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From: /bios/family/kuykendalljw.htm, Submitted by Jewel Findley


The following bio was taken from page 276 of the book entitled “Rusk County History” compiled and edited and used with permission of the Rusk County Historical Commission.

Transcribed by Shirley Koym

Submitted by Gloria Briley Mayfield, Cemeteries of Texas

In 1646, Jacob Luurszen Van Kuykencdaal came to the Dutch Colony in the New World from near Wageningen, province of Gelderland, Holland. He had been in the employ of the West India Company, headed by Van Rensselaer. The name “Kuydendall” means “View of the Dale,” derived from “Kijk-in-‘t-dal.” Wageningen is on the Rhine, near Arnheim, and lies on a high hill, commanding a fine view of the river. His son, Luur Jacobsen Van Kuykendaal, was baptized in New Amsterdam (now New York City) on May 29, 1650. He married Grietje Artze Tack and they reared a family. About 1700, they moved from around Kingston to Port Jervis. His son, Cornelius, was baptized on May 30, 1686; he married Maritje Westvael. Abraham, son of Cornelius, was baptized on October 18, 1719, at Deer Park Church, New York. This Abraham migrated to North Carolina, was a captain in the Revolutionary Army and a commissioner appointed to run the line between Tryon and Mecklenberg Counties and build a courthouse for Tryon County.

Abraham’s son, Matthew Kuykendall, was born in Mecklenberg County, North Carolina, on October

23, 1758. His wife was Nancy Johnson. Matthew was in the Revolutionary Army from 1776 until 1781. He had an arm broken by a British bullet at the Battle of Cowpens. He lived in Burke County a few years after he was wounded. He moved to Washington County, North Carolina and lived there three or four years and then moved to Davidson County, Tennessee. He lived there eight to ten years and went to Logan County, Kentucky in 1824. He died on August 15, 1841 and left eight sons and four daughters.

One of Matthew’s sons was John William Kuykendall, who was born on December 26, 1796. He married Mary (Polly) Key, who was born in Tennessee in about 1803. They were married in Tennessee and moved to Mississippi and then to Texas in the 1840’s. J. W. Kuykendall was a doctor and practiced the Thomsonian System of medicine, which was popular in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. It was based on the use of vegetable compounds.They moved to Rusk County in 1845 or 1846, which was the end of the Republic of Texas and the beginning of Statehood.

In 1852, the community of “Nip and Tuck” was changed to Harmony Hill. J. W. Kuykendall owned a one-thousand-acre plantation in Harmony Hill and contributed two acres of it to the Harmony Hill Cemetery. He laid out the plan for the town and one of the main streets was called Kuykendall Street. He died around 1881 and was buried in the Harmony Hill Cemetery.

One of J. W.’s sons, Owen Kuykendall, was born on December 12, 1824. He married Nancy Dollahite, who was born on March 27, 1827. After Nancy’s death in 1855, Owen married Eveline Burton. They had three children: James Wylie (1849-1902), who married Phobe McMurtrey; John William (1851-1923), who married Mittie B. Cannon; and Joseph Alexander (1854-1930), who married Laura Eleanor Reese. All three of the sons had large families, rearing from six to eight children.

John William Kuykendall (1851-1923) purchased a large tract of land in the community of Tatum before it was established as a township. His children grew up in Tatum and went to school in the old “white” schoolhouse. J. W. and Mittie had eight children: Robert Owen (September 30, 1886-December 4, 1937), married Nora A. Graham. Their children are: Robert Elbert, Luther Edwin, William Thomas, and Anabel. Charles Jackson (March 30, 1889-June 11, 1974), married Emma L. Findley. Their children are: Nadine and Charles Findley. Arthur Lee (April 11, 1891-September 26, 1974) married Sallie Joe Foster. Their children are: Mabel, Lucille, James and Herbert. John William (October 21, 1893-January 30, 1974), married Ellie Mae Matthews. They had one son, John William (Billy). James Cannon (February 25, 1896-July 12, 1967), married Leon Brewer, who died June 23, 1924.Their children are: Albert, John Doyle, Mozelle, and Robert, who married Katie Goad and they had five children, Mary Clarice, Harold Cannon, Katherine, Linda and Jane. Janie Evelyn (April 16, 1899), married G. W. Cherry, and they had five children: Christine, Gilchrist, William Gerald, Corinne, and Anna Jane. Mittie Jewel (December 17, 1901), married Lonnie P. Findley. Their children were Malthus Kendall and Burl Glenn, and Nannie Tatum (July 23, 1905), who married Hulen Russ and their daughter is LaNell Thrasher.

The Kuykendall family has many descendants who have remained in Rusk County. They gather once a year to discuss the family’s growth as well as the family’s heritage.

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