The Snyder Family Of New Buffalo


In the late 1800s there were at least two Snyder families in Berrien County. One was living in Three Oaks and one in New Buffalo. When I started researching this family, it was confusing until I was able to get enough documentation to realize that fact. This family biography deals only with the New Buffalo Snyder family.

My Snyder family of New Buffalo begins with Thomas P. and Marguerth Snyder. They came from Mamakating, Sullivan, New York. Some of the men worked as boatmen on the D and H Canal that traveled between the Delaware and the Hudson Rivers bringing coal from Pennsylvania to New York City. On the return trip the boatmen would bring back things that were needed by the people of Sullivan County. His parents may be Harvey and Hannah Snider/Snyder. On the 1850 Mamakating NY census Harvey is 42 and Hannah is 38 with six children at home: Charles age 15; Jonathan age 14; Jacob age 12; Joseph age 10; Mary age 8 and James age 2. In 1860 Harvey is age 52 and Hannah is 49 with four children at home: Jacob age 22; Joseph age 20; James age 13 and Mary A. age 17. Thomas and Margaret are there in 1860 living next to Harvey and Hannah and their other son Charles age 25 married to Elizabeth age 16. There are several other Snyder family members in the area. On that census, Thomas is 33 and Margaret is 30. They have two children: Elizabeth age four and William age two.

The earliest record I have found of them in New Buffalo is the 1880 Federal Census. Another early record is an 1887 land Platt map for New Buffalo. That map shows Thomas P. Snyder owning 36 acres in section 31 at the corner of Kruger Rd and Glassman Rd. The back of his property bordered the Galien River. He farmed the land.

Thomas was born in New York 22 September 1826. He married Marguerth Scales in 1854. One year earlier she had become a citizen of the United States. She and her family came from Ireland. She was born in 1821. Thomas died 27 September 1901 at the age of seventy-five. Marguerth/Margaret died the following month, 31 October 190l at the age of eighty. They are both buried in the Lakeside Cemetery.

The 1880 New Buffalo Federal Census showed two children at home: William and Annie Jane. The oldest child, Elizabeth, was already out of the home because she was married. Elizabeth was born April 1855 in New York. She married Peter Garland 28 April 1875 in Berrien, MI. They had two girls: Margaret Belle born 24 February 1877 and Catherine November 1879.

Their only son, William J. Snyder, was born 16 May 1858 in New York. He married Jennie Hager at Union Pier 19 May 1889. On the 1880 census they were neighbors of the Hager family. Jennie was born 29 June 1871 in Indiana. In October 1889 she had her first child a son, Frederick P. Snyder born on the 13th. Jennie died about several days later, 23 October 1889, at the age of 18 and was the first Snyder to be buried in Lakeside Cemetery.

On the 12 June 1892, William J. Snyder married for the second time to Rosa L. Hager the younger sister of his first wife. They were married in Lakeside, Berrien, MI. Rosa was born April 1874. They had a family of eight children: Mary Elizabeth was born 15 May 1893 and died eighteen days later, 1 June 1893. Frances was born 17 January 1894 and lived two years fourteen days. She died 31 Jan 1896. Their oldest son, Roy Solomon was born 2 November 1896. He died in May 1966. The next child was another son, Joseph W. born December 1898. Another son, Thomas H. followed in 1902. Their last son, Howard A., was born in 1902. The last child born was Gertrude M. in 1913. All were born in New Buffalo.

In 1901 after his father died, William lived on the farm until he died 25 June 1936 at the age of seventy-eight. Rosa died two years later in 1938 at the age of sixty-four. William's name replaces his father's name on the New Buffalo land Platt of 1903. The 1910 Federal Census for New Buffalo gives his occupation as a fruit farmer. They are buried in Lakeside Cemetery.

Thomas and Margaret's daughter, Anna Jane, at the age of 19 married Almon Tofflemire on 26 December 1881 at Berrien. Almon was born February 1862 in Lakeside, Berrien. He appears on the New Buffalo Federal Census as early as 1870 at the age of 8. He is living with his mother, Eliza and sister, Martha age 11. Anna and Almon have four children: William Henry born 19 December 1882; Hannah M. born December 1884; Lucy A. born July 1892; Ashley Marvin born 20 March 1899.

My interest in this family is Frederick P. Snyder, the first son of William and Jennie Hagar Snyder. He is Thomas P. Snyder's grandson. Fred was born in New Buffalo 18 October 1889. His mother died when he was a few days old. His stepmother was his aunt Rosa Hager. Fred is found on the 1900 census living with his Hager grandparents in New Buffalo.

About 1905 Fred married Bertie Gertrude Deal of South Bend, IN. They are on the 1910 St. Joseph, IN census with one child, Helen M. age 2. Fred is working as an electrician in a rubber factory. They had three children: Helen M. born about 1906 or 08; Ruby Alice born 14 July 1910 and Lawrence L. born 30 August 1912.

Fred's first wife, Helen M. Snyder married Reca G. Patterson, Jr. 22 January 1924 at Battle Creek, Calhoun Co., MI. Reca's sister-in-law was Helen's mother, Berdie who married for the second time to Henry Patterson. Henry can be found on the 1921 Battle Creek City Directory working as a driver. On the 1920 Battle Creek, Calhoun, MI census Berdie and Henry and Helen, Ruby and Lawrence are living in the household of Elma Crane, Henry and Reca's mother. At that time Reca was 17 and Helen was 11. Bertie Gertrude Deal Snyder Patterson died 12 January 1924 in Battle Creek, MI. She was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lot 726, Rt. 5. She is very near her father-in-law's gravesite, Reca G. Patterson, Sr. He was buried 4 January 1911 in Section P, Lot 33, and Route 1.

Helen married Reca G. Patterson on 22 January 1924 just a few days after her mother's funeral. The Return of Marriages in the County of Calhoun for the Quarter Ending 31 March shows that Helen is 18years old yet the 1920 census shows her age as 11 years old. That particular census had many errors in the information that was recorded. The relationships, ages and the names of some of the members is wrong. The Laura there should be Lawrence.

Helen's stepfather/father-in-law, Henry Patterson married for the second time to Matie Unknown. They had two children: a daughter, Ina and a son Raymond. Henry was born in Battle Creek 9 March 1890. He served as a member of Co. F in the Indian National Guard and served on the Mexican border during 1916. Henry and his second family moved to Lockport, NY to find work and was employed at Kugler Iron and Metal Shop in Lockport. He was on the job only two hours when he was fatally injured. He suffered a compound fracture of the jaw and a severed jugular vein when he was struck in the face by a flying iron bar when engaged in cutting scrap iron with power shears. He never regained consciousness. He is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Kalamazoo.

Fred's other daughter, Ruby was born in South Bend, IN. She moved to Battle Creek in 1916. She worked at Kellogg Co. for 27 years and retired in 1973. She married John R. VanAsperen in Battle Creek in 1927. They had two daughters: Alyce L. and Patsy Ruth and two sons: John R. and Frederick G. John died in 1948. Ruby married for the second time to Arthur C. Jones in Battle Creek in 1950. Arthur died in 1969. Ruby died the 16 August 1996. She was living then in Emmet, Calhoun, MI.

Fred's only son, Lawrence L. died the 8 December 1977 in Milwaukee, WI. I have not been able to find any information on him except what I have written.

Frederick P. Snyder married for the second time to Anna Marie Green 2 July 1915 in Grand Rapids, MI. They had no children of their own, but they adopted Audrey who was born in 1927.

Anna Green was born 22 Jan 1891 in Springfield, Erie, PA. She was my dad's sister. They were living in Milwaukee, WI in 1920 according to the Federal Census. They were boarding in the Dillinger house. Fred was working as an electrician. Anna was working as a helper in a restaurant. They were still in Milwaukee in 1930. Fred was an electrical engineer for Public Utilities. They had their own place. Anna was not working but at home with their adopted daughter, Audrey. She was born 23 February 1927. Audrey married James Oman. Audrey died 10 February 1994 at the age of 67. Anna, Audrey and Fred moved to New Buffalo in 1938 buying land out on Maudlin Rd.

In 1965, Fred and Anna were involved in a car accident. He suffered head cuts and Anna suffered leg and head cuts. Both were hospitalized. Fred was cited for failure to yield the right-of-way. Later that night Anna was moved by ambulance to the South Bend Memorial Hospital. Her condition was reported to be critical. Anna died the following year 11 November 1966. She is buried at Lakeside Cemetery, Lakeside, MI. Fred died 24 March 1974 and is buried in Lakeside Cemetery, Lakeside, MI. He was 84 years old.





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