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Depew Genealogy and Depew Family History Information

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  • Chauncey Depew, U.S. Senator (1834 - 1928)
    Chauncey Mitchell Depew (April 23, 1834 – April 5, 1928) was an attorney for Cornelius Vanderbilt's railroad interests, president of the New York Central Railroad System, and a United States Senator ...
  • ? Depew (deceased)
  • [L]evi Depew (1801 - 1823)
  • Aaron Depew (deceased)
  • Abel DePew (1817 - 1871)

About the Depew surname

Du Puy (Originally du Puy) is a very ancient French name, being one of the oldest in France. In French Puy signifies “Mountain”; “du” signifies "of the." In Latin, "de Podio." / “of the Mountain”

[given name + de or du + place name] so, “Hugues du Puy.. or Hugues de Puy”. The use of the de or du as a separate word is known as a “Nobility Particle” indicating “Land Lord” or “Lord”.. “de Pew” when used as one word, could signify “non-noble” “Depew”, by the 18th and 19th centuries some middle class families had begun using the particle without being ennobled. 

"The family of Du Puy had as a surname de Puy, de Podeolo, de Psuato, de Puteolo, or de Podio. And later when Huguenot Protestants fled to other countries the name took on different spellings du Puis, du Puij in the Netherlands, in the early US (Mid-1700s); Depew, DePew, Pew, Depue, Depuy, Depre, and De Pugh.

The following is some history of early notable Du Puy’s recognized in early France;

1st Generation. -

In 1033 the Emperor Conrad le Silique (and not Henri II, in 1103) went as head of an army to take possession of the Royalties of Aries and de Bourgogne, One should find in the History of "Conrad le Silique," Emperor of Germany, 1033. Raphael de Podio, Grand Chamberlain of the Empire, took in the conquests by the Emperor of Aries and Bourgogne, in France. He was made Governor of these new estates; and after time the descendants of Raphael du Puy were possessed of several states in Dauphine until the reign of Louis XI, who reunited all these sovereignties to the crown. The tomb of Raphael du Puy was opened at Perrins in 1610 by order of Monsieur le Compte de la Roche, governor of Romains in Dauphine. They found his body extended on a slab of marble, his sword on one side, his spurs on the other, and upon his head a helmet of lead, with an inscription thus translated into French by the historian, Marquis of Saint Andre-Montbrun: "Raphael de Podio, General de la cavalry Romaine, and Grand Chamberlin de I ‘Empire Remain." In the house of Du Puy in Daphne, there had been a medal of gold of the same Raphael, on the reverse side of which is written: "Raphael de Podio, Grand Chamberlin de I ‘Empire Remain, under I'Empereur Augusta, Christ regnant in the chair."

I. Raphael De Podio had a son:

2nd Generation –

Hugues Du Puy I, Lord of Perrins of Apifer and of Roche fort. He went to the conquest of the Holy Land with his three children and his wife, Deurard de Poisieu, in 1096.

The earliest notable Depew’s found on record are “The Du Puy’s" in the Hall of the Crusaders, Room 5, Versailles, France, 1096 A. D. there is a picture of Raymond Du Puy in the embrasure of the Middle Window. The coat-of-arms of Raymond Du Puy is on one of the pillars and "Huges Du Puy, 1056 (Raymond’s father)," is up near the ceiling in the left-hand corner, as one faces the windows and Raymond Du Puy's picture.

In the "Chateaux de Versailles, or Palace of the Hall of the Crusaders," Room 21, on the central arch, to the far left, a coat-of-arms marked " 1096 Raymond de St. Gilles, Comte De Toulouse." This room has also, in the upper left-hand corner over the window, a coat-of-arms of "Hugues Du Puy, Sgr. (Lord) de Perrins d'Apifer de Roche fort. 1096." And, in Room 17 there was a picture of "Raymond de Saint Gilles, Comte De Toulouse, 1105." This picture has a most noble face. The head wears a golden jeweled crown. The right hand is extended; the left grasps a powerful sword. A long, heavy blue-gray robe drapes his figure, while a broad red cross decorates his left shoulder. Also in Room 21, on the left hand of the central arch is: A coat-of-arms, dated 1119, “Raymond Du Puy; ler Gd. Maître de Iordre, de St. Jean de Jerusalem, Premier or first Grand Master of St. John of Jerusalem." In Room 21, on the left hand of the center arch may be found: A Cross, dated 1128: "Hugues de Payen, ler Gd. Maître de I'Ordre du Temple." Premier or First Grand Master of the Order of the Temple. In Room 18, is a most beautiful painting by Monsieur Gibot of the "Defense de la Celesyrie par Raymond Du Puy, Grand Maitre de I'ordre de Saint Jean de Jerusalem, 1130." The Defense of Celesyrie by Raymond Du Puy, Grand master of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, 1130. .Another painting just above this one shows Raymond Du Puy made prisoner by a body of Turks, 1130 (28th, 4th month, 1910.)

In the First Crusade Hugues Du Puy, one of the Dauphin's Knights and a Crusader, for the Conquest of the Holy Land, accompanied by three sons of his sons, Rodolplie, Romain and Raymond, went with Godefroy de Bouillon to Palestine in the year 1096. Hugues founded the Abbey of Aiguebelle, order of St. Bernard, diocese of "St. Paul-trois-Chateaux." He was one of the gallant Generals of Godefroi de Bouillon, and was in many brave encounters, so that this prince gave him the sovereignties of the City of Acre, or Ptolemaide, a city in Syria, on the coast.

Hugues De Puy had four sons:

3rd Generation –

1. Alleman I; 1st child; Knight, Lord of Perrins, of Apifer and of Roche fort, at Dauphine during the time that his father, mother and brothers took the voyage to the Holy Land. As his Inclinations did not seem to take him with them, he had the pleasure of receiving his parents again, who returned happily. Alleman remained at home and cared for his home and his parents, showing by his conduct that he wished to make happy their declining years. He was not lacking in courage, either, as is demonstrated on several occasions. He had learned that William, Count de Forcalquier, of Ambrun, and of Gap, and Marquis of Provence had attacked Giraud and Giraudet Ademars, Lords of Monteil and of Grignan, who rendered homage for the land of Monteil, and that this prince, in the year 1115, had come himself almost to the gates of Monteil, that are called Montielmart, a city of Dauphine, in order to compel these brothers to acknowledge him. He knew also that the Count de Valentinois had given troops to the brothers, so he joined them and encouraged them with much help in several different encounters, until his brothers acknowledged that the defeat of the Count de Forcalquier was a part of the work of Alleman du Puy I. They acknowledged their indebtedness still further by giving to him in marriage their sister Veronique Ademar. Mrs. Lillie Harper has seen a manuscript or deed dated "6 of the Kale of May, 1143," in favor of this Alleman, by William-Hugues Ademar, Lord of Monteil, of the House of Montbrun .... Veronique, wife of Alleman was a daughter of Giraud Ademar, Lord of Monteil, de la Garde and of Grignan, and niece of Aymar, . Archbishop of du Puy, so celebrated in the wars of the Holy Land. Lambert and Giraudonnet Ademar were his brothers. They died at the siege of Jerusalem and were great friends of Raimond Du Puy, Grand Master of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem 2. Rodolplie, to whom Godefroi de Bouillon gave several lands in the Holy Land, and who was killed in combat in the valley of Ran. 3. Romain, who was killed in the principalities that Godefroi had given him; 4. Raymond Du Puy, Second Recteur or Grand Master of the order of Saint John of Jerusalem. See "The Great Historical Dictionary," by Lewis Moreri; printed in 1694 at London. Raymond du Puy died in 1160. Grand Master of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. He went to the Holy Land with Godfrey of Bullen, and after taking Jerusalem devoted himself to serve the poor, and the Pilgrims in the Hospital of St. John in that city. Having already manifested his valor in battle, Gerard, who was Rector of the Hospital, while dying, chose Raymond Du Puy to succeed him. He prescribed Laws to his Order, took in many Brethren, divided them into three Degrees; namely, Knights, Servants at Arms, and Chaplains. All his rules or constitutions were confirmed in 1123 by Pope Calixtus II, and in 1130 by Innocent II, who gave them for their standard a Cross Argent in a Field Gules (the Malta Cross). He equipped his troops and sent them to Baldwin, the second King of Jerusalem, assisted him at the siege of Ascalon and contributed very much to the taking of it. See " Le Grand Dictionaire Historique," by Moreri, published 1759, at Paris.

Raymond Du Puy, 1113, founded and was the First Grand Master of the Military Order of the Knights of St. John, of Jerusalem (1113). This military order was afterward called the "Knights Templars," in 1121; also the "Knights of Malta." and acquired much wealth and wielded great power for several centuries. The Du Puy "coat-of-arms” is a device with a gold shield with a red lion rampant, showing his teeth, and with his tongue and claws extended. The tongue and claws were blue. The coat-of-arms of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, the Crusaders, was a broad white cross of eight points on a red field. .According to the custom of the age of cavalry, Raymond Du Puy, when he had become a Knight of Saint John of Jerusalem, quartered his own coat-of-arms with those of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem. This latter coat-of-arms was deemed superior to that of the individual coat-of-arms. He therefore placed the arms of the order in the superior places of his shield, i.e., the First and Fourth Quarters, while he placed the arms of his father, Hugues Du Puy, in the Second and Third Quarters.

"Le Grand Dictionnaire Historique du iMoreri, Volume VI H. Published at Paris, .MDCCLIX" (1759), page 632. Congressional Library at Washington, D. C. Guy Allard, page i, "Histoire Genealogique de Famille de Du Puy- Montbrun a Grenoble, 1682." (Grenoble is just south of Lyon, in France).

Raymond Du Puy was of the illustrious House of Du Puy, and had been made, in 1113, Maitre de I'hopital of the City of Jerusalem." Raymond made a new constitution, confirmed by Calliste II in 1123, and by Innocent 1130, by which they had a right to carry in war a silver cross, today called the “Cross of Malta," Raymond du Puy armed his troops and went to the help of Baudouin II, King of Jerusalem, and there they conquered the armies of the Infidels. In the year 1153 the King of Jerusalem was about to raise the siege of Ascalon, but the Grand Maitre Du Puy persuaded him to remain before the city, and it surrendered in a few days. This conquest brought him a great deal of glory, which came to be heard by the Pope, Anastase IV, who accorded to his Order great privileges. Raymond was presented with a magnificent palace to live in. This made him have the jealousy of the other prelates in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. But the Order was maintained by the Sovereign Pontiff in these exemptions and in his privileges. This Grand-Maitre died in 1160, and was succeeded by Auger de Balben. Raymond du Puy is the first to have taken and carried the title of "Grand Master of the Order," and he did not make use of it until after Roger, King of Sicily, had given it to him in several letters that he had written to Raymond. This was all copied by Mrs. Harper at the library in Paris, France. (See " Bosio & Baudouin hist de I'order of S. Jean de Jerusalem"; also, IM. de Valbonnay's Recherché concernant Raymond Du Puy premier president ue ia chambre des Comptes de Dauphine in Volume VI, part I.") Guy Allard's "Histoire Genealogique de Familiie de Du Puy-.Montbrun a Grenoble, 1682," page 15.

4th Generation.—

Hugues Du Puy II, Knight, Lord of Perrins, Roche fort, Apifer, and Montbrun; he took the Cross and went to the Crusades in 1140 with Ame HL Count of Savoye and acquitted himself with much glory; he married Floride Moiran, daughter of Berlion de Moiran.

The First DePew’s in the United States

The first Depew’s to come to the United States were Nicholas du Puis (aka: DePuy) born about 1625 and died in June 19, 1690 in Peekskill, New York and Francois du Puis (aka: DePuy) born about 1640 and died about 1716. Nicholas and Francois were Huguenots (Protestants) whom escaped France into the Netherlands (Leyden, Zuid, Holland) during the time of religious wars and persecutions. There were 7 brothers in all that fled France along with their parents “Jean and Mary de Puij” from the town of Atrecht (Dutch for Arras) in the region of Artois (Now Pas-de-Calais) France. Nicholas and Francois then later another brother “Jean (or John)” arrived in the US, but their families settled in different parts of the country. In 1661 Francois is in Bushwyck (Brooklyn) and 16 years later on Long Island. In 1687, he is in Rockland County, 1702 he is found in Westchester County where he died on Ryck's Patent after 1716. Francois named a son Nicholas, evidently for the senior Nicholas, who with his wife stood as god-parents to the infant 17 October, 1686, both men had land on the Staten Island, and both men went up the Hudson River to Rockland County, New York. Francois, though younger than Nicholas, was the first to reach the shores of America in 1661. Nicholas arriving in 1662 aboard the sailing ship “Purmerland Church”. (In 1667 Nicholas swore allegiance to Great Britain).

Nicholas was a resident of New Amsterdam, (just changed to New York), when, in October, 1664, Nicholas swore allegiance [Valentine’s Manual, 1854] to the King of Great Britain. The following year he was appointed “Beer and Weigh-house Porter,” [Records of New Amsterdam] a rather important position of the time, from which office he may have realized sufficient to aid him in paying for a lot he had purchased on Prince Street in 1667 [Valentine’s Manuals]. He joined Captain Cornelis Steenwyck’s company of militia in 1673 [Valentine’s Manuals, 1850], and in 1674 paid taxes on his Broad Street residence at a valuation of $2.500 [Hol. Soc. Year Book, 1896]. The assessor, probably an Englishman, made the mistake of entering Nicholas on his list as a “Dutchman.” In further proof of his error, “Nicolas Dupuis and Catalina de Vos his wife,” are entered on the membership register of the Reformed Dutch Church of New York as having been transferred to the French Church there. No date is given, but it was probably in the eighties, when the Protestant French were strong enough to establish a church of their own in the city. Within the next three years Nicholas and his family crossed over to Long Island and settled at New Utrecht, where, in 1677, he and his wife were members of the Dutch Church [Bergen’s King County], but later were entered as having removed to Bergen, New Jersey, the Dutch Church of which place admitted them to membership in 1682.

Francois’ marriage banns, translated, read: "Francois Dupuis, a young man of Calais, France, and Geertje Willems, young daughter of Amsterdam." This announcement of his coming marriage was a requirement of the times, and is valuable from the fact that the record is the only one found giving the place of his birth. Francois was married one month later in the Dutch Church, " Breucklen," New Amsterdam” (Later New York), being the fifth marriage now on record, and reads: "26 September 1661 Francois du Puis and Geertje Willems, fifth certificate from Manhattans" (now New York City); see the 1897 Holland Society Year Book. Francois’s family lived in the area of Peekskill, Courtlandt, Westchester County, New York and had taken on the pronunciation and spelling “DePew, DePue or DePuy. This area of New York is the same area that the famous Chauncey Mitchell Depew was from (As well as our branch of the Depew family). Chauncey (born April 23, 1834 and died April 5, 1928) (is documented to be a direct descendent of Francois Dupuis) was an attorney for Cornelius Vanderbilt's railroad interests, president of the New York Central Railroad System, and a United States Senator from New York from 1899 to 1911. Chauncey also served in the New York State Assembly (Westchester County, 3rd District) in 1862 and 1863. Chauncey Depew was born in Peekskill, New York to Isaac and Martha (Mitchell) Depew. His mother was the great-niece of Roger Sherman, signer of the Declaration of Independence. He went to a classically-based private school before attending the Peekskill Academy for high school. In 1852, Chauncey enrolled at Yale University. When he graduated in 1856, he was asked to be an orator at the Commencement Day activities. The future senator went on to have a successful career. He began by studying as a lawyer under the direction of Edward Wells in Peekskill. An active Republican, Depew attended the New York state convention in 1858 as a delegate, served on the New York State Assembly in 1862 and 1863, and filled the role of New York Secretary of State from 1863 to 1865. While in this position, Depew had the honor of escorting President Lincoln's body from the New York State border to Buffalo, New York on its way to Springfield, Illinois to be interred. In 1866, Chauncey Depew was appointed minister to Japan by President Andrew Johnson. However, he shortly left the position in favor of an offer to be attorney for the Hudson River and Harlem railroad lines. In 1882, Chauncey began serving on the executive board of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad lines. Three years later he served as president of the railroad, Chauncey Depew was elected U.S. Senator for the state of New York, serving from 1899-1911. Chauncey also served as a delegate-at-large to Republican National Conventions 1888-1904 and delegate to all following conventions, including 1928, being elected the day before he died. He made the nomination speeches for Harrison in 1892, Governor Morton in 1896, and Fairbanks in 1904. At the convention in 1888 Depew received ninety-nine votes for the presidential nomination, and in 1892 declined an appointment as Secretary of State in Harrison's cabinet. In 1894 Depew New York, Westchester County was incorporated and named after Chauncey M. Depew. In 1898, Chauncey Mitchel Depew nominated Theodore Roosevelt for Governor of New York.

Although at this time we cannot connect our Depew family line with direct descendants of either Francois or Chauncey, our earliest direct descendent “James Depew” was indeed from the same county and town “Courtlandt, Westchester County New York” and was born in 1775, so it is of little doubt that we descend from Francois’s line and are related in some way to Chauncey.. Other brothers of Francois and Nicholas that came to the United States were John; whom settled in Botetourt Virginia (now Sullivan County, Tn.) and neighboring Ky. (Some migrated to Orange County Indiana) Thomas, another brother settled in the Scranton Pa. area. Either way, enjoy the lineage that has been compiled from “Our Depew family” and add to it as we grow.