Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The Young (Jung) Families of the Mohawk Valley
Compiled by Clifford M. Young & Published by
The Fort Plain Standard, Fort Plain, NY 1947
Donated by Bruce Hargrove.

Submitted by Josephine Young Case

In this line the first definitely known ancestor is Jacob A. Young, who was born in 1755. There is no listing of his birth or baptism in any available church record, and who his parents were must be a matter of conjecture. There is some evidence that his father's name was Adam; tradition in one branch of the family says so, and there is on the records an Adam Young of the appropriate generation. Three sons of this Adam are listed in the records of the Dutch Reformed Church at Stone Arabia: Johannes, born 1742; and Hendrick and Abraham, twins, born 1762. No other children are recorded in church records, but there is obviously room for several in the twenty years between. Adam was the son of Theobald and Maria Catherina Jung, and was born May 17, 1717, in Schoharie, having been baptized by Pastor Kochertal on one of his visits there. If this is the true line, it is thus carried back as far as possible, for Theobald was the immigrant, arriving in 1710 with the rest of the great body of the Palatines.

The Theobald Young family moved from Schohayie to the Mohawk about 1722, and thereafter the names of the father and the three sons, Adam, Frederick and Andreas, appear frequently in documents of the Canajoharie District of Tryon County, a large area which included what was to be later the Town of Stark. A petition signed by all of them is dated May 31, 1751, and each of these "Youghes" was granted the license to purchase 2,000 acres. On May 21, 1752, Theobald and Adam purchased land of Indians named Abraham, Brant, and Niacus, and the papers were delivered to Frederick Young. The 'Theobald Young Patent' was dated August 25, 1752, and covered the south portion of what is now the Town of Warren, the boundary described as starting at 'a hole in the ground' called by the German settlers the Kyle and by the Indians Theogsowone. There is also a deed recorded at Fonda, of land in Tryon County,-Adam Young to Isaac Paris, May 16, 1774,- which mentions the 'Otsquago'. It is clear then there was at that time, in that county, an Adam who could have been the father of Jacob A. Young.

Adam's wife, as listed at the birth of the sons already mentioned, was Catharina. Schremling. But the same tradition which gives Adam as the father of Jacob A., (recorded by a great-granddaughter of Jacob A.), gives the name of his wife as Polly Crain, and says that she was the daughter of a sea captain. Where this legend came from no one now knows. In the record of the Palatine group there are no Crains, and if indeed that was her name this Adam must have been an enterprising fellow who found himself a wife outside his own locality and racial group. It is recorded that Jacob A. had a sister named Polly, but there is no further evidence. A persistent but unprovable legend in the family records a strain of aboriginal blood, though which one of the ancestors allied himself with an indigenous American is not surely known. Was the so-called 'Frenchwoman', i. e. a squaw, perhaps this Polly? Did this same Adam, married to Catharina Schremling, contract another alliance also? And would this have been the reason why Jacob A.'s birth was not recorded?


Jacob A. Young was born April 6, 1755, in what is now the Town of Stark, Herkimer County, previously the Town of Minden, Montgomery County, and before that the Canajoharie District of Tryon County. The record of his military service is the most complete source of information concerning him, but even that does not state the names of his parents. The Office of Veterans Administration gives the following:

'He applied for pension October 11, 1832, while a resident of Stark, Herkimer County, New York, and stated that while a resident of Stark, New York, he enlisted in January 1776, and served twelve days as private in Captain Henry Eckler's Company, Colonel Peter Bellinger's New York Regiment; that later in the same year he was called out and served one week as guard in Captain Bradbick's Company, Colonel Peter Waggoner's New York Regiment; that in July 1777, he served twelve or fourteen days as private in Captain Christopher Fox's Company, Colonel Peter Waggoner's New York Regiment and was present at the signing of the treaty with the Indian Chief, Joseph Brandt; that in August 1777, he enlisted and served ten or twelve days in Captain Bradbick's Company, Colonel Peter Gansevoort's New York Regiment; that from August 1779 to the spring of 1783 he lived during the summer in Fort Windecker, on the Mohawk River; the fort was commanded by Lieutenant Windecker, and the soldier went out at various times when called upon as guard and Indian spy, once for three days under Colonel Marinus Willett and again at Fort Dayton under Captain Brown and was in the battle of Turlock.

'His claim for pension was not allowed as he failed to furnish proof of six month's actual military service as required by the pension laws. His service in a frontier fort for protection of the inhabitants not being considered military service and not provided for in the pension law under which he applied.'

The State Historian's report shows that in 1793 Jacob A. Young was Captain of Militia in Montgomery County.

Jacob's wife was named Eve or Eva, and it is reasonably certain that her maiden name was Kneiskern, or Knieskern, Kneeskern, Kniskern, as it was variously spelled in the records of the time. The Dutch Reformed Church of St. Johnsville lists the birth of a son George to Jacob Young & frau Eva geb. Knieskern.' According to her tombstone in the little cemetery on the 'Squake' Eve died in October 1829 aged 74. There is an Eva Knieskern listed in the records of the Schoharie Church, born June 12, 1756, daughter of Johann Gotfried and Anna Margaredia Strobeck Knieskern who were married June 16, 1739. The Knieskerns were among the first settlers of the Schoharie country; Hans Pieter Knieskern arrived from the Palatinate in 1710 and land records show that he applied for 200 acres on the Schoharie in 1729. The town of Knieskerndorf was named for John Peter Knieskern, the father of John Godfrey (above). While there is no certain proof that this is Jacob A.'s wife, there were Knieskerns in St. Johnsville, and it has been suggested that Eva, on a visit from Schoharie, might very likely have met the young soldier stationed at Fort Windecker not far away.

Jacob A. Young lived on a farm northwest of Van Hornesville on the road leading to the Squake, now known as the John L. Young farm. ('Squake', pronounced Squawk, is an abbreviation of Otsquago.) This land, comprising about 180 acres, was settled by Jacob AS father and was undoubtedly in the process of being cleared of the original forest when Jacob A. was born in 1755. The log cabin in which they lived was situated southwest of the present buildings on the edge of the ravine which carried the Otsquago Creek, and which was within a short distance of its source. That cabin, somewhat enlarged, was used by the family until approximately 1820, when the house now standing on the farm was built. A short distance away over the hill is the Squake Cemetery, around which was located the early village of that name. The church stood east of the cemetery, and west of it was the store, the hotel, the repair shops and several houses. To the south and opposite the cemetery, the training field for the militia was established, and the periodic exhibitions of the local military force established the Squake as a center for community gatherings not unlike the county fairs that were held after the Civil War.

Jacob A. Young died May 26, i833, and is buried, with his wife Eve, in this little cemetery on the Squake.


Jacob A. Young had six sons and one daughter, born from 1784 to 1803. Of these children the eldest was Jacob I. Young, born July 23, 1784. He married Eve Van Horne, of a 'Holland Dutch' family which came to the Mohawk country from Whitehouse, New Jersey, and after whom the village of Van Hornesville was named.

When, in 1779, General John Sullivan was directed by General Washington to clear the way and take possession of the trails leading from the Mohawk to the Susquehanna, one of his companies came through Fort Plain and up the Otsquago valley on their way to Otsego Lake and the Susquehanna. To this company were attached two Van Horne boys, who noted the relatively large clearings along the Otsquago and were, apparently, particularly impressed with the water-power at Van Hornesville. As a result, when the war was over, they came back, about 1792, and established a grist mill on the site of the present grist mill in Van Hornesville and made use of the water power. It is said that the grinding stones were hauled from Esopus. At the same time they established a store and some time later a distillery. When the farmer brought his grain from the hills to be ground, he naturally waited for the grist. Soon the wife learned, especially after the hotel was established, that it was wise for her to come too. That provided customers for the store, which, as the old ledgers show, soon developed a thriving business, much to the disgust of the Youngs, the Shauls and the Bronners, who lived on the Squake and thought of it as their village. The Youngs were jealous of the Van Hornes and envious of the growth of Van Hornesville.

It is apparent however that prejudice did not prevent Jacob I. Young from marrying into the Van Horne family. Eve's father and mother were Thomas Van Home and Maria Fredericks Van Horne. Thomas was an ensign in the Tryon County militia in the Revolution, in Colonel Frederick Fisher's company; he was a brother of the two Van Home boys who founded Van Hornesville. In later life he lived near Schuyler's Lake, Otsego County, where he died.* Eve, one of eleven children, was born August 26, 1789.

Jacob I. Young could not bring his wife back to the little log cabin on his father's farm; there were too many children and too little room there. He acquired a farm along the banks of the Ohisa Gulf, about a mile or so north of his birthplace. It is now known as Uncle Wick's farm; the house standing there was built by Jacob I. Here were born eight sons and five daughters. Jacob I. died July 6, 1849, and Eve February 19, 1868; they are buried in the Van Hornesville cemetery.

During the life time of Jacob I. Young the village of Van Hornesville displaced in importance the earlier settlements on the hills above. Besides the village on the Squake there were similar though smaller settlements on the Kyle and Pumpkin Hook. The location of that on the Kyle can be identified by the cemetery a short distance west from the Kyle Hole. Pumpkin Hook lay southeast of the Kyle in the direction of Van Hornesville; there was a hotel and wagon shop. On the Squake the church survived for some time, but now each of the original settlements are practically without houses and only the cemeteries remain to mark their locations.

In Van Hornesville, at about the same time as the Van Hornes made their start, the Stancil family, who owned the Home Farm where Owen D. Young was born, established an iron factory near the grist mill. There they cast plow shares, forks, grub hooks and other farming utensils. In 1836 the Van Hornes built the stone grist mill which is now standing. In the 1840s a plank road was built from Fort Plain to Cooperstown passing through Van Hornesville, and soon after a factory was established for the manufacture of cotton cloth; this had its own store and houses for the directing and skilled employees. Then came two hotels and at least one saloon, wagon shops, two doctors and one lawyer. Thus Van Hornesville achieved such a momentum that the smaller surrounding villages disappeared.

*See "The Van Horne Family History," Press Pub. Co. 1929.


The eldest of the children of Jacob I. Young was Peter, born August 27, 1807. On the next farm adjoining and less than half a mile away, lived Gresham Smith, whose daughter Magdalene, was born September 19, 1807. Gresham Smith (born March 31, 1767) and his wife Magdalene Rhiis or Reas (born July 25, 1773) came to the vicinity of Van Hornesville after the Revolution from Princeton, New

<-Peter Young
Jersey; it is said that they came in the winter, in a covered sleigh, which they had to live in until they built a dwelling. He was a blacksmith, and made, among other things, cow-bells.

Peter, and Magdalene were married in 1830, he being an oldest son also, found it impossible to bring home his bride into a family of seven other sons and five daughters. So with the help of his father, Peter acquired another farm, and after trying at least two, finally bought the Home Farm. There Magdalene died September 11, 1857, and there Peter died October 22, 1885. They are buried in the Van Hornesville cemetery.


Peter Young had four children, three sons and a daughter. The eldest was Jacob Smith Young, born December 10, 1831. He married Ida Brandow on Thanksgiving Day 1856. She was the daughter of John Worden Brandow and Catharine Connine Brandow. Ida was born March 10, 1839. The Brandows and Connines lived on Pumpkin Hook; Peter Brandow, grandfather of Ida, is buried in the Pumpkin Hook cemetery.

At the time of this marriage Magdalene Smith Young was very ill and died the next year, so Smith, as he was called, brought his bride home. With the exception of one relatively short interval, Smith and Ida lived on the Home Farm from the time of their marriage until they moved to the village of Van Hornesville in 1903. Jacob Smith Young died January 16, 1906, and Ida Brandow Young died May 21, 1931. They are buried in the Van Hornesville cemetery.


<- Jacob Smith Young

Of the two sons of Jacob Smith Young and Ida Brandow Young the elder, John Worden Young, died at the age of eleven on November 16, 1871. The younger son, Owen D. Young, was born October 27, 1874, on the Home Farm. He attended the red school house in Van Hornesville, the academy in East Springfield (1887-1890) some six miles away, and St. Lawrence University, graduating in 1894. In the fall of that year Owen left the Home Farm for Boston; he was graduated from Boston University Law School, and was admitted to the Masters Bar on July 13, 1896. On June 30, 1898, Owen D. Young and Josephine Sheldon Edmonds were married in Southbridge, Massachusetts. Josephine Edmonds was born April 21, 1870, in Southbridge; her father, Charles Sidney Edmonds, at the time of the marriage was an official of the American Optical Company, of which her grandfather had been one of the founders. She went to St. Lawrence University for two years, and was graduated from Radcliffe College in the class of 1896.

<- Owen D. Young

Owen and Josephine established their home at 97 Avon Hill Street in Cambridge in the fall of 1898. Owen was then associated with Charles H. Tyler in the practice of law in Boston. In 1905 they moved from Cambridge to Lexington, into a house on the hill overlooking the old Monroe Tavern. On January 1, 1913, Owen D. Young became vice-president and general counsel of the General Electric Company with his offices in New York City. Shortly thereafter the family gave up the house in Lexington and came to Greenwich, Connecticut, where they lived for a time in the house belonging to Clyde Fitch on Dublin Road. They finally settled, in 1916, in a house known as Little Point on Cos Cob Harbor in Riverside. This house was well known as the home of Lincoln Steffens, from whom Owen D. Young bought it. It remained in the possession of the family until 1944. They also had an apartment at 830 Park Avenue in New York.

Josephine Edmonds Young died on June 25, 1935; she is buried in the Van Hornesville cemetery. In February 1937 Owen D. Young married Louise Powis Clark, who was born in 1887. She was a widow with three children; Ellsworth Stanley Brown, Virginia Powis Brown, and Ward Clark. Ward, who was born November 26, 1927, died on June 22, 1939.

During the quarter century, from 1913 to 1939, of his career with the General Electric Company, first as vice-president and later as chairman, Owen D. Young took an extremely active part in the life of the nation. In 1919 he undertook to bring together the various groups interested in the new art of radio, thus founding the Radio Corporation of America, of which he served as chairman of the board and chairman of the executive committee until 1933. First elected a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 1923, he continued to serve as a representative of the public from 1927 to 1938, and as chairman in 1938-1940. In 1924 he was named with General Charles G. Dawes as American member of the committee of experts which drew up the Dawes Plan. He served for a brief time as Agent General for Reparations, and in 1929 went abroad again as chairman of the second committee of experts, which drew up the Young Plan.

Deeply interested in education, he served St. Lawrence University as trustee for twenty-two years, during ten of which he was president of the board. He resigned in 1934 to become a member of the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, where he served a full term of twelve years.

Owen D. Young became Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Electric Company in 1922 and served in that office until his retirement on December 31, 1939, and is now honorary chairman of the Board. During the war he was called back into the service of the General Electric Company as Chairman of the Board, his successor Mr. Philip D. Reed having gone into the government's service. At the close of the war he retired a second time as chairman and was reconstituted honorary chairman.

Owen and Louise then gave up their apartment in New York and took up their home in Van Hornesville in the house long occupied by Ida Brandow Young. In 1937 they acquired a place in Florida on the ocean boulevard approximately half-way between St. Augustine and Ormond Beach, known as Washington Oaks, which they occupy in the winter.

In Van Hornesville Owen D. Young has devoted himself to the farms, known as Van Horne Farms, which include the Home Farm, where he was born and which is now owned by Philip Young; the John L. Young farm, where the family first settled; and several other units. He had been breeding purebred Holstein cattle since 1905 and naturally his interest lay in these farms and herds. He serves as a director-of the Holstein-Friesian Association of America. In addition to the farms, his interest lies in the Van Hornesville Central School, which he had built between the years 1928-1931 and presented to the centralized district.


Owen D. Young and Josephine Edmonds Young had five children: Charles Jacob Young, born December 17, 1899, in Cambridge; John Young, born August 13, 1902, in Cambridge; Josephine Young, born February 16, 1907, in Lexington; Philip Young, born May 9, 1910, in Lexington; Richard Young, born June 23, 1919, in New York City.


Charles Jacob Young attended Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York, and was graduated from Harvard college in 1921. He then entered the Harvard Engineering School and in 1922 went to the Radio Department of the General Electric Company. He was transferred in 1930 to the Research Laboratories of the Radio Corporation of America, where he has since served. He now lives in Princeton, New Jersey, and also owns a home in Van Hornesville. During the First World War he served in the American Red Cross Ambulance Service in Italy, and for a few months in the U. S. Marine Corps.

On August 17, 1923, Charles, married Eleanor Lee Whitman of Cambridge, Massachusetts. They had two sons, John Peter Young, born December 1, 1924, and David Whitman Young, born December 15, 1925. On December 25, 1926, Eleanor Whitman Young died; she is buried in the VanHornesville cemetery. John Peter and David went to Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, and both entered Harvard. Their course was interrupted by service in the army, John Peter as a medical aid in the infantry, and David in the Engineers. Both saw action in Europe and John Peter survived six months as a prisoner of war in Germany. Since the close of the war they have been continuing their course at Harvard.

Charles Jacob Young married Esther Marie Christensen of Cleveland on June 15, 1929. Of this marriage there are two children; Niels Owen Young, born April 5, 1930, and Esther Van Home Young, born March 23, 1932.


John Young also attended Hackley School, and entered St. Lawrence University in the fall of 1919. In the summer of 1922 he went with a classmate to work on the construction of a large power development in Oregon, where he met with a fatal accident and died on August 21, 1922.


Josephine Young went to the Brearley School in New York and was graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1928. In 1934 she took a master's degree at Radcliffe College. She is a director of Bryn Mawr College and a trustee of Skidmore College, and has published three books; At Midnight

<-"Van Horne House," Van Hornesville, N. Y. Home of Josephine (Young) Case.

on the 31st of March (1938) -a narrative in verse whose scene is a village like Van Hornesville; Written in Sand (1945) -a novel of the first American invasion of North Africa; and a collection of poems, Freedom's Farm (1946), in which the title poem is dedicated to Owen D. Young on his 70th birthday.

Josephine Young married Everett Needham Case on June 27, 1931, in the Universalist Church in Van Hornesville, with which the family had been connected since its establishment. Everett Case, after an interval of business experience with the General Electric Company, served for three years as Assistant Dean at the Graduate School of Business Administration at Harvard. A graduate of Princeton (1922) and of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, he became President of Colgate University in September 1942, and the family lives at Hamilton, New York. Josephine Young Case owns the original Van Horne house in Van Hornesville, and Everett Case owns a farm in Brown's Hollow nearby.

Of this marriage there are four children: Josephine Edmonds Case, born October 10, 1932; James Herbert Case III born August 1, 1935; Samuel Case, born October 28, 1939; John Philip Case born December 11, 1944.


Philip Young attended Choate School at Wallingford, Connecticut, and was graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1931. In 1933 he received the M.B.A. degree from the Graduate School of Business Administration at Harvard, and served for one year thereafter as research assistant. After four years in the Securities and Exchange Commission he became assistant to John W. Hanes, then Undersecretary of the Treasury. In 1940 he became one of the assistants to the Secretary of the Treasury and a member of the President's Committee on the Coordination of Foreign and Domestic Military Purchasing. From 1941 to 1944 he was a member of the Lend-Lease Administration, as Deputy Administrator and Assistant to Administrator, Foreign Trade Advisor and Chief of Trade Relations Staff. In May 1944 he entered the Navy, and was released in May 1946 with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Philip Young married Faith Adams on August 15, 1931. They have two children; Faith Young, born June 22, 1933, and Shirley Young, born June 12, 1936.


Richard Young was graduated from Choate School, and from St. Lawrence University in 1940. After two years at the Harvard Law School he entered the Army of the United States in July 1942. He served as Special Agent, Counter Intelligence Corps, attaining the grade of technical sergeant. He was honorably discharged in February 1946, and is now (December 1946) completing his course at Harvard Law School. He is not married.

The early pages of this story of one branch of the wide-spreading Young family could not have been written without the painstaking research of Clifford M. Young. I acknowledge my debt to him with appreciation of his many years of labor, and I know that all the other Youngs join with me in thanking him for making possible this history of our family.


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