History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index


Captain William WYNKOOP, of Newtown, is a representative of a family that has been prominent in the history of our country for over two centuries, many of them at different periods filling high and honorable positions in church and state, in local, state and national affairs.

The American progenitors of the family were Peter and Cornelius WYNKOOP, who migrated from Holland to New York in 1639 and 1642, respectively. Peter was born in 1616 and came to New Amsterdam in 1639, and settled in New York state near the present site of Albany five years later, where he became prominent in the Dutch colony. His descendants were prominent in the affairs of that section for many generations. A grandson Evert, son of Cornelius, was a captain in the French and Indian war and died of camp fever in 1750. Adrian WYNKOOP, another descendant, was commissioned major of the First Regiment of Ulster county, New York, May 1, 1776, and in the same year was placed in command of two hundred men to guard the passes of the Hudson. His brother Jacobus was a captain of the Fourth New York Regiment in 1775, and was later transferred to the naval service on recommendation of General Schuyler, to take command of all the vessels on Lakes George and Champlain. Another Cornelius was a colonel in the Continental service in New York. Cornelius, a son of Peter, married Maria Janse LANGEDYCK, and their third son Gerrit (or Gerardus, as the name came to be spelled later) married Hillitje FOLKERT, and in the year 1717 came to Pennsylvania with his sons Nicholas and Gerritt. He lived for a time in the manor of Moreland, but later removed to Northampton township, Bucks county, where he died in 1747, leaving sons Cornelius, Nicholas, Gerrit and Philip, and daughters Jannetje VAN BUSKIRK and Jacomyntje VAN METER. He purchased in 1727 five hundred and twenty acres in Northampton, which he conveyed in equal parts to his two sons Nicholas and Gerrit in 1738, and part of the latter is still the property of the subject of this sketch, having descended from father to son for five generations. Nicholas, the third son, married Ann KUYPERS, and their only son was Judge Henry WYNKOOP, who was in the opinion of many the most prominent man in the history of Bucks county. He was for many years the leading justice of the courts of Bucks county, and its first president judge. From the time the relations between the colonies and the crown became strained, he was the leader of the patriot cause in Bucks county, was one of the delegates to the meeting of the provincial deputies at Carpenter's Hall in July, 1774, was appointed to attend the provincial conference in May, 1775, and was again a delegate to the conference that drafted the first constitution in 1776. He was the leading member of the committee of safety in Bucks, and the county's first representative in the congress of the United States, which assembled in New York on March 4, 1789. He died in 1816, after a long career of unexampled usefulness in public life.

Gerrit WYNKOOP, second son of Gerrit and Lilletje (FOLKERT) WYNKOOP, was born in New York, about 1700, and came to Bucks county with his father in 1717, and died in Northampton township, May 12, 1769, on the 260-acre farm conveyed to him by his father in 1738. He and his wife, Susanna VLIET, were members of the Dutch Reformed church of Northampton and Southampton. They were the parents of several children, only two of whom survived him, Gerardus and Adrian. The latter was baptized at Southampton, October 4, 1743.

Gerardus, eldest son of Gerrit and Susannah, was born in Northampton, and was joint heir with his brother Adrian of the paternal homestead, which he purchased entire in 1770, and spent his entire life thereon. He was first lieutenant of the Northampton County Associators in 1775. He was elected a member of assembly in 1774, and served continuously in that body until 1794, and was for several years speaker. He died in June, 1812. His wife, whom he married December 7, 1758, was Elizabeth, daughter of Isaac BENNETT. They were the parents of eight children-six sons: Isaac, John, Garret, Mathew, David, and William; and two daughters, Susannah, wife of David WYLIE, and Elizabeth, wife of Stephen ROSE.

William, youngest son of Gerardus and Elizabeth, inherited one hundred and twenty-eight acres of the old homestead in Northampton, and spent his life thereon. He married April 13, 1801, Mary LONGSTRETH, and died in 1833. His widow Mary survived him several years. Their children were: Thomas L., Gerardus, Christopher; Elizabeth, wife of Charles MCNAIR; Catherine, wife of Dr. James MCNAIR; Susannah, Margaret, Anna Maria, Susan, Mary Frances and Caroline.

Thomas L. WYNKOOP married Elizabeth TORBERT, daughter of James and Margaret (MCNAIR) TORBERT, of Scotch-Irish ancestry, a descendant of Samuel TORBERT, who came to Newtown, Bucks county, from Carrickfergus, Ireland, in 1726. Thomas and Elizabeth (TORBERT) WYNKOOP were the parents of five children, viz. James, Catharine, William, Samuel, and Thomas Henry. The latter was a member of General W. W. H. Davis' 104th Pennsylvania Regiment, and was killed in action in June, 1862. Thomas L. WYNKOOP, the father of the above named children, died in 1879, and devised the old homestead where he had lived all his life to his son William, the subject of this sketch, who still owns it.

The subject of this sketch has lived an eventful life. He served three years during the war of the rebellion in the First New Jersey Cavalry, enlisting as a private and was promoted successively to sergeant, second lieutenant, first lieutenant and captain. He served on the staff of Brigadier General Davis, in Gregg's Cavalry Division, as provost-marshal, ordnance office and assistant adjutant general; was three times wound and received an honorable testimonial for meritorious services.

Soon after the war Captain WYNKOOP removed to Newtown, where he has since resided. He was engaged in the real estate business for nearly twenty years, and transacted a large amount of public business as assignee, executor, administrator, and agent. He served in the office of justice of the peace for fifteen years; was three years chief burgess of Newtown borough, and borough treasurer for several years. He has been president of the school board for the past ten years, and is an active member of the school directors' association of Bucks county, which he has served as president. He was one of the assignees of the Newtown Banking Company on its failure in May, 1878, and was an important factor in winding up its complicated affairs.

Captain WYNKOOP comes of good old Presbyterian stock, his ancestors for eight generations having been officers of the Presbyterian or Reformed churches in the localities where they resided. He has served as ruling elder of the Newtown Presbyterian church since 1872, during which period he has acted as clerk of the session. In the same year he was chosen superintendent of the Sabbath school connected with the church, and was re-elected to that position for twenty-eight consecutive years, then declining a re-election. In 1879 he was elected president of the Bucks County Sabbath School Association and served in that position for eight years. He has been identified with the Bucks County Historical Society for many years, and has prepared a number of valuable historical papers for its sessions. He is now one of the board of trustees of the Society. He is an active member of the G. A. R., and commander of T. H. WYNKOOP Post, No. 427, at Newtown. This Post was named in honor of his brother, who died in the service of his country, having enlisted in Colonel Davis' 104th Regiment, when twenty years of age, and was killed in action nine months later. Captain WYNKOOP served as aide-de-camp, to General John L. BLACK, commander-in-chief of the G. A. R. of the United States in 1904.

He married Rachel Ann BLAKER, who died in January, 1895, leaving four children, their eldest child having died in her eighteenth year; those who survive are: Elizabeth, wife of George R. LUFF, who resides with her father at Newtown, with her five children, William, Ruth, Mabel, Katharine and Rachel. Katharine, who married (first) Henry C. WYLIE, who died six years later, leaving a daughter, Margaret; she afterwards married G. F. REYNOLDS of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and has two sons, William and Arthur. Evelyn, married H. L. HARDING, of Scranton. The only son, James WYNKOOP, entered Princeton University in 1900, intending on his graduation to study for the ministry but failing health compelled him to relinquish his studies during his first year at college; he is at present employed in a bank at Scranton, Pennsylvania, with greatly improved health. He is the only male descendant of the WYNKOOPS in Bucks county, of the younger generation, that bears their name. He was married in 1904 to Cora B. GERNON, of Scranton.

Captain WYNKOOP is still in active life and health. He is president of the Excelsior Bobbin and Spool Company of Newtown, president of the Mutual Beneficial Insurance Association of Bucks county, and a director in six other Bucks county corporations, and has served as secretary of the Newtown Cemetery Company for the last thirty years. He is widely and favorably known in business and social circles, and has traveled extensively both in this country and Europe.

Text taken from page 118 of:

Davis, William W. H., A.M., History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III

Transcribed DECEMBER 2000 by GRACE T. BURTON of PA as part of the Bucks Co., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

Published December 2000 on the Bucks county, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/

Thank you to the volunteers to contributed the biographies. Nancy Janyszeski
Bucks County Coordinator
Web Page Developer
Nancy C. Janyszeski

PAGenWeb State Coordinator
Nancy Janyszeski


PAGenWeb Assistant State Coordinator (Western Counties)
Ellis Michaels

PAGenWeb Assistant State Coordinator (Eastern Counties)
Mary Ann Lubinsky

Site Previously maintained by Judy Jackson

If you have a homepage, a link, or wish to volunteer to transcribe information for the Bucks County PA website, email: NancyJanyszeski@yahoo.com.
All copyright laws are observed to the best of our ability. However if you feel something is on the site and infringes on copyright laws please contact the webmaster and let us know. Use of information is for Personal Genealogical purposes only.  Commercial publication of any such information is prohibited. All text and images are copyright by said contributors.
Copyright © by Nancy C. Janyszeski 2003/2004/2005/2006/2007/2008/2009/2010/2011