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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

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Go to previous family: Fonda | next family: Shelp

[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1007-1009 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 earliest ancestor of this family in America was Henry Dievendorf, who emigrated to America about the year 1730 from Germany, bringing with him his son, Jacob. He settled in Montgomery county, New York, at Currytown, which locality has ever since been the family seat. The family rose to distinction in the country, where they have ever been prominent in civil, military, financial and commercial life.

(II) Jacob, son of Henry Dievendorf, the emigrant, (as indeed was Jacob, as they came together) married and had three sons: Jacob (2), Frederick and Henry. Frederick met an accidental death; Henry married, and reared a family; a daughter, Elizabeth, became the wife of William B. Dievendorf, son of Frederick. Jacob Dievendorf, the emigrant, was a farmer and owned considerable land in the town of Root, where he and his father were among the early settlers.

(III) Jacob (2), son of Jacob (1) Dievendorf, was born in Currytown, town of Root, Montgomery county, New York, September 23, 1768. He grew up on the farm in that then wild and thinly settled neighborhood where life at the best was a struggle, rendered doubly hazardous by the conflict then going on between the colonies and Great Britain and the presence in the neighborhood of hostile Indians and unfriendly, vindictive Tories. July 9, 1781 (known yet as Invasion Day), the town was invaded by a force of Indians and Tories, under the command of Captain John Dockstader. Young Jacob with others was captured, taken south to the town of Sharon, where on the following day the Dockstader force, hard pressed by Colonel Willett and the Patriot forces, began killing and scalping their prisoners. Jacob leaped from his horse and tried to escape, but was overtaken by an Indian, knocked down by a blow from his tomahawk, his scalp torn from his head and he was left for dead. He recovered consciousness and tried to walk, but was so weak from loss of blood that all he could do was to cover himself with leaves and lay quiet, expecting to die. The following day he was found by Colonel Vedder and his troops, lying insensible. They took him to Fort Plain, placed him under the care of Dr. Fraught, of Stone Arabia, where he remained five years. His scalp never permanently healed, and although he lived to a good old age, it was always a scource of pain and discomfort. He became very wealthy in land and property, and was a man of honest, upright life, much venerated in the neighborhood and honored for the justness of his dealings. He married, May 12, 1801, Margaret Bellinger, whom he survived several years, dying October 8, 1859, at age of eighty-five. He was buried in the family burying ground on his home farm. Among his children was William B., see forward.

(IV) William B., son of Jacob (2) and Margaret (Bellinger) Dievendorf, was born in Currytown, town of Root, Montgomery county, New York, August 30, 1805, died March 11, 1882. Being the son of a wealthy farmer and large land owner, he very naturally engaged in the same occupation. In addition to general farming, he specialized in dairy farming and established the manufacture of cheese in the county. He became largely engaged in that business and as it was taken up by others, he organized and was at the head of one of the largest cheese manufacturing associations in the country. He became very wealthy and engaged largely in other lines of business activity. He was a large stockholder and officially connected with the Spraker Bank of Canajoharie and the Mohawk River Bank of Fonda. His landed estate was very large and he was regarded as one of the most substantial men of the Mohawk Valley. He was a very charitable, generous man, and in his quiet way used his wealth justly and well. He was a supporter of church and benevolent institutions, and a member of the Democratic party. He married a kinswoman, Elizabeth, born November 24, 1811, died November 20, 1780, daughter of Judge Henry Dievendorf, who bore him ten children:

  1. Jacob, born November 16, 1837; settled on one of the farms cleared and improved by his grandfathers; married Lydia Shelp, born June 27, 1842; children:
    1. Elizabeth, married Dr. Howard Stowitts;
    2. Luella, married Rev. Charles Bedford;
    3. David, resides on the farm with his father and mother;
    4. William J., married Ethelberta Angell; children: Evelyn, Helen and Edythe Dievendorf;
    5. Nelson Shelp, deceased;
    6. Sarah M., married W. Ray Hadsell.
  2. Henry A., born April 9, 1839; died January 30, 1907; married (first) Hollie Eppie; (second) Jane A. Blood; (third) Annette Lasher, who survives him, a resident of the town of Root; children of first wife:
    1. William B., married (first) Florence Bidelman, one daughter Florence; (second) Anna Vedder; children: Vedder, Arthur and Jane Dievendorf;
    2. Mary Louise, deceased;

    children of second wife:

    1. George Edwin, married Lina Coleman; one son, Hugh Edwin;
    2. Katharine, married Robert Roy; she died leaving one son, Robert Jr.;
    3. Luetta, married Dr. Maxwell Failing.
  3. Margaret, born May 19, 1840, died in 1860; married Jacob Bellinger; had one child, Margaret, married Francis Vedder.
  4. Catherine, born March 19, 1841, died unmarried, January 28, 1899.
  5. Hannah E., born December 27, 1843, died aged four years.
  6. Fannie, born December 29, 1846, died unmarried in 1896.
  7. Charlotte, see forward.
  8. Lydia, born April 26, 1850; married, September, 1871, Howard Vosburg; children:
    1. Charles;
    2. Arthur, married Edna Stowitts; children: Hazel M., Howard L. and Alice Vosburgh;
    3. Grace, married Hamilton King, of Freeport, Long Island: child, Helen King;
    4. William L., married Addie Rich;
    5. Bertha C., married Dr. Deruyter Howland, of Stratford, Connecticut;
    6. Elmira, a teacher;
    7. Nellie, a teacher of Herkimer, New York.
  9. Charles, born March 3, 1853; resides on the old homestead in Root; married (first) Helen Lasher; (second) Alice Fox; children by first wife: Elizabeth, William and Lucretia; children by second wife: Dewey, Ruth, Everett, Lynn, Paul and Margaret Dievendorf.

    [Thanks to researcher Carolyn Proper (, Margaret's granddaughter, for providing us with additional information.]

  10. Jane E., born June 22, 1856; married, Mitchell Spraker; children:
    1. Wallace, married Beulah Smith, one child, Emily.
  11. Mabel, married Rev. Edward J. Meeker, two children, Elizabeth and Eliot Meeker.

(V) Charlotte, seventh child and fifth daughter of William B. and Elizabeth (Dievendorf) Dievendorf, was born February 20, 1848.

She married, September 28, 1870, in the town of Root, James Shelp, born in Glen, March 28, 1838, died suddenly of heart failure, September 28, 1887. He was a farmer and a man of honorable, upright life and lovable disposition. After his death, Mrs. Shelp, who inherits the strong character and business ability of her honored father and grandfather Dievendorf, assumed the management of the estate which she has ably managed and which now consists of two well-stocked and improved farms. She had a family of eight children, four of whom survive, two of them established in homes, with families of their own. She is a member of the Reformed church of Fultonville, New York. Children:

  1. Elizabeth A., born December 15, 1871, died February 9, 1872.
  2. William B., born April 13, 1874, died February 18, 1876.
  3. Mary E., born May 14, 1875; married, June 27, 1900, Professor Henry Wheaton, a successful educator of Montclair, New Jersey; children:
    1. Henry H., born May 22, 1903;
    2. James S., born June 19, 1904.
  4. Margaret, born January 28, 1879, died March 20, 1879.
  5. James D., born May 7, 1880; married, February 8, 1905, Lena Regal; children:
    1. Mildred E., born November 27, 1906;
    2. Robert J., August 14, 1910; they reside at Sprakers, on a farm.
  6. Sarah L., born April 11, 1882, married Kirkland C. Ingham, January 15, 1902: children:
    1. Catherine E., born November 20, 1902;
    2. Charles Kirkland, September 25, 1905; he resides on the home farm with his mother and is her valued assistant in the management of her estate.
  7. Emma C., born March 18, 1885, died January 10, 1889.
  8. Katherine H., born January 5, 1888.

The children that survived, Mrs. Shelp provided with a good practical education, and in turn, they are devoted to her and are the comfort of her declining years.

James Shelp, father of these children, was a son of James Nelson Shelp, a lifelong resident of the town of Glen. He married (first) Elizabeth Mount; children: Amelia, James H., husband of Charlotte Dievendorf; Mary Mount, Benjamin V., Anna C., Lemuel and Lydia. Married (second) Mrs. Gazena Van Schaick Pruyn; children: Wilson, Nelson, Gazena.

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