The pamphlet of the history of Old Fort Herkimer Church was contributed to our site by Faith Lustik. No date appears on the pamphlet although there is reference in Part 3 that this book was being written in 1923. As Lou D. MacWethy, editor, published other pamphlets and articles in the 1930s, it may have been written a few years prior to World War II. Dr. W. N. P. Dailey's book "The History of Montgomery Classis R. C. A.", mentioned below, was published by Recorder Press, Amsterdam, New York, in 1916.
History of the Old Fort Herkimer Church German Flatts Reformed Church 1723 By W. N. P. Dailey, D. D. Published by the St. Johnsville Enterprise and News Lou D. MacWethy, Editor, St. Johnsville, NY, Price 35 cents Post Paid (on cover)
Old Fort Herkimer Church Historical Stetch of the German Flatts Reformed Church at Fort Herkimer, NY. In the Beautiful Mohawk Valley Organized in 1723. Land given 1730 and 1773. Present Edifice begun About 1730. A Story of the Palatine People and Their Early Struggles. Many Names of First Settlers.
A third case in the Court of Chancery, was complaint filed by the German Flatts consistory, June 18, 1833, wherein they sought to recover from the church surplus monies due from the sale of lots which were held by John Frank, Rudolph Steel and Michael Ittig. The consistory exhibited nineteen Quit Claim deeds, original documents, signed by the heirs of the original Patentees, then surviving. Heirs of the Patentees might well examine these papers as not a few names are of those who moved to other parts of the State and Country. The Chancellor decided that the persons signing these deeds had no legal right to these surplus monies. On April 30, 1835, the German Flatts Church was a defendant in a case in the Court of Chancery brought by Michael Ittick, Henry Harter, Bethel Palmer, Frederick Ohrendorff, Frederick Bellinger, Conrad Hess, Samuel Meecker and Henry Steel who sought to have a receiver appointed for the church glebe in the Staley Patent because Rev. J.P. Spinner insisted on the use of the German language in conducting worship, and the consistory refused to allow the church to be used by an English speaking minister. The answer was filed April 12, 1836, in which the church claimed they had always obtained the rents for the minister and that they had sold only such lands as the Chancellor had permitted them to sell. The decision of the Court made permanent an injunction restraining the Church from selling further lands, except on permission of the Court, but allowed the proceeds from glebe rents to continue to go to the minister's support.
An inventory of the property of the church was made Jan. 25, 1799, and received Jan. 29, 1799, for recording by the County Clerk (but not recorded). The property is listed as follows: 1. One acre of land....whereon is a Stone Church. 2. A Communion Table 3. Two white cloths to cover same. 4. Two bags for collecting Alms in church. 5. A pewter Bason for baptizing. 6. A brass chalice for administering the Lord's Supper. 7. A black Pall, old. 8. A Book of Sermons by Dr. Mell. 9. A large Book for recording the minutes of the consistory. 10. A small Alms book. 11. A common Seal of the Corporation. 12. A chest belonging to the church. 13. Three Lots of Land in a Patent granted to Hans D. Steel and others, distinguished by Lots No. 45, 46, 47, containing 1500 acres.... which land was granted and conveyed to Peter Remsen and to his heirs in trust for the support of the Ministers of the Gospel, in conformity to the provisions contained in a certain Indenture, bearing the date the 18th day of September, 1765, made between the said Steel and the said Peter Remsen, etc. In an inventory recorded 14 years later the land is mentioned as 1377 acres and 13 rods leased out and rent 95 pounds, 17 shillings, and 7 1/2 pence. Other items in list are a table cloth, sermon book, pall, pewter bason, "calice", chair and chest, total value, three pounds and 19 shillings. The consistory at this time were Rev. J.P. Spinner, minister and Geo. Rosencrantz, Thos. F. Shoemaker, Daniel C. Fox, elders and Robert Shoemaker, Geo. A. Clapsattle, Frederick Bellinger, Jr., deacons.
On Nov. 5, 1823, the committee who had charge of the repairs of the church in 1812 and 1813 were discharged. Christopher Casler having deceased, his accounts were placed in the hands of Judge Rosencrantz and General Bellinger to settle with the heirs. Colonel Clapsattle, Wm. Dygert, Esq., Geo. Wiedrigh, Peter J. Bellinger, Thomas Shoemaker, and Nicholas Shoemaker were directed to collect all the arrearages on their lists and if necessary to sue for the same. Judge Rosencrantz and Robert Shoemaker were asked to settle the differences about church lands with Jacob and Werner Folts and Thomas Pierce. Michael F. Myers' bill for church fence was ordered paid at once.
Phonetic or Simplified Spelling of names was prevalent in the valley in the early days. Among papers extant there are at least forty varieties of the name of Herkimer. The earliest is Johan Jost Erghemar found on the Burnetsfield Patent of April 30, 1725. Major John Frey, a brother-in-law of General Herkimer, says that the original spelling was "Herchmer". However the use of "Herkimer" can be found as early as 1728, which form was officially given the town in 1788 and the county in 1791, and ought to be good enough now; examples of the spelling names in records and on church registers and on other documents are seen in these forms: Stahl, Steahl, Steal, and Steel; Duisler and Dussler; Deichert and Deigert; Kaiser and Kayser; Wohleber and Woleben; Pell and Bell; Pellinger and Bellinger; Ittig and Edick; Harder, Harter, and Herter; Loux and Lauchs; Wemp, Wamp, and Wemple; Peiper and Piper; Volz and Folts. In this brochure we have printed the names as they appear in the various documents.
MOHAWK VALLEY MAPS
Myers (1600), Rensselaerwyck (1632), Visscher (1665), New Netherlands (1656), Middleburg (1666), Romer (1700), Vrooman (1726), Covens (1733), Evans (1743), Morris (1749), Schenectady (1750), D'Anville (1755), Ottens (1755), Mitchell (1755), Crown Series of 750 maps (1756?), Christian (1759) Pfister (1759), Johnson (1771), Sayer-Bennett (1771), Montressor (1755), Faden (1776), Bleecker (1776), Cockburn (1776), Pownal (1776), Burgoyne Campaign (1777), Sauthier (1779), Tryon (1779), Pownal (1779) Vrooman (1779), map in NY Historical Soc. Library, Eckerson (1780), DeWitt (1790) Watson (1820).
UPPER MOHAWK VALLEY PUBLICATIONS
Publications of NY State: "Ecclesiastical Records", "Colonial Documents", "Iroquois" (Beauchamp), "Sir Wm. Johnson Manuscripts", "Indian Names in NY" (Beauchamp), "Doc. History NY", "Peter Sailly", Historical and Geological Bulletins, Campbell's "Annals of Tryon Co", "NY State History" by Mather, Smith and Macauley. Reid's "In the Mohawk Valley" and "STory of Old Fort Johnson", Griffis' "Sir William Johnson", Halsey's "Old New York Frontier", Stone's "Brant", Simms' "New York Border Wars", and "Schoharie County" and "Frontiersmen". "Com. Safety Tryon County." Mrs. Grant's "History of An American Lady". Child's "Gazetteer of the Mohawk Valley". Reynold's "Genealogy of the Mohawk Valley." Jay Gould's "Delaware and N.Y. Border Wars". Hoffman's "Greycelaer, a Mohawk Romance". Elsie Singmaster's "The Long Journey (Conrad Weiser)". Clark's "Onondaga". Andrew's "Colonial Period", Harland's "Colonial Homesteads". L.G. Clark's "Journal of Mohawk Valley Trip" (1765). Dwight's "Travels". Alice Morse Earle, "Home Life in Colonial Days". Kapp's "Germans in the Mohawk Valley". Greene's "Old Fort Plain". Hulbert's "Historic Highways in America". Dailey's "Montgomery Classis R.C.A." (The Churches and Their Environment). Publications of the various County Historical Societies-Schenectady, Herkimer, Oneida, etc..., N.Y. State Museum Bulletins, Nos. 32, 108, 125, etc. Pierson's "Schenectady Patent". Diefendorf's "Mohawk Valley". Frederick's "In the Valley". Gov. Clinton's "Official Papers". Greene's "Old Mohawk Turnpike Book". Green's "Gateway to the West", pamphlets, "Old Palatine Church" (MacWethy), and "Old Fort Herkimer Church" (Dailey), by St. Johnsville Enterprise and "Col. Jacob Klock, Patriot", by Milo Nellis.
HERKIMER AND HERKIMER COUNTY
Herkimer County Historical Papers (5 vols). County Histories by Beers, Benton (1865), Harden (1893). "Herkimer Reformed Church", by Cox. Dailey's "Montgomery Classis". Cowen's "Herkimers and Schuylers". N.Y. State Hist. Asso. Reports for 1903, 1914. Vrooman's "Herkimer Centennial". Herkimer "Citizen" and "Telegram", and previous papers contain much of historical value. "Old Mohawk Turnpike" published by St. Johnsville "Enterprise". Beekman's "Schoharie County in Revolution" and "Historic Schoharie". Dailey's "Fort Herkimer" and "Stone Arabia". "Stories of Andrustown" by Mrs. Robinson. Pageant programs of Utica (1914) and Schenectady (1912). "Story of the Palatines" by Cobb. "John Conrad Weiser" by Ermentrout. Publications of the New York Historical Association.
MOHAWK VALLEY GUIDE
Chief points of Interest on the Old Mohawk Turnpike, (Route 5) the water Level Route With Amendments. From Greene's "Old Mohawk Turnpike". (With mileage from Rome eastward).
ROME-Rome Club on site of Fort Stanwix (1758-1788) First unfurling American battle flag.
Here is the ad on the back page.
All good things come to an end. That concludes the 5-part transcription of the pamphlet "History of the Old Fort Herkimer Church German Flatts Reformed Church 1723". Many thanks to Faith Lustik for her thoughtfulness and commitment over the last few months (24 files of installments), and contributing one of the finest Mohawk Valley resources on the net!
Last Updated: 9/5/98
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All Rights Reserved.