Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys


A Family History donated by: Harry Windecker


My aunt Helen Hyer (Windecker) provided an excellent basis to start this family history research. In addition to her family historical information and other family information, the data presented here has been acquired from: historical records reviews; research at the Herkimer County Historical Society facility in Herkimer, New York; the Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and Schoharie County websites; and several other websites; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) Family History Center in Salt Lake City, Utah and their web site; the U.S. national archives in Washington, DC; and site visits to cemeteries in Herkimer County. The LDS information and online database contain extensive information and the research work of others. This was typically a first start in attacking a particular branch of our family tree. The other avenues were used for verification. Specific evidence is presented below:

Windecker Lineage:

My grandfather, Harry Newkirk Windecker is the son of Melissa Newkirk (daughter of William Newkirk and Jane?) and William Eugene (born Willard) Windecker of Manheim. Willard Eugene is the son of George Willard Windecker (b. 1845). This information is from family records and confirmed with 1850 through 1900 U.S. census information. My aunt Helen Hyer provides family history information through George Willard Windecker. The 1850 census lists John F. and Lany as George's parents (George, born 1845). John F. and Lany; George and Melissa; William Eugene and Melissa; and Frederick and Barbara Windecker (grandparents of John F.) are buried in the Yellow Church Cemetery, Manheim, NY. Harry Newkirk Windecker and my grandmother, E. Elizabeth (Farrington), are buried in Middleville, NY, beside his brother and wife.

Information on Frederick II Windecker [burial location, unknown] (son of Frederick I) is from the Herkimer County Historical Society, 1803 will of Frederick I, information gathered and presented by Victor Flanders (a descendant of Frederick II), and information independently gathered by Walter S. Windecker (also a descendant of Frederick II). This is also supported by information obtained from the LDS Family History Center. Parentage of Frederick I, born 1722/23 (death date and age given on headstone) is by deduction. Hartman Windecker must be the father of Frederick (born Friedrich), as no earlier offspring known, would have been old enough to father Frederick in 1722/23. Mother, Barbara, would have been in her 30s when Frederick was born. LDS information shows Nicholas Windecker (younger brother of Frederick I and possibly the Nicholas buried next to him at Yellow Church Cemetery) born, 1726 (recorded in German Flatts). No parentage given.

Family records show that George W. Windecker married Melissa Klock (born Amanda Melissa in 1847). George and Melissa moved to Amsterdam (1880 census). Son, Willard E. listed in this census. Family records also indicate this. Years ago, my grandfather told me that we were Dutch and came from Amsterdam! He was partly correct! William (Willard) Eugene Windecker married Melissa Newkirk in Amsterdam.

The Windecker family history, shown in the genealogy report that follows, "The Descendants of Johann Hartman Windecker" has been expanded to include the work of Victor Flanders, Frederick Osgood Windecker, Walter S. Windecker, and L. Jean Windecker Upson.

Keller Lineage

Like the Windeckers, several generations of Kellers are buried in the Old Yellow Church Cemetery in Manheim. Early census information shows that the Kellers and Windeckers were neighbors in the Fairfield/Manheim area. In addition, Herkimer County Historical Society information and other sources, links the Kellers and Windeckers several times. Barbara Keller married Frederick (I) Windecker. Their sons, John and Frederick II married sisters, daughters of Henry Keller, probably Barbara Keller's brother. Frederick I and Barbara had a daughter, Barbara, who also married a Keller (John), possibly the younger brother of Barbara Keller, above, but more probably a different line (nephew) due to age differences.

LDS information and the 1803 will of Frederick (I) Windecker, tend to agree. The lineage of John, Barbara and Henry Keller is unclear, but probably stems back to Jacob and Frantz Keller (the 1709/10 immigrant). The biography of Delight Ransom Keller links the Kellers to a common descendant, Johannes Keller, of Germany. It is unclear if he is the German-born son of Frantz Keller, one of the palatine immigrants listed in early records. Conflicting LDS information links John Keller, of Manheim, to Swiss immigrants. Clarification is certainly needed to complete or verify these connections.

As shown in the attached genealogical report, the Windecker/Keller connection continues through the descendants of John Windecker (son of Frederick I). The work of Frederick Osgood Windecker, and Victor Flanders, included within the genealogical report, shows these latter family relationships.

Klock Lineage

From the National Archives, 1850 census: Amanda M. Klock, age 3, is the daughter of Daniel and Mary A. Klock. From the 1860 census: Melissa Klock, age 13, is the daughter of Daniel Klock (mother apparently deceased, as Parmelia is now spouse). Older siblings have same names, indicating that Melissa chose her middle name. Daniel's year of birth estimated as 1818. According to LDS information, Daniel Klock, born, Ingham Mills, Manheim, is the son of Adam (or Johann Adam) Klock and Catherine Snyder.

As above, Melissa Klock is the daughter of Daniel (born 1818). The remaining "connections" are from Williams' Klock Genealogies listed at and from LDS Family History information. Based on the research of others, Melissa Klock is the granddaughter of Adam Klock (born 1781) married to Catherine Snyder; Great grandaughter of Adam Klock (born 1751) married to Catherine Stauring (or Stahring); gg grandaughter of Adam Klock (born 1731); married to Caty Seeber; ggg granddaughter of Jacob Klock [the Colonel] (born about 1700); and gggg granddaughter of Henrich Klock, the German immigrant. Adam Klock, 1751 and Adam Klock, 1731 conflict with LDS data with respect to dates.

This genealogical scenario is suspect and unconfirmed, as Klock genealogies tend to conflict and fraudulent substitution has occurred in the past, attempting to establish the Colonel as part of other Klock family lineages.

Newkirk Lineage

Friends of the family, Gail and Jim Rivenbark, (she was born Gail Newkirk) of the Wilmington area, North Carolina, provided family history information. Her family history was a valuable asset, and the early basis for developing the Newkirk branch of our family tree. Our two branches split, however, with the first generation of Newkirks in America.

Stanley Newkirk, of Ulster County, New York has invested considerable time in developing the "Descendants of Kil Hermans." Stanley is a descendant of Cornelis Gerretse and Barent Newkirk, as was Gail Rivenbark. His work fortified the knowledge base of the Newkirk family, and extended the record back one additional generation in Holland. An argument ensues as to which ancestor was the first-born in America? Both, the work of Stanley Newkirk, and that of the North Carolina Newkirks indicate that Arie was born after Cornelis, in 1663. Two other genealogies suggest that Arie Gerretse Van Nieukirk (our ancestor), born 1661, preceded the birth of Cornelis Garretse Van Nieukirk, born 1662. LDS data agrees.

The 1880 census shows Melissa Newkirk as the daughter of William Newkirk, of Florida, Montgomery County. The 1850 census shows William in his early 20s with mother, Jane, 52, in Florida. The father remains unknown, and was estimated, based on relative age in prior census data. The Newkirks came to Florida in the late 1700s as evidenced by headstones in the Newkirk graveyard in Florida, and LDS supporting information. The genealogy of the early Florida Newkirks was deduced from census information and cemetery data. LDS information and other family histories were used to develop and fill in the remaining family data. LDS files, substantiated in part, by the work of Stanley Newkirk, were used to trace historical family movement up the Hudson and Mohawk rivers.

Farrington Lineage

Multiple family histories found on the Internet and in the LDS Family History Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, provide a line of the descendents of Edmund Farrington to the 1850s and Horace Greeley Farrington. A lineage was also established by other researchers that extends the line from Warine de Farrington (early 1200s) to Edmund Farrington. Details supplied by my Aunt Helen (Windecker) Hyer, carried the family from the present to Horace Greeley Farrington. Genealogical information located at the Herkimer County Historical Society, U.S. census information, and ships records were used as corroborating evidence. LDS records available through the Internet provided additional verification.

Rowell Lineage

Determined primarily from family accounts, census information (1850 and 1880), and the Oneida County web site, which supplied cemetery data. The Oneida County website data proved the most useful, as LDS records were sparse, but did help confirm one link. Many questions still exist, although the brief lineage presented correlates well between sources. The 1850 census established the connection of Warren to his mother, Lydia, wife of Abram, and brother, George. Cemetery data concurs. Similarly, the 1850 census shows that Jay Morrison is the father of Alice Morrison. Neither Abram Rowell, nor the wife of Jay Morrison was accounted for in 1850 census. My mother, Florence, and her sisters, supplied the names of their aunts and uncles.

Mason Lineage

Determined primarily from LDS records, other family histories on websites, English historical data, and other Internet sources, including the Herkimer County site. Family information and cemetery data along with key census information corroborated and filled in gaps. An unresolved problem is: Which Isaac Mason relocated to Herkimer County from Berkshire County Massachusetts? Two Isaac Masons, essentially the same age, resided in Adams, Berkshire, MA. As this question could not be confirmed, the main body of the text describes two distinct lines back to a common immigrant, Sampson Mason. The genealogy report uses the one deemed the most likely.


The information presented here and considerable additional information was keyed into a database, Family Tree Maker, which is set up to produce many types of reports and printouts. Approximately 1500 names are retained in the database. The following pages are genealogical reports for the major family groups and other selected families. The genealogical reports were developed for Windecker, Klock, Newkirk, Farrington, Rowell and Mason. A genealogical report in reverse order is also presented to show selected family relationships and to highlight other interesting family connections, such as the relationship to the Christman family, and to our Mayflower ancestor, Richard Warren, Plymouth, Massachusetts. A kinship report is also presented, to show the relationship of a selected individual to others contained herein.

Copyright 2001. Harry Windecker. All rights reserved.

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