Notes for Johannes "John" HOWK: The following historical sketch of the Howk family appeared in the Gleaner and Advocate Jul. 29 1875. Although it contains a number of errors it is reproduced below verbatim.(The complete text of this sketch is found under Albert M. Howk)
Three of Richards sons settled in Lee, Isaac who built a house on the site of one now occupied by T.M. Judd; Abraham who built the house now owned by Thomas Wilson; and John who for a time occupied the log house of his father, and afterwards built a one story Dutch-fashioned dwelling, which his son, the late A.M. Howk, remodeled into the present stately mansion. John Howk was thirteen years old when his father (Richard) moved to Lee., then an almost unbroken wilderness, there being, according to the tradition which he handed down to posterity, only five other families in the town. He married Catharine Hollenbeck, of Egremont, a woman of pure Holland extraction, and of original and strong powers of mind. To them were born eight children, who were all trained to habits of industry, and never could a family live more independantly. The father and sons were farmers and mechanics at the same time, making and repairing their farm tools and wagons, and doing their own blacksmithing, while the mother and daughters not only did the housework, but spun and wove flax and wool, and made the dresses for themselves and the men. Not content with these industries, Mr. John Howk after leaving the double log house in which he and his father had lived, rented a part of it to a Mr. Hall for a dwelling, and occupied the other part as a store, with Mr. Hall as a partner, thus becoming one of the first, if not the first merchant in Lee. Tea, spices, and a few groceries constituted the bulk of the stock in trade, as cotton goods were then almost unknown, and silks were only used at weddings and other great occasions. Almost everything used in the family was home-made, even the sugar, and the foreign articles needed were bought in Hudson (NY), and brought to Lee by horse power, often "horseback". John Howk lived to a good old age, dying in 1833. He is remembered by many now on the stage as a tall, athletic man, of a naturally strong but uncultured mind, positive convictions, and strict integrity. We remember calling upon him one time as he sat smoking in his wide Dutch "stoop", and the conversation took a philosophical turn. He could not be persuaded that the earth turned on its axis. "If it does," he said, "why does not the milk run out of the milk pans? His widow survived him for sixteen years, dying in 1849 at the age of eightysix. She had a vigorous constitution, a strong will, and great originality of expression. As an instance of the latter, she once remarked to us, after a sever sickness from which she was slowly recovering:- "Sickness always comes on horseback and goes away a foot." Three of Mr. Howk's sons, John Jr., William and Albert M., and two of his daughters, Mrs. Nathan Bassett and Mrs. Henry Couch, settled in Lee. John never married, and died here in 1869, at the age of seventynine. William married a daughter of Col. Herrick of this town, and built a house on the south part of the Howk estate, but soon removed to Wellington, Ohio, where he now lives much respected as an active Christian and public spirited man. Albert M. married Lavinia Judd of New Marlboro, whom he leaves widowed, and one son John M., an enterprising manfacturer in Troy, N.Y. When the name Van Huych was changed to Howk can not be accurately ascertained. The change was probably gradual, first into Howick and then into Howk. The Kinderbrook branch of the family still retain the original name, and scold their New England cousins for allowing the good old name to be yankeefied, but the modern spelling is retained by the numerous decendants who have settled in Ohio and other western states, and it will probably be impossible to return to the original and more euphonious Van Huyck.
Family Search shows name as Johannes HUYCK & VAN HUYCK.
More About Johannes "John" HOWK: Christening: 13 Oct 1759, Kinderhook, Columbia, NY.
Children of Johannes "John" HOWK and Catharine HOLLENBECK are:
+David HOWK, b. 20 Mar 1786, Lee Twp, Berkshire, MA, d. 03 Apr 1851.