I have David as born 1620 in Beauchamp, Cambray, France according to Forsythe family tree. However, Marc DesMarest of the Desmarest Genealogical Society casts doubt that our david is from Cambray France or born in 1620.
I have his death as 16 October 1693 at New Milford, (Kinderdamack), Bergen County, New Jersey, information from Forsythe also.
I have this information from Forsythe.
The DesMarest family was French Protestant. When the king of France declared all subjects Roman Catholic, they went first to Netherlands and then to the Island of Walcheren, Zeeland, and then to the German Palatinate of Mannheim.. “In 1663 they migrated , with four children to North America on a Dutch ship named the Bonte Koe which translates to ‘The Spotted Cow.’ They first settled in a Huguenot colony on Staten Island and he was appointed a delegate to the Provincial Assembly called to the state of affairs just before the surrender of New Netherland to the British in 1664. After remaining on Staten Island for about two and one half years, he removed to New Harlem for about twelve years. Later he established a French colony on the Hackensack River which was deeded by Mendawasey, Sachem of the Tappan Indians, and twenty-six member so f his tribe, to Sir George Carteret, Lord Proprietor of New Jersey, on behalf of David des Marest and his children, and payment was made in hatchets, wampum, blankets, hoes, knives, rum, etc. To this tract, David des Marest located with his wife, two sons and their wives and children, an unmarried son, Samuel and Jacques La Roe.”
From Major & Major ”A Huguenot on the Hackensack,” 2007, PP 159 and following:”[David DesMarest] He was a community leader who over the years served as an Elder of the French Church in Mannheim, a maistrate in Staten Island and New Harlem, and a delegate to Public assemblies and advisory bodies. He was a skilled craftsman and builder, able to perform the functions of a carpenter, glazier, locksmith, and very likely others a s well; he and his sons probably with hired and slave Labor, built the sawmills and gristmill that they operated on the Hackensack. Near the end of his life he described himself as a yeoman--that is an owner of substantial taxable property--and miller; he was also one of the leading citizens of northeastern New Jersey...He was not an aristocrat. He was not, at least as an adult, a religios refugee in any direct sense; throughout his adult life in Europe he lived in the Protestant strongholds of Middleburg and Mannheim. Despite the impression left by some earlier writers, he appears not to have been a particularly contentious individual, at least by the litigious and confrontational standards of his time. Nor, in moving to the rapidly developing Hacksack Valley, was he a pioneer in an untamed wilderness...not well grounded in historical fat..Weighing all the available evidence, he emerges as both a more approachable and more attractive figure than earlier family writings would suggest...[had the good fortune to} leave mannheim before the plague years....”During the Revolutionary War there were at least fifty Demarest soldiers or militiamen in the Continental ranks, and some few others bearing the King’s arms. ...”...
P 161 “Because France has never been a substantial source of immigration to the United States, and because Demarest’s surname not particularly common in France, is rare in the U.S, we know that in the early years nearly everyone with the surname or its variants was a descendant of David Demarest, and that is largely true today.”
Notes from R Shalf after reading above book: [apparently for years in the 19th century the family thought it was Dutch, but then David D Demarest discovered otherwise and looked into the history. David Demarests sources were Church documents, official documents, records of Middleburg church, which subsequently burned, but burned after they had been transcribed in 1875.]