First Generation

1. Hendryk Henry KELLS was born before 1715. According to "The Palatine Families of New York, More Later Arrivals 1717-1776," it is not known for certain if he was actually of German background, although he married a Palatine woman.

A Johan Andries Kell with wife and 1 child left Holland for England in the 6th party in 1709. It is possible Johan and his wife were the parents of Hendryk/Heinrich/Henry. Hendryk in turn named his first son Johannes, after his father? The 5th party included a Nicolas Kell and his wife in 1709, another possibility. (Consistency in spelling of names isn't found in these records, as German names were phonetically spelled in German, Dutch, and then English. Names appear as Els, Kells, Kels, Kelts, Kilts, Kelse, Kelsch, Kills, Kolsch, Colsh, Hils, Hiltz, Kiltz, and more.) A Konrad Kells was born 19 November 1663 in Germany and died 29 April 1727 in Stockenroth, Germany, child of Christoph Keltz and Margaeta Schmidt (so there were Kells' in Germany).

Heinrich Els and his wife Anna Margaretha Eschwein sponsored families at Kinderhook, Linlithgo, and Claverack Reformed Churches 1737-1759. Hendrick Els of Claverak was a freeholder of Albany Co. in 1763 (Albany Co. Freeholders). But he was not in the 1720 Census for Claverack. Jacob Esweyn was in that census. (The Palatine Families of New York, More Later Arrivals 1717-1776). (See also Walter Allen Knittle, "Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration," Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 1976; also Henry Z. Jones, Jr., "More Paltine Families," Universal City, CA, 1991, p. 86; Henry Z. Jones, Jr., "The Palatine Families of New York 1710," 1985.

Also, "Even More Palatine Families," Vol I - III, Henry Z. Jones and Lewis Bunleh Rohrback, Picton Press, 2002. Hendrik Kals is on the tax list in Claverack in 1767, according to Florence Christoph, "Upstate New York in the 1760's," p. 69. In the same book, Anna Veronica Winter, baptized as "Anna Vroa," June 19, 1725, married Heinrich Kilts by 1747 (per Steven Winter, Hawthorne, NJ). Parents were Christian Jacob Winter and wife Christinna from Dreyfeld. Christian was the son of Christian Winter, b. about 1660, and was baptized March 25, 1695 at Ruckeroth. Jacob Winter and wife were at Tarrytown in 1720's.

Hendryk and Margaretha Kells sponsored Margaretha, daughter of Francis Herdyk and wife Marytje, at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Athens, NY, in 1744 and also had a daughter baptised there at Jacob Hagedorn's house.

John, Hendrick, and Henry Kells were enlisted in the New York State militia during the Revolutionary War. John was from Albany Co, 1776, 8th Regiment, Hendrick also Albany, 1776, 8th Regiment; Henry, Albany, 1776, 6th Regiment. Claverack was part of Albany County at that time. If Hendryk was born before 1715, he would have been 61+ in 1776 and rather old to serve in the militia. His son John/Johannes, born abt. 1740, would have been about 36, a more likely age to serve. Were Henry and Hendrick his brothers? Or father and son? Did Hendryk and Margareta have more children than are listed here?

A Johan Andies Kell, wife, and one child left on the 6th Party Rotterdam Departure List in 1709. Also a Johan Philip Keys, wife, and 1 child. Also a Johan Kristoffel Kurts and wife and two children. The 6th Party consisted of 1443 passengers who were embarked in Rotterdam on a total of five ships and sailded for London on July 28, 1709. They arrived in London on August 2nd. The British government paid 2 guilders per person passage money and 4 stuivers per person per day for provisions (20 stuivers per guilder). Nicklaas Kell and wife shipped on the 5th Party, as did Koenraad Kuntz. The 5th Party sailed from Rotterdam on July 15th and arrived in London on July 19th. 4.5% of the passengers died during the trip. Spelling varied, given that these were German names being spelled phonetically or in Dutch equivalents. There were later Conrad Kells' and Nicholas Kells' in Schoharie County.

Another line to check out is the Conrad Kilts (Cueltz, Kiltz, Kueltz). Conradt Kueltz from Heina/Henau in the county of Krichberg as the Baden Privy Council August 13, 1738, for the manumission of himself, his wife, and 4 children, as he wanted to search for his fortune in New England. The office then reported that there were too many subjects in the county, and his property, after the subtraction of the debts, consisted of 273 Florints and 6 shillings (medium size - HJ); it was decided that Kueltz be manumited at the usual fee. The grandfather of the emigrant was probably Hanss Peter Kiltz, Elder and Geritsmann at Henau, buried February 3, 1695. The father of the emigrant was undoubtedly Johann Nickel Kueltz/Kiltz, called Gemeinsmann at Henau 1686-1695 and wife Engel Barbara. Conrad married Susanna Margaretha Moor, daughter of Hanss George Moor. Moor was noted as a churchelder and Gemeinsmann at Kellenbach with his wife Anna Elisabetha. Conrad Kueltz was called Gemeinsmann at Henau 1722-1737. Conrad Kilts acquired land at Stone Arabia Sepember 23, 1743. He was naturalized August 22, 1750. Conrad Kils and wife Zuzanna Margaretha sponsored Johannes Kils in 1754 (Stone Arabia Lutheran Churchbook). Coenrat Kilts and Peter Kells were freeholders at Stone Arabia in 1763. See David Kendall Martin's "The 18th Century Kilts Family of the Mohawk Valley," (West Chazy, 1985).

Other books to check: American Ancestry, Columbia County, NY, p. 111. Catharine E. Kells. "Palatine Families in Ireland" by Hank Z. Jones, Jr. (Picton, 1990) -- "The Germanic names now often sound 'Irish' and many descendants, whether in Ireland, Canada, or America, are unaware of their heritage." "Palatine Families of New York" by Henry Z. Jones (Picton, 2001) -- covers all 847 Palatine families who came to colonial New York from Germany in 1710 and some of their descendants. "Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration" by Walter Allen Knittle (Genealogical Publishing Co, 1997) -- abt. 12,000 Palatine settlers by name, also a good history.

Two references used extensively (index on CD#401 comes from them): Arthur Kelly, "Marriage Records of the Claverack Reformed Church," 1970; Arthur Kelly, "Deaths, marriages, and Much Miscellaneous from Hudson, NY, Newspapers," Vol. 2, 1980; Arthur Kelly, " Marriage Records of Manorton, Churchtown, Germantown, and Barrytown Lutheran Churches," 1974.

A Daniel Kells lived in NY in 1765, and a Daniel Kells was living in Hudson in the 1870's.

Also to check: Robert and Andrew, sons of Robert Kells of County Cavan, Ireland, were among the first to come to America. Johnston Kells settled in Canada in 1846, but many of his descendants are in the U.S. Hewitt Kells came to Boston in 1847. His fifteen children have descendants all over the U.S.

Hendryk Henry KELLS and Anna Margareta ESWEYN were married about 1735.1 Anna Margareta ESWEYN, daughter of Jacob ESWEIN and Anna Margaretha SCHNEIDER, was born before 15 July 1703. Jacob Eswein m. Maria Harder in 1735 at Zion Lutheran Church, Athens, Greene County, NY. Possible brother of Margareta? Other Esweins marrying there: Maria - 1738, Wendel - 1740. Other syblings?

Hendryk Henry KELLS and Anna Margareta ESWEYN had the following children:



John Johannes KELLS was born before 5 February 1737 in Claverack, Columbia Co., NY.2 He died about 1739 at the age of 2. His baptism sponsors were Stevanus Miller and Maria Muller (Claverack Reformed Church). 73:224.



Johannis KELLS.



Margaretha KELLS.



Catharina KELLS was born on 5 December 1744 in Loonenburg, Greene County, NY.3 She was baptized April 3, 1745, in the Athens Zion Evangelical Lutheral Church, #1199, Athens, Greene County, actually at Jacob Hagedorn's house, per New York Births and Baptisms, Southeast Region, 1660-1916 ( Hendrik spelled Hendryk in this record. Her sponsors were Adam Scheffer and his wife Catharina (Loonenburgh Lutheran Church). Also 83:28. We don't actually know where she was born; it may or may not have been where she was baptized.