Minch Family of Montgomery Co.

by Lisa Slaski

        Although Henry Minch settled about 1860 in Fort Plain, this family is interconnected with the Minch families that settled in the area of Sprakers as his daughter married a son of John Minch of Sprakers, and they all seem to have originated from Dens, Hesse-Kassel, Germany and immigrated around 1860 (but probably in different years).  Henry's children resided at various times in the towns of Florida, Glen, Minden and Root.

        As you will see, there are several interesting events for this family and many mysteries! So far, my research has been focused solely on records to be found here in NY, with no attempt, as yet to perform research in the records in Dens, Hesse-Kassel, Germany. As with all research of this type, there may be 'lost' family members, not yet found! If you are connected to this family, I would love to trade information. - Lisa

Henry Minch  1805 - 1895

        Henry is somewhat of a mystery!  In some ways I know quite a bit about him, but although he apparently lived in Montgomery county for 35 years, I have found comparatively few records on him.  The most glaring missing records are census records! 

        Henry was born about January 1805 and was "of Dens, Kur-Hessen," Germany. His wife's name was Anna and currently I know of three children, all born in Dens: 

  • Anna Catharine, b. 13 Sep 1830, married Philip Minch
  • Conrad, b. 13 Feb 1832, married Susannah Lehr
  • Martin, b.1 Nov 1841, married Barbara Nash
  •         Henry apparently immigrated about 1860 to Fort Plain.  His son Martin also lived in Fort Plain, while his daughter Anna first lived in Sprakers and later Fort Plain and his son Conrad first lived in Mill Point and then in Fort Hunter.  It appears that his wife did not immigrate, as I have found absolutely no sign of her in any records including the family burial plot in the cemetery in Fort Plain where Henry and his daughter and her family are buried.  Her first name comes from the gravestone of his daughter Anna.

            From various records, including the most compelling, the signature of his son Conrad on some land transactions, the German spelling of Henry's last name is Münch. 

            The first and only record that I have of Henry during his life in NY is an 1875 NYS census record.  He is listed with his son, Conrad, as a farm laborer and widower, age 70.

            Henry apparently attended the Lutheran Church of Fort Plain, as his death record can be found there, stating that he was "of Dens, Kur-Hessen" and died at the age of 89 years and 10 months and is buried in Fort Plain.  The cemetery records and his gravestone shed no further light on Henry, but it again confirms the age in years and months.  His death certificate, and his obituary are given below:

    Statistics from the Death Certificate of Henry Minch
    (Johnstown Town Clerk's Office in Fulton county)

    date of death: 30 Oct 1895
    place of death: the town of Johnstown, Fulton county, NY
    aged: 89 years, 10 months
    marriage status: widowed
    occupation: laborer
    birth place: Germany
    father: Valentine Minch, born in Germany
    mother: unknown
    died of: pneumonia (sick 4 days)
    burial: Fort Plain
    resident of U.S.: for 35 years

    Obituary of Henry Minch
    Amsterdam Daily Democrat and Evening Recorder
    Amsterdam, Montgomery, NY
    1 Nov 1895

            Henry Minch, aged 89 years, died at the residence of John Beatte, just south of the city of Johnstown, Wednesday evening, where he was visiting. He came from Germany direct to Fort Plain, where he has resided for the past 35 years. Today his remains were taken to Fort Plain, where he will be buried and his funeral will be held. Mr. Minch was the father of the late Conrad Minch of Fort Hunter, and where he has resided for the past year or so. He was remarkably active for one so advanced in years. He has nephews and nieces residing at Fort Hunter.

    Anna Catharina Minch 1830 - 1869

            Anna Catharina [Henry1] was born 13 Sep 1830 in Dens, Hessen-Kassel, Germany.  She apparently went by her middle name as this is what is found in the 1860 census record.  She married Philip Minch a son of Johann Minch and Anna Catharina Hillmes, also born in Dens on 1 Mar 1832. This marriage probably took place in the states, as her oldest child was born in NY and according to his death record in the church records of the Lutheran Church of Fort Plain, Philip reportedly came in 1854 to NY and settled near Sprakers, then moved on to Fort Plain. In 1860 the family is living in the town of Root (the village of Sprakers is located in the town of Root).  Philip's parents and siblings, as well as another Minch family (George and Catherine Minch of Sprakers) also came around this same time-frame to Sprakers. I do not know the relationship, if any between these three Minch families (that of Henry and his wife Anna, Johann and his wife Anna Catharina, and George and his wife Catharine), except for this marriage between Philip and Anna Catharina.

            The following children were born to Anna Catharina and Philip:

    • George C., born 9 Feb 1858, died 22 Mar 1862, age 2 in the 1860 census, buried in the Fort Plain cemetery, near his parents.
    • Catherine, born 2 Jul 1859, died 22 Jul 1860, age 1 in the 1860 census, buried in the Fort Plain cemetery, near her parents.
    • Martin, born 21 Dec 1860, died 18 Oct 1861, buried in the Fort Plain cemetery, near his parents.
    • John H., born 1862 at Sprakers, NY, died 1926 at Nelliston, NY, age 8, in the 1870 census, married in the Lutheran church of Fort Plain on 20 Oct 1892 to Louise Wetterau (1872-1959), both are listed as being "of Fort Plain" in the marriage record and they are both buried in the Fort Plain cemetery, near his parents.  I know of 3 children of this union:
      • William Philip, born 20 Sep 1893 in Fort Plain, baptized 7 Jan 1894 at the Lutheran church of Fort Plain, witnesses were Philip Minch and Wilhelm Heinrich Wetterau, died in Fort Plain and was buried 10 Sep 1927 in the Fort Plain cemetery.
      • Florence Elisabeth, born 4 July 1896, baptized 7 Mar 1897 at the Lutheran church of Fort Plain, witnesses included Wilhelm Wetterau and Mrs. Elizabeth Wetterau.  her father is "of Sprakers" and mother "of KurHessen." 
      • Jennie Louise, born 17 Mar 1899 at Nelliston, NY, baptized 23 July 1899 at the Lutheran church of Fort Plain and confirmed at the same church 16 Mar 1913.
    • Elisabeth B., age 7 in the 1870 census.
    • Catharina Barbara, born 3 Dec 1867 and baptized at the Lutheran church of Fort Plain on 12 Jan 1868, died 30 Oct 1895 on the same day as her grandfather according to the records of the Lutheran church of Fort Plain, age 2 in the 1870 census.  She was married on 23 Oct 1884 to August Friedrich Wilhelm Ische "of Germany" in the Lutheran church of Fort Plain.  August and his first wife Catharina had 4 children:
      • John Henry, born 25 Feb 1885, baptized 21 Mar 1901, confirmed at the Lutheran church of Fort Plain.
      • Frida Elisabetha, born 3 Oct 1888, baptized 6 Jan 1889 at the Lutheran church of Fort Plain, witnesses includes Johann Minch, married 12 Jun 1907 to Augustus Sitts in the Lutheran church of Fort Plain.
      • Philip Heinrich, born 1 Feb 1891, baptized at the Lutheran church of Fort Plain, witnesses includes Philip Minch and his father is "of Hanover" and mother "of Fort Plain."
      • Martha Elisabeth, born 15 Jul 1892 at Canajoharie, baptized 16 Oct 1892 at the Lutheran church of Fort Plain, witnesses included Johann Minch and Miss Louise Wetterau.
      After the death of Catharina, August married second Elise Lowell "of Berlin" on 3 Oct 1896 at the Lutheran church of Fort Plain. They had 4 children that I know of: 
      • Herman Fritz August, born 3 May 1897 at Fort Plain, baptized 7 Jan 1894 at the Lutheran church of Fort Plain.
      • August Herbert, born 1 Feb 1900, baptized 1 Jan 1904 at the Lutheran church of Fort Plain.
      • Lily Gladys, born 28 Jul 1901, baptized 1 Jan 1904 at the Lutheran church of Fort Plain.
      • Clara May, born 7 Dec 1903 at Fort Plain, baptized 1 Jan 1904 at the Lutheran church of Fort Plain.

            Anna Catharina died 8 Jul 1869 and was buried in the Fort Plain cemetery. Her gravestone inscription reads as follows:

    Gravestone Inscription

    Anna Catharine
    wife of Philip Minch 
    and daughter of 
    Henry and Anna Minch
    Born in Germany
    Sept 13, 1830
    Died July 8, 1869

    Æ 38 yrs 10 mos 5 ds

            Philip Minch then married Julia A., a daughter of Martin Wetterau on 31 Mar 1870 in the Lutheran church of Fort Plain. One of the witnesses to this ceremony was a Barbara Elisabeth Minch. Julia was born 5 Aug 1839, also in Dens and died 28 Dec 1890 and is also buried in the family plot in the Fort Plain cemetery.  The family is found in the 1870 census residing in the town of Minden (the village of Fort Plain is located in the town of Minden).  Julie and Philip had several more children:

    • Martha Elisabeth, born 21 Apr 1871, baptized at the Lutheran church of Fort Plain on 25 Jun 1871.  She married Frank Wagner of Nelliston on 4 Feb 1890 in the Lutheran church at Fort Plain.
    • George, born 24 Jun 1873, baptized at the Lutheran church of Fort Plain on 3 Aug 1873, died 11 Mar 1915 at Kingston, buried in the Fort Plain cemetery.
    • Heinrich, born 19 Jul 1875, baptized at the Lutheran church of Fort Plain on 5 Sep 1875.
    • Cora Elisabeth, born 13 Jul 1879, died 1961, buried at the Fort Plain cemetery, "wife of William Woodard."

            Philip died 8 Oct 1904, age 72 years, 7 months and 7 days.  He is buried in the Fort Plain cemetery and his obituary reads as follows:
    Obituary of Philip Minch

           Philip Minch, one of Fort Plain's most respected residents, died at the Troy hospital Oct. 8th, from the shock of an operation for strangulated hernia.  Deceased was born in Germany but had been a resident of that town for many years.  He was seventy two years of age and is survived by three sons, George, John and Henry, and three daughters, Mrs. Frank Wagner, Mrs. Cora Radford of Fort Plain, and Mrs. George Barshied of this village, and one sister, Mrs. Eliza Drumm of Johnstown. The funeral was held at the German Lutheran church Tuesday afternoon.

            The above information implies that Philip's daughter,  Elisabeth B.,  married George Barshied and that Cora was married first to a man named Mr. Radford.

    Conrad Minch 1832 - 1894

            Now the family history gets even more interesting and adds another dose of mystery!

            Conrad [Henry1] was born 13 Feb 1832 in Dens, Hesse-Kassel, Germany.  Although, the rest of the family appear to immigrate direct to Montgomery county, NY, Conrad first shows up in records in Carbon county, PA where he married his wife, Susannah Lehr, on 15 Jan 1862.  She was born on 15 Oct 1843 in East Penn township, Carbon county, PA, the daughter of Franz Lehr and Lydia Schleicher.  He then moved with his new wife to Mill Point, Montgomery county, NY, where all 6 of their children were born.  In the 1869 directory (online on this site), he is listed as renting a farm in the town of Glen, with a post office address of Fort Hunter.  But at the same time he baptized his children in the Lutheran church of Fort Plain.  They had the following children:

    • Henry Francis, born 23 May 1864, married Rosina Bobilin
    • Isabella Sophia, born Jun 1866, married Henry Charles Fink
    • Barbara Elisabeth, born 4 Jun 1869, married Ferdinand J. Criegmuss
    • Anna Catharina, born 21 Nov 1870, married Henry August Horstmann
    • Mary, born Apr 1873, died 7 Sep 1874.
    • Carrie C., born 4 Aug 1875, married Anst Bobilin

            In the 1870 census, I find Conrad listed as a farmer in the town of Glen, with two farm laborers, including a Henry Brown, age 12, also born in Hesse-Kassel. In the 1875 census he is still listed as a farmer in the town of Glen, and this time his father, Henry, age 70, farm laborer, widowed, is listed with him. Also listed in the 1875 census is the death of Mary Minch, age 1 yr, 5 mos, died 7 Sep 1874 of scarlet fever. In an 1884 directory, Conrad is listed as a farmer in Fort Hunter. In 1886 Susannah died after having fallen into a well as described in her obituary:
    Obituary of Susannah Lehr Minch
    Evening Recorder, Amsterdam, Montgomery, NY, 10/13/1886


    Mrs Minch of Fort Hunter, falls into a well, manages to climb out, and dies a few hours afterwards.

             About four o'clock yesterday afternoon, the citizens of Fort Hunter were shocked at the announcement that Mrs. Minch, wife of Conrad Minch, a farmer residing near the West Shore depot at Fort Hunter, had fallen into a well and sustained injuries that would probably cause death. The particulars of the sad affair are as follows:  Mrs. Minch and her daughter, Anna, about 15 years of age, were home alone yesterday afternoon, as the rest of the family were away at work.  Between two and three o'clock Anna went to call on some friends in the village.  During her absence Mrs. Minch went out to the barn, and having a few leisure moments thought she would wash a wagon that was in the barn. She carried a couple of pails of water from a well nearby, bat as there was another well in the barnyard she thought she would take water from this well which would be more convenient. There is no pump here and Mrs. Minch was compelled to draw the water with a pail. As she was doing so, she became dizzy and fell headlong into the well, which is ten feet deep and contains about 6 feet of water.  The unfortunate woman managed in some manner to climb out, but in what way can not be told. When then contrived to reach the house, and, removing part of her wet clothing, went to bed.  A short time afterwards her daughter, Anna, returned and found her mother asleep. The latter was awakened and her husband and son summoned at once from their work. Mrs. Minch was conscious and meagerly described the cause of the accident. A few moments later she was attacked with convulsions. Drs. Timmerman of Fort Hunter, and Robb, of Amsterdam, were called to attend the woman.  They were powerless, however, to alleviate her sufferings.  She continued to grow worse until about 3 0'clock this morning when she died. The doctors attribute her death to convulsions, supplemented by a heart difficulty. The deceased was about 60 years of age. Besides a husband, five children, 4 daughters and one son, survive her. Her family is almost frantic with grief over her sad death.  Mrs. Minch was a lady who was greatly respected by all who knew her.

            In 1890 and 1891 Conrad purchased lots 8, 9, and 10 in Fort Hunter and in 1893 he purchased other land in the town of Florida.  In an 1894 directory he is listed as a hay buyer in Fort Hunter.  He was killed by a train on 12 Jun 1894, described in minute detail in his obituary:
    Obituary of Conrad Minch
    Amsterdam Daily Democrat and Evening Recorder, 
    Amsterdam, Montgomery, NY, 6/12/1894


    Conrad Minch of Fort Hunter
    Killed on the West Shore

    In the Yankee Hill cut this afternoon
    - Particulars of the casualty -

    He was a prominent citizen and a hay buyer by occupation.

            The West bound New York express, train No. 2, on the West Shore, due in this city at 2:48, struck and instantly killed Conrad Minch of Fort Hunter just west of the depot in the Yankee Hill cut, this afternoon.

            Mr. Minch came to this city today and intended to return home on the train which killed him, but upon applying at the depot for a ticket, he was told that the train, which is a fast one, did not stop at Fort Hunter.  Wishing to return home before night, and not caring to wait, he started up the tracks on foot, intending to walk home.  The train came along in a few minutes, and, as it was rounding the curve in the cut, Mr. Minch was struck in the back of the head and instantly killed. The train was stopped and the remains put on board and brought back to the depot, where they were placed in the baggage room to await the disposition of Coroner Johnson, who was at once summoned.  Upon the Coroner's examination it was found that death was due to a fracture in the rear portion of the skull. It is not believed that he suffered any other injuries. The remains were ordered removed to the under taking rooms of C. A. Lutton.

            Mr. Minch resided in Fort Hunter, near the West Shore station, and was a hay buyer, being in business with his son Henry, who survives him, together with three daughters, Mrs. Henry Fink, Mrs. Ferdinand Creigmus, and Mrs. Anst Bobilin, all of Fort Hunter.  He was about 60 years old and for a number of years worked the farm of Rev. J. H. Enders.  He was a prominent member of the Fort Hunter German Methodist Church, being one of the trustees.  Another daughter, Mrs. Henry Horstman, died a short time ago.  His father, who also survives him, lives in Fort Plain.

            Both Conrad and Susannah are buried in Pine Grove cemetery, Tribes Hill, Montgomery county, NY.  Information from the probate records of Conrad's will is as follows:

    Martin Minch, executor, brother of Conrad

    L.U. Weller represented interest of minors Nettie and Fred Horstman

    Heirs at Law:

    Henry F. Minch
    Lizzie B. Criegmuss (husband Ferdinand J.)
    Isabelle S. Finck
    Henry A. Horstmann for Fred and Nettie
    Carrie C. Bobilin (husband Ernest) and guardian of Fred and Nettie

    Martin Minch 1841 - 1901

            Martin [Henry1] was born on 1 Nov 1841, presumably in Dens, Hesse-Kassel, Germany.  According to the 1900 census, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1857.  He was a shoemaker by trade and was engaged in this occupation prior to the Civil War. He enrolled 29 Aug 1862 in Root and was mustered in as a private on 17 Oct 1862, at Fonda, NY in company C, 153rd NY Volunteer Infantry and served his adopted country until 2 Oct 1865, when he mustered out with the company as a private in Savanah, Ga. He is described as being 5 foot, 4 inches tall, light hair, light complexion and blue eyes.

            Martin was married by the Methodist minister, Rev. Abram G. Diefendorf, to Barbara Nash (she was born in Germany about 25 May 1840) on 23 Feb 1865 while on sick leave. He had sustained a gun shot wound to the head in the battle of Cedar Creek, Va., on 19 Oct 1864. According to his pension papers, this wound caused a "loss of memory and an affliction of the eyes" which affected him the rest of his life.

            He moved to Fort Plain directly after his service in the Civil War and purchased property there in May of 1866 and again in 1870.  Martin and Barbara had 3 children:

    • Adam L., born 18 Aug 1866 in Fort Plain, baptized 11 Nov 1866 at the Methodist Episcopal church of Fort Plain, died 22 Jul 1936 in Granville, Washington county, NY, buried in the Fort Plain cemetery, age 69 years, 11 mos and 4 days. The church records indicate that he was "received" in Mar 1881, "removed" 1 Mar 1885, "received" in Cobleskill on 12 Sep 1886 and "removed" to Herkimer on 26 Feb 1889. He married Anna L. Fake, born 1863, died 1918 in Granville and buried in the Fort Plain cemetery on 30 Mar 1918, age 54 years, 6 mos, 24 days.  They had two children: 
      • Ada J., born 1889.
      • Stanley, born 11 Sep 1894, died Jan 1972, Guilderland, Albany county,  NY
    • Anna R., born 6 Jun 1874 in Fort Plain.  She was "received" by the Methodist Episcopal church of Fort Plain on 12 Sep 1866 and later "received" on 5 Jul 1902 from Schuylerville and dismissed on 25 Sep 1906.
    • "infant of Martin Minch," buried in Fort Plain cemetery on 10 Nov 1870.  This infant is not listed in the 1870 census record.

            Martin is listed in census records in Fort Plain as a shoemaker.  He applied for and received a pension for his wounds suffered in the Civil War. In 1894 he was named the executor for the will of his brother Conrad. He died 11 Nov 1901 and was buried 14 Nov 1901 in the Fort Plain cemetery. His obituary reads:
    Obituary of Martin Minch
    Amsterdam Daily Democrat and Evening Recorder, 
    Amsterdam, Montgomery, NY, 13 Nov 1901

    Fort Plain - Martin Minch, one of the most highly esteemed residents of this village died at his home on Reid street Tuesday, aged 60 years.  Mr. Minch was taken sick Sunday evening with symptoms that indicated pneumonia.  Mr. Minch was born in Germany, but has been a resident of this county for a number of years. Deceased was a member of Company E, One Hundred and Fifty third regiment, and served three years of the Civil war. He had been a resident of this village since the close of the war.He was a member of the Methodist church and took an active part in all its meetings.  Mr. Minch was a shoemaker by trade and had been employed at the Parr Shoe store for a number of years. Deceased is survived by a widow, one son, Adam L., and one daughter, Annie. The funeral will be held from the Methodist Church Thursday at 2 o'clock, Rev. H. Brown officiating.

            Barbara outlived Martin and received a widow's pension after his death, until her own death.  She was buried in the Fort Plain cemetery on 10 Apr 1922, age 81 yrs, 10 mos, 16 days.

    More information to come on the descendants of Conrad Minch!

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    Created 6/27/00
    Copyright © 2000 Lisa K. Slaski
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