is derived from the German noun, Kreid, meaning chalk. Hence one who worked with Kreid, became known as a KREIDER, a chalker.

[From Tombstones, Assessment Records, Wills, Deeds, and other Legal Instruments we find the name variously spelled, such as Creyter, Creytor, Crider, Criter, Ontor, Croyder, Cryder, Crydor, Cryter, Greder, Greter, Greider, Greiter, Greitor, Grider, Griter, Groyder, Gryder, Kreider, Kreiter, Kreyter, Krider, Kryder, Kryter, Krieder. etc., this diversity of spelling no doubt being the result of different individuals attempting to spell the name phonetically]


the KREIDERS, were native of Switzerland, and having embraced the Mennonite faith, they, with other Mennonites of Switzerland; were obliged on account of religious persecution to flee from their homes, and many of them sought refuge in the Palatinate, a province of southern Germany.

In the middle of the seventeenth century the Palatinate was ravaged by the armies of the Thirty Years' War. In 1685 Louis XIV, of France, made war on the Palatinate. Buildings were burned, crops were destroyed, and the people were reduced to poverty. The French king also attempted to establish the Roman Catholic religion in this territory.

While these almost unbearable conditions were existing in the Palatinate, William Penn invited the Palatines to his colony in America, where homes and religious freedom were assured them. Many of the Swiss-German Mennonites, including some Kreiders, eagerly took advantage of Penn's offer and came to Pennsylvania.


by the name of KREIDER in Lancaster County, of whom we have any definite record, was JACOB (the name being spelled Greider) and he came to the Mennonite colony on the Pequea about 1712, or maybe a little later. Jacob Greider (Kreider) received from Penn a grant for 800 acres of land, just south of what is now Lancaster City.

On August 11, 1732, MICHAEL GREIDER landed at Philadelphia, and later took up 200 acres of land at the mouth of the Conestoga Creek, where the village of Safe Harbor now stands.

MARTIN KREIDER, (Born 1681) landed at Philadelphia September 16, 1736, and went to the home of JACOB GREIDER (Kreider) at Conestoga. (Conestoga at that time was the name of that portion of Chester County which was later organized as Lancaster County.)

This Martin Kreider (whose wife's name was Barbara), by Patent dated Nov. 3, 1738, received from John, Thomas, and Richard Penn, 200 acres of land, on, or near Conostogoe Creek (Lampeter township), and on October 6, 1743, TOBIAS KREIDER, son of Martin, received from the Penn heirs a tract of 200 acres, situated on a branch of the Conostogoe Creek (This was evidently the present Mill Creek), and was apparently adjacent to the Martin Kreider grant.


In Pequea township, Lancaster county, beside the road leading from "Highland Inn," on the Willow Street turnpike ("Fulton Highway"), to New Danville, Pa., is an old burial ground, containing the graves of many Kreiders-Greiders, and others who were likely related with Kreiders.

Dates on tombstones indicate that these are of the second or third generation descendants of the original settlers in that section, and possibly the unmarked resting places of the original settlers themselves.

The plot is inclosed by a stone wall, sections of which are in poor condition, and the ground is overgrown with weeds, bushes and briars. Everything is in a badly dilapidated condition, and apparently no person or organization is interested in caring for this hallowed plot. The Kreider-Greider Family Organization should consider it one of its first duties to care for this burial ground, and any other neglected plots containing Kreider- Greider graves.


As an indication of the remarkable increase in population, it is interesting to note that in the Mennonite Church and Sunday School, at East Petersburg, Pa., there are 46 persons by the name KREIDER, and 128 more that are of Kreider relationship, a total of 174 of Kreider blood, this in a church membership of about 425 and Sunday School register of about 375. Possibly there are other sections in Lancaster county that can show as large a percentage of Kreider, or perhaps more, if any one would be interested enough to figure it out.


This pamphlet has been prepared by the Committee on Genealogy for the purpose of placing before the members of the family some of the information that has been gathered during the year. Everyone is urged to prepare some family history so that it can be published in pamphlet form each year. If you do not feel equal to the task of writing your story, ask someone for assistance. Give the facts and let him write the story so that it can be printed. The committee should be told of any old deeds old photographs, letters or wills, that may be in your possession. These may be invaluable in tracing out family connections. Everybody lend a hand.


Lancaster County was established in 1729, Conestoga was one of the original townships and then embraced the territory of the present Manor, Pequea and Conestoga townships. From the tax returns in the county commissioners office may be traced the Kreiders of taxable age. The first appearance of the name is in the returns for the year 1756, noted as Keeports stepson Grider, 10 shillings; 1757, Jacob Grider, 1 pound, 10 s.; John Grider, 1 pound, 8 s.; 1759 Jacob Griter, Michael Griter, each 14s. 9d. With names spelled Cryder, Krider, Kryder and Kreider, Michael and Jacob are the only two taxpayers of the name in this township for nearly twenty years until in 1785 a Michael Kryder, Junior, appears in the list. The assessor's return for 1792 reports Jacob Kreider, 110 acres, Michael Kreiter, 100 acres, Michael Kreiter, Jun., 90 acres.

It is interesting to note that the returns for 1777 and 1792 are written in a neat and scholarly report and the spellings of both are exactly or almost exactly the present spelling, Kreider.

In 1797 one of the Michaels drops out. This year the name is spelled Groyder. Wittow (widow) Groyder takes the place of the apparently deceased Michael. Whether the junior or senior Michael died at this time we have at present no means of telling. It is possible that Michael, the younger, died, as there is a stone in the Greider burying ground on the David Shank farm along the New Danville pike inscribed Michael Greider, born 1761, died 1794, and beside it a stone is erected to his wife, Susanna, born 1765, died 1833. On the other hand there is evidence that Michael, senior, died at this time, for there is a stone in the Kreider burial ground south of the Conestoga and north of Willow Street which shows a Michael Kreider born May 1, 1762, and died May 4, 1833. His wife, Barbara, was born 1763 and died 1834. This then would be the Michael junior, who would have been taxable in the year 1785 and continued to live until 1833.

In 1799 the name is Grider, Jacob, Michael and Widdow. In 1800 the widow no longer appears and George Greider first appears on the list. From 1800 to 1820 Michael, Jacob and George are the only three taxables of the name in Conestoga township. The name during this period is always spelled Greider, Grider or Gryder. In this year Greider, Jacob, Estate is entered on the assessor's list. Jacob then passed away prior to 1820.

In the Kreider burial ground north of Willow Street referred to before there are tombstones to Jacob Greider, born Sept. 10, 1735, died Dec. 19, 1818; his wife, Barbara, born Oct. 22, 1742, died May 13, 1814. This ties up closely with the tax lists which in 1756 show Keeports stepson Crider as the first Kreider assessed in Conestoga township. This is evidently the Jacob Kreider, who was born 1735, assessed soon after reaching his majority in 1756 and died 1818.

The 1822 report shows George, Michael and John Greider assessed. 1825 has listed George Sr., George Jr., Michael, John and Christian Grider. The new entries are Christian and George Jr.

We close with the assessor's report of 1829 the first centennial of Lancaster county.

George Kreider, Sr., is probably the one whose remains lie in the Kreider burial ground, as we have named it: He was born Dec. 20, 1778, died Dec. 21, 1849. His wife Sabina Benedict, born April 25, 1798, died July 16, 1868. George Sr. was the great-great-grandfather of J. Ira Kreider, a member of the Committee on Genealogy. There is a significance in the grouping and permanence of the names on these lists. The first Michael and Jacob seem to have been brothers. George Sr. could be the son of either, thus making George Jr. a grandson to one of the elder Kreiders. It seems strange that the Kreiders did not increase in numbers faster than the records show in this territory. Probably the younger males moved away as fast as they grew to manhood. It is probable that the residences of most of these Kreiders was that group of old Kreider farms between Willow Street and Mill Creek. Christian Kreider is the only one left who holds a farm among these old homesteads. The remaining descendants have either moved away or are keeping their silent and ceaseless vigil in the Kreider burial ground.

NOTE - Stumptown in the assessor's report of 1829 is now New Danville.


Martic township, like Conestoga, was one of the Original divisions of Lancaster county and embraced the present Providence township, which was split off from it in 1853. The land of Martic is generally hilly and though the soil is fertile, it is perhaps less so than that of the rich limestone region in the valley of the Conestoga. Because the land was less desirable for farming there was not the lure to attract the cautious and thrifty German and Swiss settlers, consequently it was not until about 1829 that the name Kreider is found in the records of this township.

The present year being the 100th anniversary of the entry of a Kreider into this region, it is important at this time to take some notice of the descendants of the first Kreider settler and to attempt to reach a solution of the possible source of this family branch. It is also well to make a record of this or any family while the information is available, for in a comparatively few years the web becomes so entangled, the records so confused, the memory so unreliable that it is only with the greatest difficulty that even a partial and in many places an uncertain family tree can be erected.

Jacob Kreider, born Nov. 3, 1777, died May 24, 1845, and Susanna (Miller) Kreider born Jan. 22, 1780, died Nov. 22, 1839, both buried in the Marticville cemetery, were the ancestors of the only Kreider family that remained firmly planted in the soil of Martic township. The first tax list shows Jacob Kreider, a resident of Martic in 1829. There is evidence from an old deed that he was there in 1828 and perhaps earlier. At the time of his arrival he was fifty years of age and members of his family had grown to maturity. He purchased land along Pequea Creek in what is now the northern edge of Providence township. This place has in recent years been known as the Abe Miller Place. Prior to that designation it was known as the Old Kreider Place. The land is on a northern slope and is thin in soil, rough, and somewhat uninviting to the tiller of the soil. Perhaps Jacob like some of his descendants liked the life of a pioneer better than that of a farmer and in selecting a site for a home the first thought was the location of a spring of good water and on this site he surely had a wealth of pure spring water. Indian-like, the spring must be convenient to good hunting and fishing grounds, and these were abundantly supplied by the adjoining forests and the Pequea creek, which at that time teemed with fish. Yet traditions, indicate that Jacob was not so much a hunter that he neglected his farm, for he had eighty acres of first class farm land and was rated as one of the foremost tax-payers of Martic in his day.

The only family connection of which we have any knowledge is that Jacob Kreider had a brother Michael, who lived in his later years, at least, in Conestoga township, in the section somewhere south of Conestoga Center. Daniel Kreider, a grandson of Jacob, living now at eighty years of age, says he often heard his father speak of Uncle Mike. There is, too, a grave in the old Hess burying ground upon what was formerly the Jacob Thomas farm, with this inscription: Michael Kreider, born Dec. 20, 1770, died May 1, 1851, and beside it a stone, Elizabeth, wife of Michael Kreider, born Dec. 24, 1779, died Sept. 12, 1834. From the dates and from the fact that he is buried right in the locality in which he is supposed to have lived, it is very probable that this is the brother of Jacob the first Martic Kreider. Whence the origin of, this branch of the family we cannot say. A family tradition says that the father of Jacob came from Germany. This information is given by both Daniel Kreider and by Mrs. John (Johns), the only surviving grandchildren of Jacob Kreider. Mrs. Johns says that when they as children asked questions about their grand-father their mother, to quiet them, would say, "He came from Germany." The impression left is rather vague and unreliable and must not be taken too seriously. The fact that they are not Mennonites might indicate that they are not connected with the other Kreiders directly, and it might merely indicate that they broke away or became estranged from the Mennonite faith. On the other hand, in features, in stature, and in general characteristics they are much like the other Kreiders.

The childrer; of Jacob Kreider were:

  1. 1. Martha, born Sept. 22, 1800, died Jan. 6, 1879, buried in the Hess burial ground, in Conestoga township. She married Christof Lieb, who died a suicide on the Silvermine farm, Pequea township. She later married David Hess and is buried with him. The only child of which we have certain knowledge is Elizabeth Lieb, who married a first cousin, John Kreider.
  2. John Kreider was probably the second child in this family. No record. Elizabeth, wife of John Kreider, born Jan 5, 1801. Died Jan. 21, 1879. Their children were Jacob Kreider, who last lived at Rohrerstown, Pa.; David, at Rawlinsville, Pa., and Mrs. Wenger, who lived in Providence township.
  3. Jacob Kreider, born March 4, 1804, died March 7, 1880, married Charlotte Groff, born Dec. 4, 1808, died May 8, 1882. Their children were Amos, John, Susan, Martin, Elizabeth, Samuel, Daniel and Barclay.
  4. George Kreider, born October 16, 1809, died Jan. 11, 1869. Catherine, his wife, born Nov. 7, 1807, died Nov. 22, 1884, Their children were George, Henry, Christian, Abram, Elizabeth, Martha and Mary.
  5. Mary (nicknamed Polly), born Feb. 16, 1818, died Aug. 24, 1886, married Henry Reinhart. Their children were Susan Reinhart Snyder, Martha Reinhart Gainor, Michael Reinhart, bachelor, Henry Reinhart, John Reinhart, bachelor, Elias Reinhart, Mary Reinhart Ressel, Eva Reinhart Johns, Benjamin Reinhart, bachelor.
  6. Christian Kreider, born 1822, died Sept. 12, 1865, Elizabeth Kreider, his wife, died Nov. 10, 1900, aged 73 years. Their children were Elias and Frank.
  7. Susan Kreider, another child of this family, was deformed, in that she had no neck. She died about the age of 16. She has no tombstone and her order, whether oldest or youngest in the family, is not known.

These, so far as we know, are all the descendants of Jacob Kreider in the third generation. As stated before, the only living members of this generation are Eva Reinhart Johns and Daniel Kreider, the father of Wilmer A. Kreider, the writer of this brief history. Now that a start is made, every livng descendant of Jacob Kreider should become interested in contributing something to prepare and print a permanent record of this branch of the family.


Tracing a line of what appears to be nearest to the truth in the maze of stories, conjectures, and traditions which surround the movements of the early Kreiders in Pennsylvania, there appears to be substantial fact in the historian's record that two brothers, John and Jacob Kreider, blazed a trail from the Kreider settlement on the Conestoga near the pesent site of Lancaster and located lands on Snitz creek, for which they received grants from the Penn heirs in 1741. The records show that to John "Croyder" was granted 300 acres of land on June 3, 1741, and to Jacob "Croyder" a tract of 250 acres was granted on the same date. Tradition says that these two brothers came over South Mountain and brought an ax along cutting off the sprouts and marking the trees so they could find their way back and forth through the primeval forests. Other land grants of an early date were, 200 acres to John Croyter, Aug. 26, 1742, 100 acres to John Creyter, Jan. 12, 1751, 20 acres to John Kreiter, Oct. 18, 1758. Allowing for the uncertainty of the spelling of the name at that time, it is possible that all these grants were to one and the same man, making a total of 620 acres of land to John Kreider, one of the two first settlers. Jacob Kreider died about 1747 and the next year his widow, Mary Kryter, according to the records received a grant of 200 acres of land June 15, 1748. This would make a total of 450 acres for the Jacob Kreider family. Another grant of 50 acres was made to Francis Kryter, April 4, 1750.

It would seem therefore that the date June 3, 1741, and the names John and Jacob Kreider are safe data upon which to begin the history of the Kreiders of Lebanon county. Just who these two settlers were is a problem, as yet not solved to the satisfaction of everyone.

Beginning May 22, 1919, two installments weekly appeared in the Lebanon Daily News under the title "History of the Kreider Family." These articles continued until September 11, 1919, and were written by the Rev. J. G. Francis. Clippings were made and assembled in a scrap book, which may be found a the Pennsylvania Historical Society in Philadelphia. We are indebted to this work for most of our information relative to the Lebanon Kreiders. It consumed a great deal of time and energy to collect and compile the information given and it is most unfortunate that some means was not available to have it printed in book form, so that it could be distributed to all those interested. Possibly the files of this newspaper have the complete records as printed and an arrangement could yet be made whereby this work could be placed in the hands of the Kreider descendants.

Returning to the Kreider settlers on Snitz Creek, we note that Rev. Francis reaches the conclusion that John and Jacob Kreider were brothers and that Jacob, who went to Snitz Creek in 1741, was the original settler of the Kreider family, who took up 800 acres of land south of Lancaster in 1716 or 1717. This same Jacob Kreider according to history, came to Philadelphia from Switzerland in 1710, spent some time with friends in Germantown and then moved to the Lancaster section about six years later. So far the history of Rev. Francis is supported by records, but in his next move of the first settler Kreider he jumps to a conclusion that must be something of a guess. He believes that when Lancaster was laid out in 1730 it was discovered that some of the titles to the lands of the settlers had not been completed and that Jacob Kreider was one of the unfortunates who lost his land. Then with his brother John he moved to the location already mentioned within the present limits of Lebanon county.

So long as there are no supporting records to prove that Jacob Kreider did lose his lands in this manner and did move to Snitz Creek, there must be considerable doubt as to whether or not he ever moved out of the Lancaster settlement. The oldest Kreider Will on record in Lancaster county shows that Jacob Kreider, the original settler, made a will in 1740. He had three sons, John, Jacob and Michael. A legal document quoted by Rev. Francis shows that the Jacob Kreider who settled at Snitz Creek in 1741 had eight sons and one daughter, among the sons a John and a Jacob, but no Michael.

It would seem, too, that if the Lancaster Jacob Kreider lost his lands some time after 1730, he would have taken up other land in the same locality instead of waiting until 1741, when he was evidently an old man, and then going to make a fresh start in an unknown wilderness. Then, again, since it appears that the two who went to Lebanon county were brothers, where did his brother John come from that we have never heard of him before? Is it not more logical to think that two sons of the original Jacob were the John and Jacob that settled on Snitz Creek?

To determine these problems with any degree of definiteness there must be many months and years of wearying work spent in examining the old musty records that are still in existence and even then there will be gaps to be filled only through a reasoning process. Most of the early Kreiders were Mennonites, a sect which kept few or no records, and the church record which is of such great value to the genealogist is in the case of this family a thing that is not. The sources of information must be the early archives of Pennsylvania, the recorder's office, tax returns, old wills, and particularly the old land deeds which recite the succession of lands from parents to children or the division of an estate among members of the family.

We have tried in the limited space to tell a little of the very beginning of the Lebanon Kreider family. It is a matter of pride to all the Kreiders that the Lebanon county has done more for the Kreider name than any other section of the country. It is with a glow of satisfaction that we point out the career of the late A. S. Kreider. From a humble beginning he became a captain of industry, a leader in education, a financial success, and a statesman of no mean order. He is without doubt the most illustrious and well known Kreider that has yet lived. The career of William H. Kreider, lawyer of Philadelphia, President of the Civil Service Commission, is one that shows what the country boy with energy and pluck may accomplish in the life and politics of a great city. Professor D. Albert Kreider of Yale University is well and favorably known in the field of education. It is a great compliment to any man to be received within the exclusive circles of one of the world's greatest educational institutions.

We congratulate you, Lebanon county, on what you have done for the Kreider name. There are more of you that should be eulogized as individuals, but as time and space are limited we must close by including you all in that staunch and loyal band which has been the real bone and sinew of America's greatness. Not with flowery speech, nor with roll of drums, nor with blare of trumpets, have they served in the battle of progress, but with honest toil, faithful to their trust, they have served more for the ideal of service than with the hope of reward. The need of such people is greater today than ever. May ever be faithful to your trust, the good name that your fathers have left to you.


Was taken last night from the house of the subscriber, in Hempfield township, Lancaster county: an infant of 6 weeks old, by a woman who calls herself Kitty, and was employed about 8 days ago as nurse to the child. She is about 27 years of age, of a dark complexion, has black hair cut short before, a hair-mole on her cheek below the ear, has something of a beard on her upper lip, is of stout make and speaks both English and German. She says she came from Delaware, and that her husband was lately drowned in Schuylkill.

A reward of 30 dollars, besides reasonable expenses, will be given for securing said woman and child, by Nov. 13th, 1796. - JOHN GREIDER

[One of the original placards (about the size of this page) is in the possession of Andrew G. Frey, Lancaster, Pa., a grandson of the stolen child. The upper half of the placard is printed in English and the lower half in German.]