This transcription of the Klock burying ground, originally printed in the Enterprise
and News, was made by Kathleen McLaughlin. Klock family lore is of interest to many visitors to the Herkimer/Montgomery
Counties GenWeb. In the transcription below, Kathleen maintained *all typos* from the original article.
Historian Anita Smith's short article, The Klock's Churchyard Story, follows the cemetery list.
Photos of the
Headstones of George, Hendrick, Jacob, and Joseph G.
WHERE OUR PIONEERS SLEEP:
From St. John's Reformed Church Records of St. Johnsville, N. Y.
OLD BURYING GROUND EAST OF VILLAGE:
Graves of Henry
Klock and Christian Nellis. First Settlers in this Vicinity. Col. Jacob Klock and
His Brother George Klock and Rev. John Henry Dysslin Lie Here but Graves are
Unmarked. Many Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in This Place. First Grave Yard and
Church Site in This Section.
Reprinted from the Enterprise and News, St. Johnsville, N. Y.
A scant half mile east of this village and a few hundred feet to the rear of
Leslie M. Nellis' residence is the site of our first Reformed church and the
burying ground in which at least two pioneer settlers sleep in marked graves. It
is also the burial place of Col. Jacob Klock and his brother George Klock and
Rev. John H. Dyesslin, first pastor of St. John's Reformed Church of this
village. Many graves are here marked only by limestone slabs upon which no
inscription is graven and no way of knowing whose remains repose below. It is a
quaint God's Acre and dates back to the first white settlement in 1723 over two
centuries ago. Here the primitive log church was built and here the first
Christian burials were made. Tradition also maintains that in a portion of this
ground Christian Indians were buried and undoubtedly the slaves of the early
pioneers were interred in this spot. For over 75 years this was used as a burying
ground. There were private burials previous to the 18th century as indicated by
the many private plots through the countryside, but here around "Klock's
Church," were interred the members of the Calvinistic faith and here they
sleep many in unmarked graves.
In 1914 Royden Woodward Vosburgh edited the old church papers and a copy was
placed in the State Library and the Genealogical Society of New York as also with
the trustees of St. John's Reformed church of this village. From this we are
permitted to copy that portion by Mr. Vosburgh which bears on this first burying
Block Print of HK Tombstone
(Caption) Grave of Hendrick Klock,
pioneer who sleeps in the ancient Klock cemetery east of the village of St.
Johnsville. Was among the first settlers of the valley, and father of Col. Jacob
Klock, of Revolutionary fame. Was friend of King Hendrick Mohawk Chieftain. Born
1668, died 1760. Two of his daughters married pioneers. Barvalis married
Christian Nellis and Magdalena married William Nellis. He died 15 years before
the revolution. Had ten children, seven boys, all but one of whom was in the
revolution. Adam was killed at Oriskany. (end of caption) The chapter is headed:
Klock's Church Burying Ground
By R. W.
At the present day (1914) the burying ground at the site of Klock's support the
belief that church is the strongest a stood there. I copied the on the grave
stones in t ground, on May 3, 1914. A considerable number of the graves are
unmarked and there are many roughly hewed limestones, not even shaped like
gravestones, which bear no traces of inscriptions. The burying ground occupies
the central part of the 7.72 acre lot indicated on the map dated April 21, 1842.
It adjoins a private burying ground in the rear part of the 3.60 acre lot of
Robert Nellis. The ground is now occupied by an orchard. On the rear of the seven
acre lot, are several stone terraces extending one above the other on the rising
ground. These terraces were constructed while Moses Quinby* owned the property
and were used in the cultivation of grape vines. In my opinion the orchard was
set out by Moses Quinby if not by the Nellis brothers. To the rear of the orchard
on the southerly side, is a space about 80 feet square on level ground when there
are no trees. Near the center of this space are two stones, broken off or else
sunken deep in the ground evidently the head and foot stones of a grave, which
faced in an easterly direction.
Tradition has it that the Rev. John Henry Dysslin was buried under the pulpit of
Klock's church. Mr. Leslie Nellis pointed these stones out to me, as marking the
spot where the Rev. Mr. Dysslin was buried. He stated that his father Reuben
Nellis, was the authority I for this statement and added that in his opinion this
grave marks the spot where the pulpit of Klock's church stood. [(It is understood
he was buried after church was torn down-the stone in question has faint marking
that may have been a monogram HD-J H D but the site is differently located than
where my father located it.) Note by Mr. N.]
As the grave stones which were copied seem to be pretty well grouped it is not
thought necessary to indicate their position on a map. Particularly, as if a map
had been made, it would have consisted principally of unmarked graves. The
numbers opposite the inscriptions refer to notes which follow after them. There
are between 75 and 100 graves that are now visible.
1. Here lies the body of Margaret Klock widow of Johannes Klock, deceased who
departed this life I January 14th, 1800 aged 87 years, 1 month and 11
2. Next inscription illegible; limestone.
3. In memory of Anna Klock wife of Jacob I. Klock who was born February 15th,
1752 and departed this life October 17, 1804. Aged 52 years 8 months and two
4. Here lies the body of Dorata Klock daughter of John I. Klock she was born the
20th day of September, 1777, and departed this life 4th day of February, 1800
aged 22 years 4 months and 14 days.
5. Dd. this life Jo. Klock 1822.
6. * Betty Klock Dd. in 1831 & her age 27 yer I mo. and 22 days.
7. By. K. Footstone to No. 6.
8. * Do. Klock Dd. 1805 First W. to JGK.
9. * 1802 Eve Klock aged 3 years 6 M. & 6 days
10. Wm. Klock aged 3 mo. 18 days
11.* Eth Klock Dd. 1836 4th wife to J. G. K.
13. * J. G. Klock departed this life 1846 his age 77 years months 10 days.
14. N. Klock Dd. 1828 her age 17 (?) Y. 5 M. 23 D.
15. In memory of Elizabeth wife of George Putman who died Feb. lst 1830 Ae. 34
years, 5 months & 4 days.
16. In memory of Catherine wife of Ashbel Loomis died May 28, 1831 in her 41st
17. C. L. footstone to No. 16.
18. Dewitt C. son of David and Lydia Hose died Feb. 13th 1847. Ae 2 yrs. 3 mos. &
28 1 days.
19. D. C. H.. Footstone Footstone to No. 18
(Caption) Resting place of Christian Nellis, who with his
brother William came to the Mohawk Valley in 1723 or earlier. Christian is buried
in the old Klock cemetery east of the village of St. Johnsville, NY. He was born
in 1697 and died in 1771. The stone to the right is believed to mark the grave of
his wife Barvalis Klock whom he married February 29, 1718. She was daughter of
Hendrick Klock pioneer in the Mohawk Valley. (End caption)
20. Elisabet D. Nellis war gestorben May 16 im jahr 1793 den 66 jahrs
21. Next stone similar in appearance to No. 20. limestone, inscription
22. Hier Ruhet in Gott bol ist geboren im jahr 1758 und gestorbe N Den 18 Mertz.
23. Christian Nellis Senior Gestorben ano 1771 (?) alt Worden 74 Jahr.
24. Companion Stone to No 23 inscription illegible; limestone.
25. Here Ley H. K. 1760 92
26. Here lies the Body of Asher Cox who departed this life June 30th 1771 in the
28th year of his age
Think oh man as you go
As you are now so once was I
As I am
now so you will be
Prepare for death and follow me.
27. Here lies the body Cox who departed tis June ye 3rd 1749 in ye 23 yr. of his
age (see note below)
From the private burying ground of Robert Nellis:
28. Robert Nellis born May 44th died Oct. 4 1868.
29. Katie Dysslin wife of Robert Nellis born July 2, 1793 Died Nov. 22,
Mr. Vosburgh's Notes on Inscriptions:
1. Gravestones No. 1, 3, and 4 are of red sandstone. The type that lasts so well.
The inscriptions are perfectly preserved.
5 to 13. This appears to be a group of one family. The stones are of rough
limestone of no particular shape. The most pretentious stone is No. 13 which has
been cut in the shape of a gravestone. Three of the wives of Joseph B. Klock are
buried here. This is the family of Joseph G. Klock a great grandson of Henrich
Klock, born 1769, only 9 years after Hendrick Klock's death.
8. The inscription on this stone is copied exactly as it appears.
13. 1 have already alluded to my lack of reliable data, concerning the Klock
family. This is the gravestone of Joseph G. Klock, who
was the son of George G. Klock and grandson of the old George or Urie. He was
elected a trustee of St. John's Church on Dec. 26, 1804. He succeeded Andrew
Zobriskie as treasurer of the board of trustees, on August 22, 1807. At the time
of the incorporation of July 6, 1816 he was the senior elder. According to the
deed from Christian Klock to Jacob Saunders dated June 13, 1820 * * *Joseph G.
Klock was the owner of the northwesterly part of lot No. 13 in the Harrison
patent, the part which lay to the east and north west of Christian Klock's land.
The gravestone of Joseph G. Kock although of comparatively recent date is
difficult to read as to the dates. Family Bible record of Joseph G. Klock born
1846, died 1867, age 77 years.
18 and 19. This grave was the last interment that took place in the burying
ground. It is in a group of old rough limestones which appear to be among the
oldest in the burying ground. This burial was evidently made on top of old
graves. Reuben Nellis stated he remembered when a boy interments being made on
old graves which were not known to be there till the new graves were dug.
20. Elizabeth D. Nellies has died May 16, in the year 1793. Was aged 66 years, 3
21. This stone and No. 20 are isolated by themselves only one other grave near
22 (Translation). Here lies in God, Elisa Bedarabol. Is born in year 1758 and
died the 18th March, year 1790. Refer to the copy of the inscription for the name
of this person. I am unable to say definitely where the first name ends and the
last name begins.
23 Christian Nellis. Died year 1771. Was aged 74 years. Several words are
illegible on this stone. This is the gravestone of Christian Nellis, Senior. (Can
be read on the stone).
25. Undoubtedly the grave of Hendrick Klock who died in 1760 aged 92. Bible
record of Joseph G. Klock confirms it.
26 and 27. According to Simms George Klock the elder had a daughter who married
Col. Ebenezer Cox who was killed at Oriskany August 66, 1777. Abstract of the
will of Ebenezer Cox, Tryon Co. Wife Elizabeth, sons and daughters. Real and
personal estate. Executors, Robert Cox, Jacob G. Klock and John Frey. No
witnesses. Will proven by testimony of William Detry of Kingsland district same
county, esquire as to handwriting Dated Feb. 18, 1777; proved March 26, 1779.
Elizabeth Klock, daughter of Jurrie (George) Klock and Maria Catharina Walrad,
was baptised in 1750; See Stone Arabia German Reformed records. The above may to
some extent explain the presence of these two Cox gravestones in the Klock
28 and 29. The graves are the only ones left in the Nellis burying ground. All
the other bodies have been removed to the village cemetery at St. Johnsville .
Katie Dysslin was a daughter of Rev. John Henry Dysslin.
*Moses Quinby was prominent in local affairs in the middle of the last century.
He was a bee keeper and an authority on bee culture. His treatise on bee keeping
is still consulted. He was first inventor of moveable honey frames. While in
possession of the land where the cemetery is located he planted flowering fruit
trees, grapes and other shrubs suitable for bee culture. It was a beauty spot
while under his management. The old grape terraces still remain. Quinby is
mentioned in obituary notice of his nephew Thomas Underhill, Enterprise and News
May 30. 1928.) - Editor.
The Klock's Church Burying Ground is located on Rt. 5, 1/2 mile east of the
village of St. Johnsville.
In re: burial entry #27 - per Anita Smith, Town of St. Johnsville Historian: Here
lies the body of Shephred (Shepherd?) Cox who departed tis Life June ye 3rd 1749
in ye 23 yr. of his age.)
This short introductory story, contributed by Anita A.
Smith, appeared in the small commemorative book for the 200th Anniversary of the
Battle of Klock's Field. At the time of writing, almost 20 years ago, Anita was
Montgomery County Historian.
THE KLOCK'S CHURCHYARD STORY
The Klock's Churchyard Preservation Group, inspired by Mrs. Hazel Bode,
organized in June 1979 to restore and preserve Klock's Churchyard. This old
cemetery one half mile east of St. Johnsville had become overgrown with large
trees and brush from years of neglect.
On this site in 1756 a log church was built. It was the first Reformed Church
north of the Mohawk River between Caughnawaga (Fonda) and Herkimer.
St. Johnsville Town Supervisor, George Matis, the Town Board, and Clarence
Walrath Town Highway Superintendent all lent their support to the clean up
Mr. Walrath and his crew out down the large trees and brought in fill.
A "Green Thumb" project crew directed by Howard Tabor completed the clean up and
planted grass seed.
An America the Beautiful Fund of New York grant was gratefully received by the
Group for Gravestone Rubbing Workshops and a historic play, "The Klock's Cemetery
Many village citizens became interested in local projects and gave support. The
proceeds from these projects made this book possible.
County Historian Anita Smith has researched and completed the Survey Forms to
begin the project review for listing this historic site on the National Register
of Historic places.
October 19, 1980 is the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Klock's Field - parts
of this battle took place in the Old Klock's Churchyard. To commemorate the
Bicentennial of the Battles of Stone Arabia and Klock's Field this book was
The lives and deeds of brave Mohawk pioneers have inspired Americans for over 200
years. They live in our memory giving us hope of Liberty and Freedom
The books' contents are a blend of Historic articles, maps, drawings and
James Morrison, a noted Military Historian describes the 1780 Johnson raids into
the Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys. The Battles of Stone Arabia and Klock's Field
is described by the use of both British and American reports and pension records.
Mr. Morrison also researched and prepared "The Colonel Klock's Regiment."
The Haldimand Report is Sir John Johnson's Battle Report to his commanding
officer. It was published in the St. Johnsville Enterprise and News in July 1944.
St. Johnsville Historian, the late Milo Nellis, using the Haldimand Report,
describes the Battle of Klock's Field using 1944 landmarks to better explain
where the Battle was fought. This article has been updated by the 1980 footnotes.
"Where Our Pioneers Sleep" from the St. John's Reformed Church Records reprinted
from the Enterprise and News includes the 1914 R.W. Vosburgh report on Klock's
Church and the people buried there. In 1980 after restoration work many of these
stones can still be seen.
Reverend Robert Gram, pastor of St. John's Reformed Church, St. Johnsville,
writes the early history of the Churches was affected by Johnson's 1780 Raid. He
gives an insight into the Church life in the Mohawk and Schoharie Valleys during
the American Revolution.
"Klock's Cemetery Anthology," a historic play, was written by Mrs. Betty
Bilobrowka. She is a Historian, Historical writer, Library teacher and member of
the Klock's Churchyard Preservation Group. The play is about the pioneers buried
in the cemetery. It was presented November 30, 1980 in the St. John's Reformed
Church to a packed house.
Directed by Diane Wagar, the cast members were: Adam Klock as the Grandfather
Klock, Jeff Snyder - Grandson, narrator Nelson Green - Joseph Green, Hendrik
Klock - Frank Christiance, Johanis Klock - David Crouse, Jacob Klock - Charles
Wager, George Klock - Richard Gillen Jr., Reverend Dyslin - Rev. Robert Gram,
Joseph Klock - Lipe Klock, Speaker for Youth - Carrie Moshinski, Margaretha Klock
- Diane Burkdorf, Catherine Klock - JoAnn Warn, Anna Klock - Jennifer Gordon,
Dorothy Zimmerman - Darlene Brundage, Elizabeth Devendorf - Thelma Miles.
A Youth Choir, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and members of the Tryon County Militia
Montgomery County Historian
Klock's Churchyard Preservation