History From America's Most Famous Valleys
Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Family History of New York by William S. Pelletreau, A.M. Volume I. Published in New York sometime in the early 1900s.
Contributed by Margaret Johnson
In the latter half of the thirteenth century, when William of Holland was acknowledged as king by many of the cities of northern German, many of his soldiers were stationed in this new territory, and among them was one Henry Klock. It is related in the archives of the family that bandits stole the king's daughter, whereupon the latter proclaimed that he would give her rescuer whatever he might demand. Henry Klock, after adventures more appropriate to a dime novel than to sober history, personally effected the rescue, and, taking the king at his word, demanded the daughter in marriage. Being informed that it was against the law for a princess to marry a commoner, he pleaded, Prend noi tel que je suis (Take me just as I am). Nevertheless the king raised him to the nobility and the words of the suitor became the motto in the Klock coat-of-arms. Of course, the wedding took place. It should also be noted that in those days the family name was VanKlock, but the prefix has now been dropped by nearly all of the Klocks. King William died soon after, but Henry Klock and his descendants remained in Germany, being the play of varying fortunes for centuries to come.
One of the descendants of the family, Johannes Klock (1696-1780), emigrated to the colony of New York, settling in the Mohawk Valley. He was the father of Johannes I., who was the father of Major John J. (1740-1810) who gained his title in the Revolutionary War. His son, John J., Jr. was the father of Daniel Klock, who married Nancy Nellis and removed to a farm in the town of Hammond, St. Lawrence county. It had so happened that the Klocks and the Nellises had intermarried for several generations, and for this reason one of the sons resulting from the marriage was christened Nellis. He married Lovina, daughter of the Rev. William Ottman, who had charge of a Lutheran church at Black Lake, St. Lawrence county, and under the supervision of his father-in-law took a course in theology and finally was ordained as a minister by the Franckean Synod. He held charges at Avoca, Sharon, Knox, Orleans and Louisburg in the state and at Kent, Illinois. In his later years, being hindered from pulpit work by an affection (infection perhaps?) of the throat, he published a local newspaper and still later became a fruit farmer in Illinois. He was born in 1831, died in 1911.
Jay E., eldest son of Nellis Klock, was born at Hammond, New York, was born at Hammond, New York, February 14, 1864. Both his father and mother had had experience as school teachers, and as there was no compulsory school attendance law in those days, he had scarcely any experience in public schools until 1881, when he began attending the Albany Academy, but did not remain to graduate. In 1885 Mr. Klock secured a position on the Albany Evening Journal, filling successively the positions of the proofreader reporter and telegraph editor. Two years later he bought the Ogdensburg Signal, the local paper which his father was then conducting, the latter at that time believing that he could resume his ministerial work, which expectation was realized for some years thereafter. Something over a year later Mr. Klock sold the Signal and returned to the staff of the Albany Journal in the capacity of editorial writer and reporter of the state senate He remained there until 1889, when he purchased a controlling interest in the Daily Times, a paper of political independence in Little Falls, New York. In 1891 he purchased the Kingston Daily Freeman, the Republican official paper of Ulster county, and has remained in control of that property to the present time. Mr. Klock belongs to the Masonic order, being a Shriner; also to the Elks and the Royal Areanum. In August, 1911, Mr. Klock married Louise M. Rice, of New York City.
The progenitor of this branch of the Stewart family was William Stewart, who was born in Scotland and emigrated to American Colonies prior to the Revolution, settling in Stonington, Connecticut. Little is known of his early history further than that he married and had a son William (2), who founded the family in Fulton county, New York going there when a young man.
(II) William (2) son of William (1) Stewart was born in Stonington, Connecticut, May 10, 1775, died March 10, 1857. He came to the Mohawk Valley when young, settled first in Bennets Corners, later at Kingsboro, then in Oppenheim, Fulton county, where he was engaged in agriculture. He was an active member of the Baptist church. He married, February 12, 1801, Abigail Sheldon, born December 25, 1781, died December 29, 1873. Children: Diana, born December 21, 1802, died April 18, 1807; Anna, March 3, 1804, died October 28, 1806; Anna (2), January, 1807, married May 27, 1827, Peter Van Allen; Harriet, February 16, 1808, married, October 31, 1827, Alexander Connor; William Sheldon, of whom further; Saphrona, August 18, 1811, married, November, 21, 1838, John S. Miller; Abigail, August 21, 1813, died October 14, 1814; Mary Anna, June 25, 1815, married March 12, 1833, Harvey H. Inghan; Alanson M., October 13, 1817, married, February 6, 1838, Diana Duersler; Cordelia, November 8, 1819, married Daniel Hess; Julia Ann, April 23, 1821, married Orin A. Graves; Fanny, February 28, 1823, married George W. Collins; Margaret Maria, February 10, 1827, married (first) August, 1846, Henry Ives, of Watertown, New York, by whom she had three children: Julia L., born January 17, 1848, died March 5, 1902; Chloe A., Born January 17, 1850; Viola De E., May 22, 1852; she married (second) Watson Turner; children: Mary A., born August 21, 1868; Willard W., born January 9, 1871.
(III) William Sheldon, eldest son of William (2) and Abigail (Sheldon) Stewart, was born March, 1810, died December 19, 1884. He was educated in the public school and after completing his studies learned the mason's trade. He carried on a general contracting business for several years, then purchased a farm of two hundred acres in the town of Oppenheim, which he operated until his death. He was a man of prominence in the town, was a member of the Masonic Order and an active Methodist, his home always being a favorite place of entertainment for the ministers. He was a Republican in politics and a frequent delegate to local and state conventions. He married, March 3, 1840, Jane Almina Churchill, born August 27, 1827, died September 25, 1908, daughter of Benjamin and Catherine Churchill. Children: I. Stephen Sheldon, born January 26, 1841; married December 16, 1868, Fannie S. Lasell, at Lasellsville, New York; children: i. Cassius A., born March 8, 1870; married (first) Ida Foust, March 1, 1899; (second) Irene Sheets, December 16, 1902; ii. Allie Lasell, born April 6, 1873; iii. Sheldon, M., born August 31, 1879. 2. Margaret M., born October 2, 1843; married May 12, 1868, Charles A. Kibbe; children: I Willard J., married, June 5, 1895, Alice Drum; ii, Grace Jane, born June 25, 1875; iii. Floyd Darwin, born June 6, 1878; married June 1903, Jane Hollister. 3. Willard Nelson of whom further. 4. John C., born April 3, 1847; married, September 15, 1868, Josephine Louisa Lasell; children: i. Emma May, born July 23, 1876, married Reuben Hays; ii. Ethel Lasell, born September 28, 1885; iii. John Edwards, born December 9, 1891. 5. Abigail E., born May 7, 1849; married, January 1, 1879, Philo E. Johnson; children: i. Leon C., born December 10, 1880, married Anna O'Brien; ii. Lulu M., born August 7, 1886, married Olof Johnson; iii. Lendall B., born June 18, 1884. 6. Julia Almina, born June 8, 1851, died June 25, 1853. 7. Adelia C., born October 21, 1853; married August 25, 1880, Oscar W. Krause; children: I Edward C., born, July 3, 1881, married Jennie M. Rose; ii. Claude C., born August 21, 1883, married Agnes Seabel. 8. William Benjamin, born June 17, 1856; married, December 6, 1882, Delcia Celestia Healey; children: i. Blanche C., born July 20, 1886; ii Blaine H., born April 7, 1892; iii. Clyde S., born October 20, 1897. 9. Alethia Almina, born April 16, 1858, died June 6, 1860. 10. Clarence Mason, born October 14, 1859, died June 5, 1860.
(IV) Willard Nelson, the second son of William Sheldon and Jane A. (Churchill) Stewart, was born in the town of Oppenheim, March 4, 1846. He was educated in the public school and Fairfield Academy, Herkimer county, New York. For two years after completing his studies he was clerk in a dry goods store at St. Johnsville. November 11, 1869, he came to Gloversville, and entered the employ of Alanson Judson and others, where he learned the trade of glove cutting. From 1875 to 1887 he was a glove salesman, handling the product of different makers and covering the states of New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In 1888 he established a fire and life insurance business in Gloversville, which he conducted successfully until 1897, when the disposed of the entire business to Carmichael and Pool. He has been much in the public service of his city; was supervisor for wards three and five, 1892-96, and served as chairman of the board. In 1891 he was appointed one of the appraisers of property in the county by the city of Gloversville, in the appeal taken from the decision of the board of supervisors of 1890, again in 1909 when the towns of Johnstown and Perth took an appeal from the equalization board of 1908. He was selected by the board of supervisors to act as one of the appraisers of property in the county. In 1894, he was appointed by Judge Judson S. Landon of the superior court with Jason A. Miller and Borden Dodge Smith to divide and apportion to the respective heirs the Wooster estate in Gloversville. July 8, 1897, he was appointed postmaster of Gloversville by President William McKinley and reappointed December 17, 1901, by President Roosevelt. He continued the capable incumbent of his office until February, 1906, completing a service of eight years and six months. The new federal building was erected in Gloversville and first used for post office purposes during his term of office as postmaster. Mr. Steward is a member of Gloversville Lodge No. 429, Free and Accepted Masons; Silver Cross Lodge, No. 123, Knights of Pythias; he is a Republican in politics. For many years he has been an active official and charter member of Fremont Methodist Episcopal church and Sunday school. He was superintendent of the latter for three years, and served the church as steward, class leader, financial secretary and trustee, having held the latter office continuously since 1879.
He married, September 9, 1868, Mary M., born March 28, 1847, daughter of Robert Klock, born July 25, 1812, died Mary 26, 1899; married, 1840, Catherine Snell, who died in 1884. Children of Robert and Catherine Klock: 1, Marcus, born 1842; enlisted in the Fourth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry; re-enlisted at New Orleans, Louisiana, in the Second Connecticut Cavalry, was wounded in battle and died from the effects of his injuries. 2. Mary M., married Willard Nelson Steward. 3. Amanda Elizabeth, born September 13, 1851, married, 1871, John P. Swarthout.
Robert Klock was son of John Henry Klock, who married Margarett Helmer, daughter of Superintendent George F. and Margarett (Myres) Helmer. Margarett Myres was a sister of General Michael Myres; a grandson of Hendrick J. Klock, who was a member of Second Regiment Tryon county Militia, under Colonel Jacob Klock, and Margarett (Wagner) Klock, who in 1783 removed with his family to the town of Little Falls, Herkimer county, New York. Hendrick J. Klock was the son of George Klock, one of the fifteen grantees of the Klock Patent dated December 21, 1754, that included sixteen thousand acres of land in the towns Oppenheim and Ephratah; the southern portion of each town. Children of Willard Nelson and Mary M. Stewart: I. Minne Maud, born June 19, 1869; married, June 6, 1895, A. D. Young, D. D. S., born February, 1890, a practicing dentist of Amsterdam, New York. Children: Stewart Andrew, born June 1, 1900, and Robert Sheldon, June 3, 1905. 2. Robert Sheldon, May 29, 1871. 3. Bertram Cecil, March 8, 1874.
William Nellis, immigrant ancestor of this family, was born in Germany and came with the early Palatine settlers, landing in New York in 1710. He settled in Schoharie, New York, and his son Andrew was born there in 1715, and died in 1779; was one of the principle founders of the Palatine Church, the oldest church in the Mohawk Valley. Andrew was a farmer; was confirmed by the Lutheran pastor at Schoharie, in 1735; married Catherine Fox, of German Flatts; their son Philip was born December 1, 1746, in Fairfield, New York, and died in 1818, a soldier in the revolution, and father of Peter Phillip Nellis, to whom various distinguished descendants traced their ancestry. In 1790 the first federal census shows as heads of family, all living in Montgomery county, Mohawk Valley, and mostly in the town of Palatine: George, Adam, Christian, David, George, Henry, Henry W., John (2), John D., Ludman, Peter F., Philip, Robert, William and David Yost.
Of the emigration of the Palatines, John Fox, the great historian of the Reformation wrote: "In the meantime the Protestants of Heidelberg (a city in the province of the Palatinate) sank into poverty, and many of them became so distressed as to quit their native country and seek an asylum in Protestant States. A great number of these coming into England in the time of Queen Anne, were cordially received here, and met with a most humane assistance, both by public and private donations." Three thousand of these refugees embarked at Leith, Scotland, in ten ships, early in 1710, bound for America. Seven of these ships arrived here safely, having buried four hundred and seventy of their number at sea. They landed at Governor's Island, June 13, 1710. Among them were three brothers-William, Christian and Johannes Nellis. They first settled on a tract in Dutchess county, but in 1712, with other Palatines, they hewed a road across the Catskills and came to Schoharie river. Afterwards Johannes Nellis went to Pennsylvania and settled in the vicinity of Gettysburg, and in 1720 William and Christian Nellis settled in the Mohawk Valley, near Palatine church. William Nellis and twenty-six other Palatines received a patent dated October 19, 1723, designated as the Stone Arabia patent, and afterward Nellis and George Klock procured a smaller tract, afterward known as the Klock and Nellis patent. On the subscription list for the funds to erect a church edifice for the "Lutheran congregation of Canajoharie on the north side of the Mohawk River," Christian Nellis Jr. was one of the four managers appointed to have charge of the church and funds. The date of the list is December 30, 1768; the land was given by Hendrick W. Nellis, and the church was completed August 18, 1770. On the list are the names of William Nellis Jr., Andrew Nellis, Johannes Nellis and Henry Nellis paid for making the church spire.
Several of the Nellis family held offices of profit and trust under the English crown. Hendrick W. Nellis's son Henry and his son Robert were loyalists during the Revolution, removed to Canada and joined the British army at the commencement of the revolution, and their property was confiscated. Children of William Nellis: Andrew; Ludwig; Henry; Johannes; William, mentioned below.
(II) William (2), son of William (1) Nellis, was born about 1710-20. He was a farmer at Palatine. Children: I. Peter I. A. Joseph, born at Palatine, then Canajoharie, April 17, 1759; died February 24, 1834; married Mary Lantman; children: Joseph I., born May 23, 1787, died September 21, 1862; Mary, born 1792, died aged thirteen. Joseph I. Nellis was an officer in the war of 1812, married when he was eighteen years old. Magdalen, daughter of David Bellinger, of St. Johnsville, and had eight children: Charles, Benjamin J., Josiah, Catherine, Aaron, Stephen, Abraham, and Horatio, who was born at St. Johnsville, February 25, 1817, married, January 9, 1849, Katherine, daughter of Jacob and Mary (Keller) Sanders, of Minden, and had four children. 3. William. 4. John I., mentioned below.
(III) John K. son of William (2) Nellis, was born in 1769, and died in 1854. He was a leading citizen, a Democrat in politics, and held various town offices. He married-----Weaver. Children: John, David, DeWitt, Simeon, Nancy and Lena.
(IV) David, son of John I. Nellis, was born in Palatine, in 1800, and died in Fultonville in 1860. He married (first) Catherine, daughter of Peter Fox, who was a soldier in the revolution; he married (second) Mrs. Orstrom. Children of first wife: Maria: Edward: Peter F., mentioned below; Alfred.
(V) Peter F., son of David Nellis, was born August 19, 1831, in Palatine, and was educated there in the district schools. When a young man he was clerk in a store at Charleston, South Carolina, for a time. Since 1851 he has resided at St. Johnsville. He has been a very successful farmer. In Politics he is a Democrat. He married, May, 1861, Anna M., daughter of Peter P. and Lena (Nellis) Fox. She died in July, 1890. Children: Lena and Catherina M.
(The Fox Line).
(I) William Fox, the immigrant ancestor, ancestor, settled in the town of Palatine, Montgomery county, Mew York, about 1722. He was a contemporary of Peter Wagner, the progenitor of Webster Wagner, inventor of sleeping cars, and state senator. Fox located a short distance from the Palatine church. Among his descendants, several of whom did gallant service in the revolution, were Captain William Fox, Jr., Christopher P. Fox, and Christopher W. Fox, who were in command of the First, Second and Third companies of the Second (Palatine) Battalion, at the battle of Oriskany, in the revolution. Captain Christopher P. was slain there. Several generations were prominent in the town of Palatine.
(II) Abraham Rosencrantz Fox, a descendant of the pioneer William, was born in the Mohawk Valley, New York. He was a farmer. He married Euphemia Parker, born of Scotch parentage.
(III) Abram Fox Nellis, son of Abraham Rosencrantz Fox, was adopted in early youth by Peter Fox Nellis, who was related to him (see Fox V).
He was born March 8, 1871, at Palatine Church, Montgomery county, New York, and attended the district school at St. Johnsville, New York, and the Clinton Liberal Institute. He then took a course at the Eastman Business College, at Poughkeepsie, New York. He began his business career as bookkeeper for the Lincoln Storage & Deposit Company, of New York City. Afterward he held a similar position with L. F. Bristol, a dealer in silk and woolen goods. In 1892 he became a partner in the Duffy Silk Company, of Fort Plain, New York, incorporated in 1893, when Mr. Nellis became secretary and treasurer, and he has continued in the office of secretary to the present time. He is also secretary of the Seneca Manufacturing Company, and of the Gilford Manufacturing Company, both of Buffalo, New York. He is a member of Altantic Lodge, No. 178, Free Masons, of New York City; of Oswego River Chapter, No. 270. Royal Arch Masons; of Lake Ontario Commandery, No. 232, Knights Templar, of Oswego; of Medea Temple, Mystic Shrine, of Watertown, New York. In politics he is a Democrat. He married, July 6, 1907, Lucy M. Pendergast, born in Phoenix, daughter of Nicholas Pendergast, of Phoenix. Children: Martha R., born June 16, 1908; Mary, March 17, 1910.
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