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 Case

John Case, our 10th and 11th great-grandfather in the Snyder line, immigrated to the New World in the first half of the 17th century.

John Case was born on 25 Jul 1616 Aylesham in the Dover District in England, that’s tomorrow 404 years ago.  We don’t know much about his childhood, but the Case family, father, mother and four sons, left Gravesend, England, bound for Boston on the ship Dorset, of the Winthrop fleet, in 1635, when John was 19 years old.  The father William (properly John William Richard) died en route in September of that year, but the rest of the family settled largely in what today is the area of Hartford, CT.

John married Sarah Spencer, whose family had been living in the colonies since the 1630s as well, around 1655, and in 1656 their first daughter Elisabeth was born.  Nine more children were to follow.  In the early years of their marriage, John, Sarah and their children lived in the settlement of Massacoe which had 13 permanent residents in 1669. People appeared to be have been hesitant to settle there in the first years.  John was appointed to the position of constable of the ‘plantation’, this being the first recorded civil office held by residents of the area.  John also appears to have been instrumental in the process of turning the settlement into a town of Connecticut, which happened on 12 May 1670 when the plantation was ordered to be called “Simmsbury“.  The boundaries at that time were Farmington on the south side and Windsor on the east side, with the extent of Simsbury running 10 miles north of Farmington and 10 miles west of Windsor.


One can surely say the family were American pioneers, and it appears that for most of his life, John played an active role in the community life of his plantation / village / town.

Following Sarah’s death on 3 November 1691, John married Elizabeth Moore, the widow of Nathaniel Loomis, but they had no children together, Elizabeth already having had 14 children by her first husband.

John in turn died on 21 February 1704 in Simsbury and it is believed that he was buried next to Sarah in an unmarked grave on Simsbury Cemetery.

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Requiescat in Pace, Great-Grandpa John.  It’s hard to imagine what life must have been like for your family, setting out into the New World and losing the father before you even got there, and then going on to build a community where there had been uninhabitable wilderness before.  On your shoulders we stand, and we hope to live in such a way that you do not have to be ashamed of us.

Remembering Our Ancestors: Susanna Trevilian and Eunice Porter

Our 10th and 11th (and 11th and 12th) great-grandmothers Chidester both died around the same date, albeit a quarter of a century apart.

James H. Chichester, born in England and present in the New World as early as 1643, lost his mother Susanna as well as his wife Eunice in this third week of May, the former in 1636, the latter in 1661.

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Susanna Trevilian, our 11th and 12th great-grandmother in the Snyder line, was born on in 1585 in Somerset, England.  William Chichester, our 11th and 12th great-grandfather, was her second husband:  With her first husband Richard Carpenter, she had already had more than 10 children.  But our direct ancestor was among the sons of William, whom she married after her first husband had died.  Susanna’s mother was a Chichester by birth.  It can be therefore assumed, that William was one of Susanna’s cousins, but more research is necessary to confirm this assumption.  Susanna died on 20 May 1636 in Widworthy, Devon, at the age of 51.

After Susanna’s death, her sons William Jr. and James Chichester, who was nine years younger than his brother, apparently set sail in their own boat for the New World.  Both men were seafarers, it is said, and both lived in the Puritan community in Massachusetts, more precisely in Salem, for a while.  There, James met and married Eunice Porter, daughter of Jonathan Porter who had immigrated to Massachusetts from England before 1632.  Eunice was born in 1621, presumably still in England, and married James H. Chichester in 1643 in Salem.

It appears that Eunice and James, although Puritans when they arrived in the New World, joined the Quakers eventually and thus moved away from Salem to settle in Huntington, NY, although they had little to do with and apparently little love for the Dutch there.  Eunice died on 21 May 1661, one day and 25 years after her mother-in-law, in Huntington at the age of 40.  Through their son David, our line goes straight to Sarah Chidester, who married Abraham Snyder Sr. on 10 June 1797.

Requiescat in Pace, dear Great-Grandmothers Chichester.

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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.

obituary naomi

Remembering Our Ancestors: Johannes Stuttenbecker

Our 8th and 9th great-grandfather Studebaker died this week 292 years ago, only three days before his 66th birthday.

When Johannes Peter Stuttenbecker was born on 10 April 1662 in Solingen in the Bergisches Land in what we now call Germany, his hometown had just become a fortified city after having been a tiny village for about 500 years.  It had also weathered a severe outbreak of the plague with almost 2,000 deaths in town, as well as the Thirty Years’ War within the last 50 years.  Chances are Johannes was actually born in Dorp, a nearby town which was incorporated into Solingen in 1889 and in which his parents Peter and Anna both were born, but we can’t be sure.

Johannes had two older sisters, two older brothers and two younger brothers, which makes them seven children altogether.

Johannes married Catharina Rau in his home town on 9 May 1692, and the two of them had five children together, four boys and one girl.  At least two of their children, one of them being our direct ancestor Peter Studebaker, immigrated into the New World in the first half of the 18th century where the spelling of the last name was changed into something more palatable for English-speaking people.  But Johannes and Catharina, as well as at least two of their children, lived and died in Solingen.

After living all their lives in and around Solingen, Johannes passed away on 7 April 1728.  Catharina had already died 16 years earlier.  Their son Peter and his family arrived in Maryland only nine years after his father’s death.

Rest in Peace, Great-Grandpa Stuttenbecker.  According to information on Find-A-Grave, you and your wife lie buried in the Waldfriedhof of the city of Charlemagne, Aachen.

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Remembering Our Ancestors: Six Grandfathers and Grandmothers

Between 1700 and 1900, one date shows up six times in our direct family lines.

February 13th is a big day in our family: No less than six of our grandfathers and grandmothers were either born or baptized, or died on this day in history.

Elizabeth Williams, 8th and 9th great-grandmother in the Andrews-line.
She was born on 13 February 1703 in Colchester, CT and married Nathaniel Kellogg on 1 July 1725.  Elizabeth passed away on 1 April 1762 in East Windsor, CT and thus lived to be 59 years old.

Abraham Vanderpool Sr., 7th and 8th great-grandfather in the Denney-line.
He was baptized on 13 February 1709 in Albany, NY and married Rebecca Isaacs around 1744.  Abraham Sr. passed away in 1778 in Washington, TN when he was 69 years old.

Eliphalet Chidester, 6th and 7th great-grandfather in the Snyder-line.
He was born on 12 January 1749 in Morris, NJ and married Mary Pence in Virginia. Eliphalet died on 13 February 1821 in Bruceton Mills, WV at the age of 72.

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Robert Andrews, 6th and 7th great-grandfather in the Andrews-line, obviously.
He was born 17 March 1759 in Coventry, CT, the son of Lt. Robert Andrews and Delight Kellogg, and married Eunice Needham on 18 April 1781 in Brimfield, MA.  Robert died on 13 February 1838, also in Brimfield, when he was 78 years old.

Catherine McFarland, 5th and 6th great-grandmother in the Fouts-line.
She was born on 13 February 1786 in Belmont, OH, the daughter of Irish immigrants, and married John Phillips on 12 September 1809.  Catherine died young, on 31 August 1824 at the age of 38, in Barnesville, OH.

Austin Calvin Andrews, 3rd and 4th great-grandfather in the Andrews-line, evidently.
He was born on 13 February 1839 in Ellington, CT, and married Susan C. Alderman on 5 May 1866 in Ohio.  Austin died on 28 September 1900 in Athens, OH, being then 61 years of age.

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Remembering Our Ancestors: Elisabeth Case

Today we remember our 9th (and 10th) great-grandmother Elizabeth in the Snyder line, who was baptized this week 363 years ago in New Amsterdam, but who lived her life on the frontier.

Elizabeth Case, born to a father (John Case) relatively recently immigrated to the new world from Kent in England, and a mother (Sarah Spencer) who was already American-born, lived a frontier life if ever there was one.  Her maternal grandfather had been William Spencer, the eldest of four Spencer brothers that emigrated to New England during the 1630s (William, Thomas, Michael and Gerard), and his name is engraved on the Founder’s Memorial in Hartford, CT, and her father’s name is closely connected with the settlement of Massacoe and the founding of Simsbury, CT.

Elizabeth was baptized in Maspeth Kill (i.e., Maspeth Creek) on Long Island (later called
Newtown, now part of the City of Brooklyn, NY) on 26 November 1656, but the family did not live there at the time.  We know that they stayed there because John sent a letter to “my honored father William Edwards” at Hartford from there.  They lived, instead, much closer to Hartford, in the settlement of Massacoe which had 13 permanent residents in 1669.  People appeared to be hesitant to move settle there.  Her father John Case was appointed to the position of constable of the ‘plantation’, this being the first recorded civil office held by residents of the area.  John Case also appears to have been instrumental in the process of turning the settlement into a town of Connecticut, which happened on 12 May 1670, when the plantation was ordered to be called “Simmsbury“.  The boundaries at that time were Farmington on the south and Windsor on the east, with the extent of Simsbury running 10 miles north of Farmington and 10 miles west of Windsor.  Elizabeth seems to have spent most of her life in that area.  One can surely say the family were American pioneers.

american pioneers
American Pioneers

Elizabeth first married Joseph Lewis on April 30, 1674 when she was only 17.  The two had three children together.  Then, in or before 1685 when she was around 28, she married John Tuller, our 9th (and 10th) great-grandfather, by whom she had five children.  She was John Tuller’s first wife, and a year after Elizabeth’s death, he married again.  Our line continues through Elizabeth and John’s youngest daughter Mehitable, who married into the Chidester/ Chichester family that eventually joined the Snyder line.

Elizabeth died on 9 October 1718, in Simsbury, Connecticut, at the age of 61.  She was laid to rest there in Simsbury Cemetery.

Rest in Peace, Grandma Tuller.  You were among the first to settle a place that is still one of the prettiest places in the country, it seems: 9th best town to live in 2015 in the United States according to Time magazine!

The Farmington River in Simsbury

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.

Grave marker William and Malissa Snider.jpg

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
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
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
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
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
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.


Daniel Christman
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
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.


Nelson Perry Brown
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.


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.

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Remembering Our Ancestors: Anna Margareta Aschauer

Not everyone who came over here lived in the New World for very long.

317 years ago today, our 7th (and 8th) great-grandmother Anna Margareta Aschauer was born in what is now called North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany.  By the time she was called home, she had given birth to twenty children and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the New World.

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Anna Margareta Aschauer was born on 24 May 1702 in the Bergisches Land east of the Rhine river and south of the Ruhr, in the area of Solingen.  She married Peter Studebaker when she was almost 23 years of age, on 24 March 24 1725, and they had 19 children while they lived in Solingen, twelve sons and seven daughters.

Around 1735, the couple and their many children decided to immigrate to the New World, crossed the ocean and settled in Broadfording, Maryland, but Anna was not to live long in their new home.  In 1737, apparently while or shortly after giving birth to her 20th child and 8th daughter, she passed away.

Anna Margareta Aschauer was laid to rest in American soil.  Rest in Peace, Great-Grandmother Anna.


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