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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Decker

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1700-1702 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.]

This is a genuine German surname. Decher, as the name is frequently spelled, represents in German the number ten, and was applied to the tenth child. Some assume, however, that the family name was derived from the occupation of a decker — one who builds or lays the decks of vessels. The name is common in Germany and in the United States. The family is found in Holland, whither it is believed they fled to escape religious persecution. The name is first found in New England in 1672, when John Decker was a resident of Exeter. The name is found at a still earlier date in the early records of Staten Island, where Johannes De Decker arrived in April, 1665. The family became very numerous on Staten Island, frequent intermarriage making the tracing of their genealogy exceedingly difficult. Johannes De Decker was a prominent man in the colony, filling various offices of responsibility, and after a public service of several years retired for the remainder of his days to his farm of one hundred and twenty acres on Staten Island.

(I) The line from which Edward C. Decker is descended begins with Jan Broersen Decker, who with other Hollanders was at New Dorp, New Netherland, and he was one of two magistrates appointed at Marbledorp (later Marbletown), October 6, 1673. Further particulars of him do not appear.

(II) Cornelius, son of Jan Broersen Decker, married, December 22, 1695, Elsie, daughter of Wessel and Marya (Ten Eyck) Ten Broeck, and had four children. She died June 9, 1725, and is buried beside her husband. Children:

  1. Johannes, baptized August 16, 1696;
  2. Maria, May 1, 1698;
  3. Heyltje, January 14, 1700;
  4. Wessel, January 25, 1702.

(III) Johannes, son of Cornelius and Elsie (Ten Broeck) Decker, married (first) Catrina Wynkoop, baptized December 17, 1699, died January 2, 1724. The Decker family Bible record is, "My wife Catrina Wynkoop is at rest in the Lord and buried the 4th (January, 1725) among her friends and beside her mother." She was a daughter of Evert and Guertje (Elmendorf) Wynkoop. They had one daughter, Guertjen, baptized October 15, 1721. He married (second) Marytje Jansen, May 17, 1726, daughter of Mattheus and Rachel (Popinge) Jansen. Children:

  1. Elsie, born March 26, 1727;
  2. Rachel, February 28, 1728-29;
  3. Cornelis, January 6, 1731-32;
  4. Matthewis, December 14, 1733;
  5. Marya, January 9, 1736-37;
  6. Catharyna, February 17, 1738-39;
  7. Johannes, April 16, 1741.

Johannes, the father, died January 23, 1741-42.

(IV) Cornelius (2), son of Johannes and Marytje (Jansen) Decker, married (first) July 1, 1762, Elizabeth Van Wagenen, born November 1, 1739, died March 12, 1764, daughter of Symen and Sara (Du Bois) Van Wagenen. They had a daughter Sarah, born January 16, 1764. He married (second) Elizabeth Decker (presumably a cousin), who died June 10, 1813. Children:

  1. Johannes, born June 2, 1767;
  2. Cornelius, July 13, 1770;
  3. Catharine, February 2, 1774;
  4. Elizabeth, October 8, 1778, died August 11, 1795;
  5. Maria, November 22, 1780.

(V) John G., grandson of Cornelius (2) Decker, and son of either Cornelius or Johannes Decker, was born in Columbia county, New York. He removed to Fulton county, where he was one of the early farmers of the town of Johnstown. He married Nancy Rupert; children: John H., see forward; Elizabeth M., George F., Eleanor B., William A., Ann S.

(VI) John H., eldest son of John G. and Nancy (Rupert) Decker, was born in the town of Johnstown, Fulton county, New York, July 15, 1826, died March 14, 1901. He was one of the pioneer glove manufacturers of Gloversville, where he was associated with Josiah C. Leonard for many years. In 1875 he established the glove-making business in Johnstown, conducting it alone until 1880, when he admitted his son, Edward C. Decker, to the firm, which then became J. H. Decker & Son. In 1882 Sidney Argersinger was admitted, and the firm has since been known as J. H. Decker Son & Company. John H. Decker continued at the head of the business, which developed into one of the largest in the county, until his death. He became a resident of Johnstown village the year after his marriage (1854), and was prominent in public affairs. He served three terms as trustee of the village, was trustee of the district sixteen years, and was president of the village board of education. He was a member of the Presbyterian church, and politically a Republican. He married, February 8, 1854, Marian E., born in Johnstown, 1835, daughter of Josiah C. and Mary Leonard. Children:

  1. Mary L. (or Minnie L.), born in Johnstown, 1856; married, January 8, 1880, Sidney Argersinger; (child)
    1. Edward D., married Mary C. Sammons.
  2. Edward C., see forward.
  3. Celia A., born March 25, 1861; married, April 14, 1886, Asa J. Browne, born in the town of Mayfield, Fulton county, New York, April 7, 1840.
  4. William H., born December 28, 1867, died May 3, 1885.
  5. Luella C., born December 8, 1872; married Charles R. Mosher.

(VII) Edward C., eldest son of John H. and Marian E. (Leonard) Decker, was born in Johnstown, New York, October 26, 1858. He was educated in Johnstown Union School and Academy. He early began an active business life as an assistant to his father in glove manufacturing, and in 1880 was admitted a partner to J. H. Decker & Son. On the death of the senior Mr. Decker, in 1901, Edward C. succeeded him as head of the firm of J. H. Decker Son & Company, which continues one of the most important glove manufacturing firms in the county. He is a thoroughly capable, earnest man of affairs, and occupies a commanding position in his city. He was a charter member of the board of library trustees and still holds same. He is a director of the People's Bank of Johnstown, and interested in other of the business enterprises of Johnstown. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, and in politics supports the men and measures of the Republican party. His clubs are the Eccentric of Gloversville, the Automobile, Lotus and Colonial of Johnstown and the Antlers of Amsterdam, New York. He is interested in the history of his county, and holds membership in the Fulton County Historical Society. He married, October 20, 1886, Louise, daughter of Robert Henry, of Johnstown. Children, Marian L. and Katherine B.

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