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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.