The missing piece of the puzzle about how the Indian Attack Story became part of the oral tradition reported in The First Zehner Hoppes Family History (See my Hoppesgenerations publication The Hoppes Family Indian Attack Story, which first appeared in February 2000) has been found, thanks to Denise Kern. In this article published two years ago, I debunked the tale of the Indian attack on the Hoppes family but then mused:
Nevertheless, old legends die hard; and I still would like to know how the story began in the first place. My own belief is that it originated with Solomon Hoppes wife Mary Magdalena, nee Schneider. Her parents were Michael Schneider and Mary Magdalena Sanders/Xanders/Zanders. If her father Michael were the grandson or some other relative of the Hans Schneider whose family was butchered by Indians in the 1763 raid above Allentown, then Solomons wife Polly would be the logical source. Can anyone out there help me on this?
My starting point in linking Michael Schneider and his wife Polly with the murder of the Johannes Schneider family was the wonderful publication Eighteenth Century Immigrants From Northern Alsace, by Annette Burgert, 1992. She provides the following data for her Immigrant #445:
SCHNEIDER, JOHANNES age 24
Lydia, 1741 S-H, I: 301, 302, 303
Diedendorf Reformed CB:
Hans Ulrich Schneider from Melchenau, Canton Bern [CH-4917 Melchnau, BE], son of Joseph Schneider, now inhabitant at Seewiler [Siewiller], m. 13 Sept. 1701 Anna Catharina, daughter of the late Peter Rohr. In later records, Ulrich Schneider is mentioned as a weaver in Diedendorf; later he is the Almossenpfleger at Diedendorf. Children:
1. Johannes Nicolaus,
bap 10 April 1703
2. Christin, bap 13 September 1705
3. Josephus, bap 12 January 1707
4. Otto Johann, bap 9 December 1708
5. Christian, bap 12 December 1711
6. Judith Maria, bap 8 January 1713
7. Margaretha, bap 14 January 1714
8. Johann Fridrich, bap 8 September 1715, confirmed 1730
9. Johannes, bap 14 August 1718, confirmed 1732
10. Maria Magdalena, bap 11 May 1721
11. Anna Ottilia, bap 5 November 1724
12. Maria Dster, bap 18 December 1727, confirmed 1741
13. Johann Daniel, bap 1 March 1731, confirmed 1743
Ulrich Schneider, linenweaver and Almossenpfleger, d. 23 February 1743, age 73 years, 5 months, 3 days. Born in Melchenau, Canton Bern.
Catharina nee Rohr, widow of Ulrich Schneider, d. 13 March 1744, age 66 years, 10 days.
Records of Saarwerden county office for Kirberg, dated 18 October 1764, a contemporary table of the descendants of Joseph Schneider: Ulrich Schneider and his wife had five children who are referred to as emigrated to America: Johann Nicolaus, Johann Friedrich, Johannes, Maria Ester, and Johann Daniel Schneider.
Egypt Reformed CB, Lehigh Co.
Johannes Schneider lived a short distance NW of Egypt church. He sponsored a son of his brother Joh. Friederich Schneider in 1743. John Schneider and his wife Anna Margareta nee Wotring [b. 20 October 1725, daughter of Abraham Wotring] lived in what is now North Whitehall Twp., Lehigh County. His name appears in the settlement of Abraham Wotrings estate. The Schneiders had five known children, three of whom were murdered by the Indians on 8 October 1763:
2. Sarah, b. 16 August 1752, baptized at Egypt Reformed Church, sponsors: Joseph Kennel and wife Sara
4. Susanna, baptized 12 April 1763, Egypt Reformed CB, sponsors:Peter Burckhalter; Susanna Seger
From the above, it is clear that Johannes Schneider apparently had no sons and, therefore, could not have had any male descendants that would have spread the Indian attack story. It is equally clear that he had plenty of brothers who might have. Concerning her Immigrant #447, Johannes Schneiders next older brother, Annette Burgert states:
447. SCHNEIDER, JOHANN FRIEDRICH
Robert and Alice, 1738 S-H, I: 212, 214, 216
Diedendorf Reformed CB:
Hans Ulrich Schneider, linenweaver at Diedendorf, and wife Anna Catharina nee Rohr had a son:
Johann Fridrich, baptized 8 Sepember 1715, confirmed 1730
Egypt Reformed CB, Lehigh Co.
Friederich Schneider and wife Anna Maria had:
1. Georg Jacob, baptized 28 July 1741, sponsors: Georg Jacob, son of Georg Kern; Anna Barbara, daughter of Nicolaus Seger
2. Johann Samuel, born 20 November 1742, baptized 6 March 1743, sponsors: Johannes Schneider; Samuel Seger; Catharina Eberhardt.
Friederich Schneider is of special interest because, shortly after the birth of his son Samuel, he moved northward into Heidelberg Township of Northampton County, the traditional home of the line from which the Michael Schneider who married Polly Xander originated. There Friederich Schneider became a prominent landowner, his acquisitions included the following land warrants:
Individual Date Acres
October 2, 1746
Frederick Snyder August 7, 1766 27
Frederick Snyder November 11, 1766 44
Frederick Snyder April 8, 1767 62
But did either of Friederich Schneiders two sons recorded in the Egypt Reformed Church Book, Lehigh County have a son Michael born about 1785 1790, the most likely age to be the father of Mary Magdalena (Polly) Schneider born in 1810? Well, recently I uncovered the following data about the younger son Samuel Schneider at RootsWeb.com:
In the Revolutionary War he was enrolled in the 6th class, 7th company, 3rd battalion (later 6th) from the western portion of Heidelberg.
When none of these children included a Michael Schneider, I turned to Denise for help about the other son, George J. Schneider baptized 28 July 1741, and within a few hours Denise provided the information that George and Anna Catharina Schneider did, indeed, have a son Michael baptized on 13 June 1787 at the Alolheo Lutheran Church in Berks County. Because the given name Michael was rare among Schneiders in the area and because a birth date of 1787 was in the expected range, I conclude that the linkage between the Johannes Schneider who was slain by Indians in October 1763 and the branch of the Hoppes family where the Indian attack story arose is complete.
Harry Hoppes February 26, 2002