Snyder Family

About the Snyder Family

The Converted Ones

Heinrich Schneider (Snyder) Sr. was born in Württemberg, Germany in 1805.  He immigrated to Pennsylvania before 1820 and purchased a farm in Stark County, Ohio for $600 in 1833.  Henry married Catherine Feller and by 1844 the couple had five children. Snyder came into contact with the ideas of Dr. William Keil because of the preaching that was conducted on his behalf by one of the sons of Andrew Giesy Sr.  Snyder answered Keil’s call for communal living at Bethel, Missouri in 1845.

Snyders of Interest

Catherine Feller Snyder died shortly after the family moved to Bethel.  The colony committed its financial and emotional resources to families of members that suffered such tragedy.  Thus, Henry was able to go about his business as a carpenter while his boys were cared for and apprenticed to craftsmen.  The four boys who survived to adulthood paid back this loyalty by remaining in the Colony for its entire span of nearly forty years.


Through marriage, the Snyders established strong family ties with Forstners, the Wills, and the Schules.  The Mohlers are remembered for their care of the young boys.


In 1855, Dr. Keil called on Henry Snyder to join him on the migration to Oregon.  Henry planned to take his oldest sons with him while leaving the two youngest at Bethel until a later date.  Charles Snyder, then aged 10, followed the wagon train for nearly 100 miles until he was finally noticed.  “Let him come along!” members of the train said, and so Charles made his way to Oregon.

In 1867, eighteen-year-old Christina Schuele drove a mule team from Bethel to Aurora, marrying Charles Snyder two years later.  They had five children.


Carl Snyder was a grandson of Charles Snyder.  In 1963 he attended meeting in Aurora in which the colony history was being discussed.  “Why don’t we just start a historical society?” Carl asked.  “So, you are responsible for this?” the interviewer questioned.  “Well, as much as anybody, I guess.”

Aileen Snyder, another granddaughter remembered that her Aunt Mary Schuele and Uncle Michael Rapps were not allowed to marry until after Dr. Keil died.  “I suspect that Dr. Keil was quite a tyrant sometimes,” Aileen said.

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Kraus Family Miley Family Miller Family
Rapps Family Schuele Family Snyder Family
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Wolfer Family Zimmerman Family