Jacob Greider, son of Christian Greider, son of John Greider, soldier of the Revolution, son of Martin Greider the Settler, is living in his ninety-sixth year in one of the old Greider homesteads near Landisville, Pa. He is for his years a remarkably well preserved man. Except for a slight dullness of hearing he has the full use and enjoyment of his faculties. His health is good. He still insists upon doing his share of work on the farm. His mind is alert and he has a keen sense of humor. He is a landmark of patriarchal dignity and bids every promise of attaining the century mark.
It was the writer's privilege to spend a few hours recently with "Uncle Jacob" and it is for the purpose of preserving some of his memories and reminiscences that this article is written.
The origin of the Greiders of the Chickies Valley is not clear. It is evident however, that they knew good land when they saw it, and that they have known and still know how to have and to hold this excellent land in the family.
The History of Lancaster County published in 1883, prepared by Ellis and Evans, makes this statement: "Michael Greider also purchased 250 acres of land at the mouth of the Conestoga Creek on the Manor side. One of his sons moved to Chickies Creek at John Moore's mill. The descendants of Michael Greider are numerous and are scattered over this and adjoining counties. Safe Harbor is built upon the Michael Greider tract at the mouth of the Conestoga Creek. According to "Uncle Jacob's" recollection of traditions, one report says that his ancestor, the Settler, Martin, established himself at the mouth of the Conestoga, and another report says that he came from the locality of Lancaster directly to the Chickies Valley in the vicinity of Landisville. That Martin Greider lived and died in this vicinity is strengthened in his mind by the recollection of a sandstone, almost illegible, which he says was removed from the farm of another Jacob Greider and placed in the Mennonite cemetery at Landisville. His recollection of this stone is very definite. He distinctly recalls the lettering, M. G. 1700—1802, and remembers clearly the spot of its location in the cemetery. He has a strong impression that this "M. G." was Martin Greider, the original member of the family to settle in this locality. This impression is further fortified by the great age of "M. G,", 102 years, as longevity is a Greider tendency. According to tradition this was Martin Greider, Junior.
("Uncle Jacob" accompanied the writer to the Landisville cemetery to examine this stone, but much to his discomfiture it could not be found. Two things are possible. First, this sandstone might have gone the way of many of the footstones of this cemetery. It was possibly considered worthless and in the way and therefore taken away and perhaps destroyed. If this was done, someone responsible should be made to understand the value of a marker of this kind as compared with his own ideas of efficiency. Second, it is possible that some trick of memory, common enough in much younger people, has caused "Uncle Jacob" to believe the stone was located here when he actually saw it elsewhere. This belief is strengthened in the writer's mind because the spot where he supposed the stone formerly stood was not in or near any Greider burial plot. Whatever happened to this stone should be made a subject of inquiry among the Landisville Greiders for it is probably the last marker of their first ancestor in this country).
Uncle Jacob Greider gives the following genealogy from memory and such records as he has at hand.
Martin Greider, Junior, was born 1700, died 1802. He had three sons; (1) Michael, who failed financially in panicky times, apparently left all he possessed to his creditors, and moved to Erie, Pa. (2) Martin, who built Moore's mill in Rapho township. He is the great-grandfather of Samuel Greider. His remains were placed in the burying ground on Nissley's farm but the old burial plot has been farmed over and the stones are now lying along the fence. One of his daughters married a Nissley, another married a Pyfer, and another married a Hershey. (3) John, who served in the American Revolution, was born Feb. 17, 1761 and died March 18, 1830. His wife Martha was born March 7, 1769 and died Sept. 5, 1838. They lie at rest in the Abram H. Greider farm grave yard near Landisville.
(It should be noted here that "Uncle Jacob" Greider and the Lancaster County historians both mention Moore's mill. The county historian says, "A son of Michael Greider moved to Chickies Creek at John Moore's mill." Uncle Jacob says, "Martin, the son of Martin Greider the Settler, built Moore's mill." It should be noted also that the original Martin was born in 1700, and that John, of the Revolution, supposed to be his son and a brother of the mill builder was born in 1761. It is possible that the Settler Martin had a son born to him when he was sixty-one years of age but it is more probable that John of the Revolution was a grandson of Martin Greider, the Settler, and a son of Michael. There could easily be room there for a generation not accounted for).
The children of John Greider, of the Revolution, and his wife Martha are recalled as follows: (1) Martin, first wife a Hostetter. Moved to Indiana. (2) John, born Oct. 10, 1796, died March 22, 1879, married Anna Hershey who died June 26, 1874, aged 74 years, 11 months and 10 days. Their graves are in the Abram H. Greider farm burial ground near those of their parents. Their children are, (a) Martha, who married Eli Emig. Their son Major C. E. Emig is the Greider historian, (b) Elizabeth, wife of John L. Baer, born May 17, 1837, died Sept. 4, 1861. Buried with her parents, (c) Barbara, married to a Hostetter. (d) Andrew, married to a Hershey, buried at Silver Spring. (3) Christian, born 1799, died 1890, aged 91 years, buried at Landisville. His descendants will later be followed out in detail. (4) Elizabeth, wife of John Bruckhart. (5) Michael, married a Hogendobler, buried along Marietta Pike, two miles west of Silver Spring. (6) Jacob, twin to Maria; married a Herr. Because of his combativeness, he was nicknamed "Commodore" after Commodore Perry of naval fame. Of his children this is recalled; Mary died a spinster; Abraham went to Virginia; one daughter married a Miller; another daughter married a Zeamer; there was a son Tobias, and a son Martin; there was also a crippled son who is buried at Silver Spring. The impression is that Jacob and wife were buried at Landisville and later removed to Silver Spring. (7) Maria, twin to Jacob, married Abram Herr, children, John, Abram, Martha and Benjamin. Maria and husband buried at Landisville. (8) Magdalena, married to Martin Funk, lived in Manor township. Uncertain of descendants.
The descendants of Christian, the third son of the preceding family, are given with some degree of completeness.
(1) John, who moved to Ohio and there became a bishop in the Mennonite church. He was married to Anna Erb. (2) Christian, born Dec. 31, 1825, died March 7, 1854. His wife Frances Baer was born Jan. 13, 1830, died Feb. 21, 1851. They were survived by one daughter, Frances Greider Shelley. Christian and his wife were buried in the farm grave yard but were later removed to Landisville and now lie in the plot of his brother Jacob Greider. (3) Benjamin, married Maria Landis, three children, all deceased, buried at Mount Joy cemetery. (4) Elizabeth, married Daniel Mellinger, buried in the Mennonite cemetery at Salunga. Their children are (a) Susan, married to Jacob Shenk Rowers. They are the parents of Enos, B. Frank, M. D., Mary Bowers Sager, Susan Bowers Hoover, Anna Bowers Kemp, Daniel, Ella Bowers Peirce, Joyce, deceased, (b) Elizabeth, married to Samuel Wright. Their son Daniel, appointed by the Rockefeller Foundation is serving as Sanitary Engineer at Athens, Greece. Two other sons are Jesse and Frederick. Aaron and Isaiah are deceased. (5) Jacob, born Nov. 13, 1834, still living in his ninety-sixth year, the last survivor of his family. His children are, (a) Wesley, born March 25, 1863, married to Anna Lane, children, Eva, Miriam, Paul, Anna, (b) Elizabeth, born June 9, 1864, married to John Mumma, no children. (c) Mary, born March 14, 1868, married Benjamin Rohrer, no children, (d) Sarah, born August 2, 1873, married Jacob Newcomer, one child, Ruth, (e) Anna, born Jan. 8, 1878, married Daniel B. Erb. Children, Mary deceased, Paul, Bertha, Robert. (6) Susan, married Andrew Garber. There were three sons, Jonas, Christian and Harry. Christian, deceased was a former sheriff of Lancaster County. (7) Anna, married to Henry Breneman, buried at Landisville. Children, are, (a) Susan, married to Winfield Heisey, parents of Grace, Bertha, Arthur, Henry, Jacob, the twins Jacob and Winfield, and Fanny, (b) Christian, married Martha Brubaker, one child, Roy (c) Phares, married Anna Fry, children, Evelyn, Hietand, and Anna, (d) Amos, married Elizabeth Eby, children, Henry and Martha, (e) Abram, married to Elizabeth Eshleman, one child, Chester. (8) Mary, married Christian K. Rohrer, both deceased, buried at Erisman's Church. "Children are", ,(a) Emma, married to Amos B. Herr, one Son, Amos R. Herr, a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College, (b) Minnie, married to Henry K. Miller, children, Henry R., Walter R., Carolyn Maude, all graduates of Cornell University. (c) Harry Greider Rohrer, married to Esther Charles, children, May, Anna, Ruth, Esther, Harry, Helen, Emerson, Katherine. (d) Emerson, unmarried, (e) Mary, first wife of Tilman Garber. She died young leaving one child, Laura, who is married to John Kern, (f) Christian, M.D., who married Mabel Detwiler no children. (9) Barbara, married to Jacob McCallister, children, Klinger and Cora. (10) Amos the youngest son of Christian Greider, was born Sept. 3, 1850, and died December 14, 1914. On February 16, 1871, he was married to Elizabeth R. Cassel who was born October 28, 1850. Their children are (a) Harry G., born Sept. 28, 1871, died 1919. He was married to Anna Hershey. There was one daughter, deceased, (b) B. Frank, born Nov. 4, 1872, married to Minnie Sechrist, children; Clarence and Elizabeth, (c) Charles, born May 12,1874, married Emma N. Nissley; one child, Christian Nissley. (d) Howard, born July 28, 1880, married Mary Herr; children, Aima May, Ruth, and Mary, deceased, (e) Christian C, born December 16, 1882; married Martha Stauffer; children, Christian and Benjamin.
This is not intended to be a complete and accurate record of this branch of the Greider family. There are many omissions which are not intended as a slight to anyone, but merely indicate that the writer had not time to follow out all the family lines. To anyone who is interested it may be of some value in tracing family connections. It is hoped that such a beginning, crude and incomplete as it is, will stimulate each family branch to find its own historian and encourage him or her to complete the family records.
Note - In the Penn'a. Archives, Second Series, Volume 13, page 437 is the following notation. "Took the oath of allegiance at Lancaster, June 8, 1778, John Kryder." This is in all probability our Revolutionary John Greider who must have entered the American army soon after this date. Tradition says that the Greiders of that day were very much chagrined by the action of this young man in joining the army and they did all they could to keep hushed the "family disgrace."
What is the Kreider-Greider Association? This question is being asked and will be asked in the future. The answer is, that it is the best piece of constructive work yet put over by our family reunion. It is the beginning of big things; it has enormous possibilities; it will become the real binding tissue of the family if it is supported and properly managed.
How was it started? One year ago the suggestion was made at the reunion that there should be a sound and substantial organization in the family which could own property, receive bequests, transact business, carry responsibility, and be held responsible for anything in their possession. The only possible solution seemed to be to effect a corporation under the laws of the state. This was agreed to and a, committee was appointed to solicit membership. Directors for the new corporation were nominated and elected in the meeting, with instructions to set up an organization and apply for a charter. The directors proceeded to carry out their instructions and accordingly on November 16th, 1929, a charter under the laws of Pennsylvania, was granted by a decree of the Court of Lancaster County.
What is the purpose of this Association? First, the Association aims to foster a friendly and sociable spirit of brotherly love among members of the family group, by means of reunions, committee meetings, and assemblages, where friendly conversation, religious thought, or common interests may be expressed without fear or restraint.
Second, for the accumulation and maintenance of a fund for the purpose of caring for the original Kreider-Greider burying grounds, and for the making and caring for family records that will soon, without this care, be lost for all time.
Is it possible to raise such a fund in this family? Yes, anything is possible with such a large group. The numbers of this family in Lancaster County alone could carry through almost anything they desire if they were united with one purpose. The care of the old graves alone is a sufficient purpose to unite any self respecting family. Stones and markers are being destroyed, brambles and weeds are flourishing where loved forms were once laid with tender care. All are too busy gaining dollars to think of them or care for them. Can it he possible that there is anyone so thoughtless that he would withhold a single dollar a year for the protection of the remains of his ancestors from insult and Vandalism? It is now up to the Kreiders and Greiders and all that have any interest in them to become members of the new Association. Encourage, lend a hand, give a dollar, and the satisfaction of having something for a good cause will be worth a hundred times that amount to you.
Michael Grittor - Decedent
Dated ye 15th day of October, A. D., 1739.
This Testament is written as I shall be held with my children when I shall be-called out of this world.
First - John Jacob shall have the plantation I bought of Jacob Oberholtz, which with the crop and twelve bushel of oats and the hay in the barn, I have valued at 200 pounds, I say two hundred pounds.
Secondly - Martin and Peter shall have the five hundred acres that we are bargaining with Isaac Norris for, which shall be reckoned to them at the same price for which it shall be purchased and John Jacob shall pay 75 lb., I say seventy-five pounds toward purchasing.
Thirdly - They shall sell the Plantation in the Manor and Ann too shall have out of the same a share equal to another child.
Fourthly - The plantation where I live to Daniel if he lives until he comes of age and it shall be valued to him at a moderate rate, and if his mother shall then be living and shall be a widow, she shall have such a maintenance on the place that she can give a piece of bread to the poor.
Attest - Benjamin Hershi, Hans Meier
From Will Book Y, Vol. 2, Page 117.
Lancaster, October ye 18th, 1739.
There personally appeared Benjamin Hersha and John Meier, the two witnesses to the written will and on their solemn affirmation did declare they heard Michal Grittor, the Testator, within named, acknowledge and declare the within will of his own handwriting and signing and that it was his Last Will and Testament, and that he the said Michael at the time of declaring the same was of sound mind and understanding, to the best of their knowledge.
Will Book A, Vol. 1, Page 43
Be it remembered that on the eighteenth day of February Ano. Dom. 1739 the last Will and Testament of Michael Gritter, deceased, written in High Dutch was proved in due form of law and administration with the Testament of the said Decedent annexed was granted to Barbara Grytter (there being no executors appointed by the said Will) She having first given bond well and truly to administer the Decedent's Estate and bring an inventory thereof into the Register's office in Lancaster County on or before the eighteenth day of March next and also to render an account of her said administration on or before the eighteenth day of February Ano Dom. 1740.
Given under the seal of the said office. Sa. Blunston, Deputy Register
Will Book A, Vol. 1, Page 44
Note - The original will does not appear to be on file. It is recorded that it was in High Dutch. There is evidently some mistake in translating the dates as the letters of administration were taken out according to the records in February of 1839, while the date of the will is given as October 15th, 1739. We must assume that the will was of earlier date and was incorrectly copied in the Register's office.
Martin Gryder Decedent
The 13th of January in the year of Christ 1758.
I, Martin Gryder, being of sound and disposing mind and understanding, thanks be given unto God therefor, and knowing that it is appointed for all men to dye, do make and ordain this my last will and testament.
It is at first my will that after my decease, my beloved wife, Barbara, shall have one mare, two cows, to have the choice to take which she judge best, also two chests and a good feather bed and bedstead.
Secondly, I. give and bequeath and devise unto my said wife the land and plantation which I bought of Byerly, which my brother Tobias shall deliver her free and shall seal, sign and execute her a good deed for the same, but the charges for the deed my wife shall pay.
Item - I give and bequeath unto my said wife, the third of all the money and moveables within my house except the grains and the rest of the beds.
Item - My land and plantation whereon I now live, it is my will that my brother Tobias shall have the same one hundred acres where the buildings and clear land is, and the other one hundred acres he shall deliver to my brother Henry's children, and shall make, seal, execute and deliver to them a good deed out of the one which I signed with my hand to him for which hundred acres of land my brother Henry's children shall pay three hundred pounds to my other sisters, but always they shall have the share of the same money as the others, and my brother Tobias shall pay for his hundred acres four hundred pounds, and to stand in shares with the others in equally shares; and my brother, Tobias shall after my decease pay the sum of one hundred pounds in one years time, and after one year, every year the sum of fifty pounds; and my brother Henry's children shall pay the sum of sixty pounds, and then every year thirty pounds till all is paid; and it is my will that my brother Jacob Gryder, his children, and my brother George, and sister Mary, their children, shall make no demands of their several shares till the time and as they come of age, but my brother Tobias shall keep it in his hand till each of them is of age.
Copied from Will Book X, Vol. 2, see index at beginning of book.
The last Will and Testament of Martin Gryder deceased being wrote in the German language, and therefore cannot be recorded, but thereon is endorsed as follows
Lancaster County, February the 18th, 1758. Before me the subscriber came Benj. Landis, Paul Lantz, and Andreas Shultz, the witnesses to the foregoing will and on their solemn affirmations, did declare and say that they were present and saw and heard Martin Griter, the testator above named sign, seal, publish, pronounce and declare the foregoing writing for his last will and testament, and at the doing thereof he was of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding, to the best of their knowledge, observation and belief.
Edw. Shippen Deputy Register
Are you looking afer the old grave-yards near your home, or are you allowing them to be farmed, or neglected or even desecrated? Don't forget that they are sacred spots, chosen by ancestors with care and pious sympathy. If we neglect their memories we are failing in a duty toward our God.
Letters of Administration Granted March 24, 1790.
I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Ann one hundred pounds in hard money, the new house wherein I now live, and room in the cellar, and spring house, and in the kitchen and cabbage garden, as much as she chooses, one mare, one cow, two beds, two bedsteads, one chest and as much household furniture as she may choose. My son Tobias shall give her yearly 18 bu. of wheat, five bushels of rye, fifteen bushels of oats, five bushels of malt, one fat hog, weighing 200 pounds, 80 pounds of fat beef, 20 pounds of heckled hemp, the same quantity of flax and the tow thereof, and six pounds of good wool; and he shall feed her mare and cow during the winter, with, his own, and keep them in pasture during the summer with his own, and further give her one bushel of coarse salt, and a half bushel of fine salt, also bring home, and cut small as much fire wood as she may require, and also give her five gallons of apple whiskey, and two barrels of cider, and of all the fruit as much as she may choose, and the third part of the hens and eggs.
Among the various explanations of the name Kreider comes one from an intelligent and highly educated German. He says that in the manufacture of Morocco leather there is a process of working the leather with chalk, or kreid, the German word for chalk. The operator of this process is called a kreider. Kreider is the name of the trade of applying the chalk treatment to Morocco. In the modern German dictionary there is no word Greid or Greit to explain the origin of Greider. A probable explanation, is that the German language in becoming standardized gradually shifted from the G to the K in beginning the word. The name Greider with its many forms of spelling was much more general before the year 1800 than the name Kreider.