The Newkirk family is an anicent one, and, like most other families of Teutonic origin, the name has undergone many changes in its long journey to its present way of spelling with but seven letters. The first authentic record of any member of this family is found in the histories of the Lower Rhine regions of Germany, there being towns named Neukirchen in both the counties of Grevenbrock and Moers.
We find the name Newkirk mentioned in a document as early as 1153 and from 1350 many of the Newkirks were property owners in their native places in Germany. The name most generally appears as Neukirchen, and by this name, we find many German arrivals in this country, even to the present day. In 1599 we find Gottfried Neukirch mentioned and Arnold Heinrich Neukirk, professor of Theology, is mentioned historically about the same time. The writers on the subject of heraldry advise us about our shield, and coat of arms. One of these writers has contributed the following to our family lore:
VAN NEUKIRCHEN, called NYVENHEIM. "The continuous line of this very old family of Julich, begins with the ancestor John Von Neukirchen, Lord of Neuraidt in Oclen, who married, in 1403, Anna Van Nyvenheim, heiress of Gerode, by reason of which it came to pass that their descendants bore the united names and arms of both families. From Julich the family went to the Lower Rhine, acquired inthe course of time many hereditary offices, and much wealth, and furnished a number of Knights and Commanders to the German order.
One branch removed to the Netherlands, while the other remained in the Rhine region. Walter Gogfried van Neukirchen, called Nyvenheim, in the thirteenthgeneration of the continuous genealogic, Lord of Drieberg, Kessel, Mook and Musschienborg, was, by his wife, Elberyina Van Tengnagel van Gillikum, whom he married in 1703, the ancestor of the present branch of the family living in France."
Thus it is seen that our family of ancient origin had spread to three countries, Germany, France and Holland, many centuries ago. The branch of the family to which we trace our lineage located to Holland, but at what date has not been ascertained, it is our belief, however, that the family had resided in Holland for more than two hundred years before our progenitor came to America.
The date of the coming of the Newkirk family to the United States is definitely fixed. Garret Cornelissen Van Nieuwkercke, who with his " wife, boy and sucking child," arrived on the Holland ship "Moesman" April 25, 1659, was the first. He was a son of Mattheuse Cornlissen Van Nieuwkercke, of Slechenhorst, Gelderland, Holland, born about 1600. The date of the birth of Garret has not been secured, but it was about 1635.
He married Chieltje (Charlotte) Cornelis. Upon his arrival in this country he located at Flatbush, Long Island, and secured a small tract of land which he sold March 10th, 1665. This tract consisted of eighteen morgens, 36 acres, is in the heart of the City of Brooklyn, and there are buildings on some of it costing millions of dollars. Newkirk street runs through the tract, and that is all that is left to show that Garret ever lived thereabouts. After selling his land at Flatbush, Garret located at Hurley, Ulster County, N.Y., where he and wife died at dates unknown........