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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Becker

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 629-630 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The family in Amsterdam bearing this name is of comparatively recent settlement. For many generations the family has been native to the Rhine Province or state of Hesse-Homburg, now a part of the great German Empire. Their native town was Meisenheim. During the Napoleonic wars this town furnished many men who fought against the French, among them some of the Becker family. One of the sons, Henry, enlisted in the German army and in battle received a wound from which he never recovered.

Charles Becker, a brother of Henry, and father of Henry Becker, of Amsterdam, New York, was born in Meisenheim, Hesse-Homburg, Germany, in March, 1797. When sixteen years of age he was forced to join the French army and do battle against his kindred and native land. At the earliest opportunity he deserted from the French army and reached his own home safely. He at once enlisted in the German army in the same regiment his brother Henry had joined some time previous. He proved himself a brave and faithful soldier and served three years in defense of his country. For bravery in battle he was promoted to be sergeant. After the war closed he was presented with a silver medal inscribed "for faithfulness to duty," and on the reverse side a profile of the Prince. This is a treasured heirloom of the family. After peace was declared he returned to his native province and engaged in farming and stock raising, making a specialty of sheep. He was a good business man and secured a competence which he used for the comfort and education of his children. He was a man of piety and probity, well known and highly respected. He was for many years one of the electors of his village, it being their duty to select persons to fill the town offices. He married a girl of his own province, Mary Conrady, born there of French parents. She was of a superior family, one of the family being a brave soldier and the incumbent of some high official positions under the German government. Charles Becker died in 1881; his wife died in 1851. Children:

  1. Margaret, born about 1834; she was the first of the family to come to the United States; she settled in New York City about 1850; there she met and married Edward Bolkard, a native of Bavaria, Germany; he was a wealthy real estate operator of New York, where he died in 1892; his wife died August 18, 1906, without issue.
  2. Marie, born in Meisenheim, where she always lived; she married (first) Peter Schneider; (second) Peter Dalkner, a prominent man of the town; during the Franco-Prussian war he was engaged in supplying goods to the commissary department of the German army; he became quite a wealthy man; they were the parents of two children; by her first marriage Marie Becker had two children, both of whom came to the United States:
    1. Nicholas, a prominent man of New Jersey;
    2. Joseph, went west, where trace has been lost.
  3. Caroline, born 1838, deceased; she married Peter Ammann, of Meisenheim, and left two sons: Jacob and Henry Ammann, both married and residents of New York.
  4. Katherine, born 1840, died at age of eighteen in her native town.
  5. Jacob H., born 1843; became a prominent business man of Heidelberg, Germany; married a lady of rank in that city; they have several children, one of whom is a staff officer in the German army.
  6. Henry, see forward.

Henry, progenitor of the Amsterdam family under consideration, youngest son of Charles and Mary (Conrady) Becker, was born in Meisenheim, Hesse-Homburg, Germany, August 14, 1847. He received a good education in his native land, which he left at age of seventeen, sailing from Bremen in 1865 in the ship "Hannsa," that was later lost at sea. He settled in New York for a time with his sister Margaret, who was the first of her family to emigrate and was living in New York City. He learned the cabinetmaker's trade and remained in New York until 1873, when he removed to Amsterdam, New York, and engaged in business. After some years in that city he embarked in the hotel business and for seventeen years was so engaged, after which he retired. He became prominent in local political affairs, affiliating with the Republican party. He served seven years as sewer commissioner, seven years as assessor, and for six years has been alderman from the first ward. He is a member of Amsterdam Lodge, No. 134, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He married, 1871, in New York City, Katherine, born there September 17, 1849, daughter of Jacob and Louisa (Weber) Bucher, both of German birth. Mr. Bucher, born in Wurtemburg, Germany, came to the United States with his wife, who was born in Hesse-Darmstadt. They settled in New York, where he became known as one of the most skillful lithographers of that city and one of the prominent manufacturers of that line of printing. Mrs. Henry Becker died in 1881, leaving six children:

  1. Emma, born in New York; married William C. Crouse, a lumber dealer of West Galway, New York; children: Louise M., Henry B., William J. and Harold Crouse.
  2. Louise, married Samuel Ruddleson, a mill operator of Amsterdam.
  3. Caroline, unmarried, resides with her father in Amsterdam. Three children, Katie, Henry and Margaret, died in infancy.

Mr. Becker married (second) in Amsterdam, 1883, Walla, born in Bavaria, Germany, daughter of John and Barbara Berg, of Albany, New York, where they died in old age. By his second marriage Mr. Becker has a son, Henry C., born July 2, 1885, living at home, and a daughter, Walla, born February 2, 1887. Both were educated in Amsterdam schools and reside with their parents.

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