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Your Ancestor May Have Been A Mercenary


By Tom Watson
Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Chances are, if your family has been in Spencer or surrounding counties for very many generations, you have some Snider blood in your veins. I have made this comment before, but I believe it could stand repeating. My cousin Ottis Goodwin used to say: "Don't ever get into the Snider family tree, it's like trying to research an ant hill."

I have found so many people in Spencer County with Snider ancestry it would wear out my computer to list them. Why have Sniders spread like rabbits? Part of it's attributable to the Sniders of old having so many children. Some people say that occasionally Sniders married Sniders, which gave the offspring a peculiar wide-eyed appearance.

Just kidding about that, but there are tons of Sniders as you older Spencer Countians know. My grandpa, Jake Snider, married Melissa Goodwin.

One thing we Snider descendents hear is that we come from a Hessen mercenary named Harmon Snider. That means Harmon fought against the colonists during the American Revolution for money or other consideration, possibly land grants, provided by the British.

Now that causes confusion for me and my children. We are also descended from Joseph Watson and Margaret Fields of Virginia. Joe Watson fought in the Revolution and I have read that he did his share in a South Carolina battle, killing bunches of British-encouraged Creek Indians in a night battle.

So now we know why I'm so screwed up. A German mercenary and member of the Colonial Army fighting each other. Many of us with Snider blood refuse to accept the notion that we are descended from Harmon (also called Herman).

It is said by some Sniders that Harmon had a son, Adam, who settled in the Blue Grass region of central Kentucky and that Adam owned many acres of the land that later became prime country for raising race horses. So what did Adam do?

He sold the prime land and bought land on Brier Ridge in Spencer County so he could hunt foxes. Instead of the column being written by a rich landowner in Woodford or Fayette County with thoroughbred horses, it is written by a grandson of "Little Jake" Snider of Brier Ridge.

But wait! Is there no chance that Adam Snider was from a different line and not really the son of the mercenary? Some Sniders say Adam was, in fact, from another line. We can only hope they're right.

The following is a bit of Snider genealogy I found on the Internet. It doesn't seem to settle the issue.

Someone else wrote the following, not me.

"My ancestor Hermann G. Schneider (c. 1753-1822) was born in Frankenburg-Hessen and came to America as a Hessian Soldier in the service of the King of England during the Revolutionary War. After the war was over he changed his name to Harmon Snider and he, with his wife Elizabeth (Baumann) Snider, emigrated to Kentucky and made their home in Spencer Co.

Their children:

1. Jacob b. 14 Nov. 1783 in Philadelphia, PA m. Jane (Jenny) Milligan 26 Mar 1805 in Nelson Co. KY. He died 27 Oct 1861.

2. Christina b. 1785 in Philadelphia, Pa m. Anthony Crafton Jr. 29 Nov 1805 in Shelby Co, KY.

3. Polly c. 1786 in Philadelphia, PA m. John Hughes Jr. 18 Jan 1806 in Nelson Co, KY.

4. John Allen b. 1788 in Philadelphia, PA m. Katherine Dadisman 11 Oct 1802. He died 27 Nov 1855.

5. Elizabeth b. 1789 in Philadelphia, PA m. James Goodwine 23 Jun 1806 in Shelby Co, KY and they moved to Indiana. She died in 1825.

6. Sally c. 1792 m. Obadiah Silkwood 22 Apr 1811 in Shelby Co, KY.

7. William b. 9 Apr 1802 in Nelson Co, KY m. Jane Evans 11 Sept 1820 in Bardstown, Nelson Co, KY. He left his family and moved to Brown Co, IN. He died 18 Oct 1875.

John Allen Snider and Katherine (Dadisman) (also seen as Todisman) Snider lived in Washington Co, KY. The land he owned on Beaver Creek was taken into Anderson County in 1827. He worked as a teamster along with farming and raising stock. He died 27 Nov 1855 when a team of horses broke loose and trampled him to death.

Their Children:

1. Jacob b. 28 Jul 1805 in Franklin Co. KY m. Mary Jane Leathers c. 1824. Died 12 Jul 1865.

2. Henry b. 1807 m. Catherine Bowman 1 Aug 1831 in Anderson Co, KY.

3. George b. 25 Dec 1819 m. Mary Elliott in 1 Feb 1840 in LaRue Co,KY.

4. Eliza b. abt 1811 m. James Trower 1 Aug 1831 in Anderson Co, KY.

5. Catherine m. James L. Dadisman or Todisman. Died before 1850.

6. Lucretia b. abt 1814 m. Henry Searcy 15 Dec 1834 in Anderson Co, KY.

7. William b. 1823 m. Delila Miller 05 Aug 1846 in Anderson Co, KY. Died between 1880/1886.

8. James Allen b. 25 Jul 1829 m. Perlina Sparrow 16 Feb 1850 in Anderson Co, KY. Died 1897.

9. Sarah Ann b. 15 Jan 1824 m. Darnall Dowden 15 Feb 1843 in Spencer Co, KY.

Elizabeth or Betsy Snider married James Goodwine 23 Jun 1806 in Shelby Co, KY. (Note: Spencer County was formed in 1824 from mostly Shelby and Nelson counties). Shortly after this, they moved to Jackson Co, IN. Their descendants can be found all over Indiana. Some other surnames include Clark and Lyon. Betsy died in 1825. James remarried Sarah Logan and later served as the Warren County, IN Commissioner. He died in 1851.

Their children:

1. Elizabeth b. 1808 in KY.

2. Thomas b. 10 Aug 1810 in KY m. Eliza Ann Baird 27 Aug 1834. He died 1 Oct 1872 in Warren Co, IN.

3. James b. 19 Jun 1812 in KY m. Sophia Buckles 15 Aug 1833. He died in 1851, Warren Co, IN. He served as the President of the Warren Co. Agricultural Society.

4. Indiana b. 16 Oct 1814 m. Westley Clark 28 Aug 1834 in Warren Co, IN. She died 21 Sept 1862 in Carbondale, IN.

5. W. Harrison b. 1816 in Indiana m. Isabel Charlton 14 May 1838 in Warren Co, IN.

6. Martha c. 1820 m. Richard S. Lyon 26 Aug 1841 in Warren Co, IN.

7. John Washington 9 Dec 1822 in Bartholomew Co, IN m. Jane Charlton 24 Jan 1846 in Warren Co, IN. After her death in 1871, he married Arminda Sperry 23 Jul 1872. He died 29 Jul 1908 in Vermilion Co, Il.

William Snider married Jane Evans in Bardstown, Nelson Co., KY on 11 Sept 1820. Together, they had three children. When his father passed away, he left his plantation and all of its furniture to William. There was only one condition to the bequest, that William take care of his mother until her death.

William did not accept this condition and about 1828, he left Nelson Co, KY with his two oldest children on horseback. They traveled to Brown Co, IN. His wife Jane and William's youngest son stayed behind. Soon after his move to Indiana, we find him living with Elizabeth Brummet. William's youngest son joined his father about 1836. William and Elizabeth are buried in the Snider Cemetery in Brown County.

Children of William and Jane:

1. Harmon b. 1821 in KY m. Sally Long 08 Aug 1842 in Brown Co, IN. Children: William and Mary Jane.

2. Eliza Jane b. 1823 in KY m. Jacob Baughman 23 Mar 1846 in Indiana. Children: John, Mary, William, Jane, Catherine, Amanda, Lydia and Lourena.

3. George Washington b. 1825 m. Louisa Parker 15 May 1844 and moved to Oregon. Children: Patterson and Eliza Jane.

Children of William and Elizabeth:

1. John b. 21 Aug 1831 m. Elizabeth Murphy 1 Dec 1852 in Brown Co. He died 2 Oct 1906.

2. James b. 1833 m. Elizabeth Brummett 27 Sept 1853 in Brown Co. He died 31 Dec 1861 in Cooper Co, MO.

3. George b. 8 Oct 1836 m. Nancy Baker 03 Sept 1856 in Nashville, Brown Co. Children: Mary, Elizabeth, George Ella, Eliza Jane, Catherine, James, Cordelia, Maggie, Lewis Joshua, Ollie and Dessie. He died 29 Jul 1908 in Helmsburg, Brown Co.

4. William S. or Monroe Bill b. 13 Jan 1839 m. 1st Sarah Brummet 28 Jun 1857 in Nashville, Brown Co., 2nd Ellen Cornett 17 Feb 1876. Children of William and Sarah: Cordelia, Margaret, Elizabeth, Ewing, Shockley, and Oscar. He died 18 Jun 1913.

5. Martha Ellen b. 18 Jul 1844 m. George Abb Brummett 07 Mar 1861 in Brown Co. She died 12 Sept 1875.

6. Joshua b. 1 Nov 1846 d. 28 Jun 1873. He was never married.

7. Jacob b. 1 Jul 1849 m. Bethany Jane Taggart 22 Sept 1870 in Brown Co. He died 12 May 1928.

8. Sarah Jane b. 31 Aug 1853 m. James Kennedy 27 Sept 1870 in Brown Co. She died 16 Feb 1936.

9. Rachael C. b. Jun 1856 m. James L. Campbell 16 Mar 1873 in Brown Co. She died 13 May 1920 in Bethel, KS.

Jacob Snider was born 28 July 1805 in Franklin Co, KY. He married Mary Jane or Polly Leathers c. 1824. She was born 22 July 1806. They made their home in Washington County. Jacob died 12 July 1865 and Mary Jane died 23 June 1868. They are both buried in the Snider Graveyard at Fairview Christian Church near Lawrenceburg, KY in Washington County.

Their children:

1. Martha Ann b. 05 June 1825 d. 09 Aug. 1909. She had 5 husbands. The first marriage to a Mr. Leathers produced no children. The second was William C. Searcy on 18 Oct 1843. After his death she married Seneca Gregory on 2 Sep 1868. Her fourth husband was James A. Goff whom she married on 2 Jun 1887. Her last husband was Pryer Burge. They married 17 Sept 1891. She is buried at the Fairview Christian Church.

2. Frances A. b. 05 Aug 1829. She married John Hardesty 31 Dec 1846 in Washington County. They are both buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery.

3. John b. 10 April 1831 d. 17 Mar 1918. He married Mary Jane Stine 08 May 1856 in Washington County. They are buried at Fairview Christian Church.

4. James A. b. 27 May 1833 d. 21 Feb 1904. He married Marinda Catherine Demaree 04 Oct 1867 in Mercer County. They are buried at Fairview Christian Church.

5. Sarah Ann b. 22 Dec 1836 d. 01 Jan 1872. She married William Thomas Hardesty 09 Dec 1856 in Washington County. They are buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery.

6. George H. b. 05 Mar 1838 d. 11 Dec 1926. He married first Mary J. Shields 27 Dec 1874 in Washington County. After her death in 1888, he married Sarah J. Mobley 10 Mar 1892 also in Washington County. They are all three buried at Fairview Christian Church.

7. Alfred b. 05 May 1840 d. 21 Feb 1919. He married first Martha Preston Cummins 12 Oct 1865 in Washington County. After her death in 1877, he married Sarah Ellen 22 Jan 1880. They are all buried at Fairview. GENERATION 4

8. Thomas Kirkland b. 23 Sep 1842 d. 23 Sep 1922. He married Mary Bliss Sale 15 Feb 1870 in Washington County. They are buried at Chaplin, KY.

9. William Thurman b. 16 Oct 1845. He married Mary ? after 1870. They moved to California.

10. Mary A. b. 05 Feb 1848 d. 19 Dec 1868. She married William Pinkston 07 Nov 1867 in Washington County. She is buried at Fairview Christian Church.

So, fellow Snider bloods, we know who some of the Snider cousins are, but we are still stuck with the question? Where did Adam Snider come from? Are we Spencer Countians descended from Adam, was Adam a son of Harmon? Just who the heck are we?

If you have answers to the great Snider mystery, let's hear from you. Drop me a line at: apwriternews@yahoo.com, phone (502) 252-9991 or write: Tom Watson, 5225 Little Union Road, Taylorsville, Ky., 40071.


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