Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shroyer Family continued.

The Mercer County Shroyer family has a long paternal history in the United States, and it is
best understood by placing it in the context of time. To say that: “They came from the
Pennsylvania German area west and southwest of Philadelphia to western Ohio, and then
through southern Illinois before coming to Missouri.” --hardly does justice to the experience.
Fortunately, research in Germany and Pennsylvania has given us a good look at who they
were, and how their lives first unfolded here. That is reason enough for this monograph....
The chain of paternity looks like this:
Nicolaus > Christian > Hans Georg > Jacob (I) > Jacob (II) > John B. > John A. > Virgil
1710 Apr 22 Christian Schreier, son of the late Nicholaus Schreier, marries
Elisabetha Kröff (daughter of Heinrich Kröff of Alte Hosungen in
Ambts Wolfhagen, Hesse-Cassel1) at the Reformed Church in
Gönnheim2, Rhenish Palatinate.3
The town of Gönnheim lies in the Rhenish Palatinate, an area of much suffering and, hence,
much emigration in the course of German history. This region was visited by plague in the
1660s and 1670s, and in the War of the Grand Alliance (1689-97) French troops overran
much of the land. The Palatine Electors (to the Holy Roman Empire -- the post-Roman
confederation of most of the German states) responded to depopulation beginning in the
mid-17th century by offering inducements to new settlers, particularly from France and
Switzerland. Many who came were driven from their homes by religious oppression.
Here there was, for a time, refuge. Separatists, Pietists and other religious dissenters are
acknowledged in Palatine church books of the time. In 1705, the Palatine ruler extended
equal rights to both Catholics and Calvinists.
Swiss immigrants were often Mennonites. Just to the west of Gönnheim lies Friedelsheim
(on the road to Bad Dürkheim). And Friedelsheim has been the seat of a Mennonite
congregation since at least 1682. Does that mean the Shroyers came from Switzerland?
No, but it leaves the door open to that very possibility. [A 1798 census of Canton Berne
turned up more than a few men of the name SCHREIER or SCHREYER.] But in any
case, religious dissenters who had only recently come to the Palatine areas soon found
themselves in difficulty again when Karl Philipp became Elector of the Palatinate in 1716.
Notably, German emigration to Philadelphia begins in earnest about the year 1717 and
rises swiftly. Many of the residents of these two Palatine towns, both Mennonites and
1 Today this is the village of Alternhasungen, about 11 miles due west of Kassel.
But in order to locate it on a modern German road atlas -- I use the 1:300,000 scale “Euro-
Atlas” from the American Map Corp. of Maspeth, NY, available through Borders or Barnes
and Noble and the like -- one must have the name of the larger town through which the
village receives its mail. In this case, that is Wolfhagen, with German postal code 34466.
2 Gönnheim has its own post office and code (67161), and is located about 10 m.
WSW of Ludwigshafen am Rhein (across the Rhine River from Mannheim).
3 Annette Kunselman Burgert, “Palatine Origins of Some Pennsylvania Pioneers”
(Myerstown, PA: AKB Publications, 2000)
Reformed Church members, settled in Conewago, in early York County, Pennsylvania --
as did the Shroyers.4
1716 Mar 15 Christian & Elisabetha’s son Hans Georg is baptized at the Reformed
Church in Friedelsheim. Later, from 1718 through 1725, three more
siblings are baptized at this same church. A fifth child’s baptism (that
of yet another Jacob) has not been found.5
He was named, apparently, for an uncle who did not come to America. Annette Burgert6
says that separate records were organized for Gönnheim and Friedelsheim, but that they
were kept in the same book. There are gaps in the records, so some baptisms and other
records may be lost to us. She feels the family arrived in Pennsylvania before the colony
began recording the names of German immigrants, in 1727. Another possibility is that they
came later and were either overlooked or their names misinterpreted. In the absence of
better records it is not possible to do more than speculate. And with the Germans, as
Tracey and Dern note, “there is a maddening gap of some years after their arrival in this
country during which time their whereabouts has not in all cases been established.”7
1733-38 Christian Schreyer was sponsor for three children (twice with his wife
Elisabetha) from the Huber and Müller families at the Trinity Lutheran
Church at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 1738, their only daughter
Catherina married Mattheis Märcker through the same church.8
At this time, Lancaster is the farthest west of the organized congregations in Pennsylvania,
so a record in the Lancaster Church Book merely indicates a presence in today’s southern
Pennsylvania. The City of Lancaster was only founded in 1730! 9
After 1733, the renowned Lutheran minister Johann Caspar Stöver performed several
baptisms in Pennsylvania. Three of these involve the Johann Georg Froschauer family of
Wachenheim an der Weinstrasse (west of Friedelsheim), which had arrived in Philadelphia
as a family of six in August 1732. My interpretation suggests that this family moved west
4 Sources for my first two explanatory paragraphs are as follows:
Burgert, Palatine Origins of Some Pennsylvania Pioneers, above.
Wendy K. Uncapher, “Lands of the German Empire and Before” (Janesville, WI:
Origins, 2000)
“The Mennonite Encyclopedia” (1956). See also: “Mennonite Quarterly Review
XXX” (1956), 133-54.
“Men of Bern: The 1798 Burgerverzeichnisse of Canton Bern, Switzerland”
5, 6 & 8 Burgert, Palatine Origins of Some Pennsylvania Pioneers, above.
7 & 9 Grace L. Tracey & John P. Dern, “Pioneers of Old Monocacy: The Early
Settlement of Frederick County, Maryland, 1721-1743” (Baltimore: Genealogical
Publishing Co., Inc., 1987)
between February 1733 and November 1735; these dates represent the baptisms of an
older brother and sister of our Froschauer ancestor Johann Jacob.
The first of these baptisms was at the Augustus Evangelical Lutheran Church at Trappe, in
Montgomery Co., PA. [This is today the oldest Lutheran church in the country; it may be
visited, but has not held services for a century and a half.] The second was at Conewago
(the settlement bridging the South Fork of Conewago Creek, SW of today’s Hanover,
PA), on the border of York and Adams Counties, PA. [And this was followed five months
later -- also at Conewago -- by a baptism in which the favor of sponsorship was returned
by Mr. Froschauer to his daughter’s sponsor.] 10
This move by the Froschauer family may have followed -- and/or was influenced by --
Christian Schreyer’s settlement at Conewago. Possibly they even moved together, as we
don’t know the location of the Schreyer family between their implied pre-1727 arrival and
their 1733 appearance in the Susquehanna settlements. What we can say for sure is that
the Froschauer family was still in Montgomery County, some distance east of Lancaster and
the western settlements, in February 1733, while the Schreyer family had at the least
reached Lancaster by the year 1733.
1738 Sep 5 Augustus Scherer and Catharina Schreyerin sponsor at Monocacy
(“Manackesen”) a child of George Spengel baptized by Rev. Johann
Caspar Stöver.11
1739 Feb 24 John Georg Schreyer’s eldest son is born at Conewago, per Rev.
Stöver’s records in the Trinity Lutheran Church’s record book,
Lancaster, PA.12
Ms. Burgert tells us that Joh. Augustus Scherrer, a 1730 immigrant from Lachen-
Speyerdorf (9 miles SSW of Gönnheim), was -- like Christian Schreyer, whose will he
witnessed -- a resident of Conewago in 1742-44. “Catharina Schreyer” (the “in” is a
feminine surname suffix in German) could have been the wife of either Hans/John Georg
Schreyer or his brother Nicholas Schreyer.
So these two records are telling us that, by this date, Germans are equally a part of both
the Conewago and Monocacy communities -- Monocacy being the new settlement in
Maryland that lay astride the route from Pennsylvania into western Virginia. Tracy and Dern
tell us the Virginia back country had settled prior to the lands in western Maryland for the
reason that choice lands in Virginia had been easy to obtain by people of limited means,
such as immigrants. Maryland, on the other hand, had seen its choicest lands appropriated
10 The principal reference for this and the preceding paragraph is Appendix A in:
Jan A. Bankert, “Digges’ Choice, 1724-1800: A History of Land Transactions within a
portion of York and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania” (Camden, Maine: Picton Press,
11 Tracey and Dern, Pioneers of Old Monocacy, above.
12 Burgert, Palatine Origins of Some Pennsylvania Pioneers, and Tracey and Dern,
Pioneers of Old Monocacy, above.
by speculators before the poorer settlers had arrived on the scene. Nevertheless, with so
many Germans arriving every month, it was only a matter of time before the new arrivals
pressed to take advantage of whatever appeared to be the path of least resistence in
obtaining the land they so much desired.
Tracey and Dern state that German settlers had crossed the Susquehanna River to the
west by 1731, and were even then “pressing toward Maryland.” Germans, they said,
“tended to select sites in and near the hills, which resembled so closely the hills they had
known in their Palatinate area of Germany.” 13 Enticements to settle in western Maryland
were offered by the Lord Proprietary in a proclamation of March 2, 1732/33, but the
Germans did not understand that accepting a “gift” of two hundred acres of land would
require certain payments, beginning three years after settlement. Inevitably, such a
misunderstanding would prove costly, and also tend to throw early settlers back on lands
purchased earlier. Perhaps a scenario such as this might explain the seeming dual
residency between Conewago and Monocacy.
The German Monocacy Road began at Conestoga, PA, and ran to the backwoods area of
Virginia, passing through Conewago, the Littlestown and Kingsdale areas, the present
Taneytown, MD, and into today’s Frederick County (bridging the river generally southwest
of today’s Keysville, MD). The road then followed several routes to Middletown, MD, via
Frederick (City) as it headed into Washington County, Maryland. The exact routes taken
often varied as one ford across the Monocacy River offered easier crossing over another.
It is easy to imagine Germans from the Conewago area moving into the Monocacy area to
claim new land, but retaining for a time their lands in Pennsylvania. In any case, Germans
continued to stream into Maryland despite the attractions of Virginia land and the hurdles
encountered in the Monocacy Valley. Tracey and Dern claim that, between 1738 and
1743, most of the land surveys north of Frederick (City) were made for German settlers.
1742 Nov 21 Christian Schreyer, living at the Conewago settlement, writes his will.
He names as his children sons Johannes, Jacob and Nicklaus. He
mentions son-in-law “Matteis Marger.” The will is witnessed by three
men, including Johannes Georg Froschauer and Augustus Scherrer.14
1743 Oct 18 Joseph Jennings, first rector of the newly formed All Saints’ Parish
(split away from Prince George’s Parish at Rockville to begin a new
religious division in what becomes Frederick County, Maryland),
provides communion at St. Anne’s Church in Annapolis for several
Germans seeking naturalization. These men were: “Andrew Shriver,
Peter Middlecave, Ludwick Shriver, Michael Will, Conrad Erhard,
David Young, George Shrier, Mark Pickler, John Shrier, Jacob
Shrier and Nicholas Shrier.”15
1744 Jan 18 Christian Schreyer’s will is filed at Lancaster. He has died.16
13 & 15 Tracey and Dern, Pioneers of Old Monocacy, above.
14 & 16 Burgert, Palatine Origins of Some Pennsylvania Pioneers, above.
These three dates are not unrelated. In 1742, Christian Schreyer had been a resident of
the Colony of Pennsylvania approximately 15 years -- long enough for him to have
become a citizen. If he married in 1710, let us assume that he was born in the 1780’s and
that he was a man of about 55 years of age or more by late 1742. He probably knows he
will not live long, and his sons are not citizens. We do not know if Christian owned land, but,
if a British subject, he had a right to do so. His sons, however, clearly did not. This
probably explains why they sought naturalization together, as a group. Once they became
citizens, they could inherit freely from their father. Naturalization required that candidates be
inhabitants for at least seven years without having left the Colonies for over two months at
any one time, and that they had received the Lutheran (or other) Sacrament.
As mentioned above, these men likely have ventured south by this time from Conewago
into part of today’s Frederick County, Maryland. Tracey and Dern tell us that John “Shrier”
certified, along with Philip “Kince” (Küntz), that six of the men had received communion at
the newly formed Lutheran Church at Monocacy the previous month. Soon after the men
were naturalized, the “old man” died and his will was filed with the county court in
Now the sons were finally on a course to strike out on their own. But why had they sought
citizenship through Maryland? The answer is that, even if still living near the Conewago
settlement, they might have thought they were in Maryland. Mr. Mason and Mr. Dixon had
yet to draw their famous line, and the border of the two colonies was hotly disputed for
years. Land records for the same land in this area are frequently found filed, over the years,
in both states. To the Germans, this was all the same region, although we tend to think of
the “Pennsylvania Dutch” as coming from the Lancaster area and points east and west -- but
not from the contiguous areas in Maryland.
1746-49 Births of eldest children of each of Christian Schreyer’s four youngest
children -- all baptized at the Conewago Reformed Church. Georg’s
second through seventh children were baptized at St. Matthew’s
Church, Hanover, PA, but the dates are torn from the page.17
To summarize the story to this point, our Shroyers have arrived in Pennsylvania between
the years of 1725 and 1733 -- reaching at least Lancaster by the latter year -- and have
made a brief appearance in Frederick County, Maryland, by 1738. Tracey and Dern
observe that, while the Lutherans at Monocacy benefitted from visits by Rev. Stöver (the
proof of which survives in his records), any visits to Monocacy by Reformed ministers from
Pennsylvania that may have occured do not survive in the historical record. As the
Shroyers followed the Reformed Church, they could have been overlooked.
Likewise, Tracey and Dern’s work excludes mention of those who did not themselves own
land, but either lived with others or squatted. It is, therefore, possible that many if not most
of the Shroyers were living in Maryland, at least briefly, at a date far earlier than can be
established by land records. By 1743, the brothers have been naturalized in Maryland,
owing to church attendance in the Monocacy community. But, with the above baptisms
occuring exclusively in the environs of Conewago, it is now very clear that they had not, in
fact, cut their ties to Pennsylvania quite yet.
17 Burgert, Palatine Origins of Some Pennsylvania Pioneers, above.
1747 May 6 Fourteen baptisms were performed by Rev. Michael Schlatter at the
Conewago Church near Littlestown, PA. Two of them were four
children of Schreyer brothers (John and Nicholas) married to Rener
sisters (Maria Margaret, and Catherine, respectively). John Nicholas
Coblentz and wife were sponsors for the child of John & wife.18
Thank you, Rev. Schlatter, for recording the relationships in the church register (and for the
similar records you provided on the two more of those 14 baptisms that relate to the
Froschauer family and their ties to places in Germany -- even if they included some errors.
All it all, it was a big day for genealogists to follow! Anyhow, Ms. Burgert tells us the
Coblentz family was from Friedelsheim, but arrived only in 1743. The Coblentz’s had a
daughter the next year, whose sponsors at baptism were John Schreier and wife.
All of that didn’t seem to have precluded John Schreier from making a profit off his friends,
however. On the 2nd of June, 1762, “John Shier” bought 110 acres of land from “Charles
Carroll of the City of Annapolis, Barrister,” for 39 pounds current money. Carroll had a huge
tract of land bridging the two states, south of Littlestown and west of Emmitsburg. The 110
acres in question here was given the title -- land was named in Colonial Maryland -- of
“Shier’s Bottom,” and John turned around and sold it ten days later to “Philip Coplin”
(Koblenz in the German script) for 85 p.c.m.! Philip was very likely the son of the Nicholas
Coblentz with whom John had exchanged sponsorships in 1746-47.
1749 Nov 15 George “Shier” and his brother John “Shier” each buy land in “Digges’
Choice in the Backwoods” from “John Digges, Conewago, Baltimore
Co., MD, Gentleman.” George selected the 50-acre Tract #12, south
of the Pennville neighborhood of today’s Hanover, and paid £37 10
1760 Aug 11 John Shreier obtains a patent on 197+ acres known as Tract #57.
It adjoins his first purchase to the north. His cost is £30 10 shillings
8 pence.20
1761 Aug 28 George Shreier obtains a patent on 106 acres known as Tract #46.
It adjoins his first purchase to the south. His cost is £16 18 shillings
7 pence.21
John opted for what might have been poorer land, 100 acres for £20, numbered Tract #10
and due north of today’s Littlestown, PA. Or perhaps the choices reflected the fact that
John was a farmer, while George was listed as a Conewago tanner; tanners often work
close to population centers. The first German to buy land in Digges’ Choice was a man
from the Froschauer family’s town of Wachenheim, and he bought at what is now downtown
Hanover, and it must have been well on the road to a becoming a town by 1749. George
and John Shreier (& George Frush) appear on the 1749-50 Heidelberg Township tax list.
18 Donna R. Irish, Pennsylvania German Marriages: Marriages and Marriage
Evidence in Pennsylvania German Churches (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co.,
19 to 21 Jan A. Bankert, Digges’ Choice, 1724-1800: A History of Land
Transactions within a portion of York and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania, above.
1764 Jun 6 John “Shrier” sells the 100+ acre Resurvey of Tract #10 to Conrad
1765 Oct 12 John Schreyer of Germany Township, York Co., PA, sells the 197+
acre Tract #57 to Conrad Dotterer.23
1769 Aug 19 George Schreier, Heidelberg & Manheim Townships, York Co., PA,
yeoman, and his wife Catharina, sell Tracts #12 and #46 to a Reading,
PA, yeoman and shopkeeper.24
Now the ties to Pennsylvania are finally being cut. But before we leave the area, be aware
that one may stand on these lands today, owing to the research of those who were willing
to match the original metes and bounds land descriptions to a modern topographical map of
the area. For eldest son George’s land, start in downtown Hanover and point your vehicle
southwest along the Hanover Pike, to Littlestown. As soon as you reach the city limits,
some of the land on the south side of the road will be the northernmost point of Tract #12.
As you cross Plum Creek and near State Road 2006, you will be entering Tract #46. At
the intersection of the Hanover Pike and SR 2006, you will be surrounded by his land. As
you continue on towards Littlestown, look for Whitehall Road. Turn right -- it is a “T”
intersection -- and proceed to SR 2019, the “Old Littletown Hanover Road.” Whitehall
Road beyond this point is SR 2002, and where 2002 meets 2019 lies squarely in the
midst of the land of George’s brother John. It may be the site of the Pleasant Hill School,
but you are still just a short distance removed from Littlestown, which lies due south.
From this point forward, it becomes a simple matter to “dump” the various dates I have
collected on this family into a chronological format. We are now dealing with people who
are no longer “pioneers,” but who have become respected citizens of reasonably wellestablished
[The footnotes will continue on for a time, but will be discontinued as we reach Ohio....]
1763 George purchases a 50 acre tract named “Spillman’s Discovery” in
Frederick County, Maryland.25
This is roughly two years after he’d purchased more land at Conewago, and a year before
his brother starts selling land there. To my mind, this marks the approximate time of the shift
into Maryland -- although clearly the Shroyers and related families maintained a presence in
each place both before and after this date.
Allow me to illustrate by featuring just the continuing Shroyer-and-close-associate presence
in one church in Hanover, PA. On the same day in August 1764, two Schreyer men were
married at St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hanover, and then Susanna
(Froschauer) Shroyer’s aunt Maria Magdalena married Jacob Kuntz at the same church in
July 1765. [Jacob Kuntz was surely a kinsman of the Philip Küntz who, with John Shrier,
22 to 24 Jan A. Bankert, Digges’ Choice, 1724-1800: A History of Land
Transactions within a portion of York and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania, above.
25 Stefanie R. Shaffer, Inhabitants of Frederick County, Maryland.
Vol. 2 (Westminster, MD: Willow Bend Books, 2001)
attested to several of the October 1742 naturalization candidates having taken communion
at Monocacy. The Küntz family had an early presence in Frederick County.] A George
Schreyer announced for Holy Communion in the church in 1792, but by that date it would
seem that most of this now widespread family had ventured on to Maryland and
elsewhere. Now work back from this date, and remember that this is the church of Jacob
(son of Georg) Schreyer’s baptism -- in 1746!
about 1770-71 Nicholas’s son Jacob (I) Schreyer marries Elisabeth Fisher, probably
in Frederick Co., MD. She is the daughter of Thomas Fisher, Sr.
This man was one of the founding trustees of St. John’s Lutheran Church, southwest of
Littlestown. In 1760 he had purchased land in this area from Jacob Schreyer, brother of
George and John, which Jacob had received from the Penn Proprietaries seven years
earlier.] In the Revolution, Thos. Fisher served on the York County Committee of Safety,
and -- to add a further patriotic note -- he sold land in 1780 to John Ross Key, the father of
Francis Scott Key (born near Emmitsburg, MD) !!
The wife of Thos. Fisher, Sr., was Maria Eva König, born 17 Jan. 1728 in Hunspach, in the
Zweibrücken District of Kleeburg, Alsace. This region is now French, of course, and
Hunspach may be found due south of the French border city of Wissembourg (formerly
Weissenburg). The French post office for this village is at 67250 Soultz-sous-Forêts.
Maria Eva’s father Abraham König was the town tailor at Hunspach, but the family
emigrated in 1751 and he founded the town of Kingsdale, Adams Co., PA. Ancestor
Nicholas Shrier, brother of George and John, was a neighbor there, and John may have
had interests there as well.
1780 Jan 25 George’s son “Ludwick Shrier” serves as a Frederick County jury
1782 Aug 25 Jacob (II) Shroyer is born near Middletown, Frederick Co., MD. He is
baptized a month later at the Lutheran Congregation of Zion Church
in Middletown. His sponsors are Adam and Anna Maria Schreyer --
Adam being the son of Nicholas, and thus an uncle. Five younger
siblings were born here as well, through 1796.27
1784 Jul 4 George’s son Jacob serves as a Frederick County jury member
from Toms Creek Hundred. His name appears as “Shroyer.” He
moved to this area around Middletown about a year previous,
accompanied by the Coblentz family.28
See mention of the Coblentz family in connection with the baptisms of 1747, and the
subsequent land transactions of 1762....
26 and 28 Stefanie R. Shaffer, Inhabitants of Frederick County, Maryland.
Vols. 1 & 2 (Westminster, MD: Willow Bend Books, 1999 & 2001)
27 Patricia A. Fogle, Frederick County, Maryland, Church and Cemetery Records,
Vol. 3 (Westminster, MD: Willow Bend Books, 2000)
1790 The first census of the United States reveals ten separate “Shroyer”
families residing within Frederick County, Maryland.
1800 The Frederick County census shows George’s son Jacob Shroyer;
he is 45 & over, and has seven children and young adults living with
him. Frederick County has what appear to be at least four other
Shroyer families. But movement is afoot; Shroyer families are now
found in far western Maryland as well.
1804 Apr 24 Jacob (II) Shroyer & Susanna Froschauer are married at the Monocacy
Church, in Frederick County, Maryland.
She is the daughter of Johann Jacob Froschauer and Anna Maria Gernhardt, who were
most likely married in Frederick County about 1760. She was born in Frederick County on
18 Sept. 1783, and baptized two months later at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
Frederick, with sponsors Heinrich and Susanna (Dotterer) Gernhardt -- Heinrich being her
uncle. Johann Jacob Froschauer was the fifth son and ninth child of old Johann Georg
Froschauer, of whom we have heard previously. Johann Jacob was probably born at
Conewago about 1739. He had died intestate in Frederick before 1800, and the Chancery
Court had listed 325 acres of land in four surveys as his estate.
about 1810 Jacob (II) Shroyer moves to Ohio with his brother Johannes, or John.
“Traveling by wagon along the Cumberland Trail, they arrived in Wheeling, where they sold
the wagon and put everything on three packhorses. Continuing on Zane’s Trace they
followed the Little Miami River to Dayton. John met the David Worman family who had
come from Frederick, MD in 1806.”29 The Cumberland Trail later became the National
Road, and is reasonably approximated today by old U.S. Hwy. 40, running from Frederick,
MD, to Zanesville, OH, for our purposes. At that point the route of the Zane’s Trace -- little
more than a bridle path in that day -- turned southwesterly and ran through Lancaster and
Chillicothe on its way to the Ohio River across from present Maysville, KY. Traveling down
river to the mouth of the Little Miami would have put them just east of today’s Cincinnati.
John ended up marrying David Worman’s step-daughter in 1817; he settled south of
Dayton, and part of his eventual 410 acres became a major portion of the current city of
Oakwood, OH. Our Jacob began buying land in the area, but later moved to Shelby
County, Ohio. Their father died on a visit to see them, but did not settle in Ohio.
1813 Jan 6 John B. Shroyer is born. He is the second son and fourth child of
eight, and all but the eldest child were seemingly born in Ohio.
It has been said that some of the children were born in Pennsylvania, but it would be most
unusual for a mother-to-be to travel that far to be “back home” for the birth of a child.
1820 The census of Montgomery County shows Jacob (I) Shroyer on
Page 134A of Dayton Twp. (1 male and 1 female, both aged 45 &
over). Jacob (II) Shroyer is on Page 136 of Dayton Twp. (a couple
aged 26-45, with a girl 10-16, and 2 girls and 3 boys under 10).
29 Harry G. Ebeling, presentation on the Shroyer and other historic families to a
community group, “Let’s Talk Oakwood,” 23 March 2004.
1830 This year, the census places Jacob (I) in Dayton Twp., but Jacob (II)
has moved to Bethel Twp. of Miami County, where his name is
spelled “Schroyer.” There are other family units in both locales.
1835 Jan 20 John B. “Sawyer” (Shroyer!) and “Marian” (Mary Ann!) Sullivan are
married in Montgomery County, Ohio, probably in Dayton.
She was born in Maryland on 18 July 1816, the daughter of the half-German Jacob
Sullivan and the full-German Elizabeth “Betsy” Hoffman. Her grandfather Cornelius was
said to have been Irish-born, hence the name. But his wife was a Carroll County, Maryland
“Boone” -- anglicized from Bohne and as German as German can be! Note that this is the
first known instance of a Shroyer in this branch of the family marrying a girl who is not fully
German, and John B. is a great-great-grandson of the immigrant!
Some say her birth took place at Baltimore and, while that may be true, it has also been
shown that her father was born and died (1848) in Frederick County. The connection with
Baltimore may arise from the fact that her paternal grandparents were living at Westminster,
Carroll Co., MD; this is at least closer to Baltimore.... Assuming she was at least raised in
Frederick County, that would explain how she ended up marrying a Shroyer in western
Ohio in 1835 when the family was still in “Fredericktown.” The families probably knew each
other, and it was not uncommon for a young man to send a proposal of marriage back East.
After her father’s death -- he had been a coffin maker, it is claimed -- the widow and
remaining family travelled to Bethel Township, Miami County, Ohio. This was the last
home of Jacob and Susanna Shroyer, and as the Sullivan family settled near Brandt, OH, I
am taking this to be the seat of both families. Brandt lies on old US Hwy. 40, just a short
jog from Interstate 70, for those who might wish to visit briefly.
1838 Oct 21 Jacob (I) Shroyer dies, aged 92, and is buried at the David’s Church
Cemetary, Van Buren Township, Montgomery Co., OH.
1840 The Bethel Twp., Miami County census has Jacob (II) listed as Jacob
“Sawyer,” and he and his wife are aged 60-70 and have two
teenaged girls living with them. Son John B. appears as John
“Shroger,” with the household consisting of a couple in their ‘20s and
two boys under 5 years of age.
Jacob (I) died while on a visit to see his sons, which now included a brother Joseph, and a
brother or nephew named Thomas Shroyer. Besides his parents, young John B. has his
sisters, and aunt by marriage and a cousin John all living within the same township. Uncles
and cousins are still at Dayton. This is a thriving German community, judging by just the
relatives present.
1848 Dec 3 John Albert Shroyer is born, probably at Dayton, the sixth child of
eleven born between 1835 and 1861.
1850 The census finds the John B. Shroyer family residing at Bloomfield
Township, Logan County, Ohio. There are six children, all sons.
His father and mother have remained in Bethel Twp., Miami Co.; the census notes
that Jacob (II) is illiterate, but he can still farm -- and is doing so.
1862 Dec 3 Jacob (II) Shroyer dies in Bethel Township (2.5 mi. N of Brandt),
Miami County, Ohio, and is buried in the Bethel Cemetery.
1867 Aug 18 Susanna (Froschauer) Shroyer dies in Miami County, Ohio, and is
buried in the Bethel Cemetery.
1870 The John B. Shroyer family moves to Girard, Macoupin County, IL.
1873 Sep 21 John Albert Shroyer and Mary Ann Hamilton are married in Macoupin
She is the daughter of John Hamilton and the former Rhoda George, both from the Knox
County, Tennessee, area. She is as “Anglo” as he is Germanic, but she has lived her
entire life near Girard and his home had been rural western Ohio -- so both are a step
removed from their “roots.” With this marriage, the Shroyer family becomes “American” in
all respects.
1876 The John A. Shroyers move to Mercer County, Missouri, a place first
visited by her father in 1851.
There was a cousin in Appanoose Co., IA, about this time. John Albert Shroyer’s aunt
Mary (Mrs. Cyrus) Jacobs had a son Jacob L. Jacobs who died there just after New
Year’s, 1879. This Jacobs family has a long connection with both Centerville, IA, and
Unionville, MO, but it is not known to me that there was ever any contact between this
family and the Shroyer family of Mercer County, MO. There have been contacts, however,
with John Albert Shroyer’s brother Levi’s family. They were in Anthony, Harper Co., KS,
and Alva, Woods Co., OK, both southwest of Wichita. But these western outposts of the
larger Shroyer family, descendants of Jacob (II) and Susanna (Froschauer) Shroyer, are
now geographically much removed from the overwhelming majority who remain in Ohio.
about 1877 Mary Ann Shroyer converts to the Missionary Baptist Church.
1880 The census finds the John A. Shroyer family living in Princeton, on
Missouri Street.
1894 Feb 14 John B. Shroyer dies at Girard, Macoupin County, Illinois.
1894 Oct 29 John Albert Shroyer dies at or near Haw, Mercer County, MO.
He was a farmer and railroad laborer. He leaves behind seven children, aged four to
nineteen (the infant Edgar having died that year). Virgil Wayman Shroyer is but seven
years old. A last child, Zola Marie, is born the following February. John Albert Shroyer is
laid to rest in the Lowry-Snyder Cemetery.
1909 May 19 News item in the Princeton Telegraph : “At the Shroyer home may
be seen a fine orchard. Miss Jennie is a raiser of chickens and
turkeys.... They also have hogs, cattle and sheep. In their flock may
be seen 27 young lambs.”
1913 Apr 5 Mary Ann (Sullivan) Shroyer dies at Girard, Macoupin County, Ill


David N said...

"A Shroyer Chronology" was EXTREMELY helpful to me. I was finally able to fit some mismatched pieces of my Shroyer puzzle together. Many thanks to whoever wrote it, Tallula Jane, perhaps?

Now I come begging for anybody's help. My Shroyer genealogy is fairly solid at this point, except for The missing Tennessee years of John George Shroyer, b 1777, MD, and his son, Levi, b. 1805, TN, presumably in Blount County.

I found them again in Orange Co., Indiana in the 1830s and was able to follow them to Marion and Wayne Counties, Illinois.

Can anybody help me with the years between MD and IN? I've searched the better part of the Eastern half of Tennessee with absolutely no luck. I must be missing a vital clue somewhere.

Thanks in advance, cousins. My direct email address is:

David N. > living Mother > Opal Shroyer Mann > George E. Shroyer > George W. > Levi > John George, b. 1777, MD > John George, b. 1739 Conewago, York Co., PA

Marilyn said...

Thank you for all your information.
My 7 great grandmother was Anna Catherina Schreyer only daughter of
Christian and Maria Elisabetha Schreyer 1718 and sister to George 1716 Johannes (John)1721, Jacob 1723 and Nicholas 1725. I have been in
the areas of PA and MD where they all lived.

CraigNation said...

Im a Shroyer from Central Indiana, I currently live in Central PA and would love to know more. Can anyone help?

Stephanie Cabrera said...


Can you help to find where my ancestor Stephen G. Shroyer fits into this family? Upon recently acquiring his Mexican War military papers, we have found that he was born about 1828 in Butler County, OH. He enlisted in the US Army on 3 May 1847 in Hamilton, Butler County, OH. He was married on 22 Jan 1852 in Fountain County, IN to Pauline Ray. He had my ancestor Clara Jane Shroyer on 5 Nov 1853. Don't know when he died, but looks to have died between 1858 and 1860 as his son was born about 1858 and he wasn't on the 1860 census.

Can anyone assist me?

Thank you!

Unknown said...

I am related to this family of Schreyer's as they spelled it in Germany. First Elisabetha whose mother was Barbara and her father Heinrich Kroff lived 300 km n of Rhineland - I have church records. Elisabetha had two sisters - after Heinrich died Barbara and her 3 daughters moved to Rhineland where she remarried. Christian and Elisabetha had 5 children - all conspiculously listed at Reformed church. The lie that they could not find Jacob just keeps getting passed down. They came to America with those 5 children. Their only daughter Catherina married Mathias Marker whom Christian listed in his will. He left Mathias a cow. I have German and English version.The Four boys all went to Annapolis to get naturalized so they could inherit in will. George lived next door to Catherina and Mathias. There is a winery in Friedelsheim named Schreyer but they won't respond in English or German. Marilyn

Unknown said...

I started reading this blog as I am related to The schreyer family from Friedelshiem. I do not know why it was passed down that one of the 5 children of Christian was not accounted for - all 5 are readily available at any Family Center LDS. I have all the copies.