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SNIDER, John
(1743-1830)

 

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EVANS, Dorcas

SNIDER, John

  • Born: 17 Apr 1743
  • Marriage: EVANS, Dorcas
  • Died: 1830, Monongalia Co, VA, at age 87
  • Buried: Unknown/Probably On Home Farm
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bullet  General Notes:


JOHN SNIDER
(April 1743 - 13 May 1830)
2000 by Gordon C. BAKER
There is a great deal of controversy over the birth place of John SNIDER. Various sources say Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore, MD; and Richmond, VA. There is no doubt he was of German origin, but [he] was probably born in America. After years of research, with no results on finding the names of his parents, I believe he was raised on the Maryland frontier - probably in what is now either Frederick or Washington Counties, MD. That area was full of German settlers who not only moved there from eastern Pennsylvania, but also arrived through the ports of Baltimore, MD; Annapolis, MD; and Alexandria, VA. Joshua Martin SNYDER in his history of the family says John's parents lived in Philadelphia, PA and Baltimore, MD. This would fit in with the usual arrival of Germans in the port of Philadelphia and later moving on to Maryland. These were probably the two big cities that the family remembered.
During his teen years, [John] was carried off by Indians. Just where he was captured is an open question. Some early writers make it appear he was captured in what is now Monongalia Co., VA or Greene Co., PA. However, most likely the event occurred on the frontier of Maryland. Tradition says he was carried through Monongalia County and camped on the site of what would later be his farm. John was gone for nine years before he was returned. He was probably living with Indians in towns in the Ohio country, probably among the Shawnees. He was returned after BOUQUET defeated the western Indians. According to the treaty, all white captives were to be returned. This is probably how John SNIDER returned to White society.
Although we have no clues of the names of his parents or where they lived, when John SNIDER made the move to Monongalia Co., VA in 1769, he took with him his future father-in-law, John EVANS. At this time, John EVANS and his family were living in the Cononcheague Settlements in Washington Co., MD. This is another clue that John SNIDER's family lived on the Maryland frontier. John SNIDER moved to Monongalia Co., VA in 1769 and claimed land in the western part of the county. He married, raised a family and lived out the rest of his life on this farm.
Many ladies have joined the DAR based on John SNIDER's service in the Revolutionary War. However, I have not any evidence that John ever served in any known military unit. He has been confused with other John SNIDERs who lived hundreds of miles away. If John SNIDER did serve in the Revolution, then it was in a unit whose records have been lost. In 1779, Fort Martin, only a mile from SNIDER's home, was attacked by Indians. Several men were killed and others carried off as captives. You almost have to believe that John SNIDER was there. The Public Service Claims Records for Monongalia Co., VA list those who gave supplies to the Revolutionary cause. In 1782, John SNIDER is listed as providing 160 pounds of pork [WEST VIRGINIA HISTORY, Volume 37, No. 3, pg. 224-225].
Two important forts were built near SNIDER's land. Richard HARRISON built a hewed log structure, 22 X 30 feet, with a stockade around it. Sometime after 1773, Charles MARTIN built a fort on his farm. This was about a mile from HARRISON's fort, both being on Crooked Run. John's daughter, Polly, married Spencer MARTIN, son of Charles.
In 1778, Fort MARTIN Methodist Church was organized by Charles MARTIN. In 1784, the first church structure, a log building, was erected on land donated by John SNIDER. This church was the first Methodist structure in Monongalia County and one of the oldest Methodist organizations west of the Allegheny Mountains. Bishop Francis ASBURY preached there in 1786 and 1788. . .. In a trip to the area in 1804, ASBURY stayed at the home of Stephen GAPEN, SNIDER's neighbor and future son-in-law. This would indicate SNIDER and ASBURY were well acquainted with each other.
One of John SNIDER's descendants, Frank SNIDER (who was born near the SNIDER homestead), states in his autobiography in GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL HISTORY OF FAYETTE CO., PA, 1912 [Volume 2, pg. 592] that John SNIDER owned "a farm which he cultivated, mostly with the labor of others. He had acquired the Indian mode of living, and was more of a hunter and woodsman than a farmer."
The 1790 property tax list for Monongalia Co., VA shows that John SNIDER owned two female slaves. In 1799, John SNIDER discovered his nineteen year-old slave, Sarah, was infected with venereal disease. She was taken to Dr. MARCHAND to be treated. Three months later, in September 1799, he sold Sarah to Joseph RHEA. After the sale, RHEA discovered she was infected. He then sued for $300. At court, Dr. MARCHAND declared she was cured and RHEA only received $20.00 to pay for the doctor bill. It is possible that SNIDER owned other slaves over the years.
In 1851, Joshua MARTIN SNYDER wrote a history of the SNIDER family. Following is what he recalled about his grandfather, John SNIDER, and his family: "On my ancestors I know but little. They seem to have been a hard-working, honest, and respectable class of men. Most of them seem to have been farmers. My great-grandfather was a Dutchman, or rather a German. I know but little of him except that he was an honest, hard-working man, and brought up his children to industrious habits. Both he and my grandmother could converse in the German language. They seemed to have lived most of their life in the vicinity of Philadelphia, PA and Baltimore, MD. I cannot learn that they ever took the Oath Of Allegiance to the United States, nor have I heard a hint that they were in the least disaffected toward the government. My impression is, and I think [it] is well founded, that my great-grandfather did not live to see the Independence of the States. I think he died before the Revolutionary War broke out. My Grandfather SNYDER was a fine man, a good citizen, and an affectionate father. He was taken prisoner by the Indians when he was between ten and eleven years old. He continued a prisoner about nine years, when he was finally exchanged for an Indian prisoner who was held by the Whites. The circumstances of his capture, and many circumstances which occurred while he was with the Indians, would be interesting to relate, but I forebear to relate them. When he first returned from his captivity to his mother (his father, it seems, was dead), she looked at him and said it was not her son. Some of his friends, who also seem to have been relations, were with him and affirmed strongly that it was her son. She then remarked, 'If he is my son I can tell.' Whereupon she examined his arm in search of a scar which had been created by some accident, and finding the expected scar, at once owned her John. His fondness for Indian life seems to have become quite strong during his residence with them, though they [the native customs] were not irresistible. When he first returned from his captivity, he found it very difficult to rest on a feather bed. He told one of his sons, who told me, that he became reconciled to the Indian buffalo robe, when taken prisoner, much easier than he became reconciled to a feather bed after his return to the life of a White man. This, through a single case, may serve to illustrate the injury done to our race by sleeping and lounging on beds of down. He always retained his love for his gun so long as his eyesight remained good. When he came to take the Oath of Allegiance, he took it as John TAYLOR, "TAYLOR" in English being the same as "SNYDER" in German. He moved to Monongalia County in Virginia at an early day of White settlement in that part. There, he took up a large quantity of land, and became an extensive farmer. He owned a few slaves in the course of his life though he was a hard-working man himself, and brought up his children to hard labor also. Though I have no disposition to excuse slaveholding in anyone, yet I am free to say that I do not regard the slaveholders of the Eighteenth Century in the same light that I do those of the Nineteenth Century. I regard the latter as being just so much more wicked, as their light is greater than the former. Notwithstanding all this, I regard slaveholding wrong and only wrong, whenever, wherever, and howsoever done. I shall always regard the fact that my grandfather held slaves as distracting from the glory of a family history, otherwise unsullied, for the past at least. Unsullied, I say, for I know of no crime in any of my ancestors, or even of more modern relations, equal to that of slaveholding. My Grandfather SNYDER was a remarkable instance of constant healthfulness, he never saw a sick day in his life. And on the day of his death, he came from his room and ate breakfast as usual; remarking at the same time that he 'should want no more.' He seems to have had a premonition that his end was nigh. He lived to see all of his children (sixteen in number, eight boys and eight girls, all the children of one woman) - except for two or three who died in their youth - married and raising families around them. His wife, my grandmother, seems to have been a good financier and to have had good family government. Otherwise she was not remarkable, so far as I can learn. They both belonged to the Methodists, I believe."
There is no will on file in Monongalia Co., WV for John SNIDER. Joshua Martin SNIDER in his history of the family says that his father, Thomas SNIDER, the youngest son, was to receive the home farm and that John SNIDER had written up a will so stating. According to Joshua, the older sons conspired to have the will changed so that Elisha SNIDER got the land. However, there are two deeds on file in Monongalia Co., WV dated 18 October 1819 in which John SNIDER deeded 140 acres to Elisha SNIDER and 120 acres to Elijah SNIDER. This land was part of the home farm. So perhaps there was a will, we will never know.

As far as I know, John SNIDER must have been buried on his home farm. This land was later stripped for coal. Several persons have searched over this area and no tract of a cemetery has ever been found. The WPA survey done in the 1930's did not find a cemetery. It is entirely possible he was buried without a tombstone. There is a stone for him in the Fort Martin Methodist Church Cemetery, but he is not buried there. This was put up by the DAR and even the information on the stone is wrong. He did not serve in the Revolutionary War in the unit mentioned on the stone.

Martha Snyder Evans: . . .three men are believed to be John Snider's brothers: George, Elisha, and Rudolph Snider. John was the only one who never learned to write; he even signed his deeds with a Germainic Capitla "I" (also the initial for John).
Change Date: 8 SEP 2002 at 01:00:00

Marriage 1 Dorcas EVANS b: 9 JUL 1755 in Hagerstown,Washington,MD
Married: 1770/1774
Children
Mary SNIDER b: 1774 in ,Monongalia,WV
David SNIDER b: 1770/1805
Joseph M. SNIDER b: 1778 in ,Monongalia,WV
John SNIDER b: 1780 in ,Monongalia,WV
Joshua SNIDER b: 1781 in ,Monongalia,WV
Amos SNIDER b: 1782 in ,Monongalia,WV
Elizabeth SNIDER b: 1786 in ,Monongalia,WV
Rebecca SNIDER b: 1788 in ,Monongalia,WV
Elisha SNIDER b: 1790 in ,Monongalia,WV
Elija SNIDER b: 1793 in ,Monongalia,WV
Thomas C. SNIDER b: 1794 in ,Monongalia,WV
Celisa SNIDER b: 1770/1805
Dorcas SNIDER b: 1770/1805
Baby girl SNIDER b: 1770/1805
Baby Girl SNIDER b: 1770/1805
Baby Girl SNIDER b: 1770/1805

Sources:
Repository:
Name: Family History Library

Title: Genealogy and Personal History (Snider)
Author: Roger B. Frank
Publication: 1990 Roger B. Frank 1921 Sundrop Trail Highlands CO 80126
Abbrev: Genealogy and Personal History (Snider)
Repository:
Name: Family History Library

Title: Genealogy and Personal History (Snider)
Author: Roger B. Frank
Publication: 1990 Roger B. Frank 1921 Sundrop Trail Highlands CO 80126
Abbrev: Genealogy and Personal History (Snider)
Page: p. 67
Note: gives alternate death dates of May 1, 1830 and May 13, 1830 from Estate O.S. 133, page 458, Sept 8, 1836.

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bullet  Noted events in his life were:

There is a monument erected for him in the Fort Martin United Methodist Church Cemetary (in VA--Now WV). Various sources state he is not buried there.


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John married Dorcas EVANS, daughter of John EVANS and Sarah DAVIES. (Dorcas EVANS was born on 9 Jul 1755 in Hagerstown, Frederick Co, MD and died on 24 Feb 1829 in Monongalia Co, VA.)

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