Decker, Jan Jansen, Sr.

Birth Name Decker, Jan Jansen, Sr. 1 2
Birth Name Decker, Jan Jansen, Sr.
Also Known As John

    The Dutch Jan is the English John.

Gender male
Age at Death 71 years, 7 months, 3 days


Moved from the Dutch area of New York and Northern New Jersey to what is now Hampshire County, West Virginia (then Virginia), in 1743. Moved about 1767 to Yohogania County, Virginia (which became part of Pennsylvania about 1780) and left there in 1784 to go to Knox County, Indiana.
Letter to Pamela J. Bennett from Smith: The lineage claim of Mrs. Frank A. Schmidt (born Mary Elizabeth Manes) to the DAR shows Jan to have been a Revolutionary Veteran - however the DAR has refuted that claim. Something happened about 1940 to cause the DAR to discredit the claim.


The research of L. W. Jackman was proven so fraught with errors (and seemingly fraudulent entries), that much of the former, accepted lineage of Jan Decker, Sr., was called into serious question. Particularly, with regard to sons John and Issac.

From David Decker -
"After Jan had Barbara baptised in 1743, the family moved to Romney, Hamshire Co., VA., then to Washington Co., PA. Three additonal children were listed in the records of the KUYKENDALL store in Romney, VA. Jan leased 400 acres of land from Lord Fairfax in 1749, but moved in 1759 to Decker's Creek, now near Morgantown, WV. He, with his family, survived the Decker's Creek massacre. From there he moved to Vincennes, Knox Co., IN.

FAMILIES OF AMERICA, v.2, pp.44-50.
Before 1777, there were families of DECKERS, VANETTEN, INNES, WESTFALL, KUYKENDALL, DePUE, DeWITT, COX and others who had emigrated from the forks of the Delaware in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to the District of West Augusta, Yohogania County, Virginia.

They probably settled on part of the 40,000 acre "Vanmeter Land Grant" which John VANMETER had obtained from Governor GOOCH and sold in 1732 to Joist HITE. See: Boyd Crumrine, VIRGINIA COURT RECORDS IN SOUTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA, (1974 Reprint), passim; John Walter Wayland's "The Germans of the Valley," THE VIRGINIA MAGAZINE (April 1902), v.X, pp.35-36.

Jan Garretse DECKER, bapt. 1688, son of Gerrit Jans and Margrietje DECKER, married first, ca. 1711, to Barbara DeWITT, who was baptized in Kingston in 1692. They moved to near Romney, Hampshire County, Western Virginia and had a son John DECKER, baptized, 1719, in Hampshire Co., Va, married, ca.1739, Blandina KUYKENDALL. Elinor Randlemon, OURS - THEN AND NOW,
pp.62-64. Bill DeCoursey

John Decker, Father of Luke, moved from VA prior to July 30, 1787 to the northwest of the Ohio River where the law protected his right to own a number slaves while resident of Vincennes. In his will he left these two slaves "Bob and Anthony" to his son Luke. The slaves deserted."

Jan Decker's will here -

Owned slaves -
"The Decker family was part of this early migration from the South, and, like many other settlers from the southern states, the Deckers had owned slaves before coming to what is now Indiana. John and Dinah (Kuykendall) Decker, Luke Decker's parents, had migrated with other Dutch families from New York in the mideighteenth century and settled in Hampshire County, Virginia (now West Virginia), where Luke was born about 1760. The family farmed and bought land near the upper reaches of the Potomac River. They also bought slaves. One was a woman named Rachel, whom the family called "Rach."6

After the Revolution the Decker clan moved west, settling first in Kentucky, then near Vincennes, Indiana, about 1784. Claiming land near the Duchis River, they began farming in what is now known as Decker Township.7 They brought their slaves with them and may have purchased more along the way. When John Decker died in 1790, he bequeathed four female slaves to his wife and children. Luke Decker inherited all of his father's lands and tenements and, after the death of his mother, the slave "Rach."8" [ except from much longer story ]


Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth 1719-06-07 Kingston, Ulster, NY    
Baptism   Deckertown, Ulster County, New York    
Death 1791-01-10 Knox, IN alt: before 30 Sept 1790  
Burial   Decker, Knox, IN Decker Graveyard  


Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father Decker, Jan Gerritse1688-07-28
Mother DeWitt, Barbara Janes1692-04-17
    Sister     Decker, Zara or Sarah 1712-08-17 1759-10-16
    Brother     Decker, Gerrit 1716 1790
    Sister     Decker, Elizabeth 1718 1793
         Decker, Jan Jansen, Sr. 1719-06-07 1791-01-10
    Brother     Decker, Lucas about 1727 about 1751
    Brother     Decker, Tobias about 1730 1759-10-16


Family of Decker, Jan Jansen, Sr. and Kuykendall, Belinda

Married Wife Kuykendall, Belinda ( * 1718-01-18 + 1797-01-10 )
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage 1739 Kingston, Ulster, NY Marriage of Decker, Jan Jansen , Sr. and Kuykendall, Balinda "Diana"  
" John and Dinah began their married life in Minisink, New Jersey. Later they moved to Smithfield or Water Gap, Monroe county, Pennsylvania and then to Wallpack Center, Sussex county, New Jersey. About 1743 they moved with several other Decker and Kuykendall families to Hampshire county,Virginia, (now Hardy county, West Virginia) and settled on the South Branch of the Potomac River near the town of Romney. There, in 1749, Lord Fairfax granted John and Dinah lot 9. During April 1758 they went to live at the settlement of Tobias Decker, John's brother, on Decker's Creek in Monongalia county, Virginia, (now West Virginia). Apparently the Indian attack of October 16, 1759 sent john and Dinah back to the South Branch valley of Hampshire county, Virginia (now Hardy County, West Virginia). In 1767 they sold lot 9 to Dinah's brother Abraham and moved a few miles to Yohogania (now Augusta) county, Virginia. Later John and Dinah went to Washington county, Pennsylvania. In 1775 they settled at DECKER'S FORT, on the OHIO RIVER near the junction of CROSS CREEK and the OHIO RIVER, in the MINGO BOTTOMS, near Wellsburg, Brooke county, Virginia (now West Virginia). John sold this property on May 4, 1784 even though he had not been officially granted the land until November 18, 1785. In 1784, with their sons, (except for John) and their families, they moved to Knox county, Indiana. They traveled down the Ohio River and up the Wabash river in three skiffs. They stopped awhile in Jefferson county, Kentucky. Legend has it that on the night of their arrival in Fort Vincennes, the Indians kidnapped one of the children of their party.... "

another account here -

home in 1790: John Family Decker in Knox County, IN (pg NPN of Indiana Census, 1790-1890)
claims Jon and Tobias were not sons of John Decker, Sr, but nephews.

1790 will of Jan Decker here -
enumerates his children: "first born son" Joseph, Abraham, Moses, Sarah, Susannah, Elisabeth, Barbara, Luke.
Note no mention of Tobias or John or Issac! who were all still alive then.

Account of Deckers arriving in early Knox County, IN -

claims John and Tobias were not sons but nephews.
Source Page 117, 118, Roster of Soldiers and Patriots of the American Revolution Buried in Indiana, 1938.

atDNA of Tobias Decker descendant matches numerous descendants of these Kuykendall's who were not also Decker descendants. This suggests Tobias (or wife) had Kuykendall ancestry.

Name Birth Date Death Date
Decker, Sarahbetween 1739 and 1745
Decker, Tobiasbetween 1740 and 17451802-09-27
Decker, Elizabeth1741-05-22before 1791
Decker, Barbara1743-10-091788
Decker, Susannahabout 17451838
Decker, Issac1746after 1790
Decker, Abrahamabout 1750after 1790
Decker, Josephbefore 17501810-01-20
Decker, John17521791
Decker, Mosesabout 17581814-07-30
Decker, Luke17601825-03-23