He grew up to manhood in the region where he was born and baptized. The country all about was still far out on the frontier, and settlements were few and sparse. Jacob, his father, was at that time engaged in trade with the Indians, buying and selling the peltry of fur bearing animals.
His business called him away from home for considerable periods of time, while he was out on his trading expeditions along the Delaware, Mohawk and Susquehanna rivers and their tributaries. Here at the old home on the Delaware, the family continued to live, farming, raising gardenstuff, and doubtless much of the meat used by them was procured by the rifle and fishing rod.
The old home of Johannes was near the ancient mine road which ran through the village. Along this noted highway there was much travel between the Water Gap and the old Dutch town at Kingston on the Hudson. The village was a noted stopping place for travellers and teamsters who hauled ore from the old mine up to Esopus, and for the settlers hauling their wheat, cider, feathers, peltry and other products to market. These sturdy old Dutchmen camped there on their way, and at night gathered about their campfires or at the old tavern, telling stories, smoking their pipes, drinking cider, and according to history, some of them took something considerably more stimulating.
There were Indians all around them, but when Johannes was young, they were, for the most part friendly, and lived in peace with the white settlers. The children of the Indians and whites played together, hunted and fished together and usually got along in a friendly and neighborly way.
Old Jacob Kuykendall, the father of Johannes, had so much dealing with the Indians, in his trading with them, that he learned to speak their language. Many of the settlers could talk with the Indians.
It was only a few years after the birth of Johannes Jr. that the family went to Virginia. Some of the Kuykendall's had already gone there and started homes. The country on the South Branch of the Potomac was then new, with very few settlers. There were no church organizations, nor church buildings in all the land, so there were no church baptismal records kept to show the genealogy of the people, as there had been in the country of the Delaware valley, where our folks had previously lived.
After getting to what is now Hampshire county. West Virginia, Johannes, Sr., or John, his brothers Nathaniel, Abraham, Uncle Matthew and others of the family located on the south branch of the Potomac, about six miles above the present town of Romney. This town was laid out under the direction of Lord Fairfax, the surveying and platting being done by George Washington, then a young man. Johannes, was, at the time of going to that country, about thirty years of age. He bought, March 10, 1760, a tract of 250 acres of land from Jonathan Coburn, on the side of the river opposite to his uncle, Matthew, who had located there before him. Here he built a mill for grinding wheat and corn for the settlers. This mill stood for many years, and is mentioned a number of times in the Hampshire county records. He dug a mill race over the tract of land, across a bend in the river, and where the water was taken out of the river he built two substantial walls of masonry to form a forebay, and the stone walls remain solid and in good condition yet.
Johannes Kuykendall is mentioned in the "Journal of the House of Burgesses" and in "Henning's Statutes" of Virginia, in several places, as being connected with various business transactions. Among the earliest of these is where "John Kirkendahl" and John Welton had a land deal May 14, 1751. On the same day Matthias (Matthew) Kuykendall sold his place on the "South Branch."
In the Journal of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, session beginning March 25, 1756, pages 378 and 379, we have an account of payment made to men in the service against the Indians, on the South Branch, in 1755, for supplies furnished by persons living in that region. Coin was so scarce that tobacco was the common medium of exchange, and the greater part of the bills were paid in this commodity.
After the death of Johannes Kuykendall Sr. born 1713, John Jr. born 1741, and Henry Sr. (date of whose birth we do not know), the families they represented, scattered away into different parts of the country. Some went to Kentucky, just who, how many, or what were their names, or their after history, we have no definite data, except in regard to the descendants of Johannes Jr.
SOURCE: Excerpts from "History of the Kuykendall Family" by George Benson Kuykendall