Cronk Genealogy

 


Cronk Ancestry

Andrew Cronk m. Mary Ann
Joshua Cronk m. Susan Horton
Elijah Horton Cronk m. Frances Hawkhurst
Emma Teresa Cronk m. George Bartlett Hoffman
Minnie Lenora Hoffman m. John Schmieg
Florence Bell Schmieg m. Stanley Spartan Tumbridge

The name of this family is spelled Kronkheit, Kronkhite, Cronk, Cronkhyte and various other ways in the records of the community in which they dwelt, and sometimes it appears in several different ways in the same document. This particular branch of the family use mainly the name of Cronk, and for the sake of uniformity the compiler will so use it in this article, as it seems to be distinctive of them for over one hundred years.

1. Andrew Cronk, with brothers John and Caspar Cronk, was early in the neighborhood of Cornwall, N. Y., but his ancestry has not been found. For some reason not known, Andrew does not appear in the 1790 census, but the Council of Appointment, p. 981, shows that he was Capt. of Militia in Orange County in 1808, and a mortgage in Goshen, Liber E, p. 243, shows that he mortgaged property in Cornwall, July 5, 1803, and on May 13, 1811, Liber 0, p. 172, of Deeds, states that Andrew Cronk and his wife, Mary Ann (Marean) of Cornwall convey 400 acres of land to Selah Havens, lying next to that of John Kronkhyte. When or where he and his wife died has not been found. Some of his property is now owned by the U. S. Military Academy at West Point.

2. Joshua Cronk, son of Andrew and Marean (Mary Ann) Cronk, was of Cornwall, N. Y., when he made his will there May 1, 1815, which was proven August 2, 1815, in which he authorizes Isaac Saunders and Daniel P. Carpenter, both of Cornwall, to sell his property, pay his debts and use the surplus to support his wife and four children, whom he does not name. The will was witnessed by Joshua Wood, John Cronk and Wyatt Carr, and is filed in Goshen, N. Y., Liber E, p. 328. Administration was granted to Daniel P. Carpenter, one of the executors, but there is no conveyance recorded in Goshen to show that he sold the above mentioned property, and the only deed recorded concerning any property belonging to Joshua Cronk is found in Liber N, p. 297, when on May 22, 1809, he purchased land in Cornwall from Uriah Wood.

Addie Drew of Fort Montgomery, N. Y., granddaughter of Joshua Cronk, states that the four children mentioned in his will were Elijah Horton Cronk, De Witt Clinton Cronk (her father), Maria Cronk and Elizabeth Cronk. She took the compiler of these notes to his burial place on the slope of Butter Hill near Cornwall. No stones mark the graves of Joshua and his wife, nor is it known when or where the latter died. The burial plot on the mountain-side is by an old road which probably at one time was frequently used to reach the Hudson River only a short distance away. It is sadly neglected, camp fires having partially destroyed what few stones were left, with the exception of one, which is quite a pretentious monument, fenced in, and was erected to the memory of John Edward, born Murrayshire, Scotland, and died January 5, 1843, aged 58 years and 28 days. The other readable stones were Lydia Jane, daughter of John S. and Lydia Cronk, died July 10, 1834, aged 3 years and 3 months; Catharine, daughter of John S. and Harriet Cronk, died December 21, 1839, aged 19 years, 4 months and 23 days; Harriet, wife of John Cronk, died January 26, 1829, aged 43 years, 7 months and 8 days; Martha Saunders, died February 29, 1848, aged 73 years, 8 months and 26 days; Isaac Saunders-broken in many pieces. Other graves may be seen as well as other broken stones not readable.

The compiler was led to believe that Joshua Cronk was the brother of Richard A. Cronk who, as proven by documentary evidence, was the son of John and Abigail (Parr) Cronk, but in the many real estate transactions of John, filed in Goshen, Joshua does not figure. An interview with E. C. Carpenter of Highland Falls, N. Y., an elderly man well versed in the history of the old families of the neighborhood, and who knew personally De Witt Clinton Cronk, stated that the latter was not of the John Cronk direct line, but that he was of the Andrew Cronk family as DeWitt Clinton Cronk had so told him, and he also stated that he was personally acquainted with all of John's children, this John Cronk (Kronkhite) dying in 1848.

Joshua Cronk married Susan Horton, but exhaustive research in every available place has not revealed her ancestry. The census of 1790 shows numerous Horton families in the vicinity of Cornwall, among them being William, Jeremiah and Hannah, the latter evidently a widow with five females in the family, but whose widow she was has not been found. Jeremiah had a daughter Susanna, but his will was filed in Goshen, N. Y., Liber L, p. 388, and shows that she was the wife of Henry Clark. In 1775 one Zaccheus Horton was residing in Cornwall, as he signed the Association Test there, but the 1790, census shows his removal to Warwick and no trace of his family was found in will or deed, and the Horton Genealogy was of no value in solving the problem.

Joshua and Susan (Horton) Cronk, naming one of their children Elijah Horton Cronk, is suggestive of an Elijah Horton in the mother's family, but tremendous research has not led to one atom of proof of any descent from an Elijah Horton. As Susan Horton was the mother of four children before 1815, she was probably married before 1805 and born approximately in 1785.

There was a Susan Hoden, baptized in the Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in Cornwall, October 25, 1778, which may possibly have been Susan Horton, but for that period it would make her rather old for marriage as late as 1805. Unless some private records come to light in the future, it will never be known whose daughter she was.

De Witt Clinton Cronk, son of Joshua Cronk, was a soldier employed at West Point during the Mexican War. His parents dying when he was very young, and the family Bible being destroyed when the old home was consumed by fire, he never knew his exact age, but that he was related to John Kronkhite, who died in 1848, is well known to his descendants. He married Rebecca Weeks and they were the parents of Josephine, Clara and Addie. The latter married Nicholas Drew and is residing, a widow, in Fort Montgomery, N. Y., and had issue: Mary, Ira, Ada, Edward, Dewitt, Pauline, Elwood, Floyd, Ida, John and Myrtle.

2. Elijah Horton Cronk, son of Joshua and Susan (Horton) Cronk, was born in Cornwall, N. Y., and died August 16, 1852, aged 42 years. He was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Tarrytown, N. Y., but on June 29, 1883, his remains were removed to Cypress Hills Cemetery, Brooklyn, N. Y., and interred there July 3, the undertaker being H. H. Cronkheyt of North Tarrytown. He was a wheelwright and on August 23, 1833, married Frances Hawk (Hawkhurst), daughter of Daniel and Catherine (Stephens) Hawkhurst. She was born near White Plains, probably in Mt. Pleasant, and died January 14, 1878, aged 67 years, and is buried in Cypress Hills Cemetery by her husband.

Issue: Frances, died young; Elmira, died January 5, 1903, aged 67 years; Emma T.; William.

3. Emma Teresa Cronk, daughter of Elijah Horton and Frances (Hawkhurst) Cronk, was born in New York City, February 13, 1844, and died April 23, 1918, .as the widow of George Bartlett Hoffman, born October 22, 1840, died December 1, 1882, whom she married May 23, 1861.

The following notes on the Cronk family are perhaps foreign to the above line of Andrew Cronk, but as they were secured in trying to establish his ancestry, from people no longer young, and with such difficulty, it is deemed advisable to embody them here for the use of some future student of the family.

The History of Orange County, N. Y., p. 813, under Highlands, states that an early pioneer in the settlement of West Grove neighborhood was John Kronkheit, who settled on what was, when the history was written, the Samuel Van Voorhees place and that he was from Westchester County and that his grandson, John, son of Richard A., was then residing on part of the old tract. It also states that the William Horton family early resided west of Fort Montgomery in the south part of the town.

John Cronk, brother of Andrew, was married by Rev. John Close in the Presbyterian Church in New Windsor, N. Y., on November 16, 1784, to Abigail, daughter of William and Dinah Parr. They are buried as given below, under the name of Kronkhyte. He was a large land owner, and gave practically all his property away before he died and to his daughter Mary, wife of James Green, he gave what is now known as the Gibney farm, and he and his wife, with her brother William, are buried, with others, in the back door yard of this place. The following inscriptions were taken there this year by the compiler: John Kronkhyte, died September 6, 1848, aged 98 years, two months and 11 days; Abigail, his wife, died March 20, 1838, aged 81 years and 11 months; William Parr, died September 13, 1850, aged 86 years, 6 months and 6 days; Sarah M. Green, died December 19, 1834, aged 26 years and 25 days; John K. Green, died September 28, 1838, aged 28 years, 6 months and 16 days; Caro-(?) of Jacob and Jerusha Files (Fields?), died March -, 1834, aged 14 years, 10 months and 2 days; Isaac, son of Jacob and Margaret Vought, died August 19, 1844, aged 9 years, 9 months and 17 days; James Wilkins, died December 11, 1843, aged 64 years and 6 days (some children named on this stone); Catharine A. Avery, daughter of James and Magdalina Wilkins, died July 13, 1849, aged 27 years, 9 months and 25 days; Magdalina, wife of James Wilkins, died March 21, 1851, aged 60 years, 7 months and 19 days; Sarah, wife of Nicholas C. Vought, died February 28, 1830, aged 22 years, 2 months and 10 days; Abner Gurrie (Currie?) died January 31, 1864, aged 27 years and 2 months, private Co. C., 3 Reg't., E- Brigade; Jacob Files (Fields?), died December 20, 1859, aged 70 years, 9 months and 11 days; Thomas Files (Fields?), died September 18, 1865, aged 33 years and 6 months; jerusha, wife of Thomas Files, died June 15 or 18, 1870, aged 70 years, 7 months and 27 days.

The children and grandchildren of John and Abigail (Parr) Cronk are still represented in the neighboring towns of Cornwall, and a very fine old clock now owned by Walter C. Anthony of Newburg, N. Y., came from their home, and their children, as far as the compiler has been able to ascertain, were as follows: John; Jennie; Magdalina, wife of James Wilkins; Sarah Howell; Richard A.; Mary, wife of James Green, who had a son John K. Green.

The first census of the United States was issued in 1790 and the Cronk-Cronkhites', with families, mentioned in it, living in the vicinity of Cornwall, N. Y., were as follows: John Cronk, John Cronk, Jr., James Cronk, William Cronk, and Turner Cronkhite. The John, Jr., had two grown men in his family, two younger males and four females, so he could not have been the son of John and Abigail, who married in 1784.

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record in Vol. 7, p. 46, states that Wm. Parr resided during the Revolution in Haverstraw, N. Y., but previously was of Oyster Bay, L. I., and New York City, and that his wife was Dinah, perhaps a "Weeks," and that they had Abigail, born April 20, 1756, and William, born March 7, 1764, and Mary and Nancy. The census of 1790 names William of Haverstraw; also Nathaniel, the latter apparently with no family.

Mary, born March 11. 1788, died April 13, 1872, daughter of John and Abigail (Parr) Cronk or Kronkhyte, married November 5, 1804, James Green, died January 29, 1831, and they had five children

(1) Ann, born June 17, 1806, married a Wilkins, who deserted her. She became the first white missionary to Africa and Addie Brundage of Highland Mills, N. Y., has in her possession many letters written by her to her mother and a picture of the school house where she taught in Liberia. She returned to America and died in 1857 and was buried in the same burial plot as her father and mother, but in 1886 the Foreign Missionary Society asked permission to remove her remains, which was granted by her sister, and they were taken to Maple Grove Cemetery, Richmond Hill, L. I., where a suitable monument was erected to her memory. Her death given by the family is November 13, 1857. (2 and 3) Sarah and Mary, twins, born October 25, 1806. (4) John K., born April 12, 1810. (5) Henry Howell, born December 16, 1811. The mother, Mary, is buried near her father in an unmarked grave.

John K. Green, born April 12, 1810, married May 9, 1835, Charity Ann, daughter of John Brooks, who lived on a large farm below the Forest of Dean mines, and they had one son, John Uriah Green, born June 27, 1836. John K. Green died September 28, 1838, and is buried near his grandfather, John Kronkhyte. Fourteen years later his widow married James Miller and they had one daughter, Addie, who married John Brundage, and is now living in Highland Mills, N. Y. She has been most helpful to the compiler in trying to straighten out the unsolved problems of this Cronk family, and she believes that John Cronk had a son named Howell, who lived at Cold Spring, N. Y. She recalls seeing some fifteen years ago an old deed on parchment which was then owned by Henry Cronk, which showed that King George conveyed land to John Cronk-Cronkhyte-Kronkhyte.

She and the compiler drove over to Harriman, N. Y., where said Henry was supposed to be yet living, hoping to see the deed, which has not been found recorded, but Henry Cronk had passed away and an interview with the wife of his son revealed the fact that that part of the family at least had lost track of the conveyance. E. C. Carpenter of Highland Falls had also seen the deed. A romance was rather indefinitely connected with it, which was related to the compiler by three different persons.

Deeds at Goshen show that in 1802 John Cronk had land in Butterhill Cove, nearby the burial place of Joshua Cronk.

There was a Jennie Cronk who married in the Presbyterian Church at New Windsor, N. Y., February 14, 1781, David Niles of Massachusetts, who was a Sergeant in the Revolutionary War, and they had Ruth, who married a Lancaster, and Catherine, who married a Garrison.

As E. C. Carpenter states that John Cronk had a daughter Jennie, it is possible that he may have had a sister Jennie, marrying in the same church as himself.

The Newburg Historical Collections in their publication of May 8, 1901, pp. 7, 12, 14, 17, containing baptisms in the Methodist Church, gives the following data, which shows another Cronk family in the neighborhood, whose connection, if any, has not been established with John or Andrew : John Cronk, 9 years old, December 17, 1789, baptized August 23, 1789; Mary Cronk, bp. April 23, 1789, aged 5 years; Peter Cronk, bp. May 13, 1789, aged 4 years; Ruth Cronk, bp. February, 1789, aged 2 years; Elizabeth, daughter of Frederick and Margaret Cronk, born May 22, 1790, bp. July 21, 1790; Benjamin, son of Frederick and Margaret Cronk, born May 15, 1792, bp. June 20, 1792; Andrew Gee, son of Frederick and Margaret Cronk, born January 21, 1797, bp. May 7, 1797.

Richard A. Kronkhite or Cronkhite, son of John, who died in 1848, died December 3, 1843, and on December 15, 1843, his son John G. W. and his son-in-law, Hiram L. Meeks, were made his administrators. The son's name being given as Cronkhyte, but in the division as Kronkhyte. Issue as given in said division were: Sally Maria, wife of Samuel Swim; Matilda, wife of Nicholas Meeks; Ann, wife of Hiram Gee; Henryetta Cronkhyte; Phanuel, wife of Hiram L. Meeks; John G. W. Kronkhyte. (Liber G, p. 282, Goshen, N. Y.)

Wills and deeds at Goshen and Kingston do not aid in the CronkCronkhite-Kronkhite-Horton families, but one deed in Goshen shows an Isaac Kronkhite owning 28 acres of land in Cornwall in 1770, thus suggesting another brother of John (Liber C, p. 275). Deeds, wills and mortgages have been searched at White Plains, N. Y., and practically the records of all Dutch Churches and many Presbyterian ones, up and down the Hudson River have been carefully perused, but no clue has been found to the ancestry of Andrew, Casper or John Cronk in its various spellings.

See Hawkhurst Ancestry.

References:

  • Historical Society of Newburg Bay and the Highlands, No. 3, p. 18;

  • Records of Cypress Hills and Sleepy Hollow Cemeteries, Vol. 6, p. 11.;

  • Family Records.

 

 

 
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