Reynier "Rene" Piatt (Pyatt) (c.1640 - 1705) MP

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Nicknames: "Thomas la Fleur"
Birthplace: Dauphine, France
Death: Died in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey
Managed by: Francis Gene Dellinger
Last Updated:

About Reynier "Rene" Piatt (Pyatt)

Additional Curator's Notes:

Reynier (or Rene) Piatt was French Huguenot silkweaver from the Dauphine region of France. To escape religious persecution, he changed his name several times, fled to Holland and, finally, landed in New Jersey. His birth name might have been Thomas la Fleur or Thomas Fleurisson, or those might have been aliases, and Piatt was the true name. His parents are not known. There are no documents to prove which name was his true name. Since his descendants are all known as Piatts, I have chosen to use that surname for him.

Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator, 12/22/2013

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Reynier "Rene" Piatt was born in the Dauphine region of France between 1640 and 1650. His family were silkweavers and vineyard workers. They were Huguenots and, following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, were persecuted for their faith.

His family used a variety of aliases as they fled to Holland. It is not clear if Rene used all these names himself or if other other family members, perhaps his father, used one or more. There are no surviving documents to prove his parentage, his birth or his true name. Thomas la Fleur is a strong possibility as his birth name, as his estate documents mention that name. Based on the New Jersey records, either name was used on either side of the alias. The New Jersey marriage record lists Rene Piat (no alias) and Elizabeth Sheffields (sic). The Denization lists do not list a Piat at all. However several men by the name of Fleury and Fleurisson are listed for several years, including Renatus Fleury and Peter Fleurisson on January 5, 1687/88. Also a Renatus Fleurisson appears on the list for March 21, 1687/88. Names associated with Rene are

  • Thomas Fleurisson or la Fleurisson
  • Renatus Fleurisson
  • Thomas Renipiat
  • Thomas la Fleur
  • Renatus Fleury

Rene arrived in New Jersey before 1677. By 1680 he is buying land in Piscatway, Middlesex County, New Jersey. In 1688 Rene was granted a Letter Patent of Denization (naturalization) issued from England. In 1694, he purchased 250 acres along Chesequake Creek from Miles Forster.

Rene married Elizabeth Sheffield on December 13. 1677 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey. Elizabeth was born in 1654 in New York. They raised a large family before Rene died in October 1705. Elizabeth was granted administration of his estate by Lord Cornbury at Perth Amboy:

  • Perth Amboy October ye 16th 1705 - There appeared before me Edward Viscount Cornbury Captaine Generall Governor in Chief in and over her majestys provinces of New Jersey New Yorke etc Elizabeth Peatt widow of Reyneer Peatt commonly known by the name of LeFlure late of the Towne of Piscataway Deceased and praying for administration of the Goods Chattles and Creditts of the Said Deceased it was Granted Accordingly She being duly Sworne upon the holy Evangelists of Almighty God faithfully to administer the Said estate and to returne an inventory thereof Accordingly.

Children of Reynier "Rene: Piatt and wife Elizabeth Sheffield (researchers do not agree on the children - these that follow are commonly accepted):

  • Jacob Piatt b: 31 Oct 1678 Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey d: aft 1750 in Cumberland Valley, Pennsylvania (or Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ) m: Jun 1703 in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey Mary Hull (b: 04 Feb 1680/81 in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey d: c1750 Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey)
  • Rene Piatt b: c.1679 Woodbridge (or Piscataway), Middlesex, New Jersey. Some researchers believe he is same person as Thomas.
  • Thomas Piatt b: 11 May 1681 Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey d: 1706 Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey (some sources cite death as early as 1699/00) m: between Feb 1698 and 1700 Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey, Mercy Hull (b: 22 Jun 1683 Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey d: 21 Dec 1746 Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey).
  • James Piatt b: 1683 Woodbridge (or Piscataway), Middlesex, New Jersey d: c1704? Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey m: c1708? Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, Elizabeth ? James was apprenticed to James Many in 1701 for 6 years.
  • Ann Piatt (thought to be twin of James) m: Joseph Drake (this child not listed by most researchers)
  • Francis Piatt b: 1685 Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey d: aft 1701
  • Samuel Piatt b: 1687 Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey
  • Jane/Joan Piatt b: 15 Sep 1695 Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey d: 15 Sep 1779 Stelton, New Jersey (buried Dunham Burial Ground, Piscataway, NJ) m: 15 Aug 1714 in Piscataway, New Jersey, Rev. Jonathan Dunham of Piscataway, New Jersey (one researcher has Jane and Joan as twins, most believe Jane and Joan are same person)
view all 11

Reynier "Rene" Piatt's Timeline

1640
1640
Dauphine, France
1677
December 13, 1677
Age 37
Woodbridge, New Jersey
1678
October 31, 1678
Age 38
Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey
1679
1679
Age 39
Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey
1681
May 11, 1681
Age 41
Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey
1683
1683
Age 43
Piscataway Township, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States
1685
1685
Age 45
New Jersey, United States
1688
1688
Age 48
New Jersey, United States
1695
September 15, 1695
Age 55
Stelton, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States
1705
October 16, 1705
Age 65
Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey