Nellis Tavern is a historic inn and tavern located at St. Johnsville in Montgomery County, New York. It was built about 1747-1750 as a farmhouse and expanded about 1790 to its present form. It is a two-story, five-by-two-bay frame residence constructed atop a coursed rubblestone foundation. The building has been restored to the period of about 1835, when it was used as a tavern.
The 1600’s were a difficult time for thousands of Protestants living in the Palatinate area of western France and eastern Germany along the Rhine River Valley.
Over time they were forced to leave their homes and lands. After several attempts to make peaceful settlements in northern Europe, they were eventually forced to leave the mainland to seek safety and refuge across the Channel in England. Queen Anne, faced with a growing population of these refugees, arranged passage for the then thousands now huddled in refugee camps in and around London to places where they could safely seek new settlements-such as Ireland, West Indies, and American colonies. Among these refuges were Mary Nellisin, her husband, Robert and her 3 children, Johann Wilhelm Nellis, Christian Nellis, and Catharine Elizabeth Nellis. Mary’s husband, Robert Nellis died between the time when the family left London and the time they arrived in America and was buried at sea.
They probably sailed in the fall of 1709 on the ship Lyon from Leith, England to Governor Hunter’s Island sometime before Jun 1710. They traveled up the Hudson River to West Camp where they had to work to pay for their passage.
In 1711 Johann Wilhelm Nellis, William (1694 – 1778) was part of an expedition to Canada in the service of the Queen’s forces in the French and Indian War. After some time, twenty-seven of these servicemen were paid for their service by being granted a tract of 12,000 acres in the Mohawk Valley near Stone Arabia, a lot referred to as the Stone Arabia Patent. William Nellis was granted two lots – numbers 32 and 42 – in 1723. William married Ana Sabina Dygert and had ten children. Christian Nellis (1697 – 1771) obtained 650 acres on Lot 12 of the Harrison Patent north of the Mohawk River. He was married to Barbara Elizabeth Klock and they had nine children. Catharine Elizabeth Nellis (unk – 1754) married Jacob Kraus. The first known marriage in the Fort Plain area, they set up home on land of the Wm Dick Patent. They had eight children.
This is the beginning of a very rich and meaningful history of the settlers of this area of central New York, and the beginning of the Mohawk Valley Nellis Family History that this webpage has been created to serve.
There is always much more to do. We thank you for whatever support you can give us in this endeavor.
The Palatine Settlement Society
P. O. Box 183, St. Johnsville, NY 13452