Section 7: A Divided Family

As far as Christian’s will is concerned, it is not surprising that Jacob’s name was omitted. The little we know of early Schneider family lore tells us our Northampton County ancestors were alienated from their Philadelphia family by the American Revolutionary War. We do not believe the rift was ever healed.

A good point of reference is the book, Sweet Land of Liberty – The Ordeal of The American Revolution in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, by Francis S. Fox of Boston, MA. Another excellent resource is A State Divided – Opposition in Pennsylvania to the American Revolution, by Anne M. Ousterhout; published by Greenwood Press, New York, Westport, Connecticut, and London. A professor of American Thought and Language at Michigan State University, Ousterhout’s articles have appeared in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History & Biography.

Delaware River near the Delaware Water GapThose were turbulent times, as the above-mentioned books emphasize, and not unlike the American Civil War, brother sometimes fought brother. In this case, four of Christian Schneÿder’s grandsons chose to support the British in the Revolutionary conflict. And one of those young men was named for his grandfather, Christian Schneÿder. Records from the New Jersey Archives suggest the Loyalists had the support of their father Jacob, when they crossed the Delaware and set out for the British lines on Staten Island.

Another small piece of our family history says that Martin Snyder was born in Philadelphia. But whether Philadelphia Co. or the City of Philadelphia, our records do not explain. We now know that Martin’s brother and sister Peter and Anna Sara, were both baptized in Philadelphia Co.