John Winans

Started by Donna iLine Howse on Monday, February 28, 2011
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2/28/2011 at 10:54 PM

Found this when I was trying to verify and correct data conflicts in my merge center. I believe it will be extremely usefull to anyone interested in this part of the family tree. There is a ton of information here with lots of links. All of this is stored at a library which is named in the following informtion. There is a father son photo on this page as well.

John Winans
and his descendants
Related Pages:
O.C. Winans book
Alice Egy book
Winans in U.S. history
Winans migration NJ>OH
Winans photo album
Winans obituaries My 7-g-grandfather, John Winans, was a well-known early settler of New Jersey, who arrived just before the end of Dutch rule. He has numerous identifiable descendants living in the United States, thanks to having at least five sons who survived to adulthood, each of whom went on to have many sons. (Male lines are always easier to trace than female lines!) We have several family members who can trace their own lineage back to John through different paths. We will continue to add material here on many different Winans families as fast as we can gather it together.

Much of what we know about John and his wife, Susannah Melyn, is the result of the labors of one of their descendants. Major Ira Winans (1839-1931) devoted much of his life to researching the history of the Winans family in North America. As a part of his research, he corresponded with hundreds of Winans descendants, including my own grandfather, Samuel Winans Carey. He died without having finished the project. Ira Winans' heirs donated his papers to the Rochester, NY, Public Library, where some of them were photocopied in 1945 by Col. Warren E. Carey, and where the papers are still available to the public.1

The article which follows was probably meant to be the first page of Major Ira's history. He had it printed and sent it out to several fellow researchers. Where information in it was handwritten, it will be indicated by brackets: [thus].

Winans Family In America
Descendants of John Winans
JOHN WINANS (b. about 1640, d. December 1694, at Elizabethtown, N.J.) was Dutch, a prominent man among the "80 Associates", who founded and settled Elizabethtown, N.J., 1664-5, was well educated, had books (inventory) when books were rare, had Gold and Silver Plate and Coat of Arms. He married (1) [Aug 26,] 1664, at New Haven, Conn., Susannah Melyn (bap. June 14th, 1643, in the Dutch Church, New Amsterdam, d. between 1688-1692, at Elizabethtown, N.J.) daughter of Cornelis and Janetje Melyn.

Cornelis Melyn was Patroon of Staten Island, 1639-1659, also a resident, at times, of New Amsterdam, and after 1659 of New Haven, Conn. About 1656 his residence was at what is now the corner of Broad and Stone streets, New York, and earlier, in that vicinity. In 1646 he cultivated the site of Trinity Church, Broadway, New York. For an interesting account of this notable pioneer, see Innes' "New Amsterdam And Its People," Scribners, New York, 1902, in which a chapter and appendix are devoted to him.

John and Susannah (Melyn) Winans' children were:

John, b. [1st July] 1665, d. bef. 1673;
Susannah, b. [Feb. 6] 1667, m'd, 1688, Hendrick, son of Jacob and Margaret (Stuyvesant) Backer;
Elizabeth, 1669-1739, m'd Captain Ebenezer Lyon;
Samuel, 1671-1747, m'd Zerviah ....;
John, 1673-1734, m'd
Remember ....;2
Mrs. Frances (Moore) Doddridge, widow of Philip;
Joanna, b. bet. 1675-8, nothing further known;
Conrad,3 b. about 1680, d. Feb. 1727-8, m'd Sarah, daughter of James and Sarah (Denham) Palmer, granddaughter of Rev. Thomas Denham, of Rye, N.Y. (see Baird's "Rye"). Two of Conrad's sons, James, b. 1715, d. Apr. 4, 1795, m'd Sarah Reynolds, b. about 1716, d. Oct. 10, 1802, and William, b. 1727-8, went to Greenwich, Conn., and later to Dutchess Co., N.Y., are ancestors of New York State Winans;
Jacob, 1682-1722, m'd Mary ....;
Isaac, b. 1684, d. 1723, m'd Hannah .... (ancestor of Ross Winans, of Baltimore, b. 1796, in Sussex Co., N.J.)
John, m'd (2) about 1693, Ann Robertson, daughter of Wm. Robertson, a notable physician and large landholder. Their son,

William, 1694-1763, m'd Hannah ....; he was the grandfather, by one daughter, of the wife of Colonel Edward Thomas, by the other, of Dr. William Winants, surgeon of the Revolution.
A numerous descent from all is traced.

For comparison, we've made available the first few pages of Orin Clifford Winans' and Alice (Winans) (Egy) Woolley's books, which contain slightly differing biographies of John Winans.

History of Elizabeth, New Jersey4, pp 56-58, mentions John Winans as one of the "80 associates" who met at Elizabeth Town on February 19, 1665-6 whose names were recorded in the Town Book. The Book was lost, in 1718, but some extracts survived. The following is taken from pg 101 of this history:

JOHN WINANS (WYNES, WAYNES, WINONS, WINNONS, WYNONS, WYNENS, WYNANS, WYNNINGS) was doubtless of the company that came from the East End of Long Island. It is quite likely that he was of the same family with Barnabas Wines, their names being frequently spelt alike. He was bred a weaver -- a handicraft in great request at that early day. He had a house-lot, containing 5 acres, 10 by 5 chains, bounded, N., by Jacob Melyen;5 W., by Humphrey Spinage; and, S., and E., by highways. He had, also, 16 acres of upland, "on the Neck", between Matthias Hatfield and Samuel Marsh, Senr; also, 120 acres of upland, "on Peach Garden Brook", bounded by Robert Morse, Matthias Hatfield, Robert White, and unsurveyed land; also, 40 acres of land, on "the S. branch of Elizabeth Creek or River", bounded by Humphrey Spinage, Matthias Hatfield, and the plain; also, 4 acres of meadow, "at Rawack", and 6 acres on Elizabeth Creek; in all 200 acres. When his next neighbor, Jacob Melyen, had removed to New York, Winans bought, Feb. 8, 1677-8, his house-lot, house, barn, orchard, &c. He died at the close of 1694. His estate was valued at £271.15.8.

There are other references throughout the book to John Winans. There are also mentions of such familiar family names as Melyn (usually spelled Melyen), Marsh, Frazee, Woodruff, Clark, Clawson, Scudder, Hatfield (also spelled Heathfield or Hetfield), etc. (I need to do more research here.)

John Winans is believed to be buried in the First Presbyterian Church cemetery, in Elizabeth. His grave can't be located, and O. C. Winans speculates in his book that it was covered up during the expansion of the church. The grave markers of several of his children and other descendants there are still legible nearly three centuries later, though. Our cousin Glen Winans took several photos of these tombstones which we've assembled into a Winans photo album.

Many members of the Winans family and other closely-related families migrated from New Jersey to Ohio's Miami valley, then on to Indiana or Illinois. Others, such as Major Ira's line, moved to upstate New York, others to Connecticut or Maryland, others were among the first 49ers in the California gold rush, while still others remained in New Jersey. John Winans' descendants, like Abraham's, seem to be as numerous as "the stars of the heavens, and the sand upon the seashore..." (Genesis 22:17)


One of the joys of researching our family history is that of discovering and getting to know distant relatives who share some of our heritage and who sometimes even look like us. I recently discovered a Winans family history site on the World Wide Web and got in touch with the man who put it together - Charles Wanless, who is an 8th-great-grandson of John Winans. There's a lot of information there on the earliest Winans settlers as well as on Chuck's own line. Check it out! In this photo of him with his older brother Dave, you can see that Chuck is also a tall, good-looking bearded guy. He is the administrator of Rootsweb's Winans mailing list. If you would like to have your name added to the list so you can exchange information with your Winans cousins, send e-mail to with the word "subscribe" in the body of the message. We'll add information here about any other Winans pages which we might come across.


1 In 1989, our niece Kathy (Gerds) Wright moved to Rochester, New York. At my request, she visited the Rochester Public Library to check on the current status of the Winans papers. She reported that there are still five boxes of data in the library's custody and that nothing has ever been published. Anybody who wishes to look at the Winans papers may do so by giving the library a day or two's notice. Among the Winans materials are the following:
Alphabetized list of all Winans descendants,
List of all people who have corresponded with, or visited, the library who were interested in the Winans papers,
Folders containing Family History data sheets,
Major Winans' correspondence in its original envelopes, and
Notebooks, clippings, tombstone photos, etc.
2 I've heard from several researchers that Remember's maiden name was Baldwin.
3 Conrad was my 6th-great-grandfather.
4By Rev. Edwin Francis Hatfield, D.D., published by Carlton & Lanahan, New York, in 1968. It is available at Los Angeles Public Library under catalog number GenR 974.92 E43Ha.
5 Possibly John Winans' brother-in-law.
Last updated 27 Mar 2010.

3/1/2011 at 7:26 AM

Thanks Donna. One of the Winans married Remember Baldwin of Milford, CT. The Baldwins are an ancestral line of mine. Very interesting.

3/1/2011 at 7:27 AM

I see that you just wrote about Remember Baldwin. There's very good information on the family online and I have been working on the family tree, if you are interested.

3/1/2011 at 9:38 AM

I think it best if someone like yourself handle this problem it occurs to me that some of the information was merged from two different people. I am not familar with this branch of the tree at all. I know I'd really mess it up if I tried to correct it. I also, have a problem that is different than Dyslexia. It occurs more often with numbers. My brain sees old memories of other data and percieves it as what I am currently looking at. This makes it difficult for me to handle dates, etc. It does not occur everytime but, it is enough to cause, mistakes. I may or maynot find the error later on. It depends on wether or not I run acrossed the error and, wethe or not this brain disorder is activated or dormant. It's completely unpredictable and, I have no way to know when it is happening. That is because, it appears to actualy be what I am looking at like real life. I get very distressed over this sometimes but, no one else in my family will take up the family genealogy so, I have to be the one. That is if I want to get it done.

3/1/2011 at 9:42 AM

Donna - I would be happy to help with the Winans. I have a few other things on my plate, but will make a note to work on whatever you need. My cousin who is on Geni is the family genealogist and is dyslexic. She writes everything down. Tools like Geni intimidate her a bit.

You can feed me things to do with the Winan family as you find them if we want. My memory is still pretty good, including for dates. I'll acquaint myself with them later in the week.

3/1/2011 at 9:42 AM

Did the web page come through? It was in the topic line. Just in case here it is again.

3/1/2011 at 9:48 AM


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