History From America's Most Famous Valleys
THE WINDECKERS AND RELATED FAMILIES
A Family History donated by: Harry Windecker
In 1731, a land patent (2000 acres) in the Mohawk Valley was granted to Countryman, Windecker, et al. Hartman and family possibly migrated in the 1720's to a location near the present City of Canajoharie, on the south side of the Mohawk River, and later applied for the patent, avoiding the earlier debacle that occurred in Schoharie. Further evidence of this site is described in history by "Fort Windecker," a small, patriot, Revolutionary War fort that was "named after a German who lived nearby." This was probably the former home of Hartman, who was likely deceased prior to the Revolution (It is unknown where Hartman is buried, but he would have been 100-years old at the start of the Revolution).
In a will by Henry Walrath (father-in-law of Georg Windecker), the Walrath land is described as part of a patent obtained by Hartman Windecker. The patent (or portions thereof) is located in the present Town of Minden. An accompanying map shows the location of the Windecker patent in Minden. Interestingly, it also shows German Flatts where Herkimer currently lies (on the north side of the Mohawk River west of the confluence of West Canada Creek). A survey error is responsible for this. The survey was conducted in the 1790s, and the townspeople found that it was easier to switch names than to correct a bureaucratic error.
Births of two more Windeckers, Frederick, our ancestor, and Nicholas occurred in 1722 and 1726, respectively. The birth of Nicholas was recorded in German Flatts. Frederick (or Friedrich) was also possibly born there, or his birth recorded in Schoharie, Fort Plain, or Stone Arabia, in the Town of Palatine, Montgomery County, New York. Records of Frederick's birth have not been revealed. Frederick's birth coincides with the estimated time of migration from Schoharie to the Mohawk Valley.
The village of Stone Arabia is located between Canajoharie and
Fort Plain, and derives its name from "Steen Rabi", "corrupted
Dutch for Land of promise." Other stories for the origin of this name
also occur. A George Windecker (Georg acquired the E) and Henrich possibly
later resided nearby, as George's marriage to Anna Walrath, is recorded at
Fort Plain, New York. Four other Windeckers that may be Hartman's children
or grandchildren include Conrad, Jacob, Johannes and Adam (the name Adam Windecker
was found twice, with no additional information attached). Daughters of Hartman
other than Anna Catherina and Maria are unknown at this time.
Johann Georg Windecker (George) was known as a trader, of sorts (or rum-runner), selling rum and other things to the Indians up and down the Susquehanna River. He was last sited in 1767, traveling with goods on Otsego Lake. Some of his offspring may have moved to Pennsylvania, but some apparently later removed to Ontario, Canada, as they were Loyalists and fought with the English in the American Revolution.
In October 2000, my sister, Susan and I visited our "Cousin
George" in Cooperstown. The New York State Historical Association erected
an authentic Indian dwelling behind the Fenimore House Museum. "George
Windecker" appears there regularly as a white trader, trading his wares
(and rum) with the Indians.