Other Uses for a Street Guide

More about Marlborough Twp. Land Tracts

posted Nov 8, 2013, 1:24 PM by Patricia Armstrong   [ updated Nov 12, 2013, 7:58 AM ]

Red Hill church stained glass window.jpg

Early in the research of our Snyder/Snider/Schneider families in Pennsylvania, Sandra and Richard Thorne [NB] and I [ON] decided it was important to examine the records at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Red Hill, Montgomery Co. PA. We had received significant information from a Michigan colleague, Marsha Senyk, who told us that St. Paul's records included some Snyder/Schneider and Lang/Long family data.  We enlisted the help of professional researcher, Richard Musselman [Northampton Co. Pa.] who specializes in Pennsylvania Dutch genealogy.

It was 2002, and Dick Musselman had hand-copied eight pages of records from St. Paul's. He began with the first record in the register, the baptism of Anna Maria, daughter of Henrich Schmidt and wife Anna Maria, June 6, 1741, altered by hand to read 1742. [I later verified the correction with St. Paul's staff.] The sponsors were Christian Schneider and his wife, Anna Maria. Several years later, this record would have even more significance, but for now, it was exciting to see the name of our possible ancestor.

One of several stained-glass windows at St. Paul's
Lutheran Church, Red Hill.

Fast forward to 2008 and our visit to the Schwenkfelder Heritage Center & Museum. As I examined the three-page list of Twp. warrantees and patentees, I noticed the three-part holdings of Christian Snyder, 1749. Nearby were several tracts in the name of Thomas Maybury and his Green Lane Forge. Three tracts to the left, and there was Henry Smith, Patentee, Apr. 21, 1774. Was it Henry Smith/Schmidt's daughter Anna Maria, who was baptized on June 6, 1742, with Christian Schneider and his wife, Anna Maria as sponsors? Of course, this was not the only familiar name I would spot.

An interesting series of family names appeared on a typewritten list for Plate 1:

1. Michael Hyder, Warrantee, Dec. 16, 1734
George Hoyce, Warrantee, 1743
Elias Long & Mary Catharine, wife Patentee, 1760 - 112 A. [acres]

2. George Hoyce, by name of John George Hess, Warrantee, 1743
Elias Long & Mary Catharine, wife Patentee, 1760 - 99 A. 45 P. [perches]

3. George Hoyce, by name of John George Hess, Warrantee, devised 1743
to wife who devised to her daughter, Mary Catharine & her husband, Elias Long.
Elias Long & Mary Catharine, wife, Patentee, 28 A. 114 P.

Other familiar names on the Plate 1 list are: Conrad Zimmerman, Philip LeBar, Peter Beissel, Philip Reed, and Adam Hillegas. Bartel Cooker [sometimes spelled Gucker] is among the landholders for Plate 3, along with Andrew Ohl, Michael Reiter, George Reiter, his son; Thomas Mayberry and Christian Sneider, Warrantee, Jan. 4,  1743. Plate 4 mentions Jacob Dasht, Patentee, May 22, 1772, 58 A. Dashtburg; Jacob Dasht, Patentee, Feb. 10, 1772, Christians Lan [illegible].
54 A. 135 P. Brunheim. I recognized these as neighbors, and some were members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Red Hill, or the Lutheran Congregation at Old Goshenhoppen in Upper Salford Twp.

We copied three typewritten pages of land records, numbering 1 - 81. I do not know the significance of the numbering system, although the pages were bracketed in pencil according to Plate Numbers. I have checked the records for Christian Sneider/Snyder and they agree with data I received from the Land Records of the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg, Pa. Someone has spent untold hours gathering and sorting these records and sketching the land holdings in relation to each other. For this, we owe a debt of gratitude to the Schwenkfelder Heritage Center & Museum. 

Other Uses for a Street Guide

posted Oct 15, 2013, 8:39 AM by Patricia Armstrong   [ updated Nov 11, 2013, 12:27 PM ]

When we visited Pennsylvania, we purhased a Rand McNally Bucks & Montgomery Counties Street Guide for 2005. The maps served us very well during our trips through rural Pennsylvania, and I expect similar guides are available for other locales. An Internet search indicates that although our particular street guide is now outdated, current versions and older editions are sometimes offered for sale on or 

As explained earlier, we put the street guide to another practical use after we visited the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center in 2008. I explained how Manny Bruck, using the Schwenkfelder land chart, drew in the boundaries of Christian's patent as shown there. I had brought a copy of the patent document which described its dimensions and markers, including fence posts, stones, a white oak tree and a stretch "along the Great Road leading from Macungie to Philadelphia North thirty two degrees East .... "

Another invaluable item in today's genealogical toolbox is Google Earth, which can zoom in on a live location via satellite, according to the viewer's choice. We know that Old Goshenhoppen Reformed Church is in Upper Salford Twp. near Woxall. We also know that our Christian Schneider's name is inscribed as one of the founders on a plaque displayed on an exterior wall of that church. Map 7425 of the Bucks & Montgomery Counties Street Guide shows Red Hill in Upper Hanover Twp., where some of Jacob and Maria Magdalena Schneider's children, nieces and nephews, were christened. It also shows the location of Christian Schneider's 1749 Patent, and it gives a clear picture of where many of the family's friends and neighbors lived.

 In the 2008 photo above, I was standing at the intersection of Main St. and Upper Ridge Rd. - apparently part of Christian's original Patent.

On my last visit to Pennsylvania, I found a wonderful little book about this portion of Montgomery County. Part of a Postcard History Series,  Along the Perkiomen is a collection of postcard reproductions portraying for the most part, scenes from the first half of the 20th century. They were selected by a patient and dedicated historian and collector of postcards. A member of the Historical Society of Montgomery County, author Jerry A. Chiccarine poured his enthusiasm and affection for his birthplace into this amazing collection of historical photographs in postcard form.

More than that, the book brings to life the heritage and traditions of a multitude of Pennsylvanians - including those whose ancestors lived "along the Perkiomen" countless years ago. 

Chapter Six, titled Salford, Perkiomenville, Green Lane, and Sumneytown, has a hand-drawn sketch of that area, including Woxall and Salford Station. On page 89, I see a photograph of Old Goshenhoppen Church, and I know  because I was there - that my 5th great-grandfather's name appears on a plaque on the wall of that church.

Old Goshenhoppen Visit 146

Viewing a Street Guide - Map 7425

posted Oct 12, 2013, 1:08 PM by Patricia Armstrong   [ updated Nov 11, 2013, 12:31 PM ]

It's time to revisit some of the charts we found at the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center in Pennsburg, PA. We were fortunate that the Center was virtually empty the day we visited, allowing my son-in-law to carefully arrange documents and maps to more easily capture images with his camera. Our goal, as well as examining the hand-written sketch of Christian's land, was to search for familiar names of other family members and neighbors. 

In my book, I talk quite a bit about developing chronologies of our ancestors, and trying to recreate their lives and surroundings by researching the places where they lived. This is a perfect example of how it can help us to know and understand our families. For example, in studying the land records we photographed at the Schwenkfelder Library, I saw many familiar names.

One of the most significant pages is Plate No. 3 for Marlborough Twp. The Schwenkfelder researcher who created these charts years ago, numbered three land tracts on this plate: #36, #42, and #61, in the name of Christian Snyder. The largest tracts adjacent to his, were those of Thomas Maybury. Several were marked "Green Lane Forge." Please note the drawing near Green Lane. We superimposed the sketch of the three Christian Snyder tracts onto Street Guide - Map 7425. Click on the map to enlarge it or use Zoom for greater detail, and here's where Google Earth is helpful. Upper Salford Township appears in the lower right corner of the map, and that's where Old Goshenhoppen Reformed Church is located. You can ask Google Earth to find it for you. Thanks for your suggestion, Scott Snider!

My thoughts leapt back to one of the first messages I encountered in my Goshenhoppen research: "Nov. 1, 1748 - Christian Schneider, Goshenhoppen at Mayberry's iron works." In the custom of the day, Christian had posted this announcement in Sower's newspaper and it was also reproduced in Settlers of Pennsylvania."

Not only that, on July 16, 1747, The Pennsylvania Gazette announced an auction in Rockhill Twp., and one of the locations where plans could be viewed was at "Christian Snyder's near Thomas Maybury's."  Not so different from our era with its social media!

There are other familiar names on Plate 3: George Michael Reiter, Andrew Ohl, Christian Sheid, Henry Smith, Isaac Sumney, and of course, several large areas belonging to Thomas Maybury and his Green Lane Forge.

Accompanying this and other copies of Marlborough Twp. land maps, are three pages of typed records: Names of Warrant and Patent holders, and some family relationships, with dates of documents and acreages, including property names such as Spring Mount, Wales, Goose Farm, Edenand even Crooked Billet.

Now, we switch back to the booklet I mentioned before: Jerry A. Chiccarine's Along the Perkiomen. I turn to Chapter Six, "Salford, Perkiomenville, Green Lane, and Sumneytown," and find several postcards of the area, circa 1906, 1907, 1917. They show Green Lane, the site of the original Green Lane Forge, with the comment that " ... Centuries ago, the forge had been the earliest industry in the area .... " I wonder which of the settlers it employed?. "Christian Schneÿder, Goshenhoppen," perhaps?

Let's Find Christian's Land

posted Sep 4, 2013, 7:01 AM by Patricia Armstrong   [ updated Nov 11, 2013, 12:19 PM ]

Old Goshenhoppen Vist 107

When my family
and I visited Pennsylvania in 2008, one of our stops was the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center at Pennsburg. This is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the Schwenkfelder history and to the history of southeastern Pennsylvania and the Perkiomen Region.

A research colleague remembered that when he visited the Center, he saw a map showing exactly where to look for his ancestor's land. I hoped we might be able to do the same. It seems that a dedicated member of the Schwenkfelder volunteer staff undertook painstaking research in the 1940s, and produced detailed maps showing tracts of land identified by the names of some patent holders.

I had contacted
the Archive ahead of time, and they were expecting us. The drawings were amazing, and I had a copy of Christian Schneider's patent with me, with its description of fence posts, stones, a white oak tree, and a stretch "along the Great Road leading from Macungie to Philadelphia North thirty two degrees East .... "

My son-in-law, with his drawing and drafting skills and photos from his trusty camera, penciled in the dimensions of the patent on a road map, even showing the location of one or two markers.

For the first time, we could see exactly where the land was in relation to important events in the family's life. There was Red Hill at the top, in Upper Hanover Township. That's where baptisms of many neighboring families were recorded at St. Paul's Lutheran church. The photo introducing this blog shows part of St. Paul's front entrance.  Two of Jacob and Maria Magdalena Schneider's children were baptized there. [Also see Street Guide - Map 7425.]

Part of Christian's land was in Frederick Township, and below and to the east, we saw where Upper Salford Township lay. This was where Old Goshenhoppen Reformed and Lutheran congregations built their church in 1744. Jacob and Maria Magdalena's marriage record was inscribed there in 1751, by Rev. Lucas Raus, naming Christian Schneider as Jacob's father.

A 200th anniversary booklet mentions that Old Goshenhoppen was represented at the first Coetus [Synod] of Pennsylvania in 1747 at Philadelphia, by Christian Schneider and Daniel Hister, who accompanied Rev. George Michael Weiss. The Synod was held at Old First Reformed Church of Philadelphia, which became our Christian Schneider's church. He was buried from there in April, 1784. I sent for a copy of the Coetus minutes on CD, which names the participants.

A New Beginning

posted Sep 4, 2013, 6:59 AM by Patricia Armstrong   [ updated Oct 27, 2013, 2:20 PM ]


There's an old expression:
"Turning over a new leaf," which implies a new start; a new beginning; behaving in a better way, doing things differently. All those phrases could apply to this blogger.

Back in 2011, full of enthusiasm, I launched my first website and named it Geneamania. After about twelve years of family research, I was ready - I thought - to launch a self-published book describing the long process I had developed - a tool for newbie researchers.

Although I wasn't new to writing or research - I'd been doing that for years - I was new to Internet technology and even with the generous help and advice of an experienced family member, I became discouraged. There were also technical difficulties with the upcoming e-book, which did not appear in the cyber-marketplace that year, as expected. Or the next; or the next!

This is where the "new leaf" comes in. After all, I did choose a clip art "family tree" for the book cover, with a perky face peering out at the welcoming world! And trees have leaves. That enthusiastic figure represents me and all the other genealogical types who are trying to find and identify their ancestors and their probable place of origin.

So Geneamania has its new leaf - and a new blog forum for - I hope - discussion, opinions, suggestions, and even contact from others in my own family line: the Snider/Snyder/Schneÿder/Schneider brood, wherever they are. No matter which family name we bear, the basic "search and discover" principles remain, and may be just the answer for other seekers. 

Happy hunting, all! And yes - my book will eventually appear - and will still be called:

Geneamania*  Would the right Christian Schneÿder please stand up?  (c)

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