Monday, April 4, 2022

Meet the Sniders


If you lived in Perry County, Ohio, the name Snider would not be unknown to you. That is not just because of the business concern bearing that name, established there decades ago, but thanks in part to the immigrant ancestors of my mother-in-law, Nicholas and Elizabeth Schneider, who settled in the region before 1820. This couple, as founding ancestors, were eventually proud parents of a large family and multiplied grandchildren. This month, we'll explore what we can discover—and document—about this family line, especially noting their history before their arrival in Perry County.

Fortunately, both Elizabeth and Nicholas lived long enough to be included in the 1850 census, providing some scant details on who they were and where they came from. In the itemized household in Hopewell Township, we can see that Nicholas reported his age as eighty five, and his wife's age as seventy one. Both indicated their place of birth was Germany.

By that point in their lives, Nicholas and Elizabeth had raised at least eight children in that central Ohio location where they settled: Jacob, Catherine, Lewis, Joseph, Maria, Simon, Peter, and Conrad. Besides their daughter Catherine, it was likely their youngest, Conrad, who appeared in that 1850 census in their household, along with Conrad's wife Sarah and firstborn child, Mary.

If the ages reported in that 1850 census were accurate, this month we will be considering a man born overseas about 1765, with a wife who was born about 1779. In addition, theirs was a marriage documented across the ocean, for when they arrived in Ohio, their oldest son Jacob was also said to have been born in Germany.

Their passing, only a few years after that 1850 enumeration, captured a snapshot of their existence in Perry County, but Elizabeth's death in 1853 followed by Nicholas' in 1855 did not mean the end of their story. Their legacy included the many descendants who stayed in Perry County or nearby cities as well as the branches who sought better farmland westward in Iowa and Minnesota. Of those descendants, over two hundred of them have tested their DNA, matching my husband's readout and providing confirmation of our Snider connection.

It's not the Snider legacy that I'm seeking, though—I have plenty of those records to document the generations connecting all those cousins to my husband's fourth great-grandparents. What I hope to discover in this month's research is the documentation to support the many assertions made by multiple Snider family researchers over the decades. While we'll explore those family traditions this month, as well, in the end, the goal will be to find the paper trail to provide support for the stories. 

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