December 10, 2002
THE SNIDER FAMILY HISTORY
by Norma Bender Jennings
+ 1. Jacob Snider b. ca. 1786, c. abt. 1855; is said to have married Catharine Welch, daughter of James Welch and Nancy James, daughter of Thomas James and Elizabeth Bayse. Jacob's wife Catherine Welch b. ca1791, d 13Aug1851, buried St.Joe Cem., Albright,WV. Jacob's sister Catherine married Jacob Hull 4 Sep1815 in Monongalia Co, Va, later to become W.Va. Jacob and Catherine Hull lived in Taylor County, W.Virginia. Interestingly, we also have a Jacob Hull intertwine with our family in Augusta County, Virginia. (See Summers Family History). After many years of searching the marriage record was located for Nancy James Welch in Gloucester Co., New Jersey on June 27, 1781. This was the first evidence of her husband's first name.
The early years of the life of Jacob (Snyder) Snider are obscured by
the loss of the Monongalia County court records in a 1796 fire that destroyed
an outbuilding on the farm of County Clerk, Col. John Evans where he had
stored them. The only court records preserved from Monongalia County for
the period from 1776-1796 are those that were filed in District Court. In
addition, the Preston County court records prior to 1868 were lost when its
County courthouse was burned to the ground during the Civil War. According
to information found in a deed recorded in the Preston County Courthouse 1867,
Jacob Snider died prior to that time. Nor was he located in the 1860 census
records. Since families often tended to migrate after the death of their
parents and the receipt of any inheritance, it would seem feasible that Jacob
died circa 1857 at which time Abraham's family moved to Iowa.
Jacob Snider and his wife were members of the first Methodist Social organization in Kingwood prior to 1815. According to Wiley, John Snider was also a member of this organization at that time. This would not have been Jacob Snider's son John. Since Jacob's eldest son Abraham was born in 1809 and the 1810 census shows only one male child, his son John would necessarily have been born after 1810. Thus, we can speculate that the John Snider of 1815 church membership is his father or brother. The 1810 census shows two John Sniders over the age of 45 and one that is between the ages of 26 and 45. These three are all located on the next page after the one where Jacob Snider is listed indicating that the census taker undoubtedly took the census the same day or the next day and that they lived as close neighbors and were likely related. The new Methodist Episcopal frame church was built in 1877 on the Kingwood circuit. Abraham's family transferred their membership to the Eureka Methodist Episcopal church after coming to Iowa in 1857.
Before the Revolutionary War, the Monongahela Valley, where Jacob Snider and his family lived, included southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. This area was still considered a part of Virginia by many during those early days and was the subject of border disputes for many years. This valley extended from southwestern Pennsylvania into West Virginia.
Early census records show Jacob Snider as the head of a household and living in Monongalia County as early as 1810, twenty six years before receiving a land grant in Preston County, West Virginia. Folks often staked out their claims and lived on them for several years before the area was actually surveyed and the title received. Jacob would have been twenty four years old in 1810. Monongalia County was subdivided in 1818 placing the family's residence in Preston County. Jacob may have been born in southwestern Pennsylvania, possibly Bedford Co. or Greene Co., which was later subdivided into Washington Co., Pa. although it is possible his change of residence may be due only to boundary changes. The long enduring border disputes between Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia left many people not knowing for a certainty the State of their birth. It is important to note that most of the counties in West Virginia were settled years before they were organized. In addition, the preponderance of men with the name of Jacob Snyder (Snider) in the Monongahela and Shenandoah Valleys, compounds the problem of the missing court records. We can rely on family traditions supported by the family Bible, census records and the State land grants only as proof of their residence in Preston County. While we can speculate on events that occurred before the birth of Jacob's children, the actual proof only exists after 1809 with a few excerpts found in old history books providing clues to the early identity of the parents.
According to that 1850 census of Preston Co., West Virginia, Jacob Snyder
(Snider) was born in Pennsylvania, ca. 1786. Three of Jacob's six sons were
still living at home in 1850, Jacob, age 30; Allen, age 17; and Marcellus,
age 11. His wife's name was Catherine. He was 64 years old and the value of
his real estate was $5000. He received a land grant of 183 acres in Preston
County, West Virginia on the East side of Nettle Ridge and the north side
of Elsie's Run adjoining James Freeland and Samuel Jackson survey in 1836.
His son, Abraham Snider also received a land grant of 100 acres in 1836 on
the NW side of the Nettle Ridge and the south side of Daugherty's Run and
between James Freeland's survey and Benjamin Jefferis survey of 164 acres.
While the Monongalia County courthouse was again torched during the Civil
War, many of the records were saved and the courthouse did not burn entirely.
There are numerous Sniders in Monongalia County, many purported to be the
descendants of John and George Snider. There was also a Rudolph Snider who
was an early settler in the same general area. Henry Snider from Maryland
also arrived in the area in the early 1800's. We need to keep in mind that
there were three John and at least two George Sniders in the area in 1810.
The elder George was over 45 and had three males still living at home between
the ages of 10 and 26 and the younger George was between 26-45 years of age.
This is not the George (1743-1829} who is the father of Jeremiah Snider(born
6 May 1786, same year as our Jacob} who also migrated to Washington County,
Iowa. The latter George was living near the South Branch of the Potomac River
near Moorefield in what later became Hardy Co. in 1760. The oral history
of Joseph Bertram Snider, great uncle of the writer, was obtained in the
1970's eliciting the information that the family arrived in this country
from Germany shortly before the Revolutionary War through the port at Baltimore,
Maryland. They migrated to the Monongahela Valley around 1775 before Monongalia
became a county in 1776. Since Jacob was not born until 1786, it would appear
that his parents were the first members of the family to live in the Monongahela
Valley and that his father was the immigrant ancestor.
Before his death in 1979, my great Uncle Joe, related that his grandfather,
Abraham Snider, was one of six brothers and that there were no surviving girls
in the family. There was an infant daughter who died as a small baby. Uncle
Joe also mentioned something about his grandfather and his brothers were
10 years apart. Uncle Joe was quite elderly at the time of the interview and
the information was somewhat sketchy, but his references to the Monongahela
was helpful in locating the family in Preston County, W.Va. Since Monongahela
was a river and valley, I turned to Monongalia and Preston Counties in my
The census records reveal that Jacob Snider had
two children under the age of five in 1810, one male and one female and that
Jacob was under 26 years of age. Living nearby in 1850 were the families
of Samuel and William Snider. The history books have given us the names of
all but one of Abraham's brothers, all sons of Jacob Snider. The youngest
son, Marcellus was located in the 1850 census records. The Virginia militia
Records from 1784 to 1811 gave the names of Adam, George, Jacob, John, Peter,
and William Snider, but no relationships have been determined or if this
is our Jacob who served during that period of time. Other sources have
attributed a large family to Jacob and Catherine. However, family tradition
in our immediate family was 'there were no surviving daughters' in this family.
Therefore, I have omitted those that I have been unable to prove as
part of this family. It is believed they were possibly nieces and nephews
of Jacob but not his children.
2. i. Abraham Snider, born 5 November 1809, eldest living son. Died November 20, 1872, Washington County, Iowa.
3. ii. Infant Daughter, in 1810 census, died as a baby.
4. iii. John Snider, born ca. 1819
5. iv. William Snider born ca. 1820
6. v. Jacob Snider, born ca. 1830
7. vi. Allen J. Snider born ca. 1833
8. vii. Marcellus Snider born ca. 1839
Children's names are located in the 1850 and 1860 census records.