Chapter XV


(Page numbers from 1888 Green Book in [square brackets].)

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The Forney Branch — Rachel Shriver

Marriage To Adam Forney, Hanover, Pa.  |
Children with their Connections  |  Genealogical Records


RACHEL SHRIVER, the eldest daughter of David Shriver, Sr., of Little Pipe Creek, Md., was married to Adam Forney of Hanover, Penna.

It was noticed in the narrative by Judge Shriver, that, at the time the Shrivers settled at Conewago, Penna., their nearest neighbors were a family named Forney, residing where the town of Hanover is now located, and that the families were subsequently connected by marriage. This places the Forney family among the earliest settlers of that region, a fact which is confirmed as noticed in Part II., Chapter I, respecting the purchasers of land from Digges, the names of “Adam Furney, or Pfarney, 1738, and Nicholas, his son,” being given with others.

The following document, which has been furnished by a member of the Forney family, is confirmatory of the above statements, showing that their ancestry arranged to emigrate to America, May 7, 1721, which was within a few days of the date of the Shriver emigration, viz., May 13, 1721. The emigrant, John Adam Fornich, (i. e., Forney,) was, no doubt, the “Adam Furney, or Pfarney,” named among the first settlers of Conewago, and who resided where the town of Hanover is now located. This unique document is, given entire, being a translation from the German, and will be found specially interesting:

“We, the Judges, (Schultheiser), Burgomaster and Council of the town of Wachenheim, on the Haardt, (river of mountain range,) make known by this that John Adam Fornich, an honorable man and   [103]   citizen (tailor) in this place, legitimate son of Christian Fornich, also a citizen of this place, (a worthy man,) came before us and gave notice that he, and his lawful wife, Elizabeth Louisa, had fully determined, together with their four children, and their effects, to undertake the journey to the island of Pennsylvania, and to settle there as their future home. He, moreover, desires and prays us to give him a certificate (urkund) to take with him, setting forth his character while among us up to the time of his departure, believing it would be necessary for him in such a distant place of settlement. The council endeavored to persuade him from this design, but he, nevertheless, remained firm in his resolution.

“Heretofore we have given John Adam Fornich this character, and state it here, after his unwavering request: ‘As long as we have known him, and have been acquainted with him, he has been honest, pious and courteous, just as a good citizen should be. He has always conducted himself so neighborly that no one has had anything to complain of against him; and, furthermore, he is not addicted to any pernicious habits.’

“This is given with the earnest desire to secure for him every needed benefit in his sought-for place of settlement.

“Unto this true certificate have we attached the great seal of the town.
Given at Wachenheim, on the Haardt, May 7, 1721.”

MISS MARY FORNEY, of Hanover, daughter of Jacob Forney, has kindly furnished the following later items of interest concerning her family:

“Adam Forney, my grandfather, was engaged in the business of tanning. He was in comfortable circumstances, a man of strict integrity, genial manners and hospitable disposition. His wife was a woman of sterling worth, inclined to be what is now termed ‘strong minded,’ but, in every respect, a firm, conscientious and good woman. Their sons, David, Jacob and Lewis, commenced life as tanners. David and Lewis continued the business through life. Jacob, after some years, turned his attention to farming. He was a man of great energy of character, and, like his father, of strict integrity, possessing   [104]   many manly virtues; he had fine business qualifications; was public spirited and enterprising, and was mainly instrumental in building the Hanover Branch Railroad, lately merged into the Western Maryland Railroad; also in founding and establishing the First National Bank of Hanover, Penna., with which corporations he was connected up to the time of his death, in January, 1882.

“Elizabeth Weinbrenner, his wife, was a woman of many virtues, a sweetly amiable and good character.

“Samuel and Peter Forney (sons of Adam Forney) were engaged in merchandising; Peter, the only surviving member of the family, is 86 years of age. Though ripe in years he is genial and cheery in disposition, and much respected for his affable social qualities.

“There has always been tender reference made to Aunt Polly Forney, daughter of Adam. She was reported beautiful in person, amiable and lovely in disposition and manners. Her death was especially sad, being very sudden; her funeral occurring on the day of her appointed marriage.

“Sallie Forney, the youngest daughter, married Henry Winebrenner, a brother of my mother. She lived out the allotted threescore and ten years, wherein life can be bright and happy; and surely few lives have shown greater friendliness, cheeriness and contentment.

“The sons of Henry Winebrenner, Peter F., David E., and Henry Calvin are engaged in business in Baltimore.

“Rebecca Forney, the wife of Eli Lewis, was a woman of fine sensibilities, beautifully dignified in manners, and kind and genial in disposition.”

MRS. MARY F. ROLAND, daughter of David Shriver Forney, the eldest son of Adam Forney, gives the following additional information:

“David Shriver Forney, when young, was in a leather store in Baltimore. While thus employed he formed the acquaintance of Mr. Zinn, of Harrisburg, Pa., and accepted the offer of a partnership in his tannery. He subsequently married Mr. Zinn’s only daughter, Elizabeth. They had two children, John D. and Catharine. John D. Forney was appointed, by President   [105]   Buchanan, consul to Liberia, Africa, and died within six months after, at Monrovia. David S. Forney’s wife died, and he afterward married Elizabeth Decker. They lived in Harrisburg a year, and then moved to Carlisle, Pa. There were four children by the second marriage — Mrs. Roland, and her sister, Elizabeth Forney, being the only survivors. Mr. Forney had a tannery and farm, which he managed during his life. He died at the age of 52 years. He was a good man — a great churchman. He was buried in the church grave-yard, but as the town grew, a removal of the dead became necessary, and his remains were re-interred beside his wife’s, in the cemetery, York, Pa. Mary Forney married Dr. W. S. Roland, residence, York, Pa.; the records of the family are given in the genealogical table of the Forneys.”

CATHARINE FORNEY, daughter of David S. and Elizabeth Zinn Forney, married the Rev. Dr. D. Zacharias. The following is a brief notice of his life and services:

Rev. Daniel ZACHARIAS, D.D., was born in Washington County, Maryland, and died on the 31st of March, 1873, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. He received a classical education at Hagerstown, and graduated from Jefferson College, Penn. He pursued his theological studies at the seminary of the Reformed Church, then located at Carlisle, Penn., and was ordained a minister of the gospel in 1828. He ministered to churches in York county, Penn., for two years; and then became pastor of the Reformed Church in Harrisburg, Penna., from which place he was called, 1835, to the pastorate of the Reformed Church of Frederick, Md., where he remained till his death — nearly thirty-eight years. He was honored by his church in being selected to aid in some of her important educational and literary interests; and was frequently called upon in the community in which he lived to give his assistance to efforts made for its moral and educational improvement. He was an earnest and gifted preacher, zealous in pastoral labors, endearing his people to him by his sympathetic interest in their behalf.

He first married Miss Hays, of Carlisle, who died in 1831, leaving an infant daughter. By his second marriage he had several sons and daughters, who, with their mother, survived him.


EDWARD OTIS FORNEY, Esq., of Washington, D.C., has furnished the following additional items of interest respecting his father, Peter Forney, with a brief reference to his own history:

PETER FORNEY, the son of Adam Forney, was born at Hanover, York county, Pa., November 16th, 1801. In his childhood he enjoyed the meagre advantages of the imperfect schools of his day, and imbibed from his parents deep religious impressions, which have‑been characteristic of his entire life. In his youth he acquired from his father a knowledge of the manufacture of leather, and, engaged in that business; resided, subsequently, for brief periods, at Gettysburg and York, Penna. Afterward, he removed to Winchester, Va., engaging in the hardware business; and shortly, upon the solicitation of his uncle, Peter Forney, of Baltimore, returned thither, and became his successor in the wholesale grocery trade. On the 21st of October, 1845, having renewed an intimacy of early days, he wedded Mrs. Amanda Forney, (relict of his cousin), only daughter of George Nace, of Hanover, a gentleman well and favorably known there at that time. From the latter date he has resided, with the exception of a few years spent in Texas at the opening of the Civil War, at Hanover. At his present age, near the completion of his 87th year, he is a man of wonderfully preserved physical and mental powers. He enjoys, with almost the zest of youth, the beauties of nature — a life-long characteristic, and devotes his quieter moments to the pleasures of the intellect derived from reading. Unembittered by either the trials of life, or by the burden of years, in a green old age he is enjoying the merited respect consequent upon upright living.

EDWARD OTIS FORNEY, of Washington, D.C., son of Peter and Amanda Forney, was born at Hanover, May 1st, 1847. He received the usual academic and collegiate courses, and was graduated at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa., 1866, and at the Theological Seminary, Mercersburg, Pa., 1869. Subsequently, yielding to conviction, he became a Catholic, and had charge of the classes in English Literature at Georgetown College for three years. He then studied law, and practiced in Washington,   [107]   D.C. On November 23d, 1881, he was united in marriage with Anna R. Hanna, second daughter of Francis Hanna, of Washington, a citizen well and favorably known. For several years he has been connected with the United States Patent Office.

It is further noted by E. Otis Forney that Adam Forney, his grandfather, moved by patriotism, left his home at Hanover to join the American forces at Brandywine; but, being of a delicate constitution, he was, in a short time, brought home on a one-horse cart, being unable to endure the hardships of a soldier’s life. Whether he was actually mustered into service is not known.

See Errata.

In later times, during the Civil War, some of his descendants evinced their patriotism by taking up arms in the defense of the Union and Government. At the time of the battle at Gettysburg Stewart’s Cavalry had an engagement at Hanover with Kilpatrick, of which note was made, at the time, by F. Austin Shriver. He says: “The principal fighting was done in the town, and men were killed in every street. There was a rebel battery about eight hundred yards from Henry Winebrenner’s house, which shot a shell through their up-stairs back porch door, descending to the kitchen where the whole family were collected; but the shell did not explode, and, almost miraculously, none of the family were injured.

The Forney Genealogical Records, 1888