Narrative of Judge Abraham Shriver, 1826: Abridged & Revised


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

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Andrew Shriver, Sr., of Conewago, Pa.

(Source: History of the Shriver Family and their Connections, 1684-1888 compiled and edited by Samuel S. Shriver, 1888; abridged and revised by Robert Campbell Shriver, 1976. This book is also known as the “Green book”.  Scanned and converted to HTML by J. Douglass Klein, July 27, 1999.)

This narrative, by Judge Shriver, is based upon information derived by him from his father, David Shriver, Sr., Joel Lightner and others.

Andrew Shriver was a native of Alsenborn, in the Electorate Palatine, Oberamt Lautern Germany. His parents were Andrew Shriver, i.e. Schreiber, and his wife, Anna Margareta, who had been the widow of John Young. He was born September 6th, 1712, and baptized in the church of Alsenborn, by John Miller, i.e. Mueller, the Reformed preacher of that place. He came to America in the fall of the year 1721, with his parents, who paid the passage of the whole family, and landed at Philadelphia, after which they moved to the neighborhood of Goshenhoppen, near the Trappe, on the Schuylkill, where his father soon died, After his death his widow married John Steiger, or Huger, who lived in the same place. Andrew then learned the trade of tanner and shoemaker. Having attained his freedom in the year 1732, he worked one year after, in which time he had eighteen pounds in hand.

In the spring of 1733 he married Anna Maria Keiser, and in June following he removed to Conewago, where, after paying for sundry articles with which to begin the world, he had ten shillings left.

Anna Maria Keiser, his wife, was a daughter of Ulerich Keiser and Veronica, his wife. Both were natives of the Pfalz, Germany.   [14]   Veronica’s father was a tanner who lived five hours from Heidelberg, in a small village called Reuche. Her father and mother came with her to America in the fall of the year 1731. They arrived at Philadelphia and moved to the neighborhood where Andrew Shriver lived, and where her father, also, soon died, and she married Andrew Shriver.

In moving to Conewago, Andrew Shriver’s step-brother, David Young, came with them and helped to clear three acres of land, which they planted in corn, and Young then returned home. During this clearing–about three weeks–they lived under Young’s wagon cover, after which Andrew Shriver peeled elm bark and made temporary huts to keep off the weather, and by fall prepared a cabin. The wagon that brought him to this place passed through what is now known by the name of “Wills’ Bottom,” and in the grass, which was as high as the wagon, left marks of its passage which were visible for several years. There was no opportunity of obtaining necessary supplies, for the first year, short of Streamer’s Mill, adjoining Lancaster. One hundred acres of land, where he lived, were the first he bought, which cost him one hundred pairs of negro shoes, being the price agreed upon with Mr. Digges, the owner, of whom be shortly after bought more land, which was paid for in money.

At the time of his settlement in Conewago, the nearest neighbor of Andrew Shriver was a family of the name of Forney, living where the town of Hanover is now located. It is worthy of remark that these families were in after years united by marriage. For a long time the public road from the South came by Andrew Shriver’s house, and, at the time of his settlement, Indians lived near him in every direction. About this time, and for several years after, the Delaware and Catawba Indians were at war, and each spring many warriors passed by, after stopping at Andrew Shriver’s spring, which was a large flush limestone one. At this time they would display in triumph the scalps, painted and suspended from a pole, which they had been able to obtain from the enemy, and received the accommodation of free quarters as demanded. The consequence was they were very social, and smoked around the pipe of friendship freely, without any attempt at wanton injury.

His brother, Ludwig Shriver, David Young, Middlekauf, the Wills, and others followed in a few years and made settlements. Ludwig Shriver’s settlement must have been early, as he burnt coal out of hickory wood, and made the knife with which Andrew curried his leather, which was tanned in large troughs cut out of logs. Andrew Shriver’s wife occasionally helped her husband in the tanyard, dressing deer skins by night. David, their son, wore deer skins, dressed, as clothing, shirts excepted, until fifteen years of age.

Having but little cleared ground at this time, the stock were left to run at large in the woods. Such as were wanted, David, being the oldest child, had to collect every morning, much to his discomfort, the pea vines and grass being nearly as high as himself, and covered with dew, soon made his deer skin dress so wet as to render it like unto his skin, adhesive to his body. Deer, and other game, were so abundant, and so destructive to grain fields, as to render hunting necessary for their protection.

Respecting the Conewago Family

Andrew Shriver, the head of the family, had seven children; three sons, David, Andrew and Jacob, and four daughters, whose names are not given in the preceding narrative, though it is stated that they married, and reared large families. The history of David Shriver, the eldest son, and that of his descendants and connections, is given at length in these pages. Andrew, the second son, remained at the Conewago home, and reared a large family, the records of which will appear in due order. Jacob, the third son, had one son who died early, and his father soon after, leaving no descendants. The marriages and history of the daughters, and their descendants, will be given as far as may be obtained at this late period. Ludwig Shriver and David Young, his stepbrother, as seen by the records, were early identified with the Conewago settlement, but nothing further is known of their history. It is singular that no mention is made of the daughters, Anna Margareta Shriver and Anna Margareta Young, her step-sister, either before or after the emigration of the family to this country.

Andrew Shriver, the head of the Conewago family, died August 12th, 1797; aged eighty-four years, eleven months and six days.

His wife, Anna Maria Keiser, was born near Heidelberg, Germany, September–, 1710; died May 8th, 1801, in the ninety-first year of her age. Their remains are interred in Christ Church burial ground, where also are found the tombs of a number of their children and descendants.

The Conewago Family

9-6-1712 / 8-12-1797*
9- -1710 / 5-8-1801*
David Shriver, Senior
3-30-1735 / 1-30-1826**
Rebecca Ferree
1-21-1742 / 11-24-1812**
Veronica Shriver
9-15-1737 / 6-1-1805***
married Henry Koontz
12-14-1729 / 5-30-1800***
Catharina Shriver
1742 / 1772*
married George Koontz
1735 / 1823
Anna Marie Shriver
1-20-1745 / 3-17-1813*
married John Kitzmiller
9-23-1735 / &20-1801+
Elizabeth Shriver
1748 / 1819
married Jacob Will
1738 / 10-27-1812*
Andrew Shriver, Junior
8-22-1749 / 9-14-1823*
married Magdalina Maus
1-13-1753 / 2-3-1833*
Jacob Shriver
8-9-1752 / 10-6-1785*


Legible Gravestones:
* Christ Church, Conewago — Littlestown, Pennsylvania
** Little Pipe Creek, Family Cemetery — Westminster, Maryland
*** St. Mary’s Church (UCC) — Silver Run, Maryland