Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tracing the Full Circle—And Then Some

We started this journey almost a month ago—this journey in pursuit of designation as First Families of Ohio descendants. My original strategy had been to find documentation for my mother-in-law’s paternal line, showing the Flowers family to have arrived in Ohio prior to 1821. In anticipation of achieving that goal, I started laying out the generations—complete with their stories, of course—working my way backwards in time from my mother-in-law’s father, John Ambrose Flowers.

That tack, however, didn’t work out. While I had already discovered published anecdotal reports that the Flowers family was indeed in Ohio well before 1821, I couldn’t locate any documentation verifying the reports. Fortunately, in the meantime—and thanks to a summertime side trip to a wonderful genealogy library collection—I realized that the spouse of John Ambrose Flowers was the one who could provide me that sought-after prize.

Thus began the research detour back down through time, following the line of emigrant Nicholas Schneider and his descendants—now Americanized as “Snider.”

That, as we’ve seen in the past week, brought us through a few generations of daughters to the point, yesterday, where we witnessed the marriage license of my mother-in-law’s parents, Bertha Genevieve Metzger to John Ambrose Flowers—precisely the man with whom we had embarked on the original quest.

In discussing John Ambrose Flowers, I had previously mentioned that his parents were Joseph E. Flowers and Anna Maria Snider.

Of course, when I first mentioned it, I don’t suppose the fact that John’s mother’s maiden name was Snider meant much of anything to you.


However, now that you’ve been through the litany of Schneider descendants, you have, no doubt, been sensitized to that Snider surname.

Remember how I’ve mentioned that a favorite comment about Perry County is that everyone there seems to be related to everyone else?

Well, guess what?! Not only was Bertha Metzger John Flowers’ wife, she was also his second cousin once removed (oh, and his half third cousin—but that’s a Gordon story for another day).

How, you ask? Simple. John’s mother, Anna Maria Snider, was daughter of Jacob Snider—that oldest son of Nicholas the immigrant, who made that early first purchase of land jointly with his father.

So not only do I have documentation for my family’s connection to First Families of Ohio through my mother-in-law’s maternal line, but also through her paternal—Flowers—line, thanks again to that very same Snider family.

Above right: Jan Davidszoon de Heem, "Festoon of Fruit and Flowers," oil on canvas, circa 1660; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.


  1. Replies
    1. Oh, Claudia, I don't know about that. I don't handle the blood, guts and gore well. However, after all that is handily cleaned up--by someone else--I do enjoy conducting the background research.

  2. I think in part - the inter-marriage thing was due to there being so few people "back in the day" in any given area. Even the largest city in the USA had a population of only 34,000 in 1790, and it took until 1820 for it to exceed 100,000 (124,000). If you were picky, gosh help ya... :)

    1. Good point, Iggy. And think of it--it's that same 1820 we're talking about, only in this instance, in a remote stretch of (admittedly gorgeous) land, not in the midst of any urban area. Point well taken.

  3. It was very interesting how you proved your connections to First Families of Ohio.

    1. Thanks, Grant. I'm hoping that this will encourage some readers to consider following suit and applying for whatever First Families program is available in the states where their ancestors settled, too.

  4. Love the titles you give to your posts. Yes you traced the full circle and then some.

  5. Wow, Jacqi, a double connection! I have a similar situation created when two cousins married each other. I don't think it was all that uncommon on the frontier. Congrats on getting all your documentation together for First Families--that's a big accomplishment!

    1. Thanks, Shelley! I was excited to realize that I turned up that double connection.

      Interesting to think that scenario--like your cousins marrying--was not too uncommon. Although in Perry County, I think it was not such a direct exchange, but more of a round-robin approach: person A marries person B who is related to person C who marries person D who is person A's relative. A little more messy for the researcher, but if you take in the big picture, it's there for the finding.

  6. Cool! You found the connection..not once but twice..you rock! :)


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