Margaret K and the Dutch Reformed community of Schenectady

My trip to Schenectady was very productive and I have many people to thank. The Grems-Doolittle Library in Schenectady is a wonderful resource and a special thanks to their librarian/archivist, Melissa Tacke. And because it’s not only about research, if you are in Schenectady and find yourself hungry, I would recommend heading down Union Street to the Union Cafe!

The first piece of information I learned about Margaret Kittle is that her last name is only one of many variations – Ketelhuyn, Ketel, Kittle, Kittel, Ketelheun to mention a few. This is one of the first challenges of genealogical research because finding common facts among various representations of information can be confusing, but fortunately diligence will often pay off. As my wife and I began our research, we were lucky to spot a reference to Margaret Eliza Fisher Kittle, born 8 September 1811. The summary sheet also contained her parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. We soon learned that Margaret Kittle is a direct descendent of the family originally called Ketelhuyn or Ketel; and Jochem Ketelhuyn being the first of the American family, arriving in Fort Orange (Albany, NY) in 1642. The family lived in Albany in the earliest years but eventually made their way to Schenectady and became regular members of the First Dutch Reformed Church of Schenectady. Records via Ancestry.com are nearly impossible, but there are fairly good records from the church and the local records in the historical library in Schenectady. For a full discussion of the earliest generations of the family, see Sumner Kittelle’s book, “The Ketel Family.” For a detailed accounting of the Ketelhuyn (Kittle) family, see the outline of the family by following this link (select here). If you are a family member (of Ansel H. Perkins and Margaret), Margaret’s place in the family follows this lineage: [Margaret(6), David(5), Daniel(4), Joachim(3), Daniel(2), Jochem(1)]. As noted in Sumner Kittelle’s research, Jochem(1) is noted as Joachim III, the first member of the American line. Again, my research was very productive and the information presented here is mainly based on genealogical facts…stories can be found in the linked resources.

A great trip and one step closer to completing the genealogical information required to conclusively show direct family ancestry to several families of the Mayflower and other early families of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. More to come!

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