Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Seeking an 1804 Immigrant's Story


The story of some ancestors reaches so far into the past that any paper trail has become sparse through crumbling records—or lack of any records at all. Such is particularly the case for immigrant ancestors moving into pioneer territory.

That is exactly the case with the family I'd like to focus on as the fourth choice for my Twelve Most Wanted for 2022. With this fourth choice, we also move from selecting ancestors from my mother's line, to that of my mother-in-law.

Once again, I'll let DNA guide my choice. It happens that my mother-in-law has ancestors on both sides of her family who descend from the same Snider ancestor. Each of her grandmothers can claim descent from 1804 immigrants Anna Elizabeth Eckhardt and Nicholas Schneider, who arrived with their children in Ohio by 1819. With the large families typical of Catholics of that era of time, that has produced, over generations, a large number of DNA matches leading back to that same couple. 

It's time for me to connect the dots and clean up my Snider/Snyder/Schneider database. After all, the whole reason we use DNA testing for genealogical purposes is to organize—and hopefully extend—our family tree. I don't just want to plug those matches into my tree and call my job done; I want to see whether there is any chance to push the line back yet another generation.

Thus, in examining what can be found on founding ancestors Nicholas and Anna Elizabeth, I'll trace them backwards in time from Perry County, Ohio, to each stop on the way leading them there from their arrival at port on the east coast. Sifting through any records that can be found on this couple and their children, we'll see whether any clues reveal the exact location of their European origin.


  1. Oh, as an Ohioan I am interested in this journey - just for fun. I am about the world's most fortunate person with my Ohio German family. We had 3 brothers who immigrated to our county, eventually sending for all the brothers and sisters and the parents. And everyone has stayed here. AND they never lost touch with the relatives still in Germany. I remember as a little girl I saw the bound genealogy hardcover that the "cousins" put together. Now there are two volumes and an appendix and twice a year newsletter. There is a once a year reunion here in the county at the family church, purchased as a 501c3 when the church disbanded. It's next to a family cemetery and across the street from the original family home, now owned by a cousin who rents it as a bed and breakfast. Every other year (pre-pandemic) the American "cousins" travel to Germany for a week hosted by the German "cousins" and the opposite year the German "cousins" travel here. If only all relatives could have this easy peasy journey, LOL.

    1. What a fascinating opportunity your family has taken to keep that heritage story alive and pertinent to the current generation. Very inspiring, Miss Merry. Thank you so much for sharing that. I'm sure a lot of researchers wish that were their fortune, as well!


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