Frederick Deveau

(29 July 1726 - about 1808)
Date this page was last edited=17 May 2014
Frederick Deveau was born on 29 July 1726 in New Rochelle, Westchester County, New York.1 He was the son of Abel Devaux and Magdalena Hunt.2 His surname is also found spelled as "Devoue" and "Davoue."

According to the Thomas De Voe genealogy, early in life Frederick came into possession of a very fine farm in New Rochelle, which was afterwards increased to above 400 acres through the assistance of his father who lived on the property adjoining to the north. His farm house was of unusual length, said to have been about 70 feet long and over 20 feet wide, built of stone.3

Frederick Deveau married Elizabeth Anthony about 1749 at New Rochelle, Westchester County, New York.3,4

Methodism was probably introduced into New Rochelle at the home of Frederick and Elizabeth. According to one version, in 1771 the English Methodist missionary Joseph Pilmoor arrived at a Presbyterian worship service in their house where Elizabeth lay sick in an adjacent room. She became the first convert to Methodism in New Rochelle and died two days later.5,6 More recent research, published in 1921, suggests that Methodism was introduced into New Rochelle in June 1770 by Robert Williams, quite likely at the Deveau home, and that Elizabeth died sometime after 1771.4

According to Westchester County land records, on 25 July 1776 Frederick Deveau gave land in New Rochelle to his son Frederick.7

Frederick, like many of the Huguenots to whom England had been a friend, was a loyalist during the American Revolution. He fled to New York City, but returned to his farm in New Rochelle after British troops occupied that area. In October 1776, when he resisted a demand that he join a British regiment of "Tory Rangers," the troops occupied his house and forced him to join their party. On 21 October he was taken prisoner by a detachment of American troops; he was confined at Exeter, New Hampshire, and then exchanged, when he sought protection from the British Government.8 He was indicted for treason on 10 November 1780, and a judgment signed on 5 July 1783.9

Frederick Deveau immigrated in 1783 to Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, where he was granted a large landed property.10 The Commissioners of Forfeiture confiscated Frederick's large farm of 324 acres in New Rochelle, and in 1784 the New York State Legislature gave it to Thomas Paine, the author and political activist, for services rendered during the Revolutionary War.10 The original Deveau house was destroyed by fire in 1793 while Paine was in France. Paine built a new house on this farm, at the top of the hill on the south side of what is now Paine Avenue.11 He apparently leased the property during most of the time he owned it. In a letter to Thomas Jefferson in 1804, he wrote It is a pleasant and healthy situation, always green and peaceable, as New Rochelle produces a great deal of grass and hay. The farm contains 300 acres, about 100 of which is meadow land, 100 grazing and tillage land and the remainder wood land. It is an oblong about a mile and a half in width.12 By 1808 Paine had sold the farm.10 In 1908 the house was moved down the hill to 20 Sicard Avenue, where it is now (2004) a museum called the Thomas Paine Cottage.13

Frederick Deveau resided in 1785 at Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada.10

Frederick Deveau married Catharine Stearns in 1795.14 The De Voe genealogy states Mr. Davoue made occasional visits to his birth-place, his relatives, and especially to his son Frederick at New York. In these visits he often expressed a regret that he had taken so active a participation against the Colonial Government; but at that time he thought he was doing his duty in the most loyal manner, while many others in the Town who perhaps were a great deal worse by their spyism and condemning acts against the Whigs, yet at the end of the War they managed to save both their necks and their property.14

Frederick Deveau died about 1808.14

Children of Frederick Deveau and Elizabeth Anthony

Children of Frederick Deveau and Catharine Stearns


  1. [S1] De Voe, Genealogy of the de Veaux Family, 103, 118.
  2. [S1] De Voe, Genealogy of the de Veaux Family, 103.
  3. [S1] De Voe, Genealogy of the de Veaux Family, 118.
  4. [S749] Daily Star, 22 December 1921.
  5. [S318] Stevens, History of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Vol. 1, Book I, Chap. IV.
  6. [S1] De Voe, Genealogy of the de Veaux Family, 118, 119.
  7. [S795] Theresa Hall Bristol, "Westchester County, N. Y., Miscellanea", 132.
  8. [S1] De Voe, Genealogy of the de Veaux Family, 120.
  9. [S732] Bolton, History of Westchester, Vol. I, 690.
  10. [S1] De Voe, Genealogy of the de Veaux Family, 121.
  11. [S319] Paine Association, online at
  12. [S750] Thomas Paine Cottage and Grounds, 16.
  13. [S319] Paine Association, online at 16.
  14. [S1] De Voe, Genealogy of the de Veaux Family, 122.
  15. [S1] De Voe, Genealogy of the de Veaux Family, 123.
  16. [S1] De Voe, Genealogy of the de Veaux Family, 126.
  17. [S1] De Voe, Genealogy of the de Veaux Family, 127.

This family history is a work in progress. If you know of any errors or omissions, please contact me through the e-mail link at the bottom of the page.