Common Sources: Descendants of Hannes Schneider born 1534

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Date: 1 Aug 2019 [unknown]
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Surnames/tags: Schneider snyder
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Contributed by David Snyder11168 2 August 2019, and updated 14 September 2019

"Family Bible" The 1560 Schneider Bible contains an original German hand-written family register that is badly worn after hundreds of years of deterioration. However, in the late 1890s, Ezra Eby translated what was still decipherable of the original registry and neatly wrote it down in English, along with his own insights. Later generations who possessed the Bible added their stories to the English register that Ezra had begun. This information and further information as to the history of the bible, and the English translation of the geneological information can be found at . Unfortunately, this link is no longer active but is being retained just in case. No other online translation could be found as of 12 June 2023. Images of select pages of the bible can be found at . Websites accessed 2 August 2019. The bible is currently located in the climate-controlled rare books room of the Mennonite Archives at Conrad Grebel College, University of Waterloo. I have not fully audited (nor am I able to do so) the German to English translation of Eby, nor have I fully audited the accuracy of Eby's English version compared to the sympatico site. However, I do have the following observations in this regard:

a. an example of an error is in identifying the city in which Peter (1590 - 1663) lived and where his son Jacob (1624 - 1695) was born. The English translation says "Peter Schneider son of Jacob Schneider resided in the city Lucerne, Canton Berne . . ." and later ". . . Jacob Schneider was born in Lucerne, Switzerland June 13th . . ." However, Lucern is not nor ever was in Canton Berne. Upon checking the actual German script, the town name is unable to be read clearly but it is definately not "Lucerne". It could be "Lauperswill" or Langnau" - both regions in Canton Bern, but I am not sure.

b. there are sections of the German script that were interpreted into English by Ezra Eby in the late 1890s that do not exist in the current bible. For example, the sentences preceding and immediately after the very fist table of children with births starting in 1587 is not to be found in German. Also, the portion starting with "Jacob Schneider father of the above family . .. ." and the following table is all missing in German until the part "I John Schneider . . ." begins.

c. the translation is not always verbatim, and instead seems to tell a story by a third person at times. For example, the very first sentence available in German script reads "Ich Jacob Schneider sohn von Peter . . ." which = "I Jacob Schneider son of Peter . . ." reads in the English translation as "The third child namely Jacob Schneider . . .". Names seem to be simplified and information moved around on occasion.

Despite these irregularities, I consider this to be a fairly good first-hand source that would be more convincing than other available on-line sources with weaker or missing sources.

Bern, Switzerland page of the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO),, accessed 28 October 2019. This provides insightful historical context into the plight of Anabaptists in Canton Bern, Switzerland, during the time of Hannes and down through three generations until Jacob (b 1624) moved to the Palatinate in 1653.

"Eby Book" Ezra Eby collected family histories from Pennsylvania German pioneer families in Waterloo Township, Ontario, and published these as A Biographical History of Waterloo Township in 1896. This information and an extensive searchable database of names and images can be found at . Although this website says it links to the actual text of the book, it does not since the link is broken. However, the text of the book can be found, for Volume I at, and for Volume II at . Websites accessed 2 August 2019. Unfortunately, there are very little direct sources given in the volumes with most of the information seeming to come from his personal recollections and interviews with descendants. Mr. Eby also translated the German entries of the Schneider Family Bible to English, but this must have been after the publication of his own book since gaps in the Schneider family history in Eby Book are easily filled by referring to the Family Bible. The original manuscript is housed at the Joseph Schneider Haus Museum in Kitchener, Waterloo.

"Folklore" Canadian German Folklore, Volume 5, published by Pennsylvania Folklore Society of Ontario, 1975, ISBN 0-920038-00-X. Unfortunately, this book makes several errors comparing the locations of farms in Block 2 of the Haldimand Grant, becoming the original Waterloo Township, with locales that are not in Block 2.

"Generations" The Waterloo Region Generations webiste records the lives of those who once called Waterloo Region (formerly Waterloo County) their home. It shows them as individuals, as family members, and how they relate to community members, businesses, buildings, organizations and places. The site is created from original, sourced records. For most sources, although the title is given, there is no link to the actual source itself, and most sources can not otherwise be found online. The three preceding sources are often cited as sources on this website. To find a profiled person, select "search" and enter the first and last names, gender, and year of birth. Last accessed 3 August 2019.

"Annual Report" Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Waterloo Historical Society, 1934. The image appearing on the third page scrolling down is a map of Block Two of the Haldimand Grant which eventually comprises the early Waterloo Township. The map shows the titles and original owners of the surveyed lots as of 1 September 1805, and is part of a report by I. C. Bricker which appears for several pages after the map. Land transactions with names and dates are listed up to 1825. This can be viewed in concert with the Tremaine Map to compare it with modern features. From , accessed 13 May 2020.

"Tremaine Map" Tremaine's 1861 Map of Waterloo County (Toronto, Ontario, George R. & G. M. Tremaine, 1861). A contemporary map of surveying lots, land owners, roads, and other features as of 1861. Best viewed in conjunction with the map of Block 2 mentioned in the Annual Report as it has a more clear depiction of the individual lot numbers. Available for viewing on ArcGIS website, , accessed 14 May 2020. The "Imagery Hybrid" base map can be turned on to compare the modern and historic features (there seems to be a slight offset in most parts).

Note on Birth and Death Locations - Waterloo Township. Most of the earliest Mennonite settlers of the Schneider and other families arriving into Upper Canada from Pennsylvania in the early 1800s settled on what was then known as Block 2 of the Haldimand Tract. In 1816, this area was officially incorporated into the now long-defunct District of Gore, with the Block 2 lands being named the Township of Waterloo. This township eventually became the core of Waterloo County. This area has changed names and boundaries over time. To maintain some continuity and simplicty when referring to rural locations, the name "Waterloo Township" is used in birth and death locations to describe the area covered by the Township in 1816 regardless of the actual year of birth or death. On 10 February 1841, "Upper Canada" became "Canada West".

Affected profiles, particularly ones with early births prior to common use of hospital maternity wards, will be reviewed from 2020 to 2022 to ensure this protocol is applied. The reader is invited to research more detailed naming and border historic changes on their own.

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