by Roxy Triebel
Tangled Roots and Twisted Branches
Some of the following information originally came from my grandmother's book, "Tangled Roots and Twisted Branches" (published 1987). This book is known to contain some errors. If you have any corrections or additions, please contact me.
Much additional information and several family photographs have been very generously contributed by relatives.
A VAN KLEECK PHOTO FOUND
I recently received the following email and was given permission to post it here. Freedom Plains is apparently just east of the city of Poughkeepsie in Dutchess County, New York.
I purchased a photo in a Vermont antique shop. The photo is 2" by 4" of a young child, and is labeled Albie O. Van Kleeck Freedom Plains Dutchess Co. NY. I would like to get the photo to a family member interested in genealogy.
Page 2: Jeremiah Van Kleeck (1800 - 1885) and Descendants
Palentown Cemetery in Ulster County, New York with the Catskill Mountains in the distance. Several of this Van Kleeck line are buried here. These photos were taken in October 1990.
- Jeremiah Van Kleeck (1805 - 1885) and Sally Avery / Every (1809 - 1872), sister of Andrew Perry Avery / Every (1794 - 1883), the War of 1812 Veteran. Jeremiah and Sally were married in 1828. Jeremiah bought the family farm in Samsonville for $300 in 1847. Jeremiah and Sally are buried in Palentown Cemetery near Samsonville, Ulster Co., NY. A list of re-interments from cemeteries on Ashokan Reservoir property shows that they were moved there from "Winchell Cemetery". For more information on Sally's family, see my Avery / Every page.
The above headshot photo of Jeremiah and Sally is a large tinted ferrotype (or "tintype") about 6 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches. Since tintypes are positives and therefore mirror images, I flipped it digitally. I also brightened it up a little as the original is a bit murky.
The smaller photo of them on the left belongs to another descendant and is apparently the original photo from which the larger portrait was copied.
Information about Jeremiah from "Tangled Roots and Twisted Branches":
OUR JEREMIAH VAN KLEECK, born 1805, paid $300 cash on 15 June 1847 for 25 acres more or less bound by tract formerly owned by Robert Beatty called "SUEBATTY LAND". This is the property where they lived in Samsonville at the foot of HIGH POINT Mountain. Jeremiah was a farmer and a blacksmith. The 1850 census lists him living in a log house. He died 6 December 1885 and Sally died 1872, and both are buried in Palentown Cemetery in Samsonville.
Jeremiah and Sally Van Kleeck had the following ten children: Jacob, William, Francis, Miriam, Rosetta, David, Jeremiah, Eliza Catherine, Uriah, and Sara Marie. I am descended from David Van Kleeck.
Jeremiah Van Kleeck, near his 80th birthday, with wintergreen he had gathered, walked to Kingston and sold it at a drug store. That evening, he went to the Bijou Theater and won $10 dancing a jig in an amateur contest.
His grandson, Abram Van Kleeck, remembers that his grandpa, Jeremiah, cured Abram and his brother, Henry, of fighting - at least in Grandpa's presence. One day when the boys had been doing a lot of disagreeing, Grandpa went out and cut a switch. Whenever there was a lull in the arguments, Grandpa got his switch and made the boys go back at it, even though they wanted PEACE. After that, they were very careful not to have any arguments in Grandpa's hearing...
- Jacob Van Kleeck (b. 1828) married Joanna O. Elmendorf (dates unknown). They had eight children. Jacob and Joanna are buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Mount Tremper, Ulster County, New York.
- Sarah Van Kleeck (born ca. 1851).
- John D. Van Kleeck (1868 - 1937) married Mary Trimmer (1872 - 1953). Before the Ashokan Reservoir was put in, John had a livery stable in Shokan, and later in Ellenville. Still later, he had an automobile dealership in Kingston.
- Samuel Van Kleeck married Mildred Harrison and they had three children.
- Lizzie R. Van Kleeck (1891 - 1908)
- Willard R. Van Kleeck (1894 - 1895)
- Burton J. Van Kleeck (1899 - 1908)
- Elizabeth Van Kleeck (born ca. 1853) married Onse Quintes T. Stearns (born 1853).
- Jared J. Stearns (born 1879)
- Ira Stearns (born 1882)
- Joanne Stearns (born 1887)
- Naomi Van Kleeck (born ca. 1855) married Darwin Stearns, a brother of Onse above. They had one child.
- Isaac Van Kleeck (ca. 1859/60 - 1954) married Minnie Reynolds (born 1868).
- Harry Van Kleeck (1888 - 1985)
- Nellie Van Kleeck (1899 - 1902)
- Bruce Van Kleeck (born 1902)
- Uriah Van Kleeck (1861 - 1945) married Carrie L. Ellsworth (1870 - 1948). Uriah and Carrie are buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Mount Tremper, Ulster County, New York.
- Georgiana Van Kleeck (dates unknown)
- Uriah Van Kleeck, Jr. (1899 - 1954)
- Mary Bell Van Kleeck (died 1958)
- Leah Van Kleeck (dates unknown)
- Naomi Van Kleeck (died 1963)
- Angeline Van Kleeck (born ca. 1863).
- Hewitt Van Kleeck (1870 - 1948) married Lucinda Every. They had a son Kenneth who lived to adulthood and two daughters who died in infancy. They and daughter Jessie are buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Mount Tremper, Ulster County, New York.
- Kenneth Van Kleeck married Ruth C. Hawley.
- Jessie Van Kleeck (1894 - 1895)
- infant daughter Van Kleeck
- William Van Kleeck (b. 1830) married Jane Silkworth or Mariah Jane Silkworth (1836 - 1919). They had fourteen children. This photo is a scan of a photocopy from my grandmother's book. The whereabouts of the original and the date it was made are unknown. I have had more information on this Silkworth family sent to me by Janice Miller, a Silkworth researcher (name and email posted by permission) and have added it to my Worldconnect database.
According to "Tangled Roots and Twisted Branches": "some of this family removed to Amsterdam, New York when the Rifton carpet mills closed at Dashville".
- Martin W. Van Kleeck (born ca. 1855)
- Grave photos for Jerry Van Kleeck and his family are courtesy of a correspondent who lives in the that part of Florida.
Jeremiah "Jerry" Van Kleeck (1856 - 1936) married in 1885 to Stella or Estella Fredenburg (1868 - 1945). He moved his family to Lynn Haven, Bay County, Florida sometime in the early 1910s and ran a hardware store and draying business. He and his wife are both buried in Lynn Haven Cemetery, Lynn Haven, Bay County, Florida.
- Irene Van Kleeck (1891 - 1969) married Floyd I. Titus between 1912 and 1914. They divorced in 1935. Irene is buried in Lynn Haven Cemetery, Lynn Haven, Bay County, Florida.
- Blanche E. Titus (born ca. 1914) married R. L. Washburn. They lived in California.
- Arthur Floyd ("Bud") Titus (1915 - 2003) married Orma Alene Turner (born ca. 1919). Arthur was in the 8th Air Force in England during World War II. A newspaper article mentions that he achieved the rank of Captain and was a navigator on a bomber. According to his obituary, "he successfully completed 25 flying missions over Europe, earning him the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters."
- Roy Van Kleeck (1894 - 1939) married first to Nina Roberts. They divorced not long after that. In 1918, Roy married Alice ("Allie") Bucknell. They never had any children. Roy is unfortunately best remembered today for being shot to death by one of the employees of the family hardware store, who was then lynched when the jury sentenced him to life in prison instead of the electric chair. Roy is buried in Lynn Haven Cemetery, Lynn Haven, Bay County, Florida. A correspondent who is familiar with the family writes that Roy was well liked in the community and was like a father to his sister Irene's children after Irene's divorce.
- Anita Van Kleeck (1897 - 1985) married Harry Walker Bunger (1893 - 1983) who appears to have worked for a railroad. They lived in Orange City, Volusia County, Florida and are both buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Orange City. I haven't found any mention of children for this couple.
- Unknown. 1900 US Census notes that there were 3 children living out of a total of 4, but 1910 census says there were only 3 children and all 3 were living in 1910, so I'm not really sure whether there was a fourth child in this family or not. (Both US censuses in Rosendale, Ulster County, New York)
- Sarah A. Van Kleeck (born ca. 1858)
- Gamaliel Van Kleeck (born ca. 1860) married Hester "Mollie" Markle.
- DeWitt Van Kleeck (ca. 1861 - 1938) married Jemima Bodley (1862 - 1928). They had six children.
- Phebe Van Kleeck (born ca. 1863) married a man named Bennett.
- Ellen Van Kleeck (born ca. 1866) married Arthur Robinson. Their children were Maude, Otis, and Jesse.
- Garrison Van Kleeck (ca. 1867 - 1880).
- Lucas Van Kleeck (born ca. 1870) married the daughter of Jerry Roosa. They had one son Alvah.
- Aaron William Van Kleeck (1873-1932) married about 1900 to Meliska Palmer (1878 - 1904), who died early in the marriage. They had only one son, Carl, who died untimely just a few months before his own son's birth. After Meliska's death, Aaron married Mary Ambrose (dates unknown) and they had two sons: William (1914 - 1992) and Joseph (1909 - 1985). I am not sure which son is shown in the photo with Aaron, but it seems likely that it would be Carl. If the boy were a son by Aaron's second wife, she would surely have been included in the photo with her family.
Aaron William Van Kleeck with his grandson Carl Francis Van Kleeck. Photo taken ca. 1930-1931 at the family home on the New Paltz to Kingston road (Ulster County, New York).
Left to right: Joseph August Van Kleeck, Carl Francis Van Kleeck, William Thomas Van Kleeck. Photo taken ca. 1930-1931 at the family home on the New Paltz to Kingston road (Ulster County, New York).
Child of first wife Meliska Palmer (1878 - 1904)
Carl Van Kleeck (1901 - 1925) married in 1924 to Alethea Virginia Meade (1900 - 1988).
- Carl Francis Van Kleeck (1926 - 2006) had three children. Carl was in World War II.
Children of second wife Mary Ambrose (born ca. 1879)
- William Thomas Van Kleeck (1914 - 1992) had four children:
- William Thomas Van Kleeck, Jr. (1942 - 1985)
- Joseph August Van Kleeck (1918 - 1985) married Helen Southerland (dates unknown) and had two children.
- Charles S. Van Kleeck (born ca. 1875).
- Stephen C. Van Kleeck (born ca. 1877).
- James W. Van Kleeck (born ca. 1878).
- Arthur Van Kleeck (born ca. 1879).
- Francis Van Kleeck (1833 - 1864) is listed as a master cooper (barrel maker) in the 1860 census of Olive Township, Ulster County, NY. He enlisted in the 5th New York Heavy Artillery in the Civil War. He was taken prisoner and died at Andersonville, Georgia, where he is buried in grave number 8806 in Section H of the cemetery.
A cousin visited Andersonville National Historic Site in 2003 and took many photos. Click the photo of Francis' grave stone to see them. I hope to be able to visit someday myself.
Grandma's book, "Tangled Roots and Twisted Branches", says the following of Francis: "He enlisted 11 Feb 1864 in Civil War; served in 5th Art., wounded at Piedmont, taken prisoner, and died." (Andersonville death records say he was captured at Staunton, Virginia on June 12, 1864). Death date is given as September 15, 1864. He married Mary Elizabeth Merrihew and had the following three children:
- Egbert (January 1860 - 1935, buried Tongore Cemetery). Egbert married Louisa C. Dudrey (1870 - 1958). Louisa was the daughter of John Dudrey, who was in the 5th NY Heavy Artillery with Egbert's father Francis. John Dudrey and his family are also buried in Tongore Cemetery. Egbert and Louisa had the following children.
- Florence Van Kleeck (born 1898) married John McDonald.
- Anna Van Kleeck married Arthur McDonald.
- Edna Van Kleeck married Joe Yerry.
- Mildred Van Kleeck (born ca. 1909).
- Alexander Van Kleeck (born December 1862) married Joanna Embree. Both are buried in Tongore Cemetery. I don't know whether they had any children. I don't have a photo of their gravestone but there is one at Find-A-Grave.
- Francis H. Van Kleeck (born January 1865 according to "Tangled Roots and Twisted Branches"). I am not sure that Francis H.'s birthdate is correct. Grandma's book shows that he married, but she apparently did not know his wife's name. Marriage records found at www.familysearch.org give his wife's name as Ida Hungerford. Francis is listed as "Francis H. Beesmer" in the 1880 census.
- Miriam Van Kleeck (b. 1835) married John Shurter (dates unknown). They had five children.
- Rosetta Van Kleeck (1836 - 1919) married Martin Sheldon (dates unknown). They had six children.
- Homer Sheldon (1868 - 1956) married Dora Eckert (dates unknown).
- Alvina Sheldon (dates unknown) married Raymond Boice (dates unknown). They had at least one child.
- Henry Sheldon (dates unknown) married Venus Eckert (dates unknown)
- Dorothy Dean Sheldon (born 1913 - unknown, buried in Tongore Cemetery) married John J. Nichols (died 1987).
- Adeline Sheldon (dates unknown) married Orlando Guylefus (dates unknown)
- Kate Sheldon (dates unknown) married Wilmont Carlson (dates unknown)
- Sylvian Ann Sheldon (dates unknown) married somebody surnamed Styles
- Irena Sheldon (1879 - 1900 - these dates may be wrong) married Virgil Shurter (dates unknown) and they had two children.
- Jesse Shurter (born 1891)
- Sylvia Shurter (born 1893)
- David Van Kleeck (1839 - 1902) and his first wife, Rachel Emily Osterhout (1842 - 1874). They were married in 1865. David and Rachel are my great great grandparents. Click for a page with further information on the photos and David's service in the Civil War. At the bottom of this page is a link to some photos of the Van Kleeck farm in Samsonville where David resided with his family. David and Rachel are buried in Palentown Cemetery along with three of their children who died young (Sara, Alonzo, and Jessie). According to a list of re-interments from cemeteries on Ashokan Reservoir property, all five were moved to Palentown Cemetery from "Hollister Cemetery".
A tintype tentatively identified as David Van Kleeck. It certainly looks like him, but is he the right age to be in a tintype? Then again, some photographers were shooting tintypes up into the 20th century.
Scan of a photocopy of some sort of pension-related questionnaire giving dates for both marriages and names and birthdates of his surviving children as of May 4, 1898. The marriages seem to have been filled out in reverse order on this form.
Rachel's father Abraham Osterhout (b. 1813 - listed as "Abram P. Osterhoudt" in daughter Isabel's baptism record). Abraham was married to Nancy Van Keuren and they lived in Sawkill, NY. Click the photo to see a larger image. For more information on this line, see my Osterhout page.
David and Rachel (Osterhout) Van Kleeck had five children:
- Sarah Catherine Van Kleeck (1866 - 1866)
- Alonzo Van Kleeck (1867 - 1874)
- Henry Francis Van Kleeck (1869 - 1927) married Julia Barringer (1877 - 1963). They had three children. The photo is described as "Henry, seated, and Bill Van Kleeck?". Not sure yet who "Bill" is as there are more than one "William Van Kleeck" and none of the ones I have info on is quite the right age - photo is described as "Father to Henry was David and father to Bill was William.". Julia can be seen in a photo on the Barringer page that was taken in Phoenicia, Ulster Co., NY in 1919. Henry and Julia are buried in Palentown Cemetery along with their sons David and Ralph and his wife.
- Henry and Julia's daughter Reba Van Kleeck (1897 - 1987) married Harry Shurter (1895 - 1944), who was in the 334 Field Artillery, 87 Division in World War I. Reba and Henry are also buried in Palentown Cemetery. Reba and her mother are in a 1919 photo taken in Phoenicia, NY that shows several members of the Barringer family.
- David Van Kleeck (1909 - 1955) is buried in Palentown Cemetery and his name is listed with his parents on their marker. I don't have any other information on this David yet.
- Ralph Van Kleeck (1909 - 197?) married Gladys Wells (1916 - 1993). They are buried on the other side of Ralph's parents' stone.
- Abram Van Kleeck (1871 - 1954) and his wife Bertha Barringer (1874 - 1953). These are my great grandparents. Bertha's family is in the Barringer section. Clicking on the photo will bring up a page with additional photos and information on Abram and Bertha. They and their children moved around a lot in the early twentieth century - Grandma remembers stories about the "corkscrew curls" her mother used to give her and what "moving days" were like back in those times.
Three family portraits (circa 1915, 1928 and 1933 - files are over 200k) of Abram and Bertha Van Kleeck with their children and grandchildren with labels added. Names of living individuals have been left off. One or two of the grandchildren depicted in the two later photos are now deceased, but I couldn't remember which ones, so I left the names off all the grandkids just to be on the safe side.
Individual sections for the children of Abram and Bertha Van Kleeck. I have several more photos of these people, which I will upload as I can get time. Abram and Bertha and most of their children resided in and around Kingston, Ulster Co., NY, but their son Freeman moved his family to Florida in the 1940s.
My grandmother remembers her father, Abram, and her older brothers Everett and Freeman working as laborers on the Gilboa Dam project. This photo may also be connected to Grandma's uncle Lester Personeus as he may have worked on that dam.
Roxy (Van Kleeck) Yerry (infant) and Gordon Van Kleeck (toddler) as small children. Click the photo for a larger image. Photo probably taken about 1895. Baby Roxy looks a bit apprehensive about having her photo made. The missing lower right corner of the card would have said "Rondout, N.Y." (in Ulster County - south part of Kingston). See also the photo sections immediately below for more on Gordon and Roxy.
- Gordon Van Kleeck (1894 - 1977). Click the photo for a page with further info. Gordon was in Co. F, 51st Pioneer Infantry, American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. He was the historian for his unit and kept a journal, which I have uploaded here. Gordon married Genevieve Winne in 1923 and they adopted one daughter, Dorothea Marie (1938 - 2006).
- Roxy Van Kleeck (1895 - 1984) married Ralph Yerry in 1920. Click the photos for larger versions.
- Everett Van Kleeck (1898 - 1958). Click the photo for a page with additional information. Everett married Gladys Simmons.
- Vera Van Kleeck (1900 - 1997) married Bert Cramer Winne (1891 - 1978) in 1920. The photo on the right was taken in front of Kingston City Hall (Ulster Co., NY). Vera is the one in the center. Grandma identifies the lady on the left as Vera's sister Roxy and the lady on the right as Hazel Bishop. Both photos probably taken sometime in the 'teens. For a four-generation photo of Vera with her first baby, mother, and grandmother, see the Barringer section. Click the photos for larger versions.
- The gas station run by Bert and Vera Winne at Mount Tremper.
- Freeman Van Kleeck (1901 - 1989). Click the photo for a larger image. Freeman married Reeta L. Peete (1900 - 1995).
- Reeta (Peete) Van Kleeck (on the left in the dark dress) on a Harley Davidson motorcycle in 1924 (probably Freeman's). The woman on the right is Freeman's youngest sister - my grandmother. The Harley Davidson name on the fuel tank is clearer in the original high-res scan - it doesn't seem to show up at all in this JPG file. I think I've seen at least one other photo around here somewhere of Freeman with a motorcycle.
- Elta Ann Van Kleeck (1907 - 1986) married first to Clifford Rifenburg (1904 - 1962). Elta and Clifford were married in 1928. Sometime after Clifford's death, Elta married Alexander Daly (1907 - 1978). Clicking on the photo will open a page with more photos of Elta.
- Dorothy Emily Van Kleeck (1909 - 2010) - my grandmother and the author of "Tangled Roots and Twisted Branches". She married Earl Edward Smith (1900 - 1982).
- Patricia Ellen Smith (1948 - 2014). I'll try to get a better scan if I'm able to find the original.
- Jessie Van Kleeck (1873 - 1874), youngest child of David and Rachel (Osterhout) Van Kleeck.
David Van Kleeck (1839 - 1902) and his second wife Adaline Van Leuven (1851 - 1928), daughter of Daniel Van Leuvan and Phebe/Phoebe Althiser/Altheiser. David and Adaline were married August 13, 1874 and had four children. Click the photo to see a larger image. There is a photo of Adaline with some of her family at the Samsonville farm in the family farm section at the bottom of this page. Adaline is buried in Palentown Cemetery in the same plot with David, his first wife, some children who died young, and David and Adaline's son George and his wife (see below).
Adaline had a daughter named Lilly May from before she married David. David legally adopted Lilly May and gave her his name. She died in childhood and is buried in Palentown Cemetery. Lilly May's name is listed under David's first wife Rachel on the family monument along with Rachel's children who died young (no dates put with any names on this face of the stone - see entry for David and first wife Rachel) and this has apparently caused some confusion.
Adaline must have been a good mother and grandmother to all the Van Kleeck kids as my grandmother had only good memories of her. The following were probably birthday photos. All appear to have been taken on the Van Kleeck family farm in Samsonville.
Adaline (Van Leuvan) Van Kleeck's birthday photos
Adaline in 1921
Adaline in 1924.
Adaline on August 22, 1925
A relative has generously submitted some photos of the Van Leuvan family (Adaline's mother and sisters).
Scan of a photocopy of some sort of pension-related questionnaire giving dates for both marriages and names and birthdates of his surviving children as of May 4, 1898. The marriages seem to have been filled out in reverse order on this form.
Jeremiah David, Phoebe, and Roena Van Kleeck as children.
Roena and Phoebe Van Kleeck in later life.
- Jeremiah David "Jerry" Van Kleeck (1876 - 1956) married Lizzie Decker (1880 - 1966) in 1900. They had two children, one of whom (Leonard Van Kleeck, 1912 - 1922) died young. Grandma says that Uncle Jerry worked on the Ashokan Reservoir, which was completed in 1916. Jerry, Lizzie and Leonard are all buried in Palentown Cemetery. Click the photos to see larger images.
- Two photos of Leonard Van Kleeck (1912 - 1922) as a baby. Click to see the full-size images. Leonard is also shown in a Van Kleeck family photo taken at one of the family farms in and around the Samsonville area.
- Winston Simon Van Kleeck (1923 - 2007). Winston is apparently also buried in Palentown Cemetery, although I do not yet have a photo of his grave.
- Roena Van Kleeck (1878 - 1955) married Arthur Barringer (1874 - 1950). They had three children. Roena and Arthur are buried in Palentown Cemetery along with their son Earl, who died young.
We are fairly sure that the man on the left is Roena (Van Kleeck) Barringer's husband Arthur Barringer (1874 - 1950). The man on the right is definitely Abram Van Kleeck (1871 - 1954, see above). We have two copies of this photo. One copy has written on the back, in Bertha (Barringer) Van Kleeck's handwriting:
"Uncle Arthur Barringer
Grandpa Van Kleeck"
Arthur Barringer was the brother of Julia (Barringer) Van Kleeck (1877-1963, see the Phoenicia photo in the Barringer section). They were second cousins of Bertha (Barringer) Van Kleeck (see above).
The other copy of this photo has written on the back in a different handwriting "Abram and Will Van Kleeck", but we know of no "Will" Van Kleecks in the right age range.
For more information and photos of Arthur and Roena's children, see my Barringer page.
- Phoebe Van Kleeck (1882 - 1960) married Alfred Lawrence (1881-1918) in 1903. Phoebe is shown here with their only child Raymond Lawrence (1905 - 1978). The portrait of Phoebe with Raymond was probably taken not long after Alfred died. Click the photos to see larger images. I have obituaries for Alfred and Phoebe.
Alfred and Phoebe at Mohonk Mountain House, where they may have both worked at the time. The photo had to be enlarged to allow their faces to be seen, so this is a large file (2.78 MB).
Phoebe (VK) Lawrence, her son Raymond, and Mystery Woman. Nobody seems to know the identity of the woman on the right side in this photo. Another relative remembers that Phoebe did have a close friend who might be the lady shown here, but does not remember her name.
- Raymond Lawrence (1905-1978) married in 1927 to Nettie Christiana (1906-1991). The portrait of Raymond as a baby is probably circa 1906? Photo at Picasa web site of Raymond and Nettie and some of their family members at the Christiana family farm in 1940. Some of their children are:
Several of the photos of this family were generously provided by another of Raymond and Nettie's children.
- Alfred Brian Lawrence (1934-2004)
- Sheila Ann Lawrence (1944-2011)
Both were married, but their spouses may still survive, so I leave them off to protect their privacy.
- George R. Van Kleeck (1887 - 1978) married Clara DuBois (1888 - 1980) in 1909. They had one son, Lester (shown in the photo of the smithy with his father), who I think predeceased them sometime after his own marriage. I believe Lester was born sometime between 1915 and 1917. George was the last descendant of Jeremiah Van Kleeck and Sally (Avery/Every) Van Kleeck to live at the family farm in Samsonville, Ulster County, New York, where this photo was taken sometime circa 1920. There are photos of George on the farm with other family members in the "Van Kleeck Family Farm" section below. George and Clara were apparently involved in local folk events according to the information on this page about Camp Woodland (third photo down).
George and Clara are buried in the Van Kleeck family plot in Palentown Cemetery. I find it interesting and unusual to see dates as late as 1978 and 1980 on a stone as old as 1874.
- Jeremiah "Jerry" Van Kleeck, Jr. (1841 - 1917). "Tangled Roots and Twisted Branches" says that he married Elizabeth Merrihew (dates unknown). This name is awfully similar to Mary Elizabeth Merrihew, the wife of Jeremiah's brother Francis (see above). There is a good possibility that Grandma got a little confused by all these similar names and mistakenly connected Jerry with his brother's wife. Recent correspondence indicates that he was actually married to Irene LeViness (1850 - 1905, the lady seated on the right in the family photo). Jerry and Irene are buried in Jerusalem Corners Cemetery in Pleasantville, Venango County, Pennsylvania. (See also this LeViness web page, which has additional photos of Jerry and Irene).
Jerry was also in the Civil War - Grandma's book says "20th Regt., Co. B". The book also says that they moved to the Black Hills of Dakota and later settled in Carey, Ohio. They had a daughter (possibly adopted). The photo in the center shows Jeremiah in his Civil War uniform. The photo on the right is a scan of a photocopy from my grandmother's book of Jeremiah with his wife Irene (seated on the right) and daughter, probably taken in Ohio. There is a better scan of an original of this photo at the LeViness web site mentioned above along with other photos of Jerry and Irene and members of Irene's family. Click the photos to see a larger image.
We have so far been able to find very little trace of this Jeremiah between the end of the Civil War and his burial in Pennsylvania other than a Civil War pension filed from Ohio in 1896 (which confirms that he was in the 20th NY State Militia - also known as the 80th NY Volunteer Infantry). Records of that unit indicate that he was one of the 90-day volunteers in 1861. According to these records, Jeremiah was in Company C.
UPDATE: A descendant of Jerry's sister Eliza (see below) remembers family stories of Etta (Merrihew) Gorsline (Eliza's daughter) remembering spending the summers with her Uncle Jerry on his riverboat on the St. Lawrence River. This is a great lead - I hope I can dig up more on this.
- Eliza Catherine "Kate" Van Kleeck (1844 - 1933). (Portrait generously provided by another relative)
A descendant generously provides the family photo on the left (click photo for details) and the others in this section as well as the following information on her family: Eliza married first to Truman Merrihew (1842 - 1878), with whom she had six children.
Truman Merrihew (1842 - 1878) was in the 5th N.Y. Heavy Artillery during the Civil War - the same unit as Eliza's older brother Francis (see above). Truman eventually died of illness related to his war duty.
After Truman's death, Eliza married Lorenzo Conner (1846 - 1938).
My grandmother remembers:
I remember being very amused when in my early teens Eliza Catherine and her husband visited our house from Pennsylvania. She said she would be so happy to get back to Pennsylvania where they really knew how to fix mashed potatoes - called them "cream smashed potatoes" - but also noticed that she ate a full share of the type we had.
Eliza Van Kleeck and Truman Merrihew had six children:
Etta Merrihew (also see the photo below) and her younger brother Jeremiah.
- Cora W. Merrihew (1866 - 1921) married George Bell. They had one daughter.
- Phebe Ann Merrihew (1869 - 1870).
- Ella Merrihew (born 1871).
- Etta Merrihew (1873 - 1956) married Moses Dingee Gorsline (1866 - 1932). They had seven children, and possibly another who died young (see family photo above). This photo of Etta was taken in 1942 and was generously provided by a descendant. Another descendant, Etta's great grand-daughter Linda Louise Mackes Bartos (name and email listed with permission) has shared some memories of Etta and her family stories.
- Jeremiah Merrihew (1875 - 1944) married Emma Jane North.
- Eliza Merrihew (1877 - 1962) married Charles Dixon. They lived in Kingston, where Charles had a machine shop. They adopted a son Benjamin (in photo with Eliza) and also raised a niece and nephew: Ellsworth and Leona Dixon.
- Uriah Van Kleeck (b. 1845) married Amanda Shurter (dates unknown). They had five children.
- Pratt Van Kleeck (ca. 1875 - 1958) married Arvetta Van Vliet. Their two sons were Percy (born 1911) and Stanley (died 1976).
- Mabel Van Kleeck (1886 - 1911) married Gideon Davenport. Their two children were Gideon and Doris.
- Howard Van Kleeck.
- Ralph Van Kleeck married a woman named Ella. They had a son named Robert.
- Edith Van Kleeck.
- Sarah Marie Van Kleeck (b. 1847) married Charles Smith (dates unknown). They had eight children.
- Rose Smith
- Ase Smith
- Raymond Smith married Rada Koegan. Their two daughters were Phyllis Victoria and Martha.
- Della Smith
- Grant Smith (1869 - 1934) married Edith Silkworth. They had one daughter. Grant was a blacksmith in Hurley.
- Kate Smith
- Clara Smith
- Monte Smith
The Van Kleeck Family Farm
Photos of the Van Kleeck family farmhouse
at "SueBatty Land" in Samsonville, Ulster County, NY at the foot of High Point Mountain. This was the family farm purchased by Jeremiah Van Kleeck in 1847 for $300. This section includes some photos of the Van Kleeck family taken on this farm.
VAN KLEECK page 1: Barent Baltus van der Lippstadt through Jeremiah Van Kleeck (1805 - 1885)
VAN KLEECK documents
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© 1987 by Dorothy E. Smith and 2001 by Roxy Triebel or the original contributor.
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