Ever since I discovered that Heinrich Schneider (aka Henry Snyder) of Upper Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania was the father of my 3x great grandfather Joseph Snyder, I’ve been on a mission to trace the family back further.
I discovered a couple who may be Henry’s parents—Jacob Schneider, who died in 1829, and his wife Catharina. Montgomery County Orphans Court records list Jacob’s children as:
Henry served as one of the administrator’s of Jacob’s estate.1 Sarah and Jonas were both underage as of 19 October 1829. Sarah, however, was over 14 years-old, so she was born between 19 October 1808 and 19 October 1815.2 Jonas was under 14 years-old; he was born after 19 October 1815 and before 19 October 1829.3
In September, I located a gravestone for a Catharine Snyder, born 24 January 1793 and died 24 August 1877, in the New Goshenhoppen Church cemetery in East Greenville. She was buried in the same plot as Henry’s daughters and son-in-law, indicating she was family. I believe her to be Henry’s sister and my 4x great aunt.
I traced one of my AncestryDNA matches’ family back to Samuel and Judith (Wolf) Snyder. I was able to determine that Judith was a daughter of Jacob and Magdalena (Brey) Wolf, and, therefore, sister to my 3x great grandfather Joel Wolf.4 But since Samuel had a brother named Jonas,5 he may have been a son of Jacob and Catharina, and thus my blood relative, too, making “E” doubly related to me.
Recently, I found two matches who trace their ancestry back to Jacob Snyder (1796-1882) and Anna Maria Fluck (1800-1870). To the best of my determination, Snyder is our only common surname. Jacob and Maria resided in Springfield Township, Bucks County, not far from Upper Hanover Township where my presumed ancestor Jacob (Sr.) owned land.6 This Jacob was born 9 January 1796,7 making him only four years younger than Henry.
Jacob Sr.’s household had 3 males born after 1790 as enumerated in the 1800 census8 and one male aged 10-15 in 18109, making it possible that this Jacob was Henry’s younger brother. Jacob Schneider, presumably Henry’s brother, was confirmed at New Goshenhoppen Evangelical Lutheran Church on 1 April 1815, aged 17 years.10 It’s not an exact match, but I’m keeping it as a definite possibility given the DNA matches.
Both of these matches descend through Jacob and Maria’s son Joseph, through children of both of his wives. Both appear in my Shared Matches list for the other. One of them also matches “E,” the descendant of Samuel and Judith (Wolf) Snyder, but does not have the surname Wolf in her family tree.
Assuming that we all match through children of Jacob and Catharina (___) Schneider, this is what our tree would look like.
I match each of them a little over 20cMs on 2 segments, according to AncestryDNA. These numbers are consistent with the proposed relationships fifth cousin (TS), fourth cousin once removed (TW and E). Unfortunately, they’re also consistent with a range of other cousin relationships, too.
Unfortunately, I can’t pinpoint the relationship to these matches with certainty. I believe that the Snyder family is likely the connection—Jacob fits given his dates and locations. So, my working hypothesis is that Jacob was the son of Jacob and Catharina (___) Schneider. I’m going to continue to work through our shared matches to see if I can identify additional points of connection.
Who knows? I might even determine Catharina’s maiden name.
- Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Orphans Court Book 5:545, Land sale petition, Jacob Snyder Dec’d, 24 Oct 1829; online, FamilySearch, “Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994” (https://familysearch.org : accessed 14 Feb 2014); citing Orphan’s Court, Norristown. ↩
- Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Orphans Court Book 5:576, Guardianship petition, Jacob Snyder Dec’d, 16 Nov 1829; online, FamilySearch, “Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994” (https://familysearch.org : accessed 21 Sep 2015); citing Orphan’s Court, Norristown. ↩
- Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Orphans Court Book 5:576, Guardianship petition, Jacob Snyder Dec’d, 16 Nov 1829. ↩
- Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book 40:6, Jacob Wolf est to C.L. Martin, 1 Apr 1869; online, FamilySearch, “Deed Records 1812-1901; Index 1812-1911” (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 Sep 2016); citing Records of Deeds, Allentown. ↩
- 1880 United States Federal Census, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Allentown, enumeration district 174, page 9A, dwelling 161, family 180-181, Samuel Snyder household; online, FamilySearch, “United States Census, 1880” (https://familysearch.org : accessed 8 May 2017); citing NARA micropublication T9, roll 1146. ↩
- 1850 United States Federal Census, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Springfield Township, page 208A, dwelling 20, family 21, Jacob Snyder household; online, FamilySearch, “United States Census, 1850” (https://familysearch.org : accessed 5 Dec 2017); citing NARA micropublication M432, roll 759. ↩
- Trinity United Church of Christ, burial records, page 2, Jacob Snyder entry; online, Ancestry, “Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1780-1985” (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 Dec 2017), image 389; citing Historical Society of Pennsylvania, “Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records,” Reel 528; date calculated from the date of death. ↩
- 1800 United States Federal Census, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Upper Hanover Township, page 885, line 6, Jacob Snyder household; digital image, Internet Archive, “Population schedules of the second census of the United States, 1800, Pennsylvania” (https://archive.org/ : accessed 12 Oct 2015); citing NARA micropublication M32, roll 41. ↩
- 1810 United States Federal Census, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Upper Hanover Township, page 1233, line 24, Jacob Schneider household; digital image, Internet Archive, “Population schedules of the third census of the United States, 1810, Pennsylvania” (https://archive.org/ : accessed 12 Oct 2015); citing NARA micropublication M252, roll 52. ↩
- William John Hinke, A History of the Reformed Church, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (1727-1819) (Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Hinke, 1920), page 427; online book, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 30 Jul 2014). ↩