Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Johann Jakob Schneider (1792 – 1871) and Eva Maria Haumann (abt 1802 - ?), my 4th great-grandparents

Climbing My Family Tree: Modern Map of German States
Modern Map of German States
Hesse is in blue & we are from the far south portion of Hesse
Map is n the public domain
Click to make bigger

As I explained earlier my second great grandparents were both Snyders.  I was told that both John and Katharine were from unrelated Schneider lines which originated in different areas of Germany. I now know each family immigrated to the United States (to Ohio) in different decades, but my research so far has shown both sides originated from the southern portion of Hessen, Germany.  I did a post on my second great-grandfather, John Snyder’s father, Johannes Schneider, earlier this year (See HERE), and I did Katharine’s parents last month (see HERE).

My 4th great grandfather  Johann Jakob Schneider, was born 1 October 1792, in Hohenstadten, in an area of Hesse-Darmstadt (pre-Germany) which stores its records in Reichenbach, Starkenburg, Hesse, Germany to Johann Georg Schneider (abt 1760 - ?) and Elisabetha Catharina Bauer (1765-1810). He was the second oldest of six children (that I know of): Johann Georg (1783-1867, m. Anna Maria Moesinger), my 4th great-grandfather Johann Jakob, Anna Margaretha (1798-1852, m. Johann Peter Keil), Johannes (1800-1858, m. Elisabetha Katharina Hoffmaenn), Anna Barbara (1802-1865, m. Johannes Gersich), Anna Katharina (1805-1827) and Johann Michael (1808-?).  Their mother died in 1810 when Jakob was 18, and his youngest brother was two years old.

When Jakob was 26, he married Eva Maria Haumann on December 6, 1818, in a Protestant church in Reichenbach, Starkenburg, Hesse-Darmstadt. The marriage record indicated that Jacob was 23 years old and his parents were Johann Georg Schneider and Elisabetha Katharina Bauer. His bride, Eva Maria, was 16 years old and her parents were Johannes Hausmann and Anna Elisabetha Heldman.

Climbing My Family Tree: Map of Hessen, Germany
Map of Hessen, Germany
Jakob and his family lived in the purple part.
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They had five children that I’ve found all born in the same area of Hessen-Darmstadt. There are long enough gaps in their birthdates that I wouldn’t be surprised if they had other children that I haven’t found yet. Their first daughter, Anna Maria, was born about a year after their marriage on 26 November 1819 and she was baptized in the church her parents married in, but she lived only a little over three years and died on 31 January 1823. Their next child, Eva Maria, was born a little over nine months later on 8 November 1823 in Gadernhein, Hessen (m. Johannes Allmann 20 Jan 1853 and dd. 17 Nov 1866.) Their third daughter, Elizabetha Katharina, was born three years later on 1 February 1826. My 3rd- great-grandfather, Johann Philip, was next, born on 10 January 1831 (his story is HERE). The youngest child, Johann Georg, was born 11 October 1837.

I haven’t found a marriage for their third daughter, Elizabetha Katharina, but I did find a daughter born to her in Hesse, on 24 January 1854, named after her mother, Eva Maria Schneider.

The Hessen Archives has an online database listing those who emigrated from Hesse; it indicates that Johann Jakob Schneider emigrated from Darmstadt in 1854 to America. Notes indicated that he was traveling with his children. It does not mention Jakob’s wife so I think she had died prior to the time the family left for America. I’ve looked through the Germans to America Indices, and through several passenger list websites, but haven’t yet find found any of the family (for certain) so I don’t know when they actually traveled to the U.S.A. or on which ship(s), or at which port(s) they arrived.

Many of the farmers and craftsmen and shopkeepers who came to America from the German States in the mid-1800’s were disturbed by the collapse of the Industrial Revolution in Germany, agricultural reform, overpopulation, crop failure (potatoes), a lack of land in their homeland to expand, and the collapse of the 1848 March revolution in the southwestern Germanic states.  Those farmers, fearing a loss of their land to government confiscation, opted to sell their land, ironically at higher rates than usual since the land was so scarce, and move to America where land was known to be cheaper and more abundant.  

Many Germanic immigrants had only limited financial resources and/or followed friends and family as they first moved into established rural settlements, and certain cities. The mid-west was the most popular American region for Germanic immigrants to settle in. Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio had similar climate and geographical conditions to that of Central Europe, making farming there more familiar to the Germanic settlers. This may explain why Jakob and his family ended up in northwest Ohio.

German Immigrants to North America (1853)
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Climbing My Family Tree: Settlement Patterns of German Americans, based on the 2000 Census
Settlement Patterns of German Americans, based on the 2000 Census
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While Jacob immigrated to America with most of his family, his daughter Eva Maria stayed in Hesse with her husband Johannes Allmann, who she had married on 20 Jan 1853. They had his first grandchild, Anna Elisabethe, on 29 Aug 1853. Sadly, she died on 24 July 1854. I don’t know whether Jakob was still there when his granddaughter died.  I don’t think he ever saw his daughter again after he emigrated.  She and her husband had two more children, sons Georg Phillip (I think she missed her brothers), born 16 Nov 1856 and Johann Peter, born 19 June 1861.  They would never have known their grandfather or maternal aunt and uncles.

I know that Jakob and his family were in Hancock County, Ohio, USA, by 1860, when he was 66, because they are listed in the 1860 Census, in Union Township. He had anglicized his name to Jacob Snider. Living with him are his daughter, Elisabeth (age 33), and her daughter Mary (age 6); his son, Philip (age 29) and his wife, Hannah (age 26), [my 3rd great-grandparents] and their first two children, Catherine (age 2) and Frederick Nicholas (listed as Nicholos, age 5/12) ; and his youngest son, George (age 22). The Census indicates that Jacob, Elisabeth, Philip, George, and Mary were born in Hesse, Germany; Hannah was born in Pennsylvania; and Catherine and Nicholos were born in Ohio. Jacob was working as a day laborer and Philip was a carpenter.  All the adults (over 20) could read and write.

The next year the Civil War erupted in their new country. German Americans who arrived in the 19th Century overwhelmingly fought for the Union, over 200,000 of them, while thousands of Germanic Americans who arrived in Pennsylvania earlier in the 18th Century and whose families migrated to North Carolina chose to fight for the Confederacy.

Climbing My Family Tree: Ohio Civil War Recruitment Poster
Ohio Civil War Recruitment Poster
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Jacob’s youngest son, George, joined the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company A, as a private, under an act passed on April 27, 1861, for the defense of the state because Ohio was a border state and thus in danger of invasion. The 21st was ordered by General McClellan on July 3, 1861, to Ravenswood VA to reinforce other troops, and drove Confederates back at Ripley VA. On July 11, 1861, it became part of General Cox’s brigade and participated in the Battle of Scary Creek in West VA. George mustered out at the end of the first enlistment period, of the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, on 12 August 1861.

In the latter half of the 1860s, mail from home would have brought Jacob sad news. His sister Anna Barbara Gersich died on 4 June 1865.  Next, the daughter he had left behind, Eva Maria Allmann, died on 17 Nov 1866, leaving her two young sons motherless. Finally, his oldest brother, Johann Georg, died on 19 April 1867.

By 1870 Jacob, now 77, his sons, and Philip’s family had moved to Madison Township in Hancock County, Ohio, near the village of Arlington, about ten miles from the county seat, Findlay. (I lost his daughter Anna Katharina and her daughter Eva Maria after the 1860 census.) The family now spelled their last name “Snyder”. The property the family lived on belonged to Philip, now 39. He and his wife, Hannah, 35, had six children at home: Catherine (12), Nicholas (9), George (8), Elizabeth (5), Philip (2), and John (6/12, born in February).  Jacob’s youngest son, George (32) also lived in the household. Philip’s children Catherine, Nicholas, George, and Elizabeth attended school.  Philip was now a millwright and a farmer.  Jacob is listed as a retired farmer and George as a farmer.

Jacob died the next year, on 21 October 1871, at age 79.  He is buried in St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery, in Arlington, Hancock County, Ohio, USA. His gravestone bears a lengthy inscription, in German.

Grave of Jacob Schneider, in St. Paul's Cemetery, Van Buren Township, Hancock County OH
posted with permission of C.H. (I do not  own copyright & cannot give permission for its reuse.)
Click to make bigger.

My cousin Steve, who, thankfully, is fluent in modern and old German, translated the inscription on Jacob’s gravestone, for me,  from the above photograph, although part of it was obscured by a plant:  “Jacob Schneider born in Hohenstadten, Hessen Darmstadt Germany on the 1st of December 1792. In the year 1808 he became a soldier in the German Army and participated in the campaign against Napoleon the 1st. With his [illegible] he was awarded a medal by his [illegible] and in the year 18[illegible] on the 21st of December his life ended.”

It looks like there are quite a few clues on that gravestone (and would be more if that plant wasn’t there!), but it confused me more than it enlightened me. The inscription indicates that when Jacob was approximately 16 he was fighting with the German Army against Napoleon and got a medal for it.  I’ve been reading many synopses of the history of the Duchies/Landgraviates of Hessen in the process of writing my last several posts and I think I’m going to have to study a bit more in-depth to figure out how he fought against Napoleon in the German Army in 1808, since at that point in time most of the Hessen-Darmstadt troops were fighting with the French Army - on Napoleon’s side (1806-1813). It wasn’t until 1813 that Hesse-Darmstadt joined the allies (AustriaPrussiaRussia, the United KingdomPortugalSwedenSpain and several other German states) and fought on the side of the 6th Coalition against France & Napoleon, which succeeded in pushing France out of Germany in 1814.

Either Jacob’s surviving family misremembered the date he fought in the army, or he was in the army in 1808 but was fighting FOR Napoleon and the story morphed over time since Napoleon not only wasn’t the good guy, but he lost. Or it’s also possible Jacob joined the Prussian Army which had a part in the Peninsular War (initially Napoleon/the French Army and Spain vs. the Sixth Coalition for control of the Iberian Peninsula, 1807-1814, until in 1808 when France turned on its former ally, Spain, as well). I’ve been trying to figure out what medal Jacob was awarded as that might pin down where he fought and against whom but have had no success because I really need to know where he fought and against whom first to have a chance at finding more information on the medal.  

If anyone reading this has any suggestions that might help me solve the puzzle of who Jacob fought for in the Napoleonic Wars and what medal he received, or on what ship/when he immigrated to America, please

Hessen Baptismal records and Marriage records, Ancestry(.)com indexes;  1860  & 1870 U.S. Censuses; Hancock County, Ohio, Cemetery Inscription, Orange and Van Buren Townships, Hancock County Genealogical Society (1995); History of Hancock County [Ohio] from Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Together with Reminiscences of Pioneer Life, Incidents, Statistical Tables, and Biographical Sketches, by Daniel Barna Beardsley (Springfield, OH, Republic Printing Company. 1881.); History of Hancock County, Ohio, Containing a History of the County, Its Townships, Towns ... Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men, Biographies, History of the Northwest Territory, History of Ohio, Statistical and Miscellaneous Matter, Etc., by  (Chicago. Warner, Beers & Co. 1886.); (Source: M.d.I. Abl. 11, Konv. 58 II (Part.V) Film 12 No. 476);;;; ;;;