Section 6: Christian's Children

Inside the Old Goshenhoppen Reformed UCC church

In 1748, Rev. George Michael Weiss, Reformed church pastor, recorded the names of those he had prepared for Holy Communion between the years 1748 and 1758. Near the top of the list are: Jacob Schneider, Sara Schneider, Veronica Schneider, Creth Schneider, and Susanna Schneider.

How interesting that most of these are names of Christian Schneÿder’s children. Since we believe he was the father of our ancestor, Johann Jacob, this should be no surprise. The will of Christian Schneÿder does not mention Jacob, but it does mention Sarah, Veronica, and Susannah. The list of catechumens also mentions Creth, a diminutive of Margaret, and Christian did have a daughter named Margaret. Perhaps Eve and Frederick, his other children, were too young to be confirmed at this time.

The will of Christian Schneÿder told us he had other children, and we mentioned some of them earlier: Sara, Veronica [or Fronich], Margaret, and Susanna. Christian also had a son Frederick, and we have much information about him. Christian, of course, was a steadfast Patriot and his son Frederick was in the employ of the Supreme Council for at least 13 years, through much of the American Revolutionary War. A record of his wages can be found in the Minutes of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, Volumes X to XIV and Vol. XVI. At the time of his death from yellow fever in 1793, Frederick Schneider/Snider was Sergeant at Arms to the Pennsylvania Senate and lived on Sassafras Street in Old Philadelphia.

Christian’s will provided us with the married surnames of his daughters: Sarah Frey, wife of Christian Frey, Veronica Frantz/Fans, Margaret Rido, Susannah Miller, and Eve Hartman. Frederick’s wife was Barbara Wanner. Frederick and Henry Frantz, Christian’s son-in-law were executors of his estate. We have found baptismal records for some of the grandchildren at First Reformed Church of Philadelphia. Christian and his wife Anna Maria were godparents to several of the children.

But we have found no baptismal records for any of Christian Schneÿder’s children. We have only the baptismal records of two of Jacob Schneider’s children: Anna Sarah and Peter. Descendants of these families have been looking for church records to support their research ever since young David Martin Snider [1753-1875] of Toronto, returned from Europe with information that the family name should be spelled with a “ÿ”.

A 200th Anniversary booklet for Old Goshenhoppen Reformed Congregation, 1732-1932, carried the following piece of local news: "Christian Schneider and Daniel Hister represented the Old Goshenhoppen Reformed congregation at the first Coetus [Synod] of Pennsylvania Sept. 29-Oct. 2 1747."  According to a 1748 survey map, Daniel Heester had a tract of land adjoining that of Conrad Schneider, a member of the 1744 building committee for the Lutheran congregation at Old Goshenhoppen. Apparently, these three were neighbors.

The North Carolina Moravian Archives told us that Sarah Schneider was born on Mar. 10, 1737, making her 10 years old in 1747. This fits in nicely with the Rev. G. M. Weiss's catechumen list for 1748-1758, which names Jacob Schneider, Sara Schneider, et al, as candidates.