Happy 100th Birthday, (Great-) Grandma Naomi

Today, Naomi Ann Snyder would have turned 100.

Happy Birthday, (Great-) Grandma Naomi Ann, or Aunt Na’, as you were called by your nieces and nephews. Had you lived, we would have had quite the party today, no doubt.

Requiescat in Pace.

Naomi Ann Snyder with her first husband James Dallas Christman, presumably around 1940.

Remembering Our Ancestors: Naomi Ann Snyder

Remembering Our Ancestors: Grandma Naomi

Remembering Our Ancestors: John Chris(t)man

Our 4th and 5th great-grandfather John was a real Christman: He was born on 25 December 1763.

The Christman’s, who for a few generations spelled their name “Chrisman” but have the “t” added back in again by now, at least in our branch of the tree, are of German origin.  The “Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chester County” (Chester Co, PA, that is) says the following about them:

The family is of German origin, tracing its ancestry back to the Fatherland, from whence came Daniel Christman in the good ship Alexander, William Clymer, master, ” from Rotterdam, last from Cowes,” as the vessel’s report shows. He landed in America September 5, 1730, and settled in Worcester township, then part of Philadelphia county, but now comprised in the county of Montgomery. He afterward removed to Frederick township, Montgomery county, where he died. He was a fanner by occupation, a member of the Lutheran church, and his remains lie entombed at Leedy’s burying-ground in Frederick township.

His children were : Anna E., married Johannes Grobb in December, 1749, and lived in East Coventry township, this county ; Felix, born in 1733, and removed to Vin- cent township; Elizabeth, born in 1734; Jacob, born in 1737, and died February 27, 1804; George, born in 1739, was a farmer, and lived in Frederick township, Montgomery county; and Henry , who was born in Frederick township, that county, in 1744.

Daniel Chris(t)man’s son Felix was our 5th (and 6th) great-grandfather, and today, we are remembering Felix’s son John, our 4th (and 5th) great-grandfather.  Before the Chris(t)man’s immigrated, they lived in southern Germany, in the Kaiserslautern area in Rhineland-Palate and in north-western Bavaria.

John Chris(t)man’s parents Felix and Rebecca had seven children altogether, as we have found out recently, and John was their third child and second son, the first son having been named after his father.  John was born on Christmas Day in 1763 in Chester County, PA – how very fitting, given his last name!

When John was 13, the colonies his grandparents had immigrated to turned into a nation, and his father Felix helped to bring it about, luckily surviving the Revolutionary War.

When John was 17, his mother Rebecca died, and when he was 31, his father passed on as well.  Until then, John had not found a wife, but in 1797, he married Jane Baer (or Blair), and the two still lived in the far south-eastern corner of Pennsylvania, in Chester County.

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John and Jane had six children, and they consistently spelled their name “Chrisman”, it seems.  Would be interesting to research how many branches of the Chris(t)man family spell their name without the “t” until this day, much like the Denney’s with and without the second “e”, but we’ll leave it to another day.  Our direct ancestor in the Chris(t)man line is John’s first son Daniel, named (apparently) after his grandfather.

We do not know what John did for a living, but he stayed in the area with his family, for he died on 1 August 1830, tomorrow 190 years ago, in Vincent Twp. (not sure if East or West), Montgomery, PA, and he lies buried in Vincent Baptist Churchyard in Pikeland, Chester Co., PA.  From what I can see, that’s all rather close together.

Requiescat in Pace, Great-Grandfather John.  It’s good to know that at least one member of the Christman family was born on Christmas Day.

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Remembering Our Ancestors: Grandma Naomi

Today 58 years ago, (Great-) Grandma Naomi died.

We have mentioned our (great-) grandmother Naomi before: Born Naomi Ann Snyder on 6 Jan 1921, she married James Christman in 1940 – you can see the two of them in the above picture -, had a daughter in 1942, was widowed in 1944, and married again a few years later, which is why in her obituary, she shows up as Mrs. Richard Grubbs (see below).

Today, 15 May, is the anniversary of her death.  She died in 1962 at the age of 41, too early for any of us to have known her.  But we can remember her and what we know about her, especially but not only today.  Her picture as seen above, the only one we have of her, has been hanging on our fridge ever since we got it.  It is good to remember your ancestors.

Requiescat in Pace, (Great-) Grandma Naomi.

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Remembering Our Ancestors: Margaret Ann George

People endure much in life.  Let us not forget them and their stories.

When Margaret Ann George was born on 16 May 1760 in Bedford, PA, little did she know that by the age of 16, her colony would become an independent country in its own right.

On 5 June 1778, she married Lt. John George Longstreth in Bedford, who had been a soldier when they married, and who continued to be a soldier off and on.  They had 11 children between 1778 and 1800, and their great-granddaughter Rebecca married William David Christman, our maternal 2nd (and 3rd) great-grandfather.  Margaret passed away this week 183 years ago, on 18 February 1837, in Deavertown, Ohio at the age of 76 years, and was buried there.

margaret Longstreth 1837 new marker
This marker was erected by family members of Margaret and John Longstreth across the street from Christ Church Cemetery where Margaret lies buried.  John was buried, it is believed, in Green County, PA.

The family lived in Bedford, PA, so how can it be that Margaret ends up being buried in Morgan Township, Ohio, while John rests in Green County, PA?

There are two versions of the story of John and Margaret going around.  Their common denominator is that John, being a soldier, eventually stayed away from home for an unusually long time.  Apparently, he left in 1800 and was neither seen nor heard of for 17 years, and rumors reached Margaret that he was dead.

According to one version of the story, when other Longstreth family members moved to Ohio around 1820, Margaret and her children, thinking John dead and gone, went with them.  John, not at all dead, eventually returned home only to find his wife and children gone and nobody knew where they went, so John stayed in the Bedford area and died there in 1834.

The other version of the story says that Margaret, thinking her husband had died, married again (although we have found no record of this anywhere).  When John, after enduring many hardships and looking much like a tramp, returned home and asked for some food and a bed for the night, it was refused.  When he made himself known by asking for an apple from one of the trees he had planted with his own hands almost 20 years previously, Margaret recognized him and asked him to stay, but he did not, seeing how she had a new life now and not wishing to be in her way.  He left, and died a lonely old man in 1834.

The second common thing of the two stories is, obviously, that in either case John lived alone for the last years of his life and died at the age of 83.

Wherever the truth lies in these stories, in one or the other or some place in between, it appears their relationship was somewhat tragic towards the end.  People endure much in life.  Let us not forget them, their joys and their sorrows, and their stories.

Requiescat in Pace, Margaret and John.  We hope you found each other again on the other side.

** The featured image shows Margret’s original sandstone grave marker.  As can be seen, it is quite hard to determine what it once said. **

Lt. John Longstreth
Lt. John Longstreth (1751–1834)

 

Remembering Our Ancestors: William Snider

This week in 1836, our 3rd and 4th Great-Grandfather Snyder was born. Happy 183rd Birthday, Grandpa William!

Our 3rd (and 4th) Great-Grandfather William Snider appears to have spent most of his life in Hocking County, Ohio, and was laid to rest at the end of his life in the Snider Farm Cemetery, which is, as the name implies, the cemetery belonging to the Snider farm where our (Great-)Grandfather Christman was laid out in 1944 because he had been married to Naomi Snyder, great-granddaughter of William.  Incidentally: Naomi’s generation appears to have been the first Snyder generation to exchange the “i” in the family name for the more American “y”.  The Schneider/Snider/Snyders had come from south-eastern Germany to the New World in the mid-18th century.

However that may be, William Snider was born on 6 November 1836 in Green County, Ohio, the 7th of 8 children.  His mother Ada died only two years after his birth, probably in childbirth when William’s younger sister Jamima was born, or shortly thereafter.  It appears that the baby girl did not live, either.  Ada’s grave seems to be the oldest identifiable grave in the Snider Farm cemetery.  But little William did not grow up without a mother: His father married again after a short time, and five more children were born in the Snider household.

When he was 25, William married Malissa Jane Calentine on 13 April 1862.  The two had 15 children together, nine girls and six boys.  We find it significant that William and Malissa named one of their daughters Jemima – everyone only called her Mamie – and one of them Addie, probably after his mother.  Their first son Charles was our 2nd great-grandfather.

Chances are good that William and Malissa lived on or close to the Snider farm.  Unlike his older brother Jacob Jr., William had no involvement in the American Civil War, and it is likely that he farmed the Snider farm all his working years, even if he was not the oldest son.

In May of 1903, William’s wife Malissa died.  It appears that he was not very much inclined to stick around much longer after that, and on 30 October 1903, a week before his 67th birthday, he died as well.  Both of them lie buried in the Snider Farm Cemetery.

Rest in Peace, Grandpa William.

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Remembering Our Ancestors: Eight Grandparents

This October-week there are lots of ancestors to remember.

This week, the week from the 13th to the 19th of October, there are eight birth- and death-days of great-grandfathers and -mothers in our family tree to remember, from the 16th all the way almost into the 20th century.  Here they all are, from the earliest to the most recent.

Dorothy Daubeney
1550–1598
BIRTH 1550 • Waxford, Somerset, England
DEATH 18 OCT 1598 • Widworthy, Devon, England
12th great-grandmother in the Snyder line.  She married John Chichester, and their son immigrated to the New World.  Her 5th great-granddaughter Sarah Chidester (the spelling of the name had changed in the meantime) married Abraham Snyder Sr. in 1797 in Berkeley, WV.

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Wynant Melgertse Vanderpool
1683–1750
BIRTH 13 OCTOBER 1683 • Albany, Albany, New York, USA
DEATH 4 APR 1750 • Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, USA
8th great-grandfather in the Denney line.  His great-granddaughter Rebecca Vanderpool married James Denny in Surry Co., NC, from where they went to Ohio and changed their name to Denney.

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Peter Studebaker, Immigrant
1695–1753
BIRTH 16 OCT 1695 • Solingener Stadtkreis, North Rhein-Westphalia, Germany
DEATH 1753 • Broadfording, Washington County, Maryland, USA
7th great-grandfather in the Snyder line.  His daughter Margaret Mary Studebaker, born in Germany and taken by her parents across the Atlantic, married Jacob Snider, himself a German immigrant to the New World, in 1752.

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Andrew Speer Sr., Immigrant
1700–
BIRTH 13 OCT 1700 • St. Dunstan and All Saints, Middlesex, England
DEATH Surry County, North Carolina, USA
8th great-grandfather in the Denney line.  His grandaughter Sally Wise Felton married Azariah Denny, father of the James Denny mentioned above, in Surry Co., NC, from where they went to Ohio together with Rebecca and James, and also changed their name to Denney.

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Johan Gerhard Büker
1792–1852
BIRTH 13 OCT 1792 • Riesenbeck, Steinfurt, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
DEATH 26 FEB 1852 • Riesenbeck, Steinfurt, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
3rd great-grandfather in the Bücker line.  The family lived in the Steinfurt area in North Rhein-Westfalia, Germany, for many generations.

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Daniel Christman
1801–1857
BIRTH 17 OCT 1801 • West Vincent, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
DEATH 1857 • Union City, Morgan, Ohio, USA
3rd great-grandfather in the Christman line.  He moved the family from Pennsylvania to coal-miner country, Ohio.

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Anna Maria Schmitz
1804–
BIRTH 15 OCT 1804 • Riesenbeck, Steinfurt, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
DEATH Unknown
3rd great-grandmother in the Bücker line.   Her daughter Anna Maria married Berhard Heinrich Anton Bücker in 1862.

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Nelson Perry Brown
1814–1899
BIRTH 14 JANUARY 1814 • Ohio, USA
DEATH 16 OCTOBER 1899 • Leon, Mason County, West Virginia, USA
4th great-grandfather in the Denney line.  His grand-daughter was Arilla Harris, who married George Thomas Mulford.  Their daughter Mattie, in turn, married Steward Leslie Denney in 1899.

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Also this week, we were contacted by a cousin from NC who sent us a photo of two letters Azariah Martin Denny sent home during the Civil War.  Read for yourself…  Very moving.  The first letter was written in January of 1864.  By June 6th of the same year, young Azariah Martin was dead.

The Denny’s of Surry County, NC, intermarried with the Jones’ and Key’s a lot, and you find both last names mentioned in Azariah’s letters.

AzariahDennyLetter - Edited

 

 

 

 

Remembering Our Ancestors: Felix Christman

On Tuesday this week 224 years ago, our great-grandfather Felix Christman passed away.

Felix Christman, born in 1733, was a first generation American-born Christman.  In the “Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chester County”, it says about the Christman’s:

The family is of German origin, tracing its ancestry back to the Fatherland, from whence came Daniel Christman in the good ship Alexander, William Clymer, master, ” from Rotterdam, last from Cowes,” as the vessel’s report shows. He landed in America September 5, 1730, and settled in Worcester township, then part of Philadelphia county, but now comprised in the county of Montgomery. He afterward removed to Frederick township, Montgomery county, where he died. He was a fanner by occupation, a member of the Lutheran church, and his remains lie entombed at Leedy’s burying-ground in Frederick township.

His children were : Anna E., married Johannes Grobb in December, 1749, and lived in East Coventry township, this county ; Felix, born in 1733, and removed to Vin- cent township; Elizabeth, born in 1734; Jacob, born in 1737, and died February 27, 1804; George, born in 1739, was a farmer, and lived in Frederick township, Montgomery county; and Henry , who was born in Frederick township, that county, in 1744.

Daniel Christman’s son Felix was our 5th (and 6th) great-grandfather.  His parents had immigrated to the colonies from southern Germany, from the Kaiserslautern area in Rhineland-Palate and north-western Bavaria respectively.  It appears as though Daniel and his wife Elizabeth, born Haas, married in the New World in 1730, so we do not know if Felix’s parents came on the same ship or if they met after they had arrived in Pennsylvania separately.

Felix married Rebecca Melchior on 19 August 1760 in Pennsylvania.  As far as we know, they had only one child during their marriage, our direct ancestor John Christman.  As seems likely given his age, Felix fought in the Revolutionary War, and survived!

Felix died on 18 June 1795 in Chester Township, Pennsylvania, thirteen years after his wife, at the age of 62.

Rest in Peace, Great-grandpa Felix.  We hope your life was as happy as your name indicates.

Featured image: Blacksmith in Marshallton, Chester County, PA

Remembering Our Ancestors: Rebecca Ellen Longstreth

On Monday, we would have celebrated the birthday of our 2nd and 3rd Great-Grandma Christman.

Monday of this week, our 2nd (and 3rd) great-grandmother Rebecca Ellen Longstreth would have celebrated her 161st birthday.

WD and Rebecca
William David and Rebecca Ellen

Rebecca Ellen Longstreth was born on 3 June 1858, in Perry County, Ohio.  The Longstreth family first settled in the New World, more precisely in the south-eastern corner of Pennsylvania, around 1700, and Rebecca’s great-Grandfather John George Longstreth fought in and survived the Revolutionary War.  The Longstreth family had only relatively recently went further west into coal-miner country in Ohio.

We do not know if Rebecca had siblings, but on 17 June 1881 she married William David Christman.  They were probably living in New Lexington in Perry Co. OH at the time.  Rebecca and William had five children together, in 11 years.  And here they all are:

Christman family
William D. Christman and his wife Rebecca Christman, nee Longstreth, sitting. Children, left to right: Susannah, Burgess O., William Henry, (possibly) Mary Francis, and Dallas, our great-grandfather.

Rebecca died on 27 January 1928, in Trimble, Ohio, at the age of 69.  She rests in Glouster, Ohio, twelve years before her husband.

Rest in Peace, Great-Grandma Rebecca.

Remembering Our Ancestors: Michael G. Longstreth

Our 4th (and 5th) great-grandfather Michael G. Longstreth died last Tuesday 158 years ago.

Today, we remember our 4th (and 5th) great-grandfather Michael George Longstreth, grandfather of Rebeccal Ellen Longstreth, who married our 2nd (and 3rd) great-grandfather William David Christman in 1881.  Michael G. Longstreth died this week Tuesday 158 years ago.

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Michael George Longstreth was born on March 17, 1789, in Pennsylvania.  His father Lt. John George Longstreth was a Revolutionary War soldier and 38 years old when Michael was born, and his mother Margaret Ann George was 28 at the time.  Young Michael’s middle name is related to both parents’ names, it would seem – a likely choice.

It appears as though by the time Michael married Catherine O’Hara around 1810, he had left Pennsylvania and moved to the north-west corner of Morgan County, OH.  The couple had eight sons and two daughters between 1811 and 1833, and seem to have stayed in the same area for the rest of their lives.

Michael George Longstreth died on 23 April 1861 in York, OH, at the age of 72, and was buried in Holcomb Cemetery, Yellowtown, Perry County, OH.

One has to wonder what it feels like to die at the onset of spring, when everything else is coming to life again.  Rest in Peace, Great-Grandpa Michael.

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Remembering Our Ancestors: Dallas Christman

Meet our great-grandfather Dallas Christman, who died on this day 49 years ago. 

Meet our great-grandfather Dallas Christman, technically (James) Dallas, son of William David Christman and father of James (Dallas) Christman.  He was already in a family picture we posted when we introduced his father, the little boy on the right, remember?

Christman family
William D. Christman and his wife Rebecca Christman, nee Longstreth, sitting. Children, left to right: Susannah, Burgess O., William Henry, (possibly) Mary Francis, and Dallas, our great-grandfather.

The featured image shows him as a young man, not sure how old at the time, but he looks to be in his early 20s to me, probably shortly before he married.  But let’s begin at the beginning:

James Dallas Christman, called Dallas, was born on 29 January 1892 in Perry County, Ohio, in coal-miner country, as you might remember, but at that time the Christmans were farmers rather than miners.  Dallas had two older sisters, one older brother, and one younger brother.  He went to school until the 8th grade, and by the age of 18, he was living with his parents in Trimble and already working in the coal mines.

On 16 June 1917, Dallas Christman married Alice Andrews in Athens County, Ohio.  Alice Andrews’ ancestors came early to this country, in fact, her 10th great-grandfather William Andrews was among the founders of Hartford, CT.  He came with Thomas Hooker, who, in 1636, led a group of settlers through the wilderness from Massachusetts to what would later become Hartford.  Here is what she looked like when she was young:

Alice Andrews
Alice Andrews (1896–1991), wife of Dallas Christman

They had seven children together; their first daughter Elizabeth is still alive (she just turned 101!), and their first son was our grandfather James (Dallas) Christman, who died very young at the age of 24.  Interestingly enough, these two siblings married siblings of the Snyder family in turn:  Elizabeth married Harold Snyder, and James married Naomi Snyder.

But back to Dallas and Alice; here is a picture the two of them together:

Grandma and Grandpa Christman
Dallas and Alice Christman

Dallas continued working for a coal mining company, but also worked as a laborer for the steam railroad, and later for the state highway.  The family lived in Athens County, Ohio, and Dallas lived to see the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression as well as two World Wars and a good many of the post WWII changes in society.  Just look at what happened between 1892 and 1945 in terms of inventions in the United States alone, and then between 1945 and 1969, including the Apollo 11 landing on the moon!  During his lifetime, the zipper was invented along with the mousetrap, candy corn, the teddy bear, the air plane, the electric light switch, WD-40, computer games, the nuclear submarine, bubble-wrap and much, much more.

Now, this is a picture of Dallas holding one of his grandsons, Paul Snyder.  Paul died about as young as Dallas’ own son James, and Dallas was there to bury them both, as well as both his sisters and two of his daughters.

Dallas and Paul
Dallas Christman and little Paul Snyder

Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa Christman are remembered very well in the family, and among other stories, it is said that Alice had the cleanest house all around, outhouse included.  If you work in the coal mines, I guess you particularly appreciate a clean house!  And as a last image, a portrait of Dallas and Alice, a photo for the mantelpiece, no doubt:

Grandma and Grandpa Christman1
Alice and Dallas Christman

Eventually, Dallas died on 7 December 1969, this day 49 years ago, in Nelsonville, OH, at the age of 77, leaving his wife to live for another twenty-two years without him.  May he rest in peace.

 

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