THREE: PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH (AND SWISS)
"SFA" stands for the Smith Family Archives, assembled and transcribed over many years by Leanna Lois Claudia Smith, daughter of Alonzo; her great-nieces Mellie Morris Smith (daughter of Herbert Gustavus) and Gertrude Fairchild Smith (daughter of Maurice Leigh); and great-great-niece Mildred Aileen Nash (neé Mellie Agnes Smith: daughter of Francis See).
"Sprout" stands for Oliver Snyder Sprout's 1939 article "Andrew Snyder: A Revolutionary Soldier Who Reached the Age of 112 Years," in Papers Read before the Lancaster County Historical Society, Vol. XLIII, No. 4, pp.128-130.
"JAR" stands for correspondence with Joel A. Rodgers, a descendant of Catharine Snyder Zook, who in 2009-10 provided obituaries and other documentation about Catharine's father Andrew.
Internet sources are indicated by tildes (e.g. ~internet). A complete list can be found on the Sources page. Due to the transient nature of Internet entries, only a few hyperlinks will be provided to outside webpages; such as ~a (www.ancestry.com) and ~f (www.familysearch.org). The United States Federal Census records for 1850 through 1930 cited below are available at (except for 1890's, which was badly damaged in a 1921 fire and later quietly destroyed).
Andrew Snyder, Aged 112 Years
● How Swiss Became Dutch
The Pfalz or Palatinate of the German Rhine was racked by warfare from 1689 to 1697, and again from 1702 to 1713; in addition the Palatine Protestants suffered from religious maltreatment. Following a long harsh winter, mass emigration took place in 1709: more than 10,000 Palatines sailed down the Rhine to Rotterdam, and Queen Anne in England granted refuge to about 7,000. Almost half of them went on to America, bound for William Penn's colony, renowned for its tolerance and prosperity. They would be followed by many more Palatines—estimated as over 10,000 by 1727 and up to 80,000 by 1750—whose ranks were swelled by a multitude of others from the Rhine Valley, southwestern Germany and northern Switzerland. Totaling approximately 100,000 in 1742, these became the Pennsylvania Dutch [< "Deutsch"]. They settled a wide stretch north and west of Philadelphia, from Allentown and Bethlehem in the east to York and Lancaster in the south, speaking a West Central German dialect that came to be called Pennsilfaanisch. Most were Lutheran, Reformed, or Anabaptist—the latter including Mennonites from Switzerland, and the Amish who separated from the Mennonites at the end of the 17th Century. Thus a great many Swiss were part of the Pennsylvania Dutch; and one of them was named Andrew Snyder.
● Passage from Switzerland
Andrew Snyder [Sr.] was born in Switzerland on Aug. 17, 1733—or at least that's the birthdate he was credited with when he died in 1845, "aged 112 years." But nowhere is anything said about what he was doing for the first thirty-odd.
"Family tradition states that he arrived on these shores during the year 1766," according to Sprout. The SFA says Andrew sailed to America on the brigantine Recovery (Captain Bull, clearing from Rotterdam) on Oct. 31, 1771. The two sources also differ on the quantity of his passage money: $100 in gold (SFA) vs. $300 (Sprout). They almost agree that Andrew's passage was paid by "one Rine a miller... of Mill Creek near Intercourse, Pennsylvania" (SFA)—aka "George Rinne... [who] owned and operated a mill near Roland's Church, Lancaster County" (Sprout). Alan Taylor describes this type of arrangement on pp. 319-320 of his American Colonists (Penguin, 2001):
The German emigrant trade developed a relatively attractive form of indentured servitude adapted to the needs of families. Known as "redemptioners," the Germans contracted to serve for about four to five years... Most contracts also gave the emigrant family a grace period of two weeks, upon arrival in Pennsylvania, to find a relative or acquaintance who would purchase their labor contract. Often arranged by prior correspondence, these deals afforded the emigrants some confidence in their destination and employer. If the two-week period passed, the redemption became open to general bidding from any colonist who needed laborers. After serving out their indentures, the redemptioners became free to seek out their own farms, usually on the frontier where land was cheaper.
The system worked well, because successful German farmers in Pennsylvania needed labor, preferred fellow Germans, and favored intact families. The redemptioner system accelerated the chain migration as the early migrants succeeded, reported their gains, encouraged friends and relatives to follow, and helped finance their journey by purchasing their contracts upon arrival. No seventeenth-century indentured servants had been so fortunate.
~eby tells us that Theodorus Eby, a Mennonite from Zurich, came to Pennsylvania in 1715 and settled on Mill Creek at a place later known as Roland's Mill, located near the border of present-day Earl Township (to the north) and Leacock Township (to the south) in Lancaster County: the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country. In 1717 Eby built his Old Dutch Mill where Mill Creek crosses Old Peters Road. After his death the mill would be owned by the Roland family and then, in the 1770s, by the brothers George and John Rien—alias Rine, alias Rinne. (Click on the thumbnail to the right to see an 1872 map of Lancaster County; and here to see a Wikipedia map.)
● About Intercourse (PA)
Dr. Frederick Klein's 1924 History of Lancaster County (excerpted by ~horseshoe/leacock) remarks that:
The chief centers of population in the present Leacock township are Intercourse and Gordonville, the former having a population of 500... residents. Intercourse, which is about eleven miles from Lancaster, traces its establishment to the Cross Keys Tavern, a well-known hostelry along the old Provincial road. It was erected of logs in about 1754, and was a public house probably from almost that time... The place was known as Cross-Keys until 1814, when an attempt was made to exploit a town-site at that point. It was at that time that the name Intercourse was given to the platted town-site.
new name possibly resulted from there being a racecourse at its major
intersection. "Sign posts for the town are frequently targeted by
thieves," reports Wikipedia.
● "The Secret of the Old Mill"
Andrew Snyder worked out his passage with the Rien brothers for several years, till they had a falling-out over the American Revolution. Here are three versions of what transpired:
Andrew Snyder's sympathies were all with the Continentals and he longed to go into the army, but was bound to Rine to work out that passage money. He discovered that Rine was a Tory, was secretly aiding the British with flour and meal and in every way he could. One day [Snyder] said to Rine, "What would you do if I should inform on you?" Rine answered, "I know you would not do that." Snyder said, "I don't know." Rine became very anxious and finally told Snyder, "Go into the army if you want to." Snyder said, "Give me my papers first," so Rine freed him of his debt and Snyder went into the second Pennsylvania Continental line and served about seven years.
Thus wrote Andrew's great-granddaughter Mary Barrass (actually May I. Burrows Barrass) in "Wanderings Among Historic Places," a letter published in a Bloomington, Illinois newspaper on Apr. 3, 1919. Here is Sprout's variation:
Early in the Revolutionary War Snyder discovered that Rinne was selling flour to the British Army, and raised the question with Rinne as to the consequences of the discovery by local authorities of Rinne's actions. The result of the argument was that Rinne gave Snyder his freedom papers, and Snyder immediately proceeded to enlist in the Continental Army.
~eby expands on this, Law and Order-style:
Andrew Snyder, an employee of the mill, discovered that flour from the mill was being sent to the British Army and questioned George Rien concerning the legality of such actions. Moreover, it was discovered that flour being sold for the use of colonial troops contained ground glass. Action was brought against the Rien brothers...
At the trial... it was revealed that the Rien brothers were collaborating with Lieutenant Mansin, an officer of the British Army, Wendel Meyer and Joseph Rode... It was further disclosed that Rien's Mill was one of the most important stations in an underground system for sending flour and supplies to the British and then on to New York. Lieutenant Mansin quite often slept in the mill and used it as a base for operations...
Mansin, Meyer and Joseph Rode were tried and sentenced to the gallows. The Rien brothers were tried in absentia since they had escaped and were with the British in Philadelphia. However, the entire proceedings were set aside by General George Washington when he reviewed the case. Someone evidently had overstepped his authority... A second trial followed. Mansin and Meyer were condemned to death. They were hanged in the old jail yard at Prince and Water Streets in Lancaster.†
(And they would've gotten away with it, too, if not for that meddling Swissman.)
● Continental Soldier
The SFA states that in Oct. 1776 Andrew Snyder volunteered to serve in the Continental Line, Second Pennsylvania Division, First Battalion under the command of Mad Anthony Wayne and "Col. D. Haas." ~quick/snyder says Andrew served as a private in the 2nd Pennsylvania Continental Line under Colonel John Philip de Haas. Sprout says he enlisted at Germantown in Captain Culbertson's troop of cavalry, and provides an account of what happened next from Andrew himself:
We marched from Germantown to Winchester, Va., from Winchester to Bunkerhill, returned to Pennsylvania and had a small skirmish with the enemy at Princeton, N.J., crossed the Delaware and took about one hundred Hessians prisoner. From Trenton, we marched to within eight or ten miles of New York and lay there about a month, taking up supplies intended for the British Army which was laying in New York. Joined the army on Long Island. Was in the Battle of Long Island. Was in the Battle of Germantown, being wounded in the arm by a sword at Germantown, on which account I was furloughed.
This statement was made Jan. 25, 1831, when Andrew "filed an application for a soldier's pension, as follows: 'That he had enlisted in 1776 for the war and continued in service until the end of the war.'" Sprout agrees that he served in the 2nd Pennsylvania Line under John Philip "Dehass." (The "Bunkerhill" mentioned by Andrew is not the one in Boston, but in Berkeley County VA northeast of Winchester—click here to see a map. Fifty years earlier, Morgan Morgan had established western Virginia's first permanent settlement near Bunker Hill at another Mill Creek; of which see more in Chapter B-2.)
In the SFA, Andrew Snyder is said to have crossed the Delaware with General George Washington on Dec. 25, 1776 and fought in the battles of Trenton (a day later), Princeton (Jan. 3, 1777), Brandywine Creek "which he often described as running red with blood" (Sep. 11, 1777), and Germantown (Oct. 4, 1777) where he was wounded. After a furlough he returned to duty in time to take up winter quarters at Valley Forge (Dec. 1777 to May 1778), followed by the battle of Monmouth (June 28, 1778). Andrew served till the war's end and received honorable discharge in Philadelphia on Nov. 3, 1783.
One of his obituaries (see below) stated that "at Brandywine he was one of the Cavalry under the command of Count Pulaski, and was wounded in the arm."
Sprout adds: "He received an honorable discharge but did not take care of it, and it was lost. He did not know that many years later it would be needed for securing a pension." Starting in 1828 or 1829, the state of Pennsylvania provided Andrew with an annual $40 pension, and in 1831 there would be "a settlement record between the United States and soldier Andrew Snyder for the balance of the pay due him up to November 1783, of $62.80. The receipt was signed by Snyder making his mark"—but he never received the federal pension in his lifetime.
(The present author has always liked to think that in Emanuel Leutze's
Washington Crossing the Delaware,
Andrew Snyder is the one below and behind the flag, trying to keep his hat on.)
● The Mill and Magdalena
Having helped win independence for America (and DAR membership for future generations of his female descendants) Andrew then went back to Switzerland—"for some unknown reason," according to Sprout. "Some say the trip was occasioned by his seeking a wife or sweetheart; another statement says he returned to complete his trade as a shoe cobbler. He returned alone... There is in existence a pair of small shoes which he [later] made for a granddaughter." The SFA concurs that "the attractions of the new country were too great and he again came to America, working his way over on a vessel. While in Switzerland he completed his apprenticeship as a cobbler and a pair of slippers that he made are now  in possession of the family."
Footwear or no footwear, Andrew returned to Lancaster County—as did George Rien, who regained possession of the Old Dutch Mill. "Believe it or not," says ~eby, "Mr. Snyder, who made the original discovery of [Rien's] extracurricular activities[,] returned to the mill to resume his former employment and marry a girl, Magdalena Pfeiffer, who lived in the Rien household." Sprout says Andrew "married a girl, Magdalena Peiffer, who had worked at Rinne's place before the war. She died three or four years later." The SFA says Andrew's first wife was Magdalena (no surname), born in Switzerland. "After the war was over he returned to work for Rine, [and] his wife died" circa 1787 near Intercourse PA.
Unlike Magdalena, the Old Dutch Mill survived into the 20th Century, as Mrs. Barrass reported in her 1919 "Wanderings":
It still is grinding flour and meal and the same great wheel that turned for my great-grandfather before the Revolution still turns to run the modern machinery... I went over the mill from top to bottom, three stories and cellar, and the miller showed me the great water-wheel... the old fireplace and old utensils and the old scales which he said Grandpa Snyder had no doubt used many a time... I bought some flour and meal and sent it to my sisters in Illinois and they made the flour into fruitcake for me and sent [it] to every member of our family... Fifty-two of Andrew Snyder's descendants partook of that cake.
mention of how many survived that partaking.)
~eby states the great water wheel lasted until the mill burned down in
1923; many of the original utensils, including the scales, were used in a
second mill on the same site till it too burned in 1935.
● Barbara and the Children
Sprout and the SFA agree that Andrew Snyder married his second wife in 1789. ~quick/snyder says her name was Barbara Metzger; Sprout says Barbara Metzgar; the SFA calls her Barbara, but mixes up the surnames Metzger, Peiffer, and Pfeiffer.
It is unclear where the Snyders lived. The extant 1790 census of Lancaster County does not include Leacock Township, and Andrew is missing from the Earl Township roll. His daughter Mary Ann was born two years later "in Maryland"—no details given. A complete alphabetical index of Lancaster County's 1800 census is available, but Andrew Snyder's name does not appear. (However, Leacock Township includes one 1800 head-of-household named "Shiverwoman, The," whose story would probably be worth hearing.)
Wherever the Snyders lived and however Barbara spelled her maiden name, she died circa 1807, and her five children "were all bound out as was then the custom." They were:
Mary Ann Snyder: born Apr. 10, 1792 in Maryland; of whom
see more in
* Andrew Snyder [Jr.]: "killed in his youth by falling from a balcony when the rail on which he sat broke, throwing him to the ground and breaking his neck" (as per the SFA)
* Daniel Snyder: "a blacksmith, killed by the kick of a horse he was shoeing. No issue" (as per the SFA)
* Catharine Snyder: born Aug. 18, 1802
* John C. Snyder: born Feb. 21, 1805
● His Daughter Catharine
Andrew Snyder's younger daughter Catharine Snyder married Daniel Zook, the son of Christian Zook aka Christian Zug (1758-1819) and Magdalena "Martha" Mast (1764-1842). Daniel was born July 28, 1796 (~mccormick/zook says July 29th); lived in Gordonville, southwest of Intercourse; and died Sep. 4, 1835 (~mccormick/zook says Sep. 4, 1836).
~horseshoe/leacock reports that a Daniel Zook bought 35 acres of land "for farm purposes" on the south side of Intercourse, but is unclear as to when. Sprout refers us to page 921 of 1883's History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (by Franklin Ellis and Samuel Evans, available at Google Books) for an account of Catharine Snyder Zook's religious activities. This page tells us Mrs. Catharine Zook was one of the few surviving original members of the Intercourse Church, founded c.1839; and that from about 1846 to 1850, its "services were held at Mother Zook's."
~mccormick/zook says Catharine and Daniel had seven little Zooks:
* Adam Diller Zook: born Nov. 20, 1820; died Feb. 26, 1857
* Abiah Metzger Zook: born Dec. 17, 1822; died [when?] in Wexford MI
* Josiah Snyder Zook: born Jan. 14, 1825; married Evaline Eckert aka Evelyn Eckert (1825-1890) and had five children‡; died 2/6/1896 in Soudersburg, Lancaster County PA
* Azariah Mast Zook aka Azario Mast Zook: born Jan. 12, 1827; died Oct. 20, 1862
* Elmira Zook: born Mar. 28, 1829; married Rev. John Varns Eckert (1824-1898) and had nine children§; died Aug. 30, 1896
* Catherine Zook: born Sep. 3, 1831; married a Mr. [first name?] Hamaker; widowed by 1880
* Daniel Andrew Zook: born May 10, 1834; served during the Civil War as a lieutenant ("and the regimental butcher") in Company 1 of the 79th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, as per JAR; died May 18, 1883
Sprout adds that Elmira Zook was the grandchild for whom Andrew Snyder cobbled the aforementioned pair of "small shoes." ~stobie/eckert identifies Josiah's wife and Elmira's husband as siblings, the children of Jacob K. Eckert (1800-1864) and Hannah Varnes (1803-1871). The Eckerts were a prominent family in Leacock Township; their name appears repeatedly as propertyholders on 1864 maps.
Turning to federal censuses, we find the following:
1840—Leacock Township, Lancaster County PA
Widow Zook, head of household: one female (age 30-to-40: presumably Catharine)
one male (age 100+: certainly Andrew Snyder)
two males (age 20-to-30; Adam and perhaps Abiah?—note that "1" is erased from the male 30-to-40 column)
one male (age 15-to-20: Josiah?)
one female (age 15-to-20: perhaps a servant girl?)
one male (age 10-to-15: Azario?)
one female (age 10-to-15: Elmira?)
one female (age 5-to-10: Catherine?)
one male (age 5-to-10: Daniel?)
1850—Leacock Township, Lancaster County PA; all born in Pennsylvania
Catharine Zuck (age 48) $1,000 in real estate
Josiah S. Zuck (age 25) occupation "B.smith"
Catharine Zuck (age 18)
1860—Enterprise Post Office, Leacock Township, Lancaster County PA; all born in
Josiah Zook (age 35) occupation blacksmith, $290 in personal estate
Eveline Zook (age 36)
Catharine S. Zook (age 9)
George A. Zook (age 7)
John E. Zook (age 3)
Hannah R. Zook (age 1)
Catharine Zook (age 57) widow, $1,200 in real estate, $60 in personal estate
next door (or at least listed next in the census)
Jacob K. Eckert (age 60) occupation tanner, $15,150 in real estate, $420 in personal estate
Hannah Eckert (age 68? entry uncertain)
Cyrus L. Eckert (age 20) occupation sadler
Sarah E. Eckert (age 18)
Margaret J. Eckert (age 13)
(the latter three being Jacob and Hannah's youngest children; Margaret J. appears in ~stobie/eckert as "Jemima")
Strasbourg Borough, Lancaster County PA
John V. Eckert (age 36) occupation clergyman
Elmira T. [sic] Eckert (age 30)
Abia T. [sic] Eckert (age 10)
Jacob K. Eckert (age 5)
Catherine E. Eckert (age 2)
[in 1880 the Eckerts lived next door to Elmira's Uncle John Snyder in Columbia PA: see "His Son John" below]
1870—Gap Post Office, Leacock Township, Lancaster County PA; all born in
Josiah S. Zook (age 45) occupation speculator, $200 in personal estate
Eveline Zook (age 47) occupation keeping house
Cathrine [sic] S. Zook (age 19) occupation at home
George A. Zook (age 17) occupation at home
John E. Zook (age 13)
Mary E. Zook (age 9)
Hannah Zook (age 7: should have been 10 or 11)
Daniel A. Zook (age 35: Josiah's youngest brother) occupation painter
Cathrine [sic] Zook (age 68) occupation at home, $2,000 in real estate
1880—Leacock Township, Lancaster
County PA; all born in Pennsylvania to Pennsylvanian-born parents (except where
Zook, Josiah S. (age 55) occupation laborer [evidently his 1870 speculations hadn't panned out]
Zook, Evaline (age 57) occupation keeping home
Zook, Hannah (age 20)
Varnes, John (age 86: an uncle of Evaline?) boarder and widower, occupation "gentleman"
several houses away
Zook, Catharine (77) widow, occupation keeping home, father born in Switzerland
Hamaker, Catharine (48: the first Catharine's younger daughter), widow, occupation keeping home
Hamaker, Henry (21) occupation laborer
Hamaker, Andrew S. (13)
Catharine Snyder Zook died Apr. 20, 1891 at the age of 88 (less than a year before her older sister Mary Ann Snyder Wikel's centennial) and was buried as "Catharine Zuck, Wife of Daniel Zuck" beside her son Daniel—"Lieut. D. A. Zook"—at the Intercourse United Methodist (United Brethren) Church.
● His Son John
Sprout says Andrew Snyder's surviving son was named John Carpenter Snyder. He appears in federal censuses with the middle initial "C" and occupation of carpenter; leaving us to wonder whether he assumed the former because of the latter, or took up the latter because of the former.
John lived in Columbia PA, halfway between Lancaster and York, on the Susquehanna's east bank. On Oct. 22, 1829 he married Jane Given (born June 30, 1810 in Lancaster County PA: daughter of Oliver Given [1771-1836] and Anne Blainey [1783-1844]). They had at least eleven children:
* Ann E. "Annie" Snyder: born c.1830-31; married a Mr. [first name?]
Wood; widowed by 1880, when she's recorded as living in two
Columbia PA households—with her aged parents and her sister Elmira's
* Elvin G. Snyder: born c.1832
* Margaret J. Snyder: born Apr. 1836; married William Jacobs (born c.1829-31, died by 1900) and lived in Paradise PA (south of Gordonville, southwest of Intercourse); had ten children††; alive as late as 1910
* Oliver W. Snyder: born Aug. 1839; married Susan F. [surname?: born c.1845] by 1870, when they lived in Lancaster PA's Ward 3 and Oliver worked as a brick mason; in 1880 Oliver was a railroader, and he and Susan lived in Columbia PA next door to Elmira and the Folks; in 1898 Oliver married Lizzie A. [surname?: born May 1861]; they had a son, John G. Snyder (born Nov. 1898); by 1900 Oliver was a bricklayer and his new family lived in Lancaster's Ward 5
* Catharine S. Snyder: born c.1841
* Mary M. Snyder: born c.1843-44
* Elmira S. "Ella" Snyder: born Dec. 23, 1845; married John F. Folk (born Oct. 1842) in 1866 and lived in Columbia PA; had four children‡‡; died June 9, 1945 in Durham NC, aged 89
* Sarah J. Snyder: born c.1848; died by 1860?
* John S. Snyder: born c.1851; married Kate E. [surname?]; had a daughter, May Snyder (born c.1879)
* Edwin A. Snyder: born c.1853
* Adda Josephine Snyder aka Ada J. Snyder: born May 17, 1857; married Emmanuel Good Sprout (born Dec. 25, 1847) on Aug. 12, 1877; had a son, Oliver Snyder Sprout (born Mar. 3, 1884: ~sprout's author). Emmanuel died Feb. 29, 1896 and Adda Josephine on Sep. 5, 1925; Oliver married Iva May Pelen (born Oct. 5, 1884) on July 18, 1907 and had a son, Oliver Snyder Sprout Jr. (born Apr. 18, 1916)
John's family is represented in the following federal censuses:
1850—Paradise, Lancaster County PA; all born in Pennsylvania
John Snyder (age 45) occupation carpenter
Jane Snyder (age 39)
Elvin G. Snyder (age 18) occupation clerk
Margaret J. Snyder (age 14)
Olivie [sic] W. Snyder (age 11)
Catharine S. Snyder (age 9)
Mary M. Snyder (age 6)
Elmira S. Snyder (age 4)
Sarah J. Snyder (age 2)
1860—Lancaster (South East Ward), Lancaster County PA; all born in Pennsylvania
Jno Snyder (age 55) occupation carpenter
Jane Snyder (age 50)
Oliver Snyder (age 21) occupation laborer
Mary M. Snyder (age 17)
Elmira Snyder (age 12)
John Snyder (age 9)
Edwin Snyder (age 7)
Ada Snyder (age 3)
1870—Neff Mills Post Office, Petersburg Borough, Huntingdon County PA; all born
(which is 140 miles—by modern highway—west of Lancaster/Columbia)
Jno C. Snider [sic] (age 68) occupation carpenter
Jane Snider (age 60) occupation keeping house
John S. Snider (age 19) occupation moulder[?]
Edwin A. Snider (age 17) occupation apprentice to wagonmaker[?]
Ada J. Snider (age 13)
1880—Locust Street, Columbia, Lancaster County PA;
all born in Pennsylvania
Eckert, J.V. (age 55) occupation minister
Eckert, Elmira Z. (age 50) occupation keeping house
Eckert, A.Z. (age 29) occupation clerk in store
Eckert, Edward A. (age 19) occupation clerk in store
Eckert, Sarah J. (age 17) occupation at home
Eckert, John A. (age 14) occupation at home
Eckert, Dan'l H. (age 6) occupation at home
next door (or at least listed next in the census)
Snyder, John C. (age 75) occupation carpenter, father born in Switzerland
Snyder, Jane (age 69: wife) occupation keeping house
Wood, Ann E. (age 50: daughter) widow, occupation at home
Snyder, John S. (age 29: son) occupation railroad conductor
Snyder, Kate E. (age 25: daughter-in-law) occupation at home
Snyder, May (age 10 months: granddaughter) occupation at home
Margaret (Mrs. William) Jacobs and Elmira (Mrs. John) Folk both attended their Aunt Mary Ann Snyder Wikel's 100th birthday celebration in 1892 (of which more in Chapter P-2); their brother John S. Snyder was also expected, but only his wife and children may have actually made it. Soon afterwards their father John C. Snyder died Apr. 3, 1894, aged 89; his wife Jane Given Snyder followed on Mar. 18, 1898.
● (Very) Old Age
Andrew Snyder lived out his many later years with daughter Catharine Zook near Intercourse PA. One of his obituaries (see below) stated he had lived in Leacock Township "for the last 25 years," indicating settlement there circa 1820. Mary Ann Snyder's granddaughter May I. Barrass, in her 1919 "Wanderings," spoke with four of Mary Ann's nieces, then in their eighties and nineties:
Two of these women are sisters, and their grandfather [Andrew] lived until his death with their mother, and one [of the sisters] was seventeen and the other fifteen, when he died at the wonderful age of 112 years. You have no idea how strange a feeling came over me to hear those old ladies tell me the stories of the Revolution that that old soldier told them with his own lips—of the suffering at Valley Forge, of the great goodness to his men of their beloved General Washington, of the bloody battle of the Brandywine, so bloody that the stream ran red; how Rine's treachery was discovered and his mill confiscated until after the war...
Grandpa Snyder was an active old man and in June preceding his death... he walked the eleven miles from Intercourse where he lived to Lancaster, to draw his [state] pension. This he did for many years. I visited the home where he lived and it is a solid brick house that looks as if it would last for ages to come.
Andrew Snyder died Nov. 4, 1845 (Sprout says Nov. 14th), and was buried at Roland's Church—later called Zeltenreich—about three miles north of Intercourse near New Holland. Andrew's gravestone (photo at right taken by Mellie Smith Nash in 1976) proclaims an age of 112 yrs 2 mos & 17 ds. From him "we have descended and we have a priceless record of patriotism as our heritage," his great-great-granddaughter Leanna Smith would declare.
The obituary to the left, contributed by JAR, appeared in the Lancaster Examiner & Herald for Nov. 12, 1845 (Vol. XIX, Page 3). Here his interment is said to have taken place "at the Union Meeting house, near Ro[l]and's Mill, followed by a large concourse of relatives, neighbors, and acquaintances." Here too Andrew is said to have been "blessed with a robust constitution and a goodly vigor, so much so, that within the last eighteen months he travelled on foot to Shippensburg, a distance of about 90 miles, to see some of his relatives."
Another memorial supplied by JAR appeared in A Brief History of Bishop Jacob Mast and Other Mast Pioneers by C. Z. Mast (Elverson PA: Mennonite Family History):
Andrew Snyder, who was born in Germany. He was taken from board of vessel by a family named Rhine, who lived in Lancaster Co., PA., he then married to a young German lady by name of Metzger. He was a shoemaker by trade and could not be excelled in preparing salves, medicines and horse and cattle powders. After his death neighbors called to borrow his books, containing hundreds of recipes, consequently there were very few that were restored again to the family library. He lived to the age of one hundred and fifteen years, his hair finally changed from gray to yellow. He was always remarkably vigorous, and in his last years, he still wandered to the woods in company with his grand-children to gather herbs. While being over one hundred years of age he traveled on foot from Gordonville, Lancaster Co., PA., to Gettysburg, PA.; selling cattle powders. He died Nov. 3, 1845, was a member of the Lutheran church, buried at Roland's church in the vicinity of Gordonville.
JAR also mentioned that the Deaths column of the Nov. 25, 1845 Hamburg Schnellpost included "November 1 [sic], in Intercourse, Lancaster County, Andrew Schneider [also sic], aged 103 years [ditto], a soldier of the Revolution." (As per ~hamburg).
The present author is rather more inclined to believe an age of 103 than the "traditional" (deliberately exaggerated?) 112; and also notes the unique appearance of Schneider, anticipating the variation "Snyder" for an unrelated clan of Schneiders in Chapter L-2.
On Apr. 28, 1846, Pennsylvania Congressman John Strohm introduced "A Petition of Catharine Zook and John Snyder, sole heirs of Andrew Snyder, late of Lancaster County, State of Pennsylvania, deceased, who was a Soldier of the American army in the war of the Revolution, praying for a [federal] pension on account of the services of their deceased Father" (~congressionaljournal). This prayer was referred to the Committee on Revolutionary Pensions, and apparently won approval: Sprout states that "When [Andrew Snyder] endeavored to secure a pension, it was after the effort of many years, from 1831 to the time of his death... that it was finally granted, January 19, 1850, dating from March 4, 1826—$80 a year, payable twice yearly in the sum of $40." The actual Certificate of Pension (see right) was issued on July 15, 1850, "payable to only surviving children to wit Catharine Zook & John Snyder." (This despite their older sister Mary Ann Snyder W[e]ikel's being very much alive in Peoria County, Illinois.)
JAR has tracked down not only the federal pension itself but over 100 pages of vintage documents concerning it, including a petition "To the President and Honourable members of the Senate of the United States" whose phrasing carefully avoids overcommitment:
Whereas, we the undersigned Citizens of the United States, and residents of Lancaster County, do hereby beg leave to certify, that we have known Andrew Snyder, of Leacock Township, Lan[caster] Co[unty] for many years, and that he has always been reputed to have been a Soldier of the Revolutionary War, and the general belief of the neighborhood is that he was a Soldier of the Pennsylvania Line, and that we never have known any other person, than this man, by the name of Andrew Snyder (or Schneider), or heard of any by that name. And in accordance with which belief, we beg that justice may be done his heirs, by your Honorable [sic] body. And as in duty bound will pray.
Twenty-two names appear on this petition, followed by the statement: "I am
personally acquainted with nearly all the above subscribers & know them to be
gentlemen of high character & great respectability. James Buchanan[,]
Washington[,] 20 April 1846." At that time Buchanan was Secretary of State
in the Polk Administration; the signature, with its distinctive initials J and
B, matches that of Buchanan as President a decade later. He had been
admitted to the bar in Lancaster PA in 1812, and—when not in Washington or
overseas—lived at a nearby estate called Wheatland. Its house "is as
Pennsylvania as Dutch craftsmanship could make it," according to Cranston
Jones’s Homes of the American Presidents (New York: Bonanza Books, 1962,
pp. 107-109). "Guests were sometimes invited to see Buchanan’s strawberry
patch or the grape vineyards, of which he was particularly proud."
† Wenger, Samuel Esbenshade: Eby Family Homeland Tour
‡ The five children of Josiah Snyder Zook and Evaline Eckert were: Catharine Salome Zook (1851-1942), who married William Harvey Martin and had nine children; George Andrew Zook (1853-1896); John Eckert Zook (1857-1932), who married Mary E. Kellenberger and had five children; Hannah Zook (c.1850-1950); and Mary Elmira Zook (1861-1932), who married Samuel Dougherty Harsh and had nine children: as per ~mccormick/zook and JAR's ~rodgers/zook.
§ The nine children of Elmira Zook and Rev. John Varns Eckert were: Abia Zook Eckert (born c.1850-51); Hannah Rebecca Eckert (born after 1851?, died before 1860?); Jacob Kerns Eckert (born c.1855); Catharine Elizabeth Eckert (born c.1858); Edward Andrew Eckert (born c.1861); Sarah Jane Eckert (born c.1863, married E.E. Miles of Baltimore); John Ambrose Eckert (born c.1866); Lewis Henry Eckert (born c.1870?, died before 1880?); and Daniel Herbert Eckert (born c.1874): all as per Sprout, with vitals derived (and surmised) from federal censuses
†† The ten children of Margaret J. "Maggie" Snyder and William Jacobs included: John Jacobs (born c.1859-60); Oliver Jacobs (born c.1862); Anna Jacobs (born c.1866); Albert E. Jacobs (born Feb. 1869); and Maggie (Margaret?) Jacobs (born c.1874). They lived near in Paradise PA near Kinzers Post Office from at least 1860 through 1880; William was a day laborer in 1860 and a railroader in 1880; he died by 1900. In that year Margaret and son Albert (a "towerman") were boarding with the Keepirts family in Philadelphia; besides Albert, only one other of Margaret's ten children was living. In 1910 Margaret and Albert (transcribed as "Robert": an expressman) lived in Upper Darby Township, Delaware County PA
‡‡ The four children of Elmira S. "Ella" Snyder and John F. Folk were: Grace A. Folk (born c.1866); Charles Folk (born c.1868; died by 1880?); Alice J. Folk (born c.1871); and Eline S. Folk (a son, born c.1875). In 1870 they lived in East Lampeter Township, Lancaster County PA, and John worked as a wagonmaker; in 1880 they lived in Columbia PA next door to Elmira's brother Oliver W. Snyder, and John worked as a railroader; by 1900 John (a railroad conductor) and Ella lived by themselves in Columbia, and two of their four children had died. In 1930 Ella was living with grandchildren in High Point, Guilford County NC; and her vitals were found in the North Carolina Death Certificate database, where her father's first name appears as "Oliver"
Notes on the origins of the Pennsylvania Dutch came from ~horseshoe, ~muweb,
and ~palatine. In Chapter L-1, the
Rhineland Palatinate will be reencountered a century later as Rhenish Hesse and
● ~mccormick/zook awards Andrew Snyder an additional year of longevity by having him born on Aug. 17, 1732 instead of 1733; and says he married "Barbara Pfeiffer Meztzger Metzgar," who did not die until 1837. From ~mccormick/zook was derived Daniel Zook's parents's vitals and mother's nickname, plus the roster of Daniel and Catharine's children and son Josiah's offspring.
● Alan Taylor's American Colonies (Penguin Books, 2001) studies German emigration on pp. 315-322. The 100,000 who came to America were but one-fifth of the half-million who left the Rhineland between 1680 and 1780. Many more were encouraged to go east to Prussia, Russia, and Hungary by Rhineland princes who received subsidies from those countries. Even so, "during the late 1720s about three ships, bearing a total of 600 Germans, annually arrived in Philadelphia. By the early 1750s some twenty ships and 5,600 Germans landed every year." Quite a few would return to Germany to conduct business for fellow immigrants and recruit other Germans to join them in the New World. "About two-thirds of the emigrants had sufficient means to pay their own way; the poorer third came as indentured servants. Sometimes parents could afford their own passage and that of younger children but had to indenture their adolescents, who had the highest value as laborers." Pennsylvania's population sextupled by 1750, reducing the Quakers to a mere quarter of the total. Some urged that immigration be taxed and limited; instead, naturalization was eased for the hardworking newcomers. They in turn were troubled by contact with people of different religions and nationalities, but came to accept "the mutual forbearance of a pluralistic society as an economic boon and the best guarantee for their own faith." (This forbearance, despite William Penn's pacific policy, did not extend to Pennsylvania's Native Americans; colonial encroachments would lead to the French and Indian War of 1754-63.)
● Lancaster County PA was created out of Chester County in 1729. Six other counties, including York, would in turn be created out of Lancaster.
● ~eby remarks that Lancaster County's population was predominantly Swiss and German, most of them migrating between 1727 and 1776.
● Harrison Ford's 1985 film Witness was filmed in Intercourse PA, renowned for its Amish and Mennonite communities (not to mention Immergut Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels).
● John Philip de Haas (1732-1786), a native of Holland, was in 1775 a major in the Pennsylvania Provincials; two years later he was promoted to brigadier general. A 1772 portrait by Charles Willson Peale is currently in the Andrew W. Mellon Collection.
● Kazimierz Pulaski (1745-1779), Polish soldier of fortune and "father of the American cavalry," saved George Washington's life at the Battle of Brandywine and was named a brigadier general. He was slain in 1779 during a cavalry charge at the Battle of Savannah.
● Mary (May I.) Barrass in her 1919 "Wanderings" said Andrew had left a wife behind in Switzerland before he came to America, and that he went back after the war to bring her over. "She soon died, leaving him alone, as they had no children."
● The Rien brothers completely remodeled the Dutch Mill in 1793; Mrs. Barrass noted a stone tablet up in the high gable end, bearing that date and the name "Rine" [sic].
● ~quick/snyder estimates Barbara Metzger's birthyear as 1735, which is unlikely considering when her children were born. Mary Ann Snyder's birthyear is hazarded as "about 1780," twelve years early; but even then Barbara would have been in her mid-forties.
● "Shiverwoman, The" appears on page 172 of the 1800 Lancaster County census, between "Gute, Abraham" and "Beer, Martin" (as per ~lancasterindex/1800).
● ~zook provided Daniel Zook's vital stats, hometown, and parentage.
● Attempts to pin down census entries for Daniel Zook (or Andrew Snyder) prior to 1840 have—so far—proved fruitless.
● Besides providing the Lancaster County Historical Society with his paper on Andrew Snyder, Oliver S. Sprout contributed a number of articles (with titles like "Caboose Cavortings" and "Roundhouse Ruckus") to Railroad Magazine in 1950-52. Oliver S. Sprout Jr.'s name is associated as inventor with a couple of Canadian patents.
● ~lancaster/given provided Jane Given Snyder's vitals and parents.
● Sprout claimed that Andrew Snyder "had a brother, John Snyder, who died at the results of a fall from a forebay, sustained while attending a public sale near Hanover, Pa., at the age of 108 years."
● The Boston Advertiser obituaries for Nov. 14, 1845 included: "In Lancaster County, Pa. Mr. Andrew Snyder, aged 112 years, a soldier of the Revolution" (~heartland/6508).
● John Strohm (1793-1884) represented Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House from 1845 to 1849; he was succeeded by no less than Thaddeus Stevens. Both Strohm and Stevens are buried in Lancaster PA.
● Nowhere is there any mention of when Mary Ann Snyder W[e]ikel last saw her father; and whether that may have been any factor in her exclusion from Andrew's federal pension. Till around 1833 the Wikels lived in Hanover PA, about sixty miles from Intercourse: a vast distance at the time.
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