Click here to download pdf
Click here to download pdf
Welcome to the Eckenrode family history page. In 2010, I began researching my heritage. On my mother's side, several generations back, I discovered Eckenrode ancestors, one with a Revolutionary War connection. In trying to learn more about the Eckenrodes, I quickly came across the 1987 book (2 volumes) by William Kirkpatrick entitled the "Eckroth-Eckenroth-Eckenrode Family."
As late as 2012, Kirkpatrick's work is the most complete reference on the Eckenrodes. Considering that he compiled his landmark work pre-personal computer and pre-internet, his book is nothing short of monumental.
To access the Kirkpatrick books when I began my research, I had to go to a Family History Center and use a microfilm machine. While I was grateful that the material was available to me after all these years, gray shadowy microfilm pages were hard to read, one had to schedule a time to use the lone microfilm reader, and the processes of copying pages or going back and forth in the book were inefficient and often frustrating. I desperately wanted to get my hands on an actual copy of the book.
After learning that William Kirkpatrick died in 2010, I found Chris Pelikan. Chris was the person who first brought Kirkpatrick's book to life, by having hand-written pages typed and put in a format others could use. Both William Kirkpatrick and Chris Pelikan had ties (through their wives) to the Eckenrodes and Kirkpatrick trusted Chris to take his material and organize it into a book.
From Chris Pelikan,
re: the 1987 William Kirkpatrick book
Before the internet, genealogists wrote LOTS of letters, a process which tended to be laborious, slow, frustrating and costly. When doing research on a surname, one would typically make connections first with close relatives and other descendants. Then we used libraries of records such as courthouses, cemeteries, churches, national archives, LDS, etc. I was fortunate to have a local public library that had a very large genealogy section, a close by LDS center, and a National Archive within an hour's drive. Over time, you developed a network of contacts and eventually after many letters contacts became friends who had a common interest. We were quick to share records and information and contacts. So, eventually we developed a little web for each branch of the families that we were researching.
My connection with Kirk was made through Alan Briscoe of Utah who was a distant cousin by marriage of my wife's surname "Eckroat" (a derivative of Eckroth), who I shared records with. Alan, Kirk, and I eventually came to sharing lots information on the family. Alan and I were busy with careers and raising families and had limited time for genealogy. Kirk was retired and his children were grown. Alan and my interests was limited to our direct lineages, where Kirk's research was much broader and extensive than ours. His work was handwritten.
When I came to grasp the information that Kirk had assembled, I just couldn't let it sit isolated and left to fade away. So, I began typing at night after my family had gone to sleep and I would mail Kirk brown envelopes of my work for proofing. Kirk was not one to leave letters unanswered, and soon, between the two of is, his material moved to the "story book" format that I liked.
We talked on the phone weekly for years. You now have the results (i.e., the 2 volume book) of where all this evolved. I typed from Kirk's handwritten drafts all but the copied records such as maps, etc. In our last conversation, I remember Kirk saying to me, "Good friendships last forever even though they may no longer be connected with conversation". We certainly were good friends.
– Chris Pelikan
In 2012, via email, I had the pleasure of meeting Chris Pelikan, who was by then happily retired and no longer doing genealogy. Chris passed the Eckenrode torch on to me, and as William Kirkpatrick would have wanted, we agreed to make Kirkpatrick's work accessible at no cost to others who are interested in this remarkable family.
On this page, we've provided pdf's of the 2-volume Kirkpatrick book that you can click on, download, and print so that you'll have your own copies of William Kirkpatrick's important work. Volume 1 begins with a Biography of William Kirkpatrick.
We chose to leave the books in their original 1987 typed format. We hope that you will learn about your own heritage from this book, the legacy of William Kirkpatrick.
Mary R. Burch, PhD