Rene was born in 1812 when his mother was 29 years old and his grandmother Julia was 62. Had his mother Francis held with 'Second Son Naming Tradition', his given name would have been Marvel...after her father Marvel Stone. However, it is thought from piecing together early census records, marriage records and wills that grandfather Marvel was estranged from his wife Julia, daughter Francis and possibly most if not all of his seven living children.
Two years before Rene's birth, Marvel Stone age 61 married for the third time. Julia Napier was his second wife from which he could have separated or divorced as early as 1800. She was not listed as a member of his household in the 1800 Census data. It is presumed Julia was living with daughter Judith as indicated from probate records. In 1807 when daughter Francis married Ichabod B. Pittman through a 'Marriage Bond' negotiated and signed in his stead by son Washington W. Stone...another indicator of family dissent and resentment against Marvel.
Mary Julia Napier was the daughter of Rene Napier and Winifred Champion. She was born in 1750 in Goochland, Virginia, and was only one year old when her father died. She was named in his will dated October 30, 1871, which stated "I give and bequeath unto my Loven Daughter Mary Napier, one Negro boy named Solomon to her and her heirs forever." Other bequeaths indicated Rene Napier was the owner of land on Long Island Creek and a Plantation in Goochland County, Virginia.
Rene Napier was the youngest child of Captain Robert Napier and Mary Perrin. The Napier's of Virginia were descended from a French Huguenot family of Manakin who came to Virginia as early as 1620. He was born in King William, Henrico County, Virginia in 1715. He married Winifred Champion about 1740 and fathered eight children: Mary Jane 1730-1797, Rene 1739-1807, John F. 1740-1764, Chloe 1745-1790, Boothe 1746, James 1747, Champion 1748-1817 and Mary Julia 1750-1829.
Julia's widowed mother Winifred, married Thomas East in 1757. Julia and her siblings still of the home became residents of North Cumberland County, Virginia. It was her third marriage having married Francis Hudnall before Rene Napier. Winifred and Thomas had three children...Martha, James and Ezekial.
Winifred Champion Hudnall Napier East died in August 1777.
Julia Napier Stone was 27 years old, married for six years and mother to
Judith, John, William and Joshua Stone.
Frances would be born six years later in 1783.
Sixty-two years after Rene Napier's death, his granddaughter Francis
broke with tradition and named her 'Second Son'
Rene Marion Pittman.
Etymology and Historical Origin~Rene is a French masculine name from the Latin Renatus meaning 'reborn'. Such given names were used by early Christians in celebration of Jesus' resurrection or in reference to spiritual rebirth through baptism. Two of the most notable name bearers are the French philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650) known as "The Father of Modern Philosophy" and Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte (1898-1967) most famous for his "The Son of Man" self-portrait where a green apple is suspended in front of his face.