About the coming book

N. Patricia (Snider) ArmstrongN. Patricia (Snider) Armstrong, author of Geneamania* Would the right Christian Schneÿder please stand up?, has been a writer for most of her life. Her first poem was published in a Toronto newspaper in the 1960s. In the 1980s, while living in Winnipeg, she wrote articles for the Prairie Messenger, a weekly newspaper. Her articles appeared in other small press, while she worked in Statistics Canada’s Winnipeg Reference Centre locating research material for the Centre's clients. It was probably here that her love of research and statistical data was born.

When Patricia retired in 1993, she moved back to her Toronto-area birthplace, where she decided to visit the local public library, looking for information about her Pennsylvania German ancestors. The first resource she encountered was the Ancestral Files of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [LDS]. She was fortunate in having the use of her uncle’s research papers, which whetted her appetite to learn more, and formed the platform for further family history research.

Herbert Elgin Snider [1907-1982] had amassed an impressive body of information about the Schneider family of Upper Mount Bethel, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. He worked closely with Utah cousins, Stanley and Alice Cox, members of the LDS, and together, these descendants of Martin Snider built a history of their German-speaking ancestors.

It’s been fifteen years since Patricia (Snider) Armstrong began her own research project on the Schneider family. She has visited Pennsylvania three times, and each visit has proven to be an exciting adventure, and a source of much significant family history information. In 2001, under the direction of Northampton County researcher, Richard Musselman - Sandra Thorne, a descendant of Jacob Schneider’s son, Elias Snyder, and Patricia’s co-searcher on the Pennsylvania trip - found a copy of the 1751 marriage record of Maria Magdalena Lang/Long and Johan Jacob Schneider. They were married by Rev. Lucas Raus of the Lutheran Congregation of Old Goshenhoppen, Philadelphia County, indicating that our Schneiders lived there before moving north to Upper Mount Bethel, Northampton County.

In 2005, Patricia’s daughter and son-in-law, April and Manfred Bruck, knowing how much she wanted to visit Pennsylvania, suggested they accompany her there. Later, Manny sorted and cataloged the collection of wonderful photographs they took, providing a pictorial record of Pennsylvania history and its many places of interest. It was this visit to the Philadelphia Archives, that produced copies of original wills of Christian Schneÿder of Philadelphia, his son Frederick, and a neighbor named Leonard Bock, a member of the Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge, whose will Christian Schneÿder wrote in Old German in 1747/48. 

Their 2008 visit to Philadelphia was highlighted by a guided tour of Old First Reformed Church of Philadelphia, by church archivist, Nancy Donohue. A major high point of that visit was in viewing the original copy of a 1763 deed to the Old First Reformed Church of Philadelphia burial ground, now hidden beneath Franklin Square. One of the witnesses was church elder, Christian Schneÿder of Philadelphia, who signed the deed with his usual, distinctive signature.

N. Patricia Armstrong’s published works include short stories and poems in several  anthologies. She is a long-time professional member of the Canadian Authors Association and a founding member in 2001, of the Writers & Editors Network. She was the first editor of Say WEN, the organization’s e-newsletter, and wrote and distributed it for almost five years.

Patricia is a member of the Ontario Genealogical Society; Palatines to America, and the Pennsylvania German Society. She has enlisted the help of several of Pennsylvania’s professional researchers in her quest for her Pennsylvania German ancestors. She has often accessed the records of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and those of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, particularly the Records of the Land Office, now on line, which have been of invaluable help.