SHRIVER FAMILY OF LITTLE CONEWAGO
The Palatines were thrifty and industrious people who lived in the lower regions of the Rhine. Situated on both sides of that noble rivers between Bavaria and Alsace and extending from above the city of Speyer northward to near Cologne, the Palatinate was as fair a land as all Europe could show. Itís fertile fields and vine-clad hills brought a good living and comfort to it's people, and sent an abundance of grain and wine to the other countries of Europe. Religion and education were so well diffused that there was no other people of their day to whom in these respects the Palatines stood second. The situation of their native country, the highway from France into the heart of Germany; together with itís beauty and fertility raised the envy of Louis XIV of France, whose ambition was colossal. His schemes and plots made life a burden to the rulers of the Palatinate. The death of Charles Louis of the Palatinate in 1685 without issue gave King Louis of France a claim to the Palatinate in the name of his brother who had married the sister of Charles Louis. The claim was opposed by Holland, Austria, Bavaria, Prussia and the other smaller German states, which under the leadership of the great William organized the Grand Alliance and prepared for war.
Louis, with the double purpose of wreaking vengeance on the Palatinate
Ė a vengeance made more bitter by the refuge there given to the
Huguenots, whom the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes had driven into
exile, and also of making the country untenable for his foes,
seat an army of 50,000 men, with orders to itís commander to
ravage the province with fire and sword and to make the land a desert.
The invasion took place in winter. The French army went through
the length and breadth of the Palatinate; destroying itís cities and
villages, stripping the people of their possessions, killing such as
endeavored to save anything from the ruins and then driving them to the
fields there to perish with hunger and cold. In the following spring the
farmers were forced to plow under their crops. The whole land was filled
with mourning and desolation. Many were killed and others were starved
or frozen to death. In one day, Frederick the ruler of the Palatinate,
standing on the walls of the city of Manheim counted 23 villages in
for a few years the people had rest and then in 1693 another invasion
brought on more misery to the country. In 1701 the war of the Spanish
Succession started and drew out itís miseries and cruelties for 13
long years. Most of the
fighting was done in Spain and Germany and the Palatinate came in for a
full share of chaos. In 1707 Louis of France sent an army to repeat the
misery to the Palatinate which he had done 20 years before. With the
country ravaged again ó then began that remarkable exodus, which in
the next four decades brought so many thousands
of the Palatines to America.
to be noted also that to the afflictions by war also added wasan
expelling power, a religious trouble which amounted to a little less
than persecution. Early in
the Reformation period the ruler of the Palatinate gave his allegiance
to the Protestant cause. His country became a stronghold of the Reformed
faith. For 130 years no two successive rulers were of the same faith.
Lutheran and Reformed princes succeeded each other in regular
alternation; and each prince desired to bring his people into his own
church. Finally, John William, the
ruler at the time of the Spanish War, deserted both Reformed and
Lutheran, and adopted the ancient faith of the church at Rome.
He was a man of piety, but narrowness of mind, and endeavored to
get his people back to the Roman Communion. Then the Palatines began to
look for a new land of Peace and Freedom.
liberal system of government in the province of William Penn was the
cause of encouraging Germans from the Palatinate, most of whom belonged
to the Lutheran and Reformed faith; as well as the Mennonites from
Germany and Switzerland and German Baptists from the upper Rhine, to
cross the Atlantic and seek refuge in Pennsylvania. They first settled
in Philadelphia in 1683, and the stream of immigration continued from
that date until 1760. William Penn visited Germany three times and
invited the distressed people to come to his province; and this
invitation helped to cause the immigration which continued for more than
half a century.
conditions in Alsenborn (a small town located 30 miles northwest of
Speyer in the Palatinate) were so unbearable that Andrew Schreiber a
resident of that place decided to leave Alsenborn, and with his family
make the long trip to Pennsylvania.
On May 13th. 1721 Rev. John Mueller or (Miller) the mister of the
Reformed church copied from the church protocol the baptismal and
wedding records of this family. It consisted at this time of Andrew
Schreiber, his wife Anna Margaretha, stepson David Young born 1699,
Ludwig Schreiber born 1709, ,Andrew Jr. born 1712 and Anna Margaretha
born 1715. The family had been members of this church for generations.
Rev. Miller wrote the following certificate of recommendation at the
same time for the family:
the bearer of (or person showing) this, Andrew Schreiber, citizen and
inhabitant of this place and his wife Anna Margaretha, who he has with
him, confess themselves to be conformable to the pure word of God, of
the Reformed Church, and have until nova assiduously observed the
outward duties of Christianity in attending public Worship, receiving
the Holy Sacrament, and otherwise as far as is known, have been
irreproachable in their conduct, I attest, and whereas the said man and
wife and their children, after having borne adversities, and about to
turn their backs upon their country (God knows where) into a strange
country. I would therefore recommend them to a willing reception by the
preachers and elders of the said Reformed Church, wherever they may show
Oberant Lautern, in the Electorate Palatinate.
The Rev. Mueller who signed then
these documents served as parson in Alsenborn from 1714 to 1726. He was
the father of John Peter Mueller (Miller)
born in 1710 and who came to Pennsylvania in 1730. He served as
the pastor of the Reformed Congregation at Goshenhoppen; later going to
Ephrata and becoming the noted leader of the Brethern at the Cloisters.
Schreiber family landed at Philadelphia in the fall of 1721; the trip
taking nearly 1/2 year. They then moved into the Goshenhoppen
neighborhood, Perkiomen Valley which is in northern Montgomery county.
Goshenhoppen was one of the oldest German settlements in Pennsylvania
and many families from the Palatinate remained there among relatives and
friends until the time that they could support themselves. The father
soon died and his widow married John Herger, who lived in the same
place. Andrew Jr. learned the trade of tanner and shoemaker. The
business of tanning was carried on by succeeding generations of Shrivers.
As late as 1890 Louis E. and H. Wirt Shriver (great-great grandsons of
Andrew Jr) were engaged in this business at Union Mills, Carroll County
freed himself from his apprenticeship about 1732 and worked for one year
in which he received 18 pounds (about $78). In June of 1733 he married
Anna Maria Keyser; who was the daughter of Ulrich and Veronica Keyser.
They were both natives of Renche a small village which was five
hours travel from Heidelberg. Ulrick Keyser was a tanner; and quite
likely Andrew Schreiber served as apprentice under him.
brother Ludwig soon followed building a mill on the Conewago creek
across from Conewago Chapel. Andrew Shriver's wife Anna Maria helped her
husband in the tan yard and dressed deer skins by night. Their son David
wore deer‑skin dressed as clothing; shirts excepted until 15 years
old. Having but little
cleared ground at this time, the stock was left to run at large in the
woods; and in the morning, David the oldest child had to collect them,
much to his discomfort. The
vines and grass were nearly as high as himself, and covered with dew
they soon made his deer‑skin dress so wet that it clung tight to
his body. Deer and other game were at this time so plentiful and
destructive to crops that hunting was necessary for self preservation.
On account of his fatherís settlement on the frontier, remote from the
centers of civilization, David, the first born grew up with scarcely any
education. In his youth he aided his father in his business of tanning
and farming. When he was 20 years of age he was employed in a country
store. Here the want of education was felt, so he applied himself and in
short time he had a pretty good knowledge of figures and learned to
write a fair hand. At this time Lancaster had become quite a town and it
was the custom to hold two fairs there every year; one in June and the
other in October. At one of these fairs David Shriver first saw Rebecca
Ferree; who had been sent to Lancaster to acquire a knowledge of
ornamental needlework. He undertook to accompany her home and was
received with becoming respect by her father; but with much displeasure
and indignity by her mother. Standing well however with the daughter and
father he persevered and married Rebecca Ferree in 1761.
early settlers at Conewago were: Peter Middlekauff, David Young,
Michael Will, Ludwig Schreiber, John Jacob Kuntz all from
Montgomery County. Martin Kitzmiller from Lancaster County, Peter Ohler,
Conrod Eckert, George Froschauer, John George Kuntz, John Morgenstern,
Henry and Abraham Sell, Andrew Herger, Conrod Dottora, Peter Risher,
Adam Miller, Jacob Benker (Bankert), George Mause, John Jacob Feeser,
George Sponseller and Peter Little.
the settlers bought their lands from Digges while others purchased
tracts from the Penns. Their homes were made miserable by the turmoil
arising out of the disputes between Digges and other settlers; which
were aggravated by the conflicting claims of Penn and Lord Baltimore to
the proprietorship. For many years the region was known as the
"disputed land" and there was naturally much lawlessness
In 1752 forty persons lived within the limits of York County on
tracts sold under Maryland rights. The Commissioners of York County
undertook to collect taxes from the above as living north of the
temporary line, but the provincial authorities prevented it on the
ground that they held under Maryland rights and could not be taxed by
Pennsylvania authority until final settlement. Andrew Shriver along with
a number of his neighbors paid taxes to Maryland.
His deed from Digges bearing the date of Nov. 15th 1749, was
recorded in Baltimore County Maryland.
There is a lapse of 15 years from the date of purchase until
Shriver received a deed. This is exlained by the fact that Digges had
mortgaged "Digges' Choice" to Charles Carroll of Annapolis and
Squire Dulaney. This mortgage was not satisfied until 1749óhence
Digges could not give clear title before that date. The deed also
provided for rents to the Proprietor of Maryland.
February 26th, 1752 Dudley Digges the son of John Digges was killed
in a fight wits Martin Kitzmiller and his sons Jacob, John,
George and Leonard. Kitzmiller had bought his tract from John Lemmon in
1736. Lemmon had recognized the right of Digges to the land but had not
paid Digges for the land when he sold it to Kitzmiller.
When Kitzmiller came into the possession of the improvements he
refused to acknowledge Digges' rights to the land and secured a warrant
from the Penns for the 100 acres. This
plantation including a mill and a blacksmith shop, lay entirely outside
the limits of Digges' original survey but within the bounds of the
Digges sought to force payment from Kitzmiller and the killing of young
Digges resulted. The Kitzmillers were freed of the murder charge by the
court at York. The running of the Mason and Dixon line in 1767 put an
end to these border troubles forever.
much as the Shriver family along with their relatives and their Reformed
neighbors founded one of the oldest Protestant churches in this county;
the writer deems it proper to include these few references to the early
religious life at Conewago. Historians of this period say that after the
completion of their cabins the pioneers soon erected a building which
served as the school house and also as their church building. This was
the pattern followed at Conewago. Records state that a schoolhouse was
in existence in 1746. The schoolmaster in 1747 was John Henry Creutz
from Neider‑Schelten, Palatinate. Rev. Michael Schlatter organized
Christ Church on May 4th 1747. No Reformed minister served the people of
Conewago until 1745, When Rev. Christian Henry Rauch a Moravian
missionary wrote in his diary that the Rest. Jacob Lischy, pioneer
Reformed minister in this region had started preaching at Conewago in
that year. But the settlers being staunch in the Reformed faith it is
only logical to suppose that they held services in some home or their
schoolhouse where one of their number read a selection from the Bible or
from the Heidelberg Catechism. Records
in existence show that the Reformed element at Conewago (later Christ
church) was taken under the wing of the Lutheran Church as early as
1735. In 1731 Rev. John Casper Stoever, a pioneer missionary of the
Lutheran Church in Pennsylvania, crossed the Susquehanna and visited the
first settlers at the site of Hanover. While on this tour he proceeded
as far as tire Monocacy river near Frederick Maryland where some
Lutherans had recently settled. In 1732 he founded Saint Matthew's
church at Hanover. From that time on Pastor Stoever came down every year
from his home in New Holland, Lancaster
county to preach and to baptize among the people at Conewago and on the
Monocacy. He kept an accurate record of baptisms and marriages. From
this record of Pastor Stoever's we find that on the 22nd. of May 1735 he
baptized David Shriver, the first son of Andrew Shriver, and children of
David Young [sic], John Shriver, the first son of Andrew Shriver,
and children of David Young, John Lemmon (Lehman) and Peter Middlekauff.
These were Reformed families. A minister of their faith was not
available, so what difference did it make. These children had to be
taken into the Christian church. Rev. Stoeverís records indicate that
he continued ministering to these Reformed people for a period of six
year‑‑unti1 1741. In those years he records the children, of
these additional Reformed families: John George Froschauer, John
Schreyer, Nicholas Fischer, Jacob Klund, John Jacob Kuntz (Koontz)
Ludwig Schreiber, Jacob Jungblut, Frederick Bruder and Martin Kitzmiller.
These early baptisms of 1735 are without a doubt the oldest
Protestent church records in Adams county and bear testimony to the fact
that a crude church organization did exist among to reformed element
possibly 12 years before the organization by Rev. Schlatter in 1747. In April 1755 Ludwig and Andrew
Schreiber addressed a letter to Coetus (or the Synod) of the Reformed
church asking that a minister be
sent to Conewago. Christ
Church is s recognized as the "Mother" of Reformed
churches in this region; including in nearby Maryland St. Marys
(1761) at Silver Run and Kriders (1761) near Westminster, Md.
pioneer days the subject of religion was sometimes made part of a will.
John Jacob Kuntz (Koontz) of "Little ConewagoĒ in his will dated
February 23rd. 1754 an record at York writes "That if any of my
children should depart from the "Reformed" religion and take
up with any other they shall be left one English shilling from my
Shriver died in 1797 and his wife Anna Maria in 1801. They are buried at Christ Church and their tombstones are an
a good state of preservation. They were the parents of seven children:
David. Born at Conewago 1735.
Married Rebecca Ferree. Lived
at Avondale beyond
Westminster, Maryland. He was a member of the Convention of 1776 which
framed the Constitution of the State of Maryland and he represented
Frederick County in the Maryland Legislature for about 30 years.
Veronica. Born 1737. Married Heinrich
Kuntz (Koontz). Lived in the Silver Run Valley, Carroll County,
descendants of this couple still reside in that section.
Catherine. Married George Kuntz, a brother of Heinrich. Catherine died
at an early age and her gravestone at Christ Church with the year of
death 1772 is the oldest legible stone in the cemetery.
Anna Maria. Born 1745. Married John
Elizabeth. Born 1747. Married Jacob Will.
Andrew. Born 1749. Parried Magdalena Mause Kause. Andrew represented
Adams county in the Legislature at Harrisburg in the early 1800's.
Jacob. Born 1752.
Shriver along with his sons and, sons-in-laws served this county in the
Revolution; with the exception of Heinrich Kuntz who served in 1757 with
a Maryland regiment in the French and Indian War. George Kuntz a son-in-law
was a member of the York Committee of Observation chosen at the general
meeting of the inhabitants of York county the 16th of December 1774.
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posted 10/06/01 by J. D. Klein