Thursday, June 28, 2012

Genealogy Update: Adam Schneider

In honor of today's Germany-Italy match, I'm proud to announce that I have identified 1/64 more of my ancestry that is German.

My recollection is that when I did most of my research in the mid-1990s, there seemed to be three Adam Snyders in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, two of whom I was related to. Since I could never figure out which was which, that made it hard to trace things.

William S. Nicholson
Now that so much more information is online, I am able to sort things out. I'm not sure how many Adam Snyders there were, but I'm pretty sure I can figure out which my two were.

Lucretia (Putman) Nicholson
Let's start with my great-grandfather, William S. Nicholson. Until my recent searches, he had been one of the two trickiest great-grandparents for me to determine ancestry. In fact, I had only been able to determine the ancestry of one of his great-grandparents. His mother was the former Lucretia Putman, and her grandfather, Peter Putman, emigrated from Germany in the mid-18th century. Peter is one of my ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War. His grandson, and Lucretia's father, William Putman, fought in the Civil War and died of his wounds. (So I was wrong when I said that I only had one ancestor who fought in the Civil War.)
Simon P. Nicholson

This site says that Peter's wife, Maria, was also from Germany, but I'm not going to count that until I can get more solid evidence.

Anyway, the new information is actually about William's father, Simon P. Nicholson. His mother was the former Phoebe Snyder, which is where the Snyders come into the line. Her father was Adam Snyder (or Schneider), and his father was Adam Schneider. Based on the text of the 1909 book A brief history of the Andrew Putman (Buttman, Putnam) Christian Wyandt (Weyandt, Weygandt, Voint, Wyand) and Adam Snyder families (Schneider) of Washington County, Maryland, I can conclude that the older Adam was, in fact, from Germany. So that's a second of William's great-grandparents whose origin has been found. Adam was also one of the founders of Somerset, PA. I remember seeing the historical marker about him when we visited in 2009, but I wasn't sure at the time if he was "mine".

The astute reader may notice the name "Putman" appearing again, even though we are looking at William's father, rather than his mother. In fact, Adam Schneider (the older) was married to Catherine Putman...Peter Putman's brother. First of all, this is another of William's great-grandparents identified as German. Second, this means that William's parents were third cousins. I've been waiting to find out where my family tree bends back on itself (everyone's does), and third cousins isn't such a bad way to have it happen.

One more thing...remember Peter's wife, Maria, who is possibly another German ancestor? She was Maria Schneider (Snyder), so there's at least a possibility that she was Adam's sister, which would make Simon and Lucretia third cousins on another side as well. I'm going to ignore that for now.

I'm also going to ignore the fact that the German Putmans were originally the French Huguenot Boutemonts -- with a few exceptions, I only care about the country of origin, and don't try to trace things back generations before that.
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