Benjamin Hornbeck, Pioneer (1754-1827)

Submitted By Jennie Hott and Richard Phares

In erecting this monument, we not only wish to cherish the memory of Benjamin Hornbeck, but also, let us think of this as a memory to the many valiant pioneers of the Western Frontier, who by their deeds of daring and valor, pushed back the relentless foe and made homes for themselves and their posterity. Many of these sturdy pioneers died in their efforts to establish homes in the wilderness and have not even a mound of earth to mark their last resting place; others sleep in graves marked by rude stones, void of both names and dates, as the many markers in this burial ground testify.

So, in dedicating this monument here, let us pay tribute to the frontier men of the Virginia Border who blazed the trail for us to follow.

Benjamin Hornbeck was of that sturdy stock of Dutch ancestry who first settled New Amsterdam and later when conditions there changed, owing to the English gaining control, moved forward along the frontier, and did so much toward driving back the Indians, making the country a fit place in which to live for those who came after them. The immigrant ancestor of Benjamin Hornbeck was Warnaar von Hoornbeeck, who arrived in New Amsterdam in 1660, on the ship "The Golden Otter", which brought over a load of Dutch immigrants destined for Wiltwyck, however, owing to the unsettled conditions occasioned by the Indian uprisings, they were delayed in New Amsterdam for about two years after which they joined the settlement at Wiltwyck, now Kingston, N.Y. Here Warnaar lived and reared a large family however, in tracing the lineage of the family we will find the old Dutch way of spelling the name has been dropped, the nearest form to which is the family in the home state who spell their name Hoornbeeck; other forms are: Hornbake, Hornbeck, Hornbeek, Hornbeak, etc.

The first military record we have of the family is Warnaar who saw service in New York in 1670. The family was very prominent in military affairs in Ulster County and other parts of New York. Johannes Hoornbeek was in the expedition to Canada in 1711, also in later military service. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Jacob Hornbeck also reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Ulster County Militia. In the third regiment of the Ulster County Militia we find the names of the following Hoornbeecks: Gideon, Petrus, Benjamin, Isaac, Philip, Samuel, Warner, Jacob, Jr., Johannis, Lawciens (?), Henry, Cornelius, Jr. and Samuel.

In the council of appointments in Ulster County, since the Revolution we find the Hoornbeeks holding such ranks as-Captain, Adjutant, Surgeon, Lieutenants, Quartermaster, etc. In New Jersey this family was well represented in the Revolution, Captain Benjamin Hoornbeek beiing among those killed in action. Thus we will see that Benjamin Hornbeck of Hampshire and Randolph Counties was only one of a large family, who were fighting for their country during this period. However we find Benjamin just a little farther along the frontier than most of his relatives.

When the Dutch left New York they crossed into New Jersey and Pennsylvania and then moved westward and southward.

The South Branch of the Potomac received many of these pioneers at an early date. When George Washington was surveying near Moorefield for Lord Fairfax about 1727 he spoke in his diary about the "Dutch People" who came to his camp, and "who would not speak English" The Hornbecks were well represented here. Daniel and Joel being mentioned as early as------------writing off page--------------was a Colonial soldier who later went back to New York where he drew a pension. In the Federal census, Hampshire County, Virginia-1784 on the list taken by Abell Randall are the following Hornbecks: Anthony, 10 in family; Simon, 13 in family; Samuel, 7 in family; Isaac, 7 in family; James, 5 in family. In the list of Revolutionary soldiers from Virginia are the following: Abraham Hornbeck, Pensioner 1835, Indiana, Benjamin Hornbeck, James Hornbeck, John Hornbeck, Samuel Hornbeck, Pensioners 1835, Kentucky.

								(Signed)  Duffy C. Hornbeck 1927

Other Hornbeck Articles:

A Very Old Family Bible by Nelle Hornbeck Gaertner
Short Sketch of the Hornbeck Family in New York and Virginia by Nellie Hornbeck Gaetner, (Mrs. H.J.) 1927.

Comments regarding this page to: Deborah Johnson.