aldridge-Margaret Catherine Dunham
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendents

The second line goes:

Simon de Ruine-Magdalena van der Straten
Maria de Ruine-Samuel Demarest
David Demarest-Mattie De Baun
Samuel David Demarest-Lea Demarest
Sarah Demaree Demarest-Benjamin Slot 
See above

There is also a third line, but it's too confusing to add here!